Study examines normal hair loss in men without evidence of baldness

June 16, 2008

Performing a standardized 60-second hair count appears to be a reliable method for the assessment of hair shedding, according to a report in the June issue of Archives of Dermatology.

"Currently, there is no widely accepted or standard method for assessing the number of hairs shed daily," according to background information in the article. The widely held belief that it is normal to shed 100 hairs per day is based on the assumption that the average scalp contains 100,000 hairs, 10 percent of which are in the telogen (resting) phase. Although this idea is prevalent, it has not been scientifically validated and does not indicate whether shedding remains constant with age or if it is similar between men and women.

Carina A. Wasko, M.D., of Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, and colleagues studied hair loss in 60 healthy men (half age 20 to 40 and half age 41 to 60) without evidence of alopecia (baldness). All participants were given identical combs and instructions to wash hair with the same brand of shampoo for three consecutive mornings. On the fourth day, they were asked to comb hair forward for 60 seconds over a towel or pillowcase of contrasting color before shampooing. The men combed their hair this way and then counted hairs shed for three consecutive days. This procedure was repeated in eligible participants six months later.

Participants age 20 through 40 shed 0 to 78 hairs, with an average loss of 10.2 hairs per 60-second test. Men age 41 to 60 shed 0 to 43 hairs, with an average loss of 10.3 hairs per 60-second test. Results were consistent on consecutive days for all participants. "When repeated six months later in both age groups, the hair counts did not change much. The hair counts were repeated and verified by a trained investigator, with results similar to those of subject hair counts," the authors write.

"In summary, the 60-second hair count is a simple, practical and objective tool for monitoring conditions associated with hair shedding," the authors conclude. "Low intrapatient variability demonstrates that dependable results over an extended period of time are obtainable. The similarity between investigator and subject hair counts indicates that patients can reliably count hairs.

Source: JAMA and Archives Journals

Explore further: Sex and violence: the roots of Mexico's teen pregnancy problem

Related Stories

Sex and violence: the roots of Mexico's teen pregnancy problem

November 10, 2017
Claudia Colimoro still remembers the day she met Rosa, a 12-year-old girl sent to the shelter she runs after being sold into sex slavery twice and getting pregnant for the second time.

What is Hashimoto's disease?

November 10, 2017
Your thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped organ on the front of your neck. Its main function is to produce a thyroid hormone that regulates your metabolism. Hypothyroidism occurs when a person's thyroid function decreases. ...

Less fat, more hair and younger skin—study shows benefits from calorie-restricted diet

October 31, 2017
Caloric restriction diets have been associated with health benefits, but their effects on the skin have not been previously demonstrated. Research conducted at the University of São Paulo (USP) in Brazil shows that controlling ...

Researchers call for better polycystic ovarian syndrome diagnosis

October 20, 2017
Young women's inconsistent perceptions around their diagnosis of the hormonal condition polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) could be causing them unwarranted concern about their fertility, new research has found.

Research advance may prevent a form of hereditary hearing loss

October 26, 2017
A research advance co-led by Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine's Kumar Alagramam, PhD, may stop the progression of hearing loss and lead to significant preservation of hearing in people with Usher syndrome ...

Poll: Americans avoid planning for serious illness

November 6, 2017
"I'll deal with it tomorrow. The perpetual tomorrow."

Recommended for you

Anti-malaria drug shows promise as Zika virus treatment

November 17, 2017
A new collaborative study led by researchers at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) and UC San Diego School of Medicine has found that a medication used to prevent and treat malaria may also be effective ...

Scientists identify biomarkers that indicate likelihood of survival in infected patients

November 17, 2017
Scientists have identified a set of biomarkers that indicate which patients infected with the Ebola virus are most at risk of dying from the disease.

Study raises possibility of naturally acquired immunity against Zika virus

November 16, 2017
Birth defects in babies born infected with Zika virus remain a major health concern. Now, scientists suggest the possibility that some women in high-risk Zika regions may already be protected and not know it.

Research team unlocks secrets of Ebola

November 16, 2017
In a comprehensive and complex molecular study of blood samples from Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, published today (Nov. 16, 2017) in Cell Host and Microbe, a scientific team led by the University of Wisconsin-Madison has ...

A structural clue to attacking malaria's 'Achilles heel'

November 16, 2017
Researchers from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and PATH's Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI) have shed light on how the human immune system recognizes the malaria parasite though investigation of antibodies generated ...

Molecular pathway offers treatment targets for pulmonary fibrosis, related conditions

November 15, 2017
A study led by investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and University Health Network (UHN) in Toronto has identified a molecular pathway that appears to be critical to the development of fibrosis - scarring ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.