Are you looking for a non-invasive way to inform your diet and lifestyle choices? Skip the blood test, skip the biopsy, and do a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis.

Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA) (or just Hair Mineral Analysis) offers a generous amount of information about how well or poorly your cells were functioning over the last 2-3 months. If disease prevention and feeling better not older are at the forefront of your mind, a Functional Wellness approach using HTMA as one educational tool are for you!

Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis

What Can You Learn From A Hair Mineral Analysis?

Minerals are not deposited randomly into your hair. There are patterns and reasons such as:

  • Toxic heavy metal exposures
  • Too much or too little mineral intake
  • Imbalanced mineral or vitamin partners
  • The state of your adrenal and thyroid gland function
  • The state of your nervous system
  • The bioavailability of your mineral supplements
Zoa holding a selenite crystal encourages positive energy and thoughts
Zoa’s hair mineral analysis directed her lifestyle changes for improved health.

Minerals are essential to the operation of the entire body including DNA function and stability, cellular energy production, endocrine activity, nerve conduction, muscle activation, bone strength, immune function, and antioxidant activity. Two good analogies for minerals are: 1) spark plugs of a car – they get you going and 2) oven heat when baking a cake – you can have the ingredients but without heat there is no cake!

Why Use Hair For Mineral Assessment?

Hair is soft tissue just like your muscles, organs, fascia, skin, and bones. A hair analysis is like a tissue biopsy that does not require the surgical removal of any body parts! During growth in the hair follicle, hair tissue is exposed to your blood, lymph, and extracellular fluids. Hair is an excellent representative of all the cells in your body.

Hair Mineral Analysis will give you a new window into your physical health, your mental health, and the world of your cellular function so you can make the right lifestyle adjustments to improve your health and prevent or slow down chronic illnesses and lifestyle diseases like diabetes, heart disease, cognitive decline, cancer, and more.

Why Are Minerals Important for Your Health?

Our bodies use minerals to activate the chemical processes that drive the body to function, grow, heal, and regenerate. We take in minerals from our food, water, supplements, air, and environment. Are you taking in what you need? Are you excreting or using those minerals to function well or are you headed towards dis-ease?

When you have the right data about your current state of health, will you know if you are truly headed in the right direction towards optimal wellness or have missed something important can make a world of difference later in life.

What Do HTMA Results Look Like?

The laboratory sends your hair mineral results in two forms: numbers and a visual representation. Here are some sample results:

Your previous test results (if they exist) are given in the empty spaces below the current results. But what do you do with this data? Analyze it!

What Information Will an HTMA Analysis Produce?

A Hair Mineral test without an analysis gives data but most people have no idea what to do with it – including many doctors! Researchers have spent decades striving to understand how to properly interpret the information given through your hair and how to translate it into action steps that improve your health.

There is no need to walk blindly into the future after your test results come back! That is why all testing done through me comes with a full analysis and a consultation – either virtual or in person at my La Plata, Maryland wellness center.

woman holding neck staring on wall
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Your Hair Mineral Analysis will include:

  • Which of the 3 Stress Levels your cells have reached due to acute or chronic stress
  • How well you are detoxing the heavy metals that you are exposed daily in today’s technological world
  • Whether you are a fast oxidizer (fast metabolism – using minerals like crazy) or a slow oxidizer (slow metabolism – low mineral use) ~ Note that is not the same as whether you lose/gain weight easily
  • Which half of your nervous system is dominant? sympathetic (stressed – too stressed?) or parasympathetic (calm – too calm?)
  • How to shift your diet to be optimal for your cells – more carbs or more fats?
  • The ease of transport of nutrients into and out of your cells via the sodium-potassium pump
  • Whether your cells can make good use of your thyroid hormones to stimulate energy production
  • Your estrogen/testosterone balance as supported by minerals that drive production of these hormones
  • How your adrenal glands and kidneys doing at controlling sodium levels in your body versus blood and whether sodium is contributing to your high blood pressure
  • If you have enough minerals coming in to prevent toxic heavy metals from depositing in your brain, bones, liver, and other important organs
  • Your pancreas’ ability to control blood sugar levels with insulin: manufacturing versus releasing
  • Whether your immune system is better at dealing with virus or bacterial infections

To get an even more complete picture of your current wellness state, combine your Hair Mineral Analysis with a Functional Blood Chemistry Analysis. Zoa’s Functional Wellness Roadmap includes both of these tests and 3 months of guidance as you step closer to optimal health from the inside out!

