Background: Global photographs (GPs) have been widely used to grade the severity in female pattern hair loss (FPHL). However, existing classifications for FPHL are not useful in the evaluation of early FPHL. Although there are some variations in early FPHL, even to a mild degree, all types of early FPHL are included in just one category. Therefore, the authors have devised a grading system for early FPHL with five levels focusing on the changes revealed by the surface reflected light of flash generated on GPs.
Aims: This study aims to examine the possibility of evaluating the treatment course of early FPHL using the grading system based on changes in hair surface reflection patterns.
Subjects and methods: Retrospective chart review of 114 early FPHL patients was performed. GPs of these patients were classified into five grades. Photographs of the lowest and the highest grades of each patient were selected and paired. First, the relevance between the value of FPHL-severity index (FPHL-SI) and grades of all the selected photos was analyzed. Next three volunteers graded the paired photographs and chose the milder degree, and then, the concordance rate among author's and volunteers' evaluations were analyzed.
Results: The value of FPHL-SI and incidence rate of hair diameter diversity tended to rise along with increasing of GP grade. Concordance rate of grading among author and more than two volunteers was 57%. The concordance rate of course evaluation between author and two volunteers was 97%.
Conclusion: The new classification can finely classify the grade of early FPHL and can be used for treatment course evaluation.
Keywords: Female pattern hair loss; global photograph; surface reflection light.