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Hair microscopy service

Specialist hair microscopy services are available to dermatologists and doctors with an interest in dermatology.

These services are as an aid to diagnosis and are of relevance in a limited number of hair and scalp disorders where the possible diagnosis includes:

  • hair shaft disorders
  • congenital scalp and hair disorders
  • hair breakage or fragility

It is not of routine value in those with age-related hair loss.

If you would like a sample of hair examined to help with the diagnosis of a hair shaft or scalp disorder there are aspects to the sampling procedure that will help you obtain the most information from the investigation.

This service is provided on the basis of an academic and clinical interest and there is no routine charge in order to encourage contributions from colleagues. However, if the patient is seen outside the NHS it is reasonable to make a charge to them for this investigation and a donation of £100 payable to Bristol University would help support the costs associated with the service.

The additional investigations using SEM or amino acid analysis have costs passed on by the investigating laboratories and are only undertaken if requested. For tips on patients, site to sample, how to sample and how to send hair, see "tips on sampling".

Hair can be sent with accompanying materials to:

Dr David de Berker, Consultant Dermatologist,

Bristol Dermatology Centre

Bristol Royal Infirmary, BS2 8HW

Tel: 00 44 (0)117 342 3419

Fax: 00 44 (0)117 342 2845