International Journal of Trichology

: 2014  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 39-

Hair: Worth its Weight in Gold!

Patrick Yesudian 
 Vepery, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Patrick Yesudian
Vepery, Chennai, Tamil Nadu

How to cite this article:
Yesudian P. Hair: Worth its Weight in Gold!.Int J Trichol 2014;6:39-39

How to cite this URL:
Yesudian P. Hair: Worth its Weight in Gold!. Int J Trichol [serial online] 2014 [cited 2022 Jun 30 ];6:39-39
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Full Text

Those with baldness will certainly agree with this title.

In the tragic story of Absalom, the handsome son of King Solomon, his scalp hairs used to get so heavy that he had to often cut them, and it was found to weigh 200 shekels by the royal measure, which is about 5 pounds - quite a weight to be carrying around on one's head.

The huge amount of hairs that are sacrificed at pilgrimage centers like Tirupathi in India are weighed and exported to all over the world, and this brings in huge revenue as foreign exchange every year for this richest temple in India.

It was breaking news few years ago when motorcycle-borne young men with scissors were riding around in the streets of an Asian country, snipping off the hairs of women with long hairs, to be sold in the grey market at a very high cost. Hence, the women in that country started protecting their hairs rather than their purses.

Apart from the long hairs in high demand for making wigs, wig-lets, hair pieces and the modern laced hair systems used extensively for camouflaging the baldness, hair keratins are the richest source of the amino acid L-Cystiene which is used in the food and pharmaceutical industry. Many parts of Asia especially India have industries for this purpose and loads of L-Cystiene is exported all over the world.

While evaluating a patient with hair fall, the Dermato-trichologist carries out hair pull test, hair counts and measures of diameter of the hair shaft under the trichoscope. However, what every woman wants is a good volume. Volume is proportionate to weight. Hence, hair biologists have now started weighing hairs for assessing the efficacy of drugs like finasteride. Hairs are obtained from clippings taken from a specified area and weighed in a computerized balance. This is done periodically to assess the efficacy of certain drugs used to grow hair. One such drug is finasteride which was found to significantly increase scalp hair weight in men with androgenetic alopecia.

Hence, weighing hairs may become the "gold" standard (no pun intended) in future trichological research.