Hair Analysis: Why and How

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If you’ve been around my blog for awhile, you know that I have been trying for years to figure out what is causing this horrible adrenal fatigue and other symptoms that have been plaguing me for over a decade. Turns out, it’s toxic levels of copper! Crazy, right?? After all these years of trying everything to feel better, I’ve finally found the root cause and am now tailoring my diet and supplements (no synthetic vitamins, though!) to fixing it. I’m sharing my story with you today in the hopes of helping others find the sources of their chronic health problems.

Back in June (almost 4 months ago) I had a hair mineral analysis done. An acquaintance had mentioned it and I thought it might be a good idea. I knew that I had been exposed to flaking lead paint in one apartment and who knows what else. The results were really surprising. My lead level was fine, but my copper was at toxic levels.

What was absolutely shocking, though, was that every single health problem I’ve been dealing with is explained by copper toxicity! Adrenal fatigue, the horrible cracking skin on my hands and feet, the sensitivity to light, the dizzy feeling the happens randomly, my chemical sensitivity and all the other things can be caused by high copper. 

When copper is extremely high, it reduces zinc levels (zinc and copper are supposed to be balanced at a specific ratio) and messes up several other key minerals and metals. Many organs and glands are unable to function properly with too much copper (or not enough zinc).

I would never have put all these symptoms together and recognized copper toxicity without the results of the hair analysis! It all just seemed so disconnected. Getting this analysis done was the best thing I could have done and I am hoping that sharing my experience will help some of you find the hidden root causes of your own health issues.

Hair analysis is only able to show mineral and metal levels, so do keep in mind that vitamin deficiencies, excesses or imbalances won’t show up. If minerals or metals are the cause, though, it’s a valuable tool for pinpointing the source and tracking progress.

I just sent in my second hair sample (3 1/3 months after the first one) to check my copper detox progress and we also sent in first samples from my husband and our kiddos. In a couple of weeks, we’ll know how my copper levels are and we’ll see if anybody else in the family has a mineral or metal problem.

If you have any unexplained health issues or know you’ve been exposed to lead, mercury or any other dangerous heavy metals, you might want to consider a hair mineral analysis. I went with this company (look for “Hair Tissue Analysis” on the left side) and highly recommend them for the analysis. They use one of the very few reputable labs and their results are clear and easy to understand.

I honestly didn’t use much of their dietary and supplement recommendations and have switched to the basic analysis with just the results. Since I am a huge researcher and never take anything from a single source at face value (always check multiple sources for info before taking any kind of supplement!) I ended up doing all my own research, creating my own diet plan and buying supplements from the only supplement companies I trust (this one is my favorite!).

How to do a hair analysis

If you are like me and intend to figure it all out on your own, you can get away with the “Basic analysis” (Profile 1). If you’d like some guidance on diet and supplement changes, get the “Comprehensive- Profile 2” report. There is a 10% discount on 2 or more test (we got such a great deal by doing 4 of the Basic test at 10% off!) and there’s also a retest option for the comprehensive report if you want a comparison between original results and retest results.

I am doing retesting once every 3 to 4 months to check my progress and adjust my diet/supplements accordingly.

I’d love for you to share your experience with hair analysis and I’m happy to try to answer any questions or put you into contact with somebody who can, if you need some guidance. I plan to post my copper detoxing experience after I’ve made more progress (it generally takes from 6 months to 2 years), but in the meantime you can ask questions about that in the comments here.

7 comments to Hair Analysis: Why and How

  • Hi there. I find this to be very interesting. I did HTMA for years and didn’t really feel I got very far with it, but perhaps it was the practitioner. I’m not sure what to think now. Did you have to go off of other supps when you did this?

    Also, what do you think about the hair being “old news” and does the hair really reveal reality? For example, in studies on infant hair, those with autism showed no mercury whereas those without autism showed mercury in the hair. That’s b/c those with autism kept the mercury in their bodies. Not good, obviously.

    Anyhow – it sounds like you are feeling better – is that the case? I hope so. This is all interesting.

    • Hi Adrienne!! Good to hear from you! 🙂

      Yes, I think the practitioner can make all the difference and that’s why I felt that making the diet/supplement decisions for myself was best in my situation. It has made a huge difference for me and (at times) I’ve felt better in the last few months than I have in over a decade!

      There are always people who try to debunk every single natural health test, treatment or method. I feel that this one is very helpful as a tool for my situation. With something like mercury/autism, I’d probably use it as part of a much bigger collection of resources. The “hidden” metals and minerals are actually discussed and that is one reason that some people might want to work with a knowledgable practitioner. My situation is pretty straight-forward (copper water pipes and lots of high copper foods), but other health issues are obviously much more complex.

      I did start off by going off of all other supplements. I feel like I’m ready to add a few back in, now. I’ve done a massive amount of research on how the different supplements might affect each other and there are some I won’t be adding back in right away and some that shouldn’t be a problem.

      Just curious, have you thought about doing the hair analysis along with blood tests to get a fuller picture of what might be “off” for you? We have no naturally-minded doctors in our area, so I can’t really do that, but I had looked into it.

      Take care!!
      Justyn

  • Amanda

    Thank you for sharing about this! I’ve been wanting to do this test for some time. I also want to get one done on my son. I see that the discount only applies if you buy two of the same kits. I wanted to get the profile 2 for myself and the profile 1 for my son.
    I look forward to hearing more of your journey!

    • I would try emailing the company to see if they would honor the discount for two different profiles, Amanda. It might not work that way, but it’s sure worth a shot and they’ve been very helpful in my experience. 🙂 Thanks so much for the comment!!

  • DS

    I would urge you to seek out a practitioner who is very knowledgeable in HTMA. I am copper toxic and have been on a nutritional balancing program for 4 years and have not been able to detox the copper as yet because I’m a poor eliminator. Check out Pam Killeen at pamkilleen.com. I’ve worked with 2 practitioners before I found her and I think she’s probably one of the most knowledgeable ones out there. There are so many facets to interpreting the report and honestly it can’t be done without some kind of training. Even after 4 years I still rely on her to tell me what supplements to take based on the most recent report. The supplements are from Dr. Eck’s lab, which are the only ones she has found have worked. It’s not an easy road or a short one. It can take years to detox the metals. Just because your report didn’t show iron doesn’t mean your body isn’t holding on to it in your tissues. It’s the ratios of the minerals that are important. I wish you all the best on your journey to better health. 🙂

  • I enjoyed reading about your experience! I have also wondered if copper was an issue for me because of my symptoms and because I have improved since removing my mercury fillings. Fillings are partly made of copper. I already take a mineral supplement that I really like and am doing well on. It includes some zinc and has no copper. I would love to hear exactly what supplements you are taking as I am always open to learning more. Thank you for sharing your story!

  • Sam

    I didnt know abt how excess lead affected us either. And how do we deal with that?

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