Methods of studying hairs
The analysis of hair is a process of examining an unknown hair to determine its diagnostic characteristics. These are compared against the diagnostic chagacteristics
of previously identified samples.
The major limitation in this process is the need to have on hand identified hair samples in order to make comparison possible. The Hair ID software helps overcome this limitation
by providing a comprehensive database of photographs and descriptive text that describes the hair for all the included species.
The analysis of hair is best undertaken is steps. Each step examines one of the four diagnostic characteristics of hair. The steps are:
- Examination of the hair profile
- Examination of medulla (whole mount)
- Examination of cross-section
- Examination of cuticle scales
The Hair ID software contains detailed instruction on how to perform each step of the hair analysis, illustrated with numerous photographs.
The equipment required to undertake hair analysis is relatively simple and easily obtainable as is shown in Figure 1 below. This is one of the major strengths of hair
analysis as an identification technique - it is quick, accurate and inexpensive to perform.
The only specialised equipment that is not readily available are the thin metal slides and the dull rayon yarn required to make the cross sections. The slides and associated
equipment can be obtained by contacting Ecobyte Pty Ltd at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ecobyte Pty Ltd. email@example.com