Do I have DUPA? – WRassman,M.D. BaldingBlog

Many men have written to me to ask me if they had Diffuse Unpatterned Alopecia (DUPA), which I defined in the literature with Dr. Bob Bernstein in 1996.  This is a “female type of pattern” where the hair in the donor area has significant miniaturized hairs.  In men, it is also called Senile Alopecia when appearing in aging men.  The basic premise in hair restoration surgery is that the donor area (a rim of hair about 2 1/2 inches above the ears and around the base of the skull) is privileged hair protected against the genetic of balding.  The Norwood Classification shows this area in the Class 7 patterned patient.

The diagnosis is critical because the donor area is no longer protected from the balding process. We don’t believe that DUPA is necessarily inherited, but we don’t know. Sometimes this donor area miniaturization will respond to finasteride but often does not.  If any surgeon dares use this as a source of hair for a hair transplant, the hair transplant will fail, a case of classic Malpractice, in my opinion. But for those impacted, controlling their hair loss becomes a real challenge.  We have seen the existence of genetic patterned hair loss with DUPA also present, so these men are unfortunately double challenged.

This link shows a classic case of DUPA (, so I ask all of my patients to get a hand microscope and cut the hair short in the area, just enough to use the hand microscope and get a good picture as shown in the above post.

Another man just wrote me, got a hand microscope, and showed me the following photos of his donor area.  I told him, without a doubt, he didn’t have DUPA now.  See the photos he sent me below. Very few miniaturized hairs are present, certainly not enough to reach the 20% threshold I use to diagnose DUPA.

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