Hair diameter diversity: a clinical sign reflecting the follicle miniaturization

Arch Dermatol. 2001 May;137(5):641-6.


Background: The degree of androgenetic alopecia is generally evaluated either by global clinical scales or time-consuming methods like phototrichogram or histological studies. We describe a new clinical and reliable scoring method based on hair diameter diversity.

Observations: (1) The clinical macroscopic scoring we propose for hair density was significantly correlated with Hamilton classification and with histological hair density. (2) Diversity in hair diameter was the main and most accurate clinical parameter linked to follicle miniaturization. (C) The anagen-telogen ratio decreased in parallel with the decrease in clinical hair density score.

Conclusions: Considering that hair follicle miniaturization is the key point during androgenic alopecia onset and development, diversity in hair diameter represents an important feature to consider as an accurate clinical sign reflecting hair follicle miniaturization. Moreover, diversity in hair diameter seems to be an easily accessible and reliable parameter that should be taken into consideration for further characterization of hair disorders. By itself, we believe that this clinical feature constitutes a new tool of substantial help for the diagnosis and management of androgenic alopecia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alopecia / etiology
  • Alopecia / pathology*
  • Androgens / physiology
  • Biopsy
  • Hair / pathology*
  • Hair Follicle / pathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Androgens