What is Hair Microscopy?

Hair microscopy is the careful examination of hair strands under a microscope using polarized light. The hair strands and follicles are analyzed to determine the stage and health of the strands, whether you are experiencing loss of hair density, thinning hair and, if so, how much. Microscopy is the best way to take the guesswork out of hair loss and quantify what is going on with your hair.

How Does It Work?

Hair microscopy is a simple, pain-free process that provides invaluable information.

Step 1: Harvesting a Sample

A few hair strands are painlessly extracted from an inconspicuous location on your head—no need to worry. Neither you nor anyone else will notice their absence.

Step 2: Place Sample on a Slide

The hair sample is carefully placed on a microscope slide for further analysis.

Step 3: Sample Examination

Using a polarized light microscope, we can analyze hair growth and loss. Color refraction provides information about the hair strands and follicles that cannot be seen with the naked eye.

The information obtained aids in choosing the best treatment for hair loss.

What Can We Learn from Hair Microscopy?

Hair microscopy provides a great deal of information about the health of your hair, hair growth, and whether you are experiencing significant hair loss. Information we learn through microscopy includes:

  • Growth phase
    There are three phases of hair growth (anagen, catagen, and telogen). Through microscopy, we can identify which growth stage your hair is presently in, the percentage of miniaturized and pre-miniaturized hair and whether these percentages are within the target range for your age.
  • Loss of keratin
    Based on the color refracted under the microscope, we can tell if your hair is losing keratin. Keratin is one of the most crucial proteins for healthy hair growth. A lack of it indicates an issue with hair growth.
  • Hair thickness
    We can determine the thickness or caliber of your hair. It may be a situation where you aren’t experiencing hair loss, but hair growth is not ideal. Each strand of hair may be finer and thinner than before, indicating a hair growth problem.
  • Treatment progress
    Hair microscopy can quantify how well a treatment is or isn’t working.
  • Benchmark
    Undergoing hair microscopy before you experience hair loss provides a benchmark of what a healthy head of hair looks like for you, making it easier to identify hair loss down the road.