Hair shafts in trichoscopy: clues for diagnosis of hair and scalp diseases

Dermatol Clin. 2013 Oct;31(4):695-708, x. doi: 10.1016/j.det.2013.06.007.


Trichoscopy (hair and scalp dermoscopy) analyzes the structure and size of growing hair shafts, providing diagnostic clues for inherited and acquired causes of hair loss. Types of hair shaft abnormalities observed include exclamation mark hairs (alopecia areata, trichotillomania, chemotherapy-induced alopecia), Pohl-Pinkus constrictions (alopecia areata, chemotherapy-induced alopecia, blood loss, malnutrition), comma hairs (tinea capitis), corkscrew hairs (tinea capitis), coiled hairs (trichotillomania), flame hairs (trichotillomania), and tulip hairs (in trichotillomania, alopecia areata). Trichoscopy allows differential diagnosis of most genetic hair shaft disorders. This article proposes a classification of hair shaft abnormalities observed by trichoscopy.

Keywords: Alopecia areata; Dermatoscopy; Dermoscopy; Flame hairs; Trichoptilosis; Trichorrhexis nodosa; Trichoscopy; Trichotillomania.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alopecia Areata / diagnosis*
  • Alopecia Areata / pathology
  • Dermoscopy*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Hair / pathology*
  • Hair Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Hair Diseases / pathology
  • Humans
  • Scalp Dermatoses / diagnosis*
  • Scalp Dermatoses / pathology