Frequently Asked Questions

Hair Analysis FAQs

Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA) is a laboratory test for 20 minerals and toxic metals in your hair. The balance of minerals in your hair can tell you about your adrenal and thyroid activity, metabolic rate, stress patterns, dietary issues, and much more. Most importantly, hair analysis provides the information needed to design a nutrition program for your unique needs.

Nutrient minerals tested are calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, iron, copper, manganese, zinc, chromium, selenium, phosphorus, cobalt, molybdenum, and lithium. Toxic metals tested are lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic, aluminum, and nickel.

Hair testing equipment (ICP Mass Spectrometers) measures hair mineral levels with an accuracy of plus or minus about 3%.  This is about the same accuracy of most blood tests. The same technology is used for soil testing and testing of rock samples for mineral levels. It is the gold standard for testing minerals in biological samples.

I use Analytical Research Laboratories (ARL) in Phoenix, Arizona for hair testing. ARL is CLIA-certified and is one of only two labs that uses proper testing techniques. This means that they do not wash the hair sample at the laboratory—a practice that has been shown to produce erratic results.

Hair sampling FAqs

Yes. You can either cut your own hair sample, have a friend or hair dresser cut it, or have me take your hair sample at my office in Northern Virginia. If you are cutting the sample yourself, it is easiest to take the hair sample from the sides of your head.

The ideal sampling location is the back of your head (nape area). This is where hair grows most consistently. Beard hair or pubic hair should only be used as a last resort, or if sufficient head hair is not available.

You must cut your hair sample from as close to the scalp as possible. This will provide the most recent information. However, sampling can easily be done in a way that is not noticeable and does not affect your hair style. All of this is explained in the instructions.

The lab needs 125 mgs of hair (about a tablespoon). A scale is included in the kit to ensure you send enough hair.

Some dyes contain minerals, so it is best to take the sample before dying your hair or allow the hair to grow out an inch or so before sampling. Permanents and bleach treatments damage the structure of the hair, so it is best to allow the hair to grow out an inch or more before taking a sample.

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