Hair to hair
A computer program developed by Australian researchers from CSIRO Mathematical and Information Sciences in Sydney, together with specialists from one of the British companies, is able to provide invaluable assistance to doctors and cosmetologists when checking various drugs for the treatment of baldness or, conversely, the effectiveness of epilation, accurately counting the number of hairs on the head and body of a person.
Using specially developed algorithms, the program highlights the base of each hair on the scanned image of the hair cover, distinguishing it from other formations on the skin, such as wrinkles, wounds or pimples. The algorithms work based on the recognition of the inherent features of the hair, for example, their relative straightness. Comparing a number of time-spaced images also allows you to estimate the rate of hair growth.
To check the accuracy of the program, it was necessary to recalculate all the hairs manually, and the researchers even had to involve volunteers from neighboring laboratories, who not only provided their hair at the disposal of science, but also then engaged in painstaking calculations.
Australians are confident that their program can be useful not only in dermatology, cosmetology and plastic surgery, but also in many other areas where reliable counting of any individual small elements is required, for example, the number of neurons or traces of biopolymers on microphotographs.
The results of the work are published in the November issue of the journal Skin Research and Technology.