Did you know that you can determine your health by examining your hair? Thanks to the development in technology, elemental hair analysis is an easy way to diagnose the mineral deficiency in the body. The hair hides all the information that can facilitate prophylaxis and treatment. Find out what else you can read from your hair.
We are well aware of the importance of maintaining the right amount of water and nutrients in the body. Our health depends on their levels and thus, thanks to the analysis of whether we lack certain nutrients, we can introduce effective prevention and avoid many problems. Not only those associated with hair, but with the state of the whole organism. Hair is really a valuable source of information.
Elemental hair analysis (abbreviated as EHA) is a hair test based on - as the name suggests - on the analysis of the content of various elements in the strands. Usually, the level of 24 elements essential for health and 5 elements that are toxic and which should appear in minimum amounts in the body are assessed this way. Some of them are minerals needed for hair to grow properly and maintain a beautiful appearance.
The elements marked during the test include: calcium, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, iron, copper, molybdenum, cobalt, chromium, lithium, strontium, nickel, manganese, selenium, vanadium, boron, barium, sulfur, silver, silicon, iodine, tin, as well as arsenic, mercury, aluminum, cadmium, lead, i.e. toxic elements.
This is the best method to assess the state of mineral metabolism in the body, which affects not only our appearance, but also health. The elemental analysis of the hair gives the opportunity to determine what kind of metabolic type we are from among several thousand existing ones. In other words, it informs us about such issues as:
The hair carries information about the nutritional status of our body, not only at the moment but also from the recent months. Hair grows about 1 cm per month, and the bioelements are built into the hair structure permanently during its growth. By examining a longer piece, we can go back as far as a year - analyze what level of elements was back then, compare it with the current state, and thereby predict what problems may arise in the future. This way, it is easier to choose appropriate hair treatments, apply prophylaxis or treatment of various diseases.
Can’t we learn everything from the complete blood count?
It is worth remembering that the element concentration in our blood (or urine) is about 50% lower than in the hair. Our hair, nails, and skin are the targets where all of the elements get to, whereas the blood is only a carrier. The presence of the elements in the hair is always the same whilst it alters in the blood depending on various factors, such as time of day, diet, and even our emotional state. Elemental hair analysis allows to accurately assess the amount of nutrients (even trace amounts, which are difficult to find in other studies) in the last months, not just at the time of testing. The result is not burdened by the influence of short-term changes, eg occurring at different times of the day.
Who may benefit from the information provided by the elemental hair analysis? First of all, it will be a great solution for those, who struggle with maintaining good mental and physical condition. Also, for people who are obese, exposed to excessive stress or those with increased physical activity (athletes, physical workers). By examining the concentration of elements in the hair, it is easy to determine the condition of our body. The results can help in choosing the right treatment for various problems, such as:
What’s the elemental hair analysis like? Such analysis requires appropriate equipment (eg spectrometer), so it can only be performed in a professional laboratory. However, we can send a sample of our hair for examination to such a place without heading out nor participating in person. The test is non-invasive – the elemental hair analysis is not painful, because it is performed on hair previously collected from the patient.
The price of hair analysis is, therefore, higher than for a regular blood test. We will pay roughly as much for the elemental analysis as for the professional treatment of keratin straightening or hair laminating. It is a matter of personal choice whether it is worth it or not.
How much hair is needed for the test? About 300-400 mg, which corresponds more or less to one tablespoon. As a rule, the hair is to be removed from the back of the head, cut from several places. Only the first 3-4 cm of the hair (from its base) are analyzed. This is important! Sending only hair ends for examination is pointless, as they are usually the most damaged, deprived of nutrients, and also absorb the most pollutants. The second condition is the naturalness of the hair: the strands cannot be dyed or permed (if we have undergone such treatments, we have to wait 6-8 weeks), and should also be cleansed of excess styling agents (washed) - only then the elemental hair analysis gives accurate results.
Although the elemental hair analysis is a widely commented and a controversial study, the World Health Organization (WHO) has identified it as reliable. It was argued that the test allows for the exact measurement of the concentration of trace elements, because there is much more of them in the hair than in the blood, and their content is fixed.
Unfortunately, doctors are still looking at this kind of analysis unfavorably - in fact, the condition of our hair and the whole body depends not only on the number of elements but also on many other factors. Nevertheless, the researchers emphasize not to downplay the advantages of elemental hair analysis. Remember that elemental analysis of hair determines excess or deficiency of elements, which is a short way to find out what these deviations from the standard may be associated with, e.g. to identify what various diseases.