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J Am Acad Dermatol. 2002 Feb;46(2):218-21.

Hair counts from scalp biopsy specimens in Asians.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.



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.


We performed this study to assess the normal values of hair counts in scalp biopsy specimens from Koreans.


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.


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).


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.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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