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Characteristic features of Japanese women's hair with aging and with progressing hair loss

      Summary

      Background

      There have been few studies of the features of hair with aging and hair loss in Japanese women.

      Objective

      Features of Japanese women's hair with aging and with progressing hair loss were investigated.

      Methods

      Japanese women with hair loss (n = 46) or with no or less hair loss (n = 113), aged 14–68 years, were studied. Severity of hair loss was rated by visual comparison with six standard photographs. Hair density, hair growth rate, and hair diameter were analyzed by phototrichogram. Follicular units were deduced by a non-invasive method using tree-view analysis on scalp imaging.

      Results

      Hair loss in Japanese women is commonly characterized by a diffuse central pattern occurring after approximately 40 years of age. Hair density declines with age after the 40s. The reduction resulted from an increase in the number of one-haired follicular units and a reduction of three- and more-haired follicular units. Both the ratio and the growth rate of anagen hair also declined with age after the 40s. Mean hair diameter and the ratio of thick hairs increased with age from about 10 to 40 years, and decreased with progressing hair loss. There were few vellus-like hairs in women with hair loss, in comparison with male-pattern baldness.

      Conclusion

      In Japanese middle-aged women, hair density declined with age without the appearance of hair loss. Hair loss appeared after approximately 40 years of age. The major causes might be reduction of hair density and the ratio of thick hairs, but not an increase of vellus-like hairs.

      Abbreviation:

      FPHL (female-pattern hair loss)

      Keywords

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