HAIR SAMPLING PROCEDURES
by Dr. Lawrence Wilson
© January 2019, L.D Wilson Consultants, Inc.
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
For accurate hair mineral analysis readings, the hair sampling procedure is very important. Here are the guidelines:
1. Cut the hair within 24 hours of washing it. This means wash the hair the same day or a day before sampling it.
Wash the hair and let it dry. Then cut the hair sample.
Use a plain, simple shampoo, if possible. If possible, do not add conditioners and other products to the hair after washing it on the day you will take the sample. AVOID sending dirty, sweaty or greasy hair.
2. Cut the sample from anywhere on the head. It does not matter where on the head you cut it. Cut the hair as close to the scalp as possible. Then set the sample down, and cut off any hair that is more than about ¾ to 1 inch, or about 2 centimeters long.
Do not send in long hair samples. Long hair means that you are sending in ÔoldŐ hair, so it will not give as accurate a reading. The hair samples can be shorter, however. Actually, the shorter, the better. This means they will be more up-to-date. Avoid sending in hair that is cut from the ends of long hair.
To avoid bald spots, cut several small samples from different areas on the head and combine them.
If you cannot use head hair, the second best is beard hair for men. If this is unavailable, the next best location for sampling hair is the underarms. Body hair can also be used, if available.
Pubic hair, while allowed by Analytical Research Labs, is not as accurate and preferably do not use it. If possible, avoid combining hair from different parts of the body in one hair envelope.
Fingernails or even toenails work well and are quite accurate. However, at this time, Analytical Research Labs does not want to use nails, so this is not currently available.
If you shave your head, then cut with an electric razor what you can, save it in a paper envelope, and then razor cut it again in a week or so, and repeat perhaps a few times, until you fill a tablespoon with hair or tip the scale if you have a paper scale to weigh hair.
5. Place the hair sample in the small white envelope, or if you do not have one, place it in a clean, paper envelope. AVOID SENDING HAIR IN PLASTIC BAGS OR IN ALUMINUM FOIL.
6. Send enough hair. The lab requires 125 mg of hair. If you have a paper scale, it must tip for you to have enough. Otherwise, please completely fill a tablespoon with hair.
7. IF YOUR HOME HAS A WATER SOFTENER, before sampling hair you must shampoo it twice with either unsoftened tap water, or preferably reverse osmosis water from the supermarket.
8. Tints and dyes. These do not affect the test because they do not contain any minerals. Therefore, you may sample dyed hair. Ideally, take a hair sample before dying your hair, but this is not important.
If you want to dye your hair, use only a natural hair dye.
9. Permanents or bleach treated hair. These treatments alter the structure of the hair somewhat. Sample the hair before a treatment, or wash the hair three or more times after a bleach or permanent treatment before sampling the hair.
10. Please print your name and age on the hair sampling envelope.
AVOID SELSUN BLUE SHAMPOO. This contains a toxic form of selenium. A better dandruff shampoo, if needed, is Head NŐ Shoulders.
HAIR SALONS. If hair will be sampled by your hair stylist, make sure to give the stylist these instructions. Many stylists cut off the ends of long hair, which is incorrect and will not give accurate results.
1. The General Information Sheet. Please fill this out completely. Please list actual foods at all meals, as well as your beverages, including the type of water you drink and how much.
2. The Symptom Sheet. Check only current symptoms. Do not include symptoms or illnesses from years ago or even months ago if they are not current.
3. ChildrenŐs Hair Analyses. When sending children's hair samples, make sure you include the weight and height of your child. This is the only way it is possible to design a supplement program appropriate for a child.
4. Animal Hair Samples. A newer recommendation is to cut the hair sample from the head, or as close to the head as possible. This will give more accurate readings. It is different from the recommendations of Analytical Research Labs.
With animal hair, before cutting the hair sample, clean the area with a clean piece of cloth or rag and some rubbing alcohol. This is better than cleaning the fur with water or soap. Once the sample is cut, do not wash the sample in any way, as that can skew the readings. Cut the sample as close as possible to the skin, and throw away any hair or fur that is more than about 1 inch or 2 centimeters long.
With animals, you must tell the laboratory the species of animal. Also, please fill out the Animal Intake Form and send this to your coach with the lab results.
If you are in doubt about the cleanliness or suitability of a hair sample in a new client, it is usually best to just send in the sample so that the person can get started on a program.
Beware of three groups of people who may send in dirty hair. Warn people against this. They are:
- Those who sweat a lot and then donŐt shower before cutting the sample. This might include a manual worker, for example, who cuts a sample after working outside all day in the heat.
- Older women who donŐt shower, but just take baths in order to keep their permanents longer or perhaps they just take baths out of fear of falling down in the shower.
- Lazy people who donŐt bathe much or who donŐt bother to wash their hair.