Hair Trace Evidence

The smallest piece of evidence can sometimes uncover the biggest facts. Hair trace evidence studied by our scientific forensic experts at Key Forensic Services can often rule in, or rule out, key facts of a crime scene.

Human and animal hair analysis services

Physical contact with people, or animals, may result in a transfer of hairs. Those hairs can then be identified and compared, using microscopy, by our meticulous forensic scientists based at our state-of-the-art laboratories.

For human hairs, the ethnic and/or body of origin can be determined, for example, whether it is head, body or pubic hair.
If suitable, DNA analysis can be undertaken to provide a statistical probability of a hair having originated from a particular individual.
For animal hairs, the species of animal can be determined, and if suitable the recovered hairs can be compared against reference hairs from a particular animal to assist in determining, microscopically, whether the hairs could have originated from that animal.

Within the Hairs Service, Key Forensic Services provide:

  • Searching for and recovery of hairs from one item using an appropriate recovery technique
  • Basic microscopic examination of human hairs to establish potential for DNA analysis and submit for analysis as appropriate
  • Comparison between recovered hairs and reference hair samples to establish a possible link
  • Assessment, interpretation and reporting of the significance of the findings, taking into consideration the microscopic appearance and the number and distribution of the recovered hairs
  • Provision of abbreviated statements or reports, experts’ statements suitable for court presentation in line with customer requirements and the provision of expert court testimony
  • Scientific and technical support is using this technique in investigations