What is heterochromia hair?

Heterochromia is a phenomenon described as the presence of two distinct colours within the same body part. While it is not uncommon to see heterochromia in the eyes, cases of hair heterochromia have also been reported. Heterochromia of the hair is the

presence of two entirely different hair colours within the same individual. There is usually a tuft of hair not matching the general body hair colour.

Image is taken from heterochromia of the scalp hair

What causes heterochromia hair?

Heterochromia hair occurs either as a part of any pigment disorder or due to spontaneous mosaicism (presence of two or more types of genetically different body cells) of pigment genes – not associated with any other systemic manifestations.

Heterochromia VS Poliosis

Heterochromia should not be confused with poliosis, which is defined as the presence of patches of white hair. Poliosis can be caused by many pathological conditions such as vitiligo, nevus sebaceous, and Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada syndrome.

The types of heterochromia hair – Symmetrical, Asymmetrical, and Segmented

Depending on its distribution pattern over the body, heterochromia hair can be regarded as physiological or pathological. Asymmetrical, easily recognisable distribution of heterochromia hair – such as the presence of lighter coloured hair in the underarms or having moustaches differently coloured to scalp hair- usually points towards a benign condition.

An asymmetrical and patchy distribution, however, can often be problematic, as it is usually a result of some underlying condition.

Sometimes, heterochromia hair may also result from a non-genetic condition. For instance, in iron deficiency anaemia, heterochromia hair develops. The heterochromia hairs are not always in the tuft. They can occur in the segmented form, too, as seen in iron deficiency anaemia. In iron deficiency anaemia, alternating dark and light segments are present on each hair.

Normal VS Heterochromia hair

The quality of heterochromia hairs may or may not be similar to normal hairs. Some studies reveal that they are usually thinner than the normal hairs, while the others notice no gross difference between the two. Low-quality hair is vulnerable to falling.

The treatment options

The condition may affect the appearance of an individual and can negatively impact self-confidence. No medical treatment can cure heterochromia hair, but there are alternative options to cover the defect. Hair replacement and the transplant is a safe and productive option in this regard. Hair transplant allows the tuft of dissimilar hair to be removed and replaced by the typical/dominant coloured hair of the individual. In a hair transplant, the hairs for the recipient site are taken from a different body site, referred to as a donor site. The donor’s hairs are of the same colour as the rest of the scalp hairs are, providing a realistic look.

Baruch Hair Loss Clinic

Baruch Hair Loss Clinic, based in Leeds and London, United Kingdom, is an award-winning facility, offering treatment to pathological and physiological hair loss and any other hair disorders. From hair transplant to laser treatment and PRP, multiple options are provided to meet the individual needs. To find out which treatment will work the best for you, sign up for a  free microscopic scalp analysis here.