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Hair Analysis. Identification of species through microscopy. Collection of Hair Specimen. Examination of the Medulla. Patterns in Animal Species. Examination of Scale Pattern. Human Hairs. Racial Determination. African. Asian. European. Hair Roots.

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Hair Analysis

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hair analysis

Hair Analysis

Identification of species through microscopy.

patterns in animal species
Patterns in Animal Species

Examination of Scale Pattern

human hairs
Human Hairs
  • Racial Determination




hair roots
Hair Roots

Pulled Forcibly Removed Shed

tip of the shaft
Tip of the Shaft

Burned Cut Razored Split

identification of hair

Identification of Hair

Differentiation between human and animal hair


The medulla is the core of a hair – it is, however, not always present.

There are several types and patterns.


Continuous—most animals

(seldom humans)

Intermittent or interrupted

(mostly medulla with some gaps)—

human pubic hair, sometimes head hair

Fragmented (mostly gaps

with some medulla)—mostly human hair

Absent—human head hair only

medula patterns
Uniserial--small blocks in a row

Vacuolated--uneven pattern

Medula Patterns

Multiserial--several rows of blocks

Lattice--circular patterns

Amorphous--without a specific pattern

hair medulla





Rabbit -- Multiserial

Rabbit -- Uniserial




Medulla: Present

Medullary Index: More than 1/2

Medulla Pattern: Vacuolated

Species: Goat

Medulla – present
  • Medullary Index – more than ½
  • Medulla Pattern – Vacuolated/amorphous
  • Root – Spade - shaped
  • Species: Dog
Medulla – present
  • Medullary index – more than ½
  • Medulla pattern – multiserial
  • Species -- Rabbit
human or animal
Human or animal?
  • Medulla – present
  • Medullary Index – more than 1/2
  • Medulla pattern – uniserial
  • Root -- frayed
  • Species -- Cat

Now Take a look at some slides of different kinds of hair, straight from the FBI. Can you guess what hair is human and what hair isn't?

hair 1
No 1 is human head hair of Caucasian origin. Caucasian hairs come in the widest variety of colors, can be of fine to medium coarseness and are generally straight or wavy. In addition, the shafts vary from round to oval in cross section. Finally, color pigments are fine- to medium-sized and are evenly distributed throughout the shaft. Hair #1
hair 2
Hair # 2.
  • This is a deer hair. Unlike that of any other animal, the root of deer hair has a wine-glass shape: a narrow root that gradually widens. In addition, the medulla, or inner layer of cells, consists of spherical cells that take up the whole width of the hair in a repeating pattern of different shapes, such as a hexagonal shape, depending on what member of the deer family the subject belongs to.
hair 3
Hair #3
  • This is a human head hair of Afro-Caribbean origin. Such hairs are generally curly or kinky, and have a flattened cross section. Larger than those of other racial groups, its pigment particles are grouped in clumps of different sizes and shapes and may be so dense that they render the hair opaque. Furthermore, the hair shaft may vary — or seem to vary — in diameter because of its flattened nature and the way it settles on the microscope slide
hair 4
Hair #4
  • This is a cat hair. Cat hair has fibrous roots and its pigment particles do not run down to the root. In addition, its medulla, or inner layer of cells, is thicker than that of dog hair.
hair 5
Hair #5
  • This is a human head hair of Asian origin. Such hair is generally coarse, straight and circular in cross section. Its diameter is wider than the hair of other racial groups, and the outer layer of the hair, the cuticle, is usually significantly thicker. The medulla, or inner layer of cells, is continuous and wide. In addition, the hair shaft contains pigment particles that are generally larger than those of Caucasian hairs, and often appear to be grouped in patchy areas. Finally, the hair may have a reddish appearance, a product of its pigment.
hair 6
Hair #6
  • This is a dog hair. Dog hair has spade-like roots and its pigmentation runs down throughout the shaft to the root. Its medulla, or inner layer of cells, is thinner, too, than that of cat hair.
cuticle scales

Mosaic Pectinate Imbricate Petal Diamond Petal Chevron

cuticle scales1
Cuticle Scales

NO! The body will dehydrate soon after death, shrinking as a result. The fingernails and hair will appear to grow. Just an optical illusion!!