Bassukas, 1989 (plucking: 4 bulb types)

Bassukas, 1989

 Title: Effects of plucking on the anatomy of the anagen hair bulb. A light microscopic study.

Authors: Bassukas ID, Hornstein OP

Journal: Arch Dermatol Res 1989;281(3):188-92

PMID: 2774646, UI: 89373082

Affiliated institution: Department of Dermatology, University of Erlangen-Nurnberg, Federal Republic of Germany.

Cited in: Dierickx

The effects of mechanical plucking on the anatomy of human anagen hair bulbs were studied histologically in biopsy specimens taken from scalp areas of ten volunteers immediately after plucking. Anagen hair bulbs were shown to tear off not arbitrarily but in reproducible patterns which include, apart from the “typical” break conically surrounding the dermal papilla, three additional break forms: (1) rupture of the hair around the upper third of the papilla resulting in so-called dysplastic anagen hairs of the trichogram, (2) rupture of the hair well above the dermal papilla resulting in “broken” anagen hairs, (3) total removal of the proximal follicle epithelium with removal of the dermal papilla resulting in so-called papilla hairs of the trichogram. Plucking also gives rise to alterations of the mesenchymal sheath of the hair follicle mainly leading to hemorrhages and a distinct edema entailing an increase in the volume of both the dermal papilla and the underlying “papilla cushion” of Pinkus. The different break types can be due to inappropriate plucking techniques or may depend on different subphases of the anagen stage.

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