I just got the results back from my hair mineral analysis and I’m eager to share them with you.

What’s a Hair Mineral Analysis?

From nutrional-healing.com.au:

“Hair tissue mineral analysis (HTMA), is an analytical test which measures the mineral content of the hair. The sampled hair, obtained by cutting the first inch and one-half of growth closest to the scalp at the nape of the neck, is prepared in a licensed clinical laboratory through a series of chemical and high temperature digestive procedures. Testing is then performed using highly sophisticated detection equipment and methods to achieve the most accurate and precise results.”

So What Is This All About?

Basically, a hair mineral analysis measures your mineral levels and can give you many clues into what’s going on with your health so that you can move forward with a unique plan for improvement . Minerals are incredibly important to feeling and being healthy – and some of them, like zinc, are very, very important to healthy skin.

However, you  might be thinking ‘well, mineral levels – that’s just one little part of my health. Wouldn’t the information you received from a hair mineral analysis be quite fractured and one sided?’. 

Well, yes. I’m not claiming that this test is going to tell you everything, but it does a lot more than just tell you the straight up levels of each mineral. The way your body retains and excretes each mineral is like a very complicated dance, and there are many health reasons why your body may be retaining this mineral or losing that one. In other words, you find out a lot more about how your body is working than just how much copper or iron you have.

According to Dr. Laurence Wilson, a doctor and author specializing in hair mineral analysis, this method of testing can tell your metabolic type, energy and vitality levels, gland and organ insights, toxic metal assessment, what kind of dietary/detox/supplementation protocol would be effective for you, trends or tendencies for over 60 common health conditions, stress patterns, automatic nervous system assessment, and other subtleties of biochemistry and physiology.

Why Hair Analysis?

The reason that hair analysis is effective compared to blood tests is because your body carefully regulates the mineral levels free floating in the bloodstream, meaning the results of a blood test generally do not show the true body levels. The rest of the mineral gets stored in organs and tissues, such as the hair.

Mind you, there is a lot of controversy over how effective hair mineral analysis really is. The mainstream disagrees that it is a worthy testing method, however, when I was trying to decide if this test would be worth my money, I found that the problem is not with the method itself but that most labs wash the hair before they test it. Washing the hair skews the results significantly, and since apparently most labs do wash the hair, the method appears unreliable.

Because of this, according to Dr. Wilson, only Analytical Research Labs, Trace Elements Inc, or any company that uses these labs’ methods are to be used these are the only two labs that do not wash the hair before testing. So if you are planning to get a test done, make sure you do your research and confirm which laboratory the company uses and whether they wash the hair or not.

Why Did You Choose To Do This Test?

Personally – I was worried that my copper IUD was causing me to retain copper at the expense of zinc, making it more difficult to keep my skin clear. I was also concerned about my mercury levels as I have been reading a lot about how awful mercury fillings are for your health, and I only recently realized that I have one. I also thought I might have been low in magnesium, as magnesium deficiency is super common and can be a culprit behind anxiety, something I’ve been having a lot of lately.

Those were the major reasons, but I was also just plain curious about what else it could tell me about my overall health.

How Do I Get a Hair Mineral Analysis Done?

The good news is that if you want to get a test done, you don’t actually have to go anywhere. They can send you the kit in the mail, you can cut off pieces of your own hair, mail them in, and they’ll send you the results.

I used a company called Interclinical, which is an Australian company, but it uses Trace Elements Inc. laboratory methods. I paid about $150 Australian for the testing and a 10-15 page report which shows bar graph readings indicating high, low and reference range levels of the elements as well as a metabolic profile, recommendations for foods, diet and supplements based on my results. Absolutely make sure that you are getting some kind of interpretive report, because the results are extremely difficult to interpret and the whole thing will be useless otherwise. It’s actually even better if you have some kind of trained natural therapist to go over the results with you.

I found that you can order the same test I had done at only $95 from this American website. It uses Trace Elements Inc. and includes the same report that I got with mine.

However, before you run out and buy yourself a test, you probably want to know what I found out from mine and whether I found it useful, right? Well…. tune back into The Love Vitamin on Monday and you shall find out!

Happy New Year everyone… lets make 2012 our best year yet!! Don’t forget, the 25% off sale on Ultimate Secrets to Acne Freedom ends on New Years Day. Don’t miss out!

photo by zubrow