major features of hair evidence

timer Asked: Jun 18th, 2014

Question description

Compare and contrast the major features of hair evidence and describe one collection technique to recover a hair specimen.

  • What is a hair follicle? Name the major parts of the follicle.

A hair follicle is a part of the skin, which grows a hair by packing old cells together. Attached inside the top of the follicle are sebaceous glands, which are tiny sebum-producing glands in almost all skin except on the palms, lips and soles of the feet. The thicker the hair, the more the number of sebaceous glands there are. Also attached to the follicle is a tiny bundle of muscle fiber, called the arrector pili, which is responsible for causing the follicle lissis to become more perpendicular (upright) to the surface of the skin. The muscle area can also cause the follicle to stick up slightly above the nearby skin (piloerection) with a pore incased with skin oil. This process results in goose bumps (or goose flesh). Stem cells are at the junction of the arrector and the follicle, and are principally responsible for the ongoing hair production during a process known as the Anagen stage. 


  • Select a line of human descent and discuss the major characteristics of a sample of hair from this descent line.


  • Describe at least one type of collection technique used to recover hair from a crime scene.

If possible, use the fingers or tweezers to pick up hair, place in paper bindles or coin envelopes which should then be folded and sealed in larger envelopes. Label the outer sealed envelope. If hair is attached, such as in dry blood, or caught in metal or a crack of glass, do not attempt to remove it but rather leave hair intact on the object. If the object is small, mark it, wrap it, and seal it in an envelope. If the object is large, wrap the area containing the hair in paper to prevent loss of hairs during shipment. In rape cases, the victim's pubic region should be combed prior to collecting standards. Obtain known hair samples from the victim, suspect, or any other possible sources for comparison with unknown specimens. The recommended method for collecting head hairs is to start by having the person from whom they are being collected bend over a large sheet of clean paper, rubbing or massaging their hands through the hair so that loose hair will fall out on the paper. More should then be gathered by plucking them from representative areas all over the head. A total or 50-100 hairs is desired. Do not cut the hair. This same method may be used to collect hairs from other parts of the body. 30-60 pubic hairs are required. When the person is a suspect, hair should be gathered from all parts of the body even though there may only be an interest in hair from the head at that particular time. I NEED HELP ON THE SECOND QUESTION

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