Information About Hair Shaft Defects in Children
Hair Shaft Defects Frequently Asked Questions:
The following are frequently asked questions on hair shaft disorders. The information provided is not meant to be a substitute for the information obtained at an evaluation and by discussion with a physician, but merely to encourage understanding of this condition. No questions regarding individual scenarios will be answered by the AHRS. No changes in treatment should be undertaken by a patient without discussion first with the patient's physician.
Your child should be examined by a dermatologist. The sparse hair may be due to some form of inherited disorder causing poor hair growth or a hair shaft disorder, or may just reflect slow hair development.
Consult a dermatologist, preferably one who has an interest in hair loss. An adequate evaluation of the child with microscopic examination of the affected hair should be helpful.
Provided external chemical and physical causes such as overheated hair dryers have been excluded, there are other causes of patchy unruly hair, which are usually inherited. These include twisted or coiled hairs, loose anagen hairs, uncombable hair, scalp ringworm, head lice, and other causes.
Hair shaft defects are not usually caused by dietary deficiencies. However, severe protein malnutrition in a famine-stricken community may manifest as a disease called kwashiorkor, which causes generalized weakness and deformity of scalp hairs.