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  • WHERE TO GET AN ANALYSIS.  (If you have a good source and don't see it listed here send all the information to and I'll get it listed.)

Hair analysis is probably the best way to determine if you are deficient in minerals.  Blood analysis is appropriate for determining certain minerals like iron, but generally blood analysis is much more expensive than hair analysis.  Hair analysis has been maligned in the press over the last few years but it has been studied extensively and the interpretation of results is getting much better.  Interpretation is important because high levels of a mineral in the hair doesn't always mean that the mineral is high in the body.  In this section we will talk about where to go to get a hair analysis, interpreting hair analyses, and how to structure a supplement schedule based on the hair analysis results.


  1. Dr. Larry Wilson (email him at:  Dr. Wilson uses Analytical Research Labs in Phoenix, Arizona. He has performed and interpreted many thousands of hair analyses and has written a textbook for teaching health professionals how to interpret hair analysis results.  His book is called Nutritional Balancing and Hair Mineral Analysis, is available from many stores.  One can special order it through or other book stores.  Two places that stock the book are:  Natural Books and Products in Escondido, CA 1-888-743-1790 and Endomet Labs at 1-800-528-4067.  It's a good book to own.  Dr. Wilson and I have disagreements about many things in relation to copper metabolism and thyroid disease, but he has extensive knowledge and is a very valuable source of information.  If you tell him you're a member of the hyperthyroidism group he will charge you $100 for the analysis.  This is reasonably