Although nude mice are not truly hairless, they demonstrate abnormal hair structure and growth patterns, which are related to their genetic state. Whereas wild-type mice are born with visible vibrissae, nude mice are distinguishable at birth by the lack of visible vibrissae, which do not appear until approximately postnatal day 6. Additionally, adult nude mice have abnormal whisker cycling patterns in which structurally normal whisker follicles produce fragile whiskers which break or fallout leaving follicles whiskerless for several days before a fine replacement whisker appears and develops. The current study shows that despite these abnormal periods of whisker deprivation, the barrel cortex of nude mice develops a normal structural appearance viewed with cytochrome oxidase staining. Additionally, intrinsic optical imaging studies of barrel cortex responses to single whisker stimulation do not appear altered from normal despite periodic loss of adjacent whiskers.