Loose Anagen Syndrome, also commonly referred to as Loose Hair Syndrome, is a condition in which the hair strands are not firmly fastened onto the scalp and thus can be painlessly plucked out from the head. The roots of the mane are termed as hair follicles and are composed of numerous organelles, tissues and proteins, that perform distinct functions. Due to an insufficient amount of tissue generation in the internal layers of the hair follicles and hair shafts, the strands emerging from them tend to be very frail and break easily.
Loose anagen syndrome occurs more frequently in young girls than in boys, with the condition eventually mending itself with increasing age. In most instances, this hair-related disorder occurs only on the scalp, but in rare cases, happens in the eyebrows as well. Usually, the only troublesome and rather embarrassing outcome is the sparse presence of hair on the head, with no prominent swelling or redness in the affected region of the scalp. The risk of acquiring loose anagen syndrome is high in children with a congenital disorder known as Noonan syndrome, with some medical experts suggesting a link with asthma as well.
In the majority of instances, loose anagen syndrome persists only during childhood and resolves by itself as the kid grows older. In seldom situations, however, the problem of very few hair filaments continues even after attaining puberty i.e. in the teenage or adolescent years. It is thus, essential to understand the causes and symptoms of loose anagen syndrome, to diagnose it precisely in children and provide relevant treatment, to ensure healthy growth of hair in adult years.
The primary cause of loose anagen syndrome is the total lack of or inadequate volume of the inner root sheath. This is the layer of the hair follicle situated in between the external hair shaft and the outer root sheath, comprising the cuticle, the protective covering of hair roots that needs to develop completely for increased length, vast strength of tresses. Certain genetic mutations in the keratin proteins that make up the hair strands trigger loose anagen syndrome – a disorder characterised by weak, brittle hair. In some cases, these genetic aberrations can be inherited from either one or both parents and thus induce loose anagen syndrome in the child.
The defining sign of loose anagen syndrome is the lack of a profuse bundle of hair on the head of the affected child, be it a boy or a girl, even as they grow older, otherwise developing normally. The texture of the hair on the scalp can be straight, curly or ruffled, but it lacks inherent strength and thickness.
When combing hair or itching on the scalp occurs, vast amounts of hair fall happens all at once, as they are very flimsy and not secured onto the scalp tightly. However, no painful or discomforting indications, such as inflammation, red patches, soreness, scarring or tender protuberances are experienced.
Diagnosis And Treatment
Diagnosing loose anagen syndrome can be quite challenging, as it is often mistaken for other more commonly occurring hair-linked disorders, such as alopecia areata and telogen effluvium.
The doctor initially observes the external indications presented by the affected child and studies the scalp and analyses hair texture, scalp surface, to ensure it is not too dry and clogged with dandruff. Then, the healthcare provider takes a sample of the hair specimen from the patient and examines its shape and texture under the microscope. If any crumpled and damaged hair cuticles, which is the external portion of hair, are detected, unlike smooth, straight cuticles generally seen in a normal, healthy person, then the accurate diagnosis of loose anagen syndrome is concluded.
Upon confirming the instance of loose anagen syndrome in the child, the doctor recommends adhering to wholesome, balanced diets with all vital, essential nutrients, since the condition tends to heal on its own, as the person grows older. Yet, in some cases, even after attaining puberty, the hair strands on the scalp of the affected individual are still scarce and weak. In this instance, the physician prescribes oral medications, to induce lush growth of hair on the head, as well as advises taking supplements like biotin, to arrest hair fall, makes the mane thick and strong and promote healthy growth of tresses.