Difference Between a Blood Test and a Hair Mineral Analysis

A blood test is a snapshot of time of what is contained within your blood. Blood values changes from hour to hour and from day to day. This variability is why you and your medical caregiver can assess your bloodwork better when all the desired tests are done at the same time (or you and me with a functional blood chemistry analysis!).

woman wearing white long sleeved shirt
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A hair mineral analysis shows the accumulation of minerals over the past 2-4 months depending on how fast your hair grows and whether your tested hair sample was 1/2 inch long or 1 inch long. Hair mineral analysis offers a way to average over time and learn about your overall wellness and cellular habits.

Ideally you would collect information from both blood and hair to get a complete picture of your internal state of health.

5 Steps to Collecting Your Hair Sample for HTMA

Notes for Treated Hair: If you color your hair, make sure that your hair has been washed at least once prior. If you bleach, highlight, or perm your hair make sure you have washed your hair at least 5 times prior.

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Step 1 ~ Wash : Wash your hair but do not use conditioner or put in any leave in products. Do not use dandruff shampoos because they contain minerals and will show up in your test results (Selsun Blue contains selenium and Head and Shoulders contains zinc).

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Step 2 ~ Dry : Let your hair naturally dry for 4-24 hours. No blow drying or sweating! Ideally you do not sleep before cutting your hair sample but if you do, use a clean pillowcase

NOTE: If you live alone, you might want to ask your hair professional to help you collect your sample. You can request an info sheet to give her or him to make sure the details are understood so your hair sample gives you accurate results. Bring a ruler, a teaspoon, and an envelope with you to your appointment! If you are local to me, you can schedule a time that I can cut your hair sample for you.

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Step 3 ~ Measure and Cut : Get out your ruler and a teaspoon or tiny scale in addition to your hair cutting scissors and an envelope! You will be sending in the inch of hair closest to the scalp – enough to fill a teaspoon or weigh 125 milligrams (0.125 grams). This freshly made hair (1″ long) needs to be cut with hair scissors not trimmed with an electric razor (metal from the blades could contaminate your sample). Put the correct ends – 1 inch lengths – into your envelope once you know you have enough hair for your sample.

NOTE: Keep close track of which end of the hair was against your scalp. You need to send in the youngest hair (against the scalp) not the oldest hair (the ends). Also, it is better to send in too much rather than too little. Too little could result in needing to cut a second sample to send in before your hair can be analyzed.

Long Hair : Many with long hair like to cut in a thin horizontal line an inch or two above the nape of the neck so it is invisible with hair down and up.

Short Hair : Those with short hair want to make sure they do not give themselves a bald spot! It is best to take small amounts of hair from various locations across the back of your head.

Minimal Hair : If you are low on scalp hair (i.e. bald), the next best hair is from your beard. If you are beardless, the next best is arm or chest hair. Pubic hair is the least favorable for HTMA. Do not mix hair from different parts of the body. It all has to come from one place! If you simply keep your hair super-short (buzz cut) or have tiny hair (babies!) then you can cut small samples over the course of weeks in order to collect enough hair to be able to send in. Your cut hair just needs to stay safe, dry, and all together in a paper envelope.

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Step 4 ~ Prepare and Mail : Your loose hair sample gets wrapped in a medium piece of paper or goes into a small paper envelope and get sealed. Do not use tape, foil or anything other than paper. Write your name, age, and sex on the paper or envelope. Put your protected sample into another envelope along with your completed test request form and mail your sample to the lab: Trace Elements Inc.

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Step 5 ~ Wait : Wait patiently! I will receive the results and share them with you ASAP. Once we get the results back, I will create your analysis report and we will schedule to meet for your consult!

My Blog Posts about Hair, Skin, and Minerals