Work Item
ASTM WK56743

New Practice for Training in the Forensic Examination of Human Hair by Microscopy

1. Scope

1.1 This practice is intended for use by laboratory personnel responsible for training forensic hair examiners to prepare them to perform forensic hair examinations including microscopical human hair comparisons. It contains relevant suggested reading assignments and structured exercises for hands-on practical experience for the trainee. 1.1.1 Additional sources of information on forensic hair examination, not specifically mentioned in this practice, should be considered, added, or substituted. A review of new sources of information on general forensic methods and forensic hair examinations should be carried out on a regular basis (for example, annually or biannually) to incorporate well-established current findings and methods into the training program and replace any outdated methods. 1.1.2 When possible, additional training beyond that which is listed here should be made available to the trainee. Such training might include off-site courses, internships, and specialized training by experienced examiners. Additional training will provide a hair examiner the opportunity to remain current in the field. 1.1.3 This practice focuses on the microscopical examination of hair. However, additional analyses may be performed on hairs that have been chemically altered (for example, dyed hair) or have trace materials on the surface (for example, hair care products). The correlation between the results of microscopical examinations and the potential for DNA analysis is also addressed. 1.2 This practice is intended to complement the SWGMAT Forensic Human Hair Examination Guidelines. 1.3 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


forensic science; training; human hair; hair analysis


There are currently no consensus-based standards available addressing the training of forensic hair examiners. SWGMAT documents are readily available but are not consensus based. This practice will be used to train future hair examiners in both public and private laboratories concerned with the forensic analysis of hair.

The title and scope are in draft form and are under development within this ASTM Committee.


Developed by Subcommittee: E30.01

Committee: E30

Staff Manager: Brian Milewski

Work Item Status

Date Initiated: 11-29-2016

Technical Contact: Jennifer Remy