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  • Writer's pictureSean-Jordan Baruch

What is heterochromia hair?

Heterochromia is the fascinating occurrence of having two distinct colours within the same body part. While it is commonly associated with the eyes, there have been reported cases of heterochromia in hair as well. Heterochromia hair occurs when an individual has two completely different hair colours within their scalp, often resulting in a tuft of hair that doesn't match the overall colour of their body hair.

So, what causes heterochromia hair? This unique phenomenon can result from either a pigment disorder or spontaneous mosaicism, which is the presence of genetically different body cells. Interestingly, heterochromia hair is not typically associated with any other systemic manifestations.

It's important to note that heterochromia should not be confused with poliosis, which is the presence of patches of white hair. Poliosis can be caused by various pathological conditions such as vitiligo, nevus sebaceous, and Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada syndrome.

There are different types of heterochromia hair, including symmetrical, asymmetrical, and segmented. Depending on the distribution pattern over the body, heterochromia hair can be considered physiological or pathological. Asymmetrical distribution, such as having lighter-coloured hair in the underarms or moustaches that differ in colour from the scalp hair, usually indicates a benign condition. However, an asymmetrical and patchy distribution may mean an underlying issue.

In some cases, heterochromia hair can also result from non-genetic conditions. For example, iron deficiency anaemia can lead to the development of heterochromia hair. These hairs may not always be in a tuft but can also occur in a segmented form, alternating dark and light segments on each strand.

Regarding the quality of heterochromia hairs, studies have shown mixed results. Some suggest that they are usually thinner than normal hairs, while others find no significant difference. However, low-quality hair is more prone to falling out.

While there is no medical treatment to cure heterochromia hair, options are available to cover up the defect and improve appearance. Hair replacement and transplantation are safe and effective options in this regard. During a hair transplant, the tuft of dissimilar hair can be removed and replaced with hair of the individual's typical or dominant colour. The donor hairs used for the transplant are taken from a different body site, ensuring a realistic look that matches the rest of the scalp hair.

At What No Hair, an award-winning facility with clinics in various locations, including Leeds, London, Berlin, Istanbul, Mannheim, Naples, and Sardinia, we offer treatments for pathological and physiological hair loss, as well as other hair disorders. From hair transplants to laser treatments and PRP, we provide multiple options to meet individual needs. To determine the best treatment for you, book a consultation with us using this link:


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