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Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis

What is Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis? 

hair tissue mineral analysis

Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA) is an analytical metabolic profiling test which measures the mineral content of the body that reflects the level of nutrients and toxic elements in body tissue. It is regarded by integrative doctors, naturopaths and nutritional therapists as one of the most valuable screening tools available in everyday and preventative health care.

Hair is a body tissue made up of mostly dead, keratinized cells fused together. The shaft of the hair is the portion that projects from the skin’s surface. The root of the hair, below the skin’s surface, contains living matrix cells from which the hair grows.  Matrix cells depend on the blood supply for nourishment and growth. As they grow and divide, minerals are keratinized into the growing hair shaft, creating a permanent record of metabolic activity and exposure to toxic elements.

Research has shown that hair tissue is useful in indicating nutrient imbalances and exposure to toxic elements. If your health, diet or environment has created a mineral imbalance or toxic mineral excess, it will be recorded in the hair shaft.

Why Mineral?

Minerals are essential for growth and wellbeing. They provide structural support in bones and teeth, and they participate in almost every metabolic process in the body – they are the true ‘spark-plugs’ of life.


Zinc is involved in the production, storage and secretion of insulin and is necessary for growth hormones.


Magnesium is required for normal muscular function, especially the heart. Deficiency has been associated with heart conditions, anxiety, and nervousness.


Potassium is critical for normal nutrient transport into the cell. A deficiency can result in muscular weakness, mild depression and lethargy.


Excess sodium is associated with hypertension, but adequate amounts are required for normal health.

Causes of Mineral Imbalances


Both physical and emotional stress can lead to mineral imbalances. B-complex vitamins, zinc and magnesium are lost in greater quantities when you are stressed; you also absorb less nutrients from your food.

Improper Eating Habits

Fad diets and diets high in refined carbohydrates, flour, sugar, industrial seed oils and alcohol can lead to mineral deficiencies and excesses.


Many deplete the body’s store of nutrient minerals and can increase levels of toxic minerals. Medications such as diuretics, the oral contraceptive pill, antacids and aspirin can all cause vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

Genetic and individual factors

A predisposition towards certain mineral imbalances, deficiencies and excesses can be inherited from parents. Certain individuals can also inherit a higher requirement than normal for particular nutrients to maintain good health.


Toxic minerals such as lead, mercury and cadmium can interfere with mineral absorption and increase mineral excretion. They build up in our bodies from sources such as: air pollution, car exhaust, cigarette smoke, unfiltered water and food.

Nutritional supplements

Supplements can also lead to mineral excesses and deficiencies. For example, excess calcium intake can cause phosphorus and magnesium deficiency. Continued magnesium deficiency increases sodium levels and eventually causes vitamin A deficiency.

What can Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Reveal?

Mental Health

Nerveous System Imbalance

Sports Endurance & Recovery

Adrenal & Thyroid Function

Mineral Deficiencies and Excesses

Liver & Kidney Stress

Diabetes and Insulin Resistance

Cardiovascular Health

Energy Levels & Fatigue

Metabolic Rate 


Heavy Metal Toxicity

Who Needs

Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis?

Health conditions that can be helped with Hair Mineral Testing:

  • Adrenal fatigue, including unexplained fatigue, aches and pains, sleep issues
  • Thyroid conditions
  • Insomnia
  • Infertility
  • Headaches/migraines
  • Weight gain/loss, appetite issues and blood sugar imbalances
  • Cardiovascular disorders
  • Hormonal dysregulation includes: oestrogen dominance, unexplained menopausal symptoms, PMS, PCOS, endometriosis, etc
  • Mental health issues: Pyrrole disorder, anxiety, depression, bi-polar depression, OCD, ADHD, etc
  • Immune disorders including long term infections such as Epstein Barr virus (glandular fever), hayfever and allergies, histamine dysregulation
  • Children’s immune disorders: asthma, eczema, allergies, Intolerances
  • Children’s developmental disorders: anxiety, ADHD, violent behaviour, tantrums/temper outbursts, dyslexia, poor school performance
  • Anyone who has occupational or environmental exposure to toxins, e.g., mechanics, painters, metal workers, glass workers, farmers, etc
Reasons To have

Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis

  • Hair specimens can be collected more quickly and easily than blood, urine, or any other tissue, using a non-invasive method.
  • Hair analysis is more cost-effective than mineral testing through other means.
  • Unlike blood, hair is less susceptible to the homeostatic mechanisms that quickly affect trace element levels.
  • Long-term deviations of mineral retention or losses are more easily detected in hair than blood.
  • Hair testing reveals key information about your level of metabolic activity.
  • Concentrations of most elements in the hair are significantly higher than found in blood and other tissues.
  • Hair provides a record of past as well as present trace element levels, i.e. biological activity.
  • Hair provides information of substances entering the hair from the blood serum as well as from external sources.
  • Hair is invaluable in the assessment of toxic metal levels.
  • Hair testing measures mineral imbalances that can directly affect related vitamin activity.