Part of Lesson Plan: Hair - What Does it Tell the Investigator
Activity Overview / Details
This lesson explains and demonstrates how hair provides us information in several ways.
- Construction of the hair tells us the species of the donor. For example, was the donor human?
- Mitochondrial DNA in the hair comes from the mother of the individual and can be used to link the person to a specific family.
- Nuclear DNA found in the skin cells that frequently adhere to the hair’s root can identify a specific individual as the donor.
- Condition of the root of the hair can tell us if it was removed violently.
- Color of the hair gives us an idea of the description of the donor and whether the donor has recently had hair work done such as dying and roughly when it occurred.
- Hair can also reveal drug use including what kind of drugs and when they were used.
- Location of where the hair was found can tell us whether a person was present at a crime scene, or if the person came in contact with another particular individual.