Hair mineral testing is an analytical test designed to determine the mineral content of the hair. Results of this test provide basic information about the body at the cellular level, as well as its nutritional and metabolic status. Specifically, hair mineral analysis measures the minerals found in the hair strands, amount of toxic-heavy metals, and an individual’s oxidative rate. Once determined, health recommendations on dietary changes are given, such as the types of food to eat or avoid and supplements to take that can help improve the body’s chemical needs.
Hair mineral testing measures the essential minerals, which include boron, calcium, chromium, cobalt, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium, and zinc. The test details their corresponding amounts, specifying whether their levels are low, normal, or high. It also indicates whether these minerals are in balance or not. For example, sodium-potassium pair should have balanced amounts because any imbalance may result to various illnesses. Aside from the essential minerals, toxic minerals like cadmium, lead, and mercury are detected. Results are shown using tables and graphs to make their interpretation simpler and clearer.
Careful interpretation of the results should be performed since hair analysis results are different from those of a blood test. For instance, hair mineral analysis serves as a good indicator of reduced or increased levels of toxic metals as opposed to blood test result that may appear normal though heavy metals are present in the body. It also indicates mineral excretion although high amounts can be found in tissues.
While hair mineral analysis poses a lot of benefits, the test procedure may also have its drawbacks. In some instances, chemicals from shampoos and conditioners, hair dyes, air and water pollution, and sweat may affect the mineral levels by acting as contaminants. This may require additional testing methods to confirm the abnormal concentrations of nutrient minerals obtained from hair strands. In other cases, hair growth rates are often neglected when conducting hair mineral analysis. For example, zinc deficiency may prevent hair from growing, yet test results show normal concentrations. Furthermore, hair mineral analysis does not show heavy metal accumulation in parts of the body other than the hair follicles and the surrounding tissues. But, interestingly, hair mineral analysis shows the relative proportions of several toxic and essential metals, which act as a guide in identifying whether the toxic metal came from the tissues in the body.
Several reasons account for the variations between the results and the values presented in the reference ranges. Such reasons include supplement intake, heavy metal intoxication, emotional stress, digestive malfunction, trauma, and untreated disease.
Hair mineral testing leads individuals to wellness. Through this approach, mineral imbalances and toxic element concentrations can be measured. Further improvements on hair mineral analysis paved the way for better interpretation of results. It reports on certain kinds of food that individuals should add or remove from their diets as foods are the direct source of mineral nutrients. In addition, it provides recommendations on which supplements should be taken depending on an individual’s specific biochemical requirements. Hair analysis report also plays an important role in detoxification since it gives comprehensive details on proper nutrition and toxic element concentration in the body’s tissues.