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Trichorrhexis nodosa: Wikis


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Trichorrhexis nodosa
Classification and external resources

Tricho-hepato-enteric syndrome: Microscopic analysis of the hair shaft showing breaks located at nodes in the hair (trichorrhexis nodosa) and longitudinal breaks.
ICD-10 L67.0
ICD-9 704.2

Trichorrhexis nodosa is a defect in the hair shaft characterized by thickening or weak points (nodes) that cause the hair to break off easily.[1]:766[2]:636 This group of conditions contributes to the appearance of hair loss, lack of growth, and damaged-looking hair.


Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Trichorrhexis may have a genetic basis but appears to be precipitated by environmental factors. Among people of African origin, the hair may appear not to grow but microscopic examination shows that the hair shafts have nodes or swellings near the scalp which fracture easily. The hair actually grows but is broken before it can become long. Among Caucasians the defect often appears at the ends of the hair shaft with splitting of the ends, thinning and whitish discoloration.

These conditions are directly related to environmental causes such as "perming", blow drying, aggressive hair brushing, and excessive chemical exposure.

In some cases, trichorrhexis nodosa may be caused be an underlying disorder such as argininosuccinic aciduria, Menkes' kinky hair syndrome, Netherton's syndrome, hypothyroidism, argininosuccinic lyase deficiency or trichothiodystrophy.


  • lack of apparent hair growth
  • hair appears patchy
  • hair breaks easily close to scalp
  • hair may have thickenings or nodes in the shaft
  • ends of hair thinned or split
  • whitish discoloration of hair tips
  • hair breaks easily at tips

Signs and tests

Examination of the hair shafts with a microscope may reveal changes of trichorrhexis nodosa.


Improving environmental factors will reduce damage to the hair. Gentle brushing with a soft brush should replace more aggressive brushing, ratting, or other procedures. Harsh chemicals such as hair-straightening compounds and permanents should be avoided. The hair should not be ironed. Excessively harsh shampoo should be avoided. Hair conditioners should be used.


This condition is self-limiting. Improvements in grooming techniques and in environmental conditions will correct the abnormality.


This condition is not dangerous but may affect self-esteem.

See also


Avoid aggressive brushing and grooming, strong chemicals, permanents, straightening, and similar hair-damaging habits.


  1. ^ James, William; Berger, Timothy; Elston, Dirk (2005). Andrews' Diseases of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology. (10th ed.). Saunders. ISBN 0721629210.
  2. ^ Freedberg, et al. (2003). Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. (6th ed.). McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0071380760.




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