How to Cut a Hair Sample

How to Cut a Hair Sample | Proper Sample Hair Length

Proper collection of your hair sample is VERY important!

How to Cut a Hair Sample for HTMA Hair Analysis

The length of sample hair represents an AVERAGE of metabolic activity OVER TIME. That is why each hair sample must be cut as close to the scalp as possible, no more than 1.5 inches, and only the portion closest to the scalp should be used.

Current metabolic activity, not what you experienced in the past, is most helpful in designing a program to correct current imbalances. Since your metabolic activity fluctuates moment by moment, responding to stress throughout the day and in accordance with circadian rhythms, a hair analysis test shows the average or predominant metabolic rate during a certain period of time. Each ½” of hair growth represents about a month of metabolic activity, therefore the longer the hair sample, the less likely your results will reflect your current status.

On February 24, 2013, two samples of hair were cut - a 1/2" sample and a 1 1/2" sample. The March 6, 2013 lab reports are shown below for the different lengths of hair and show different metabolic pictures.

In January, Eileen experienced stress, headaches, anxiety, and heart palpitations on and off, but transitioned out of those symptoms and gained much more energy in February. As you can see from the test results, Eileen’s overall copper level for Dec-Jan-Feb was a 2.0 for the 1 ½” hair sample, and for Feb, her copper level was at a 1.0 for the ½” hair sample. Most likely, Eileen’s copper was higher than a 2.0 during January when she experienced copper detox symptoms, since the copper reading represents 3 months of metabolic activity. Eileen’s oxidation rate for the 1 ½” hair sample shows slow oxidation, while the ½” hair sample slows mixed oxidation.

  • The draw back from submitting a half inch hair sample versus a 1.5 inch hair sample, is that Eileen wouldn’t have seen the copper at a 2.0, the phosphorus at 13, and her lead at .036; even though these readings do not impact the design of a supplement program.
  • The benefit of submitting the ½” hair sample is that Eileen then knew to take Endo-Dren 1-1-1, increase Megapan to 2-2-2, and to eliminate Thyro-complex 2-2-2.

If a client wants the best program for balancing their chemistry, then the shorter hair sample is best. Again, this is because balanced oxidation and efficient energy are what enable the body to excrete bio-unavailable minerals and toxic metals. Typically, levels of excreted toxic metals are reported; however, the information is not used to determine supplementation.

We encourage clients to submit hair samples of no more than 1" long, and recommend hair samples of only 1/2" in length.