By the way Michael, Seeing as how sebum production is directly stimulated by androgen action, I thought that the following study would be interesting to you. Especially, since it demonstrates that children seem to have very similar amounts of testosterone in their hair when compared to women. J Endocrinol. 1998 Oct;159(1):R5-8. Links The measurement of testosterone in hair.Wheeler MJ, Zhong YB, Kicman AT, Coutts SB. Department of Chemical Pathology, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Trust, St Thomas' Hospital, London, SE1 7EH. Trace metals and drugs have been measured in hair for a number of years but there are no published papers on the measurement of steroids in human hair. We report here the measurement of testosterone in hair samples taken from men, women and prepubertal children. This was a preliminary investigation to see whether testosterone was detectable in hair and whether concentrations between men and women, and men and prepubertal children were different in line with concentrations of testosterone in the blood. Hair was digested in sodium hydroxide and the testosterone extracted before measurement by radioimmuno- assay. There was a clear difference between testosterone concentrations found in heir collected from men (12.9-77.7 pmol/g) and those found in hair from women (<0.9-10.8 pmol/g). There was no significant difference between the concentrations found in women and children. The authenticity of the testosterone measured was confirmed with GCMS. Here is another important study demonstrating the change in the external hormonal environment when you compare balding scalp to non-balding scalp. J Dermatol Sci. 2004 Feb;34(1):11-6. Links Comparative studies on level of androgens in hair and plasma with premature male-pattern baldness.Bang HJ, Yang YJ, Lho DS, Lee WY, Sim WY, Chung BC. Bioanalysis and Biotransformation Research Center, Korea Institute of Science and Technology, PO Box 131, Cheongryang, Seoul 130-650, South Korea. BACKGROUND: It is well known that male-pattern baldness (male pattern baldness) is not started from occipital, but frontal or scalp of head. We can assume that distribution of androgenic steroids is different for each region of the head. OBJECTIVE: We hypothesize that the levels of androgenic steroids are different not only between vertex hair with male pattern baldness and controls but also between occipital hair with male pattern baldness and controls. Moreover, we want to search for the biochemical indicator in plasma and hair sample (baldness: 22, non-baldness: 13) obtained from dermatology of medical center. After then, we desire to present fundamental data regarding diagnosis, medical cure, and prevention for premature male pattern baldness. METHODS: After hair and plasma were hydrolyzed, and then extracted with organic solvent. To assess androgenic steroids levels, we used gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) system in selected ion monitoring mode. RESULTS: The level of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and the ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone (T/E ratio) in vertex hair from premature baldness subjects were higher than in the sample of non-baldness subjects (P<0.001, 0.001), whereas the levels of androgens in occipital hair from the same baldness group were not different. In addition, we discovered the levels of DHT, testosterone, and DHT/T ratio in plasma from premature male pattern baldness were higher than in those of control subjects (P<0.001, 0.001, 0.005). CONCLUSION: We verified that the distribution of androgenic steroids is unlike in various regions of individual subjects. Moreover, the increased DHT/T ratio in balding plasma indirectly confirms the high activity of 5alpha-reductase type II. Another important study demonstrating a different phenomenon; hair follicles in men and women demonstrate different responses to hormones at the gene level. J Investig Dermatol Symp Proc. 2005 Dec;10(3):243-6.Links Substantial sex-dependent differences in the response of human scalp hair follicles to estrogen stimulation in vitro advocate gender-tailored management of female versus male pattern balding.Conrad F, Ohnemus U, Bodo E, Biro T, Tychsen B, Gerstmayer B, Bosio A, Schmidt-Rose T, Altgilbers S, Bettermann A, Saathoff M, Meyer W, Paus R. Department of Dermatology, University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany. In this study, it was investigated how estrogens (17-beta-estradiol, E2) affect the estrogen receptor (ER) expression and gene regulation of male versus female human scalp hair follicles in vitro. Anagen VI follicles from frontotemporal scalp skin were microdissected and organ-cultured for up to 9 d in the presence of E2 (1-100 nm). Immunohistochemistry was performed for ERbeta-expression, known to be predominant in human scalp hair follicles, and for TGF-beta2-expression (as negative key hair growth modulator), and E2-responsive genes in organ-cultured human scalp hair follicles (48 h, 10 nM) were explored by cDNA microarray, using a commercial skin focus chip (Memorec, Cologne, Germany). The distribution pattern of ERbeta and TGF-beta2-immunoreactivity differed between male and female hair follicles after 48 h culture. Of 1300 genes tested, several genes were regulated sex-dependent differently. The study reveals substantial sex-dependent differences in the response of frontotemporal human scalp hair follicles to E2. Recognition and systematic dissection of the E2-dependent gene regulation will be crucial for the development of more effective, gender-tailored management strategies for female versus male pattern balding.