Examining Hair Samples: Anagen vs Telogen Hairs

Anagen vs Telogen Hairs

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How do we differentiate anagen hairs from telogen hairs? This photo shows both an anagen hair (bottom) and a telogen hair (top). Anagen hairs are darkly pigmented throughout the shaft. The characteristic feature is the massive number of cells known as “keratinocytes” that can be found in the area surrounding the bottom of the hair shaft. This is termed the root sheath. Anagen hairs have a root sheath.

Telogen hairs, on the other hand, lack pigment at the base and lack a root sheath. Most hairs, if not all the hairs, from a typical collection of hairs from a patient’s scalp are telogen hairs.


Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Whistler office at 604.283.1887



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