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Practical Method for Monitoring Conditions Associated with Hair Shedding
Practical Method for Monitoring Conditions Associated with Hair Shedding

(June 16, 2008 - Insidermedicine) A simple, standardized hair count test is a reliable method for monitoring hair shedding, even when performed by patients themselves, according to research in the Archives of Dermatology.

The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing recommends the following treatments for alopecia:

•    Minoxidil: Apply 1 mL twice a day regardless of the extent of the affected area; one year of use may be needed before obvious efficacy.

•    Propecia: FDA approved; for MEN ONLY

•    Monotherapy or synergistic use: Women may add estrogen to any therapy; men and women may add tretinoin (Retin-A) topical as an adjunct/synergistically with minoxidil.

Researchers from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston had 30 men aged 20 to 40 and another 30 men aged 41 to 60 perform a standardized hair count at home. None of the men had evidence of alopecia. They were all instructed to shampoo with the same product and use the same comb for three consecutive mornings. On the fourth day, they were instructed to comb their hair forward for 60 seconds over a towel or pillowcase of contrasting color before shampooing. They then counted the number of hairs shed.

Both groups of men shed an average of just over 10 hairs during the test. When the test was repeated six months later by the study participants and when hair counts were verified by a trained investigator, the number of hairs shed remained about the same.

Today's research offers a practical and reliable method for monitoring conditions associated with hair shedding.

For Insidermedicine in Depth, I'm Dr. Susan Sharma.