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Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Volume 46, n° 2
pages 218-221 (février 2002)
Doi : 10.1067/mjd.2002.119558
accepted : 11 July 2001
Hair counts from scalp biopsy specimens in Asians

Hyun-Jeong Lee, MDa, Seog-Jun Ha, MDa, Joo-Han Lee, MDa, Jin-Wou Kim, MDa, Hyung-Ok Kim, MDa, David A. Whiting, MDb
Seoul, Korea, and Dallas, Texas 
From the Department of Dermatology, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoula; and the Baylor Hair Research and Treatment Center, Dallas.b 


Background: Differences in hair density have been described according to the ethnic background in whites and blacks. Asians are known to have fewer hairs than whites. Objective: We performed this study to assess the normal values of hair counts in scalp biopsy specimens from Koreans. Methods: A total of 35 subjects with clinically normal occipital scalps (13 patients with androgenetic alopecia, 20 with patchy alopecia areata, and 2 healthy volunteers) were included. Horizontal sections of 4-mm punch biopsy specimens from clinically normal occipital scalps were examined at various levels from the papillary dermis to the subcutis, and follicular counts of terminal/vellus hairs and anagen/telogen hairs were obtained. Results: The numbers of total hairs, terminal and vellus hairs, and terminal anagen hairs were significantly lower (P < .05) in Koreans compared with the published data of whites and blacks. Percent ratio of terminal anagen and telogen hairs were similar to whites and blacks. Follicular density was significantly lower (P < .05) in Koreans than in whites and blacks. In Koreans, female subjects had a significantly higher number of terminal hairs than male subjects (P < .05). Conclusion: Hair density is significantly lower in Koreans than in whites or blacks. Slight sexual difference exists in follicular counts in Koreans. Our data could be used as a guideline for determining normalcy in interpreting horizontal sections of scalp biopsy specimens from Asians. (J Am Acad Dermatol 2002;46:218-21.)

The full text of this article is available in PDF format.

 Reprint requests: Jin-Wou Kim, MD, Department of Dermatology, St Paul's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, 620-56 Junnong 2-dong, Dongdaemun-ku, Seoul 130-709, Korea.

© 2002  American Academy of Dermatology, Inc. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS@@#104157@@