How It Feels
There is generally no pain or discomfort
associated with this test. But if you have to pluck a hair for a DNA test,
this may cause some minor discomfort.
Hair analysis itself has no risks or
Hair analysis uses samples of hair for
DNA analysis or to look for heavy metals, such as lead
Heavy metal analysis
The results of hair analysis
are usually complete within 3 weeks. You or your doctor will
receive a report listing the levels of minerals and heavy metals in your hair.
Several things need to be considered before testing for heavy metal
There is no standard procedure for cutting, washing, and
analyzing hair. Different labs may report different results from the same hair
sample. In fact, the same lab may report different results for separate hairs
from a common sample. Standards for testing do not exist. Any hair analysis to
detect the presence or absence of minerals, nutrients, or toxic metals in the
body should be confirmed by testing blood and urine samples.
the hair sample contains is determined not only by nutrition and internal
metabolism but also by external substances. Air pollution, mineral content of
the water supply, exposure to industrial waste, shampoos, hair dyes, hair
sprays, permanents, and bleaches may raise or lower the levels of certain
minerals in the hair. Also, the use of medicines such as birth control
pills can change the mineral concentration of hair.
What Affects the Test
Things that can interfere with
your test and the accuracy of the results include:
- The area of the body from which the hair sample
- Your age.
- Your hair color.
- The rate of your hair growth.
- Your use of hair
products, such as hair colors and sprays.
- External environmental
factors, such as where you live and work.
What To Think About
- Hair analysis has become more reliable and acceptable over the
past 20 years. But there are still issues that raise legal and ethical
questions about its use, including possible
false positives and different results for people with
different hair colors or ethnic backgrounds.
- Some natural health and homeopathic companies offer hair analysis by mail order. But hair analysis is not a accurate way of determining your need for vitamins, minerals, or other nutrients.
importance of most of the findings from hair analysis is unclear. It is
hard to interpret a hair analysis for the presence of heavy metals without
other testing. For most trace minerals, what really means normal or
significant deviations from normal is not known.
- Although hair
analysis is being done more frequently to test for illegal drug use (such as
the use of cocaine or marijuana), it is not widely available. Drug screening is
more commonly done on blood or urine samples. To learn more, see the