Background: Alopecia areata is a common cause of hair loss seen in 3.8% of patients in dermatology clinics and in 0.2% to 2.0% of the general US population. The pathology of the disease remains poorly understood. Hair loss in alopecia areata can range from a single patch to 100% loss of body hair. When hair regrowth occurs in alopecia areata, the new hair may demonstrate pigment alterations, but a change in hair texture (ie, curly or straight) has rarely been reported as a consequence of alopecia areata. Observations: We report a case of a 13-year-old African American boy who experienced an alteration of hair shape following regrowth after alopecia areata. The new hair recapitulated his hair shape from early childhood. Conclusions: The precipitating factor for a change in hair texture in alopecia areata may be a result of treatment, pathophysiologic changes, or a combination of both. Whether the change is triggered at the level of stem cell differentiation, by cytokine or hormonal influences, gene expression during hair follicle development, a combination of all of these, or an unknown cause is a question that remains to be answered.
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