I received a follow-up from a patient after he met with me for a consultation —
Thank you taking the time for the consultation. I wanted to get some clarification on some density counts that you made on my hair. You came up with the number 20 after inspecting my scalp. What does that number refer to? I am looking at some hair loss blogs and reading up on how other people have done and many doctors are using numbers like 60 or 70 or 80 or 90. Is that the same scale? If so mine at 20 would be extremely low. I guess that is on a different scale. Maybe you can help explain the difference. I am a little bit confused.
I used the term miniaturization in your case. There are two ways to determine what is the quantity of hair and the quality of the hair on your head. Miniaturization is a visual way to estimate the quality of your hair, which extrapolates into a projection of how much hair you will eventually lose and how fast.
If one takes 100 hairs, for example, and 50% of them are miniaturized and 50% are normal, that means that the genetic process is impacting 50% of your hairs. As this process advances, these hair will become finer and finer until they disappear. Assuming that the other 50 hairs remain normal, that would leave you with a bulk measurement of 50% of what it should be.
The second measurement we do is bulk measurement, where we quantify the impact of the good hairs and the miniaturized hairs together. This is a mechanical measurement with an instrument which is accurate to within 10%. Continuing with the above example of 50 out of 100 hairs being normal and 50/100 hairs being thin (but contributing to the bulk measurement), the bulk analysis would probably have shown less than a 50% reduction of bulk. The bulk measurement device (HairCheck) would add the two to come up with a metric, and this metric is always compared to the back and sides of your head.