Hair Mineral Analysis

Hair analysis provides important information about toxic and essential elements that can be used to assist in early diagnosis of physiological disorders associated with abnormal element metabolism.

Why is it used?

It is a valuable, inexpensive and non-invasive screening tool for examining whether the body has too much or too little of certain elements and whether they have been distributed properly.  Levels of each element are proportional to the level of the element in other body tissues. Therefore, hair analysis can be used as a tool for predicting the development of physiological abnormalities.

Why Hair?

Hair is an excretory tissue that while growing, incorporates elements from within the body. Because it grows at an average rate of 1-2cm a month; it is a good measure of element metabolism and exposure over measurable lengths of time.

It can be very important to determine a patient’s exposure to toxic elements such as arsenic, aluminum, cadmium, lead, antimony and mercury.

As well as detecting levels of toxic elements, hair analysis also measures levels of nutrient elements. Nutrient elements including; magnesium, chromium, zinc, copper and selenium are needed for the proper functioning of many enzymes and vitamins in the body. Again, their levels found in the hair are correlated with levels found in the organs and other tissues.

The body has many homeostatic mechanisms for maintaining balance. It will regulate the levels of toxic elements in the blood and urine which can make detecting problems difficult. Unlike within the body, the hair is not regulated by the same mechanisms. Toxic elements can be 200-300 times more concentrated in hair than in blood or urine. This is why analyzing hair can sooner predict a problem that has not shown up in blood and urine tests.

Which Test Kit Should I Use?

At The Kiani Naturopathic Clinic, we use test kits provided by Doctor’s Data, a company in Illinois that has performed over four million of these tests, accumulating one of the largest databases for this procedure available.

Hair specimens are easy to collect and easily mailed to the Doctor’s Data lab. Reports are sent back to the physician and show the patients measured results of almost 20 elements (both toxic and essential). These values are then compared with a reference range and a bar graph shows in what percentile of the population the patient’s values fall into. Refer to the following sample report for an example.

In addition to the hair analysis measurements and comparisons, Doctor’s Data provides a detailed report for each element that was found in excess. This includes information of the given element, common signs and symptoms of excess levels, and which lab tests can be used as the next step to investigate further.

What are the Cautions and Considerations?

Shampoos, bleaches, dyes and styling treatments can contaminate the hair from external sources or even strip them from the elements they have acquired. While interpreting the results of the hair analysis test, the physician will keep this into consideration and rule out any potential sources of external contamination.

Your physician will use the data provided from the hair analysis along with symptoms, diet analysis, occupation and lifestyle, physical examination and the results from other lab tests to make the most accurate diagnosis.

Sample Report

The information provided in this article has been referenced from Doctor’s Data.

For more information about the Doctor’s Data hair analysis test kit please visit www.doctorsdata.com and click on ‘Tests/Assessment Info’  then click on the ‘Hair Elements’ link.

To find out how this test can be used for you; call and schedule an appointment with a Naturopathic Doctor at The Kiani Naturopath Clinic today.