Microscopic Examination of Hairs

James Robertson, Elizabeth Brooks

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookEntry for encyclopedia/dictionarypeer-review


Hairs are routinely encountered in forensic investigations. Microscopy remains central to the examination of hairs. This article explains how low power (stereo) microscopic (LPM) examinations is applied as part of a four-stage examination protocol to separate hairs of animal and human origin. Selection of hairs suitable for DNA testing is an important function of LPM. The article then covers the features that can be assessed with LPM and with transmitted light microscopy (TLM) viewing hairs as a package of information. The importance of mountants is explained. The use of checklists is encouraged to ensure thorough and systematic examinations. Animal hair microscopy is a specialist discipline that requires additional training and expertize to the examination of human hairs.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Forensic Sciences
Subtitle of host publicationVolume 1-4, Third Edition
EditorsMax M Houck
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9780128236789
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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