Hi Dr. Rassman (or other contributing doctors),
I was wondering if for genetic hair loss (male pattern baldness), you can actually diagnosis yourself by feeling the thickness of the hair shafts on your scalp? So, if hairs that fall out daily look much thinner than your typical terminal hair, and the hair on your scalp also feels thinner, can you be confident of a diagnosis for genetic hairloss, or is a miniaturization test necessary? Thanks alot.
Feeling the thickness of the hair shaft is an art that I’ve learned over time. I can estimate the thickness of a hair shaft when it is rolled between my fingers. I have checked myself with a micrometer to measure my accuracy, and I can tell the difference between fine, medium, and coarse hair. I believe that the miniaturized hairs, when compared to the hair from the back of one’s head, can be felt to have less bulk. That being said, the ‘feel’ will not be as accurate as studying it under video magnification (miniaturization mapping of the scalp), which I promote often on this blog. If you wish, you can buy a micrometer at a hobby shop or over the internet for about $25 and make your own measurements of single hair shafts, but to have real value these shafts must be measured amongst many others.