Hair Mineral Analysis

Hair tissue mineral analysis or HTMA is a soft tissue mineral biopsy that uses hair as the sampling tissue.  A biopsy is an analysis of a body tissue.  Hair is considered a soft tissue, and hence hair analysis is a soft tissue biopsy.

The test measures the levels of 20 or more minerals in the hair with an accuracy of plus or minus about 3%. This is about the same level of accuracy as most blood tests, or a little better.  However, for the best accuracy, especially of the water-soluble elements, the hair sample must not bet washed at the hair testing laboratory.  The preparation of the hair sample at the laboratory is a debate that exists among the laboratories that offer hair mineral testing.

As an aside, hair is extremely useful for testing many things besides minerals.  These include drugs, toxic chemicals and DNA.  Hair is frequently used in forensic medicine, and in drug testing clinics.  It is also used worldwide for biological monitoring of many animal species for toxic metals.

 A complete answer to this question could fill several books.  Minerals are sometimes called the ‘sparkplugs’ of the body.  They are needed for millions of enzymes as co-factors, facilitators, inhibitors and as part of the enzymes themselves.  As a result, they have a great deal to do with the health of our bodies.  By analyzing mineral imbalances in the body, one can learn a lot about the causes and correction of hundreds of common physical and mental health conditions.

A specific class of minerals, the toxic metals, are also extremely important today due to a nutritionally depleted food supply and the presence of environmental toxicity almost everywhere on the planet.  Studying toxic metals is thus very important today to monitor their spread and learn about their many damaging effects upon the bodies of human beings, animals, plants and other organisms.



Hair makes an excellent biopsy material for many reasons:

  • Sampling is simple and non-invasive
  • Hair is a stable biopsy material that remains viable for years, if needed, and requires no special handling.
  • Mineral levels in the hair are about ten times that of blood, making them easy to detect and measure accurately in the hair
  • Hair is a fairly rapidly growing tissue
  • The body often throws off toxic substances in the hair, since the hair will be cut off and lost to the body
  • Mineral levels are kept relatively constant in the blood even when pathology is present.  Hair mineral values often vary by a factor of ten or much more, making measurement easier and providing a tremendous amount of accurate knowledge about the cells and the soft tissue of our bodies
  • Toxic metals are easier to detect in the hair than in the blood
  • Hair testing provides a long-term reading, while blood tests and urine tests provide a more instantaneous reading of the body
  • Extremely cost-effective, accurate and reliable test when it is performed well


  • Energy production
  • Hormones production
  • Adrenal and thyroid glands
  • Digestion
  • Mineral levels
  • Heavy metal levels