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March 10, 2015 by Ashley and Martin Case Studies

Case Study 02 – An Interesting Case of Hair Loss in a Young Woman

Recently I consulted with a  young woman at the Canberra Ashley and Martin Medical Hair Loss Clinic.

She presented with excessive hair fall from her whole scalp.

This was most distressing for her. She had been to see many medical professionals who could not understand why her hair was falling out.

She was 22 years of age, healthy and of fair complexion. She was distressed when telling me of her continual hair loss that had started approximately 6 months ago. She estimated she had lost about 50 % of her hair.

On examination I found her hair fall was excessive, and occurring from the whole scalp. When testing the hair for strength (Break Test) the hair broke easily – usually a sign of nutritional deficiencies.

Each fallen hair also did not have a hair bulb. This is usually a sign of hair fracturing, but considering her medical history, recent lifestyle and hair treatments I could not find any appreciable cause that would trigger hair breakage.

I sent her hair away for microscopic examination and the subsequent report showed that each examined hair did in fact have a hair bulb, but it was so small it could not be seen with the naked eye or felt with the fingers.

The hair bulb (the bit of hair where the hair grows from the hair follicle in the scalp) was “shrivelled” with a slight “fish hook” appearance. I was now confident I knew what was causing her hair loss.

I spoke with the woman again some days later to review all the possible causes of her hair loss, but again there was no history of any factors that could be causing her hair fall. I was now confident to diagnosis Loose Anagen Syndrome.

Loose Anagen Syndrome causes the hair follicle to “let go” of the hair in its growing phase. This kind of hair loss is relatively rare and is basically similar to hair loss of chemotherapy. The follicle just “loses its grip “on the hair.

Loose Anagen Syndrome is a genetic disorder with evidence suggesting that it is associated with a connective tissue dysfunction. It is also quite rare – 2 to 2.5 cases per million per year reported in Melbourne Australia, however, due to the probable high rate of misdiagnosis it is under reported.

Ashley and Martin can treat this condition, but often the treatment program is varied to ensure better success.

Chris Wainwright
Ashley and Martin Consultant

*name changed to protect privacy