Hair mineral analysis is one of the most interesting and useful tests available. However, doctors are not taught how to use hair analysis in medical school, so it is rare that you will find a doctor who offers this test.
In this article, I introduce hair analysis and explain what it can tell you about your health.
What Is Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis?
Technically, hair tissue mineral analysis (HTMA for short) is a laboratory test that measures the mineral and toxic metal content of your hair. Minerals are deposited in the hair as it grows, and when analyzed, the sample reveals a clear record of mineral activity over a period of 3-4 months.
Minerals play an important role in health, and toxic metals play an important role in disease.
What’s the big deal about minerals?
Minerals are important because they are required to activate millions of enzyme reactions within the body. Enzymes are specialized proteins that turn food into energy, repair body tissues, make hormones, and serve thousands of other roles. Toxic metals, on the other hand, interfere with these biological processes. As a result, minerals and toxic metals have a tremendous impact on our health. By studying the mineral levels, ratios, and patterns, a lot can be learned about the cause and correction of hundreds of common physical and mental health conditions.
More important than vitamins? Minerals are in a sense more important than vitamins since many vitamins can be made within plants and within the human body. Minerals are limited and must be obtained from the soil.
Trace elements [minerals] are more important than are the vitamins, in that they cannot be synthesized by living matter. Thus they are the spark-plugs in the chemistry of life, on which the exchanges of energy in the combustion of foods and the building of living tissues depend.—Dr. Henry Schroeder
Toxic metals. These are a specific class of minerals that are very damaging to humans, animals, and plants. Today, we are exposed to the highest levels of toxic metals in recorded history. Toxic metals such as cadmium, mercury, aluminum, lead, arsenic, and others are important to study and monitor, as they are a leading cause of illness, aging and even genetic defects.
The Preferred Mineral Concept. As the body becomes depleted of vital minerals such as zinc, calcium, magnesium, and others due to stress, improper eating habits, poor diet, weak digestion, and other factors, the body absorbs more toxic metals from the environment. It uses these toxic elements as replacements for the preferred mineral in enzymes and other structures within the body. For example, lead replaces calcium in the bones when calcium is deficient. The replacement seems to be an adaptive mechanism to sustain life, but it does not support optimal health.
Minerals are needed more than ever. Low mineral levels are common today due to modern farming techniques that deplete the soil, poor digestion from stress and improper eating habits, eating refined and processed foods, and exposure to environmental toxins.
What Can Hair Analysis Tell You About Your Health?
Minerals and toxic metals are just the beginning of what you can learn from a hair analysis. When the test is evaluated using a holistic, systems-based interpretation, the mineral balance in your hair provides insight into your adrenal and thyroid activity, immune function, energy and vitality, digestive health, brain health, and even personality traits. Your hair analysis results can also reveal stress patterns, metabolic imbalances, dietary issues, nervous system imbalances, and more.
Hair mineral analysis is also the most efficient and scientific way to determine your nutritional needs.
The information obtained from your hair analysis can be used to design a healing program that’s personalized for your unique needs (that’s right—you no longer have an excuse for taking random supplements).
I use hair analysis regularly to help my clients identify deep-level biochemical imbalances and to determine which foods and nutrients they need the most—all from a holistic and systems-based perspective.
Finding a Practitioner Who Offers Hair Analysis
Most practitioners who offer hair analysis are not trained in this type of interpretation and use the test only to detect toxic metals. So it’s important to be mindful when ordering a hair analysis on the internet. Avoid ordering cheap hair analysis on the internet with inexperienced practitioners who just give you test results without an explanation.
Nonetheless, anyone who wants to function their best today should consider doing a hair analysis to assess their body chemistry and to see the best path forward for their health.
To learn more about doing a hair analysis, click here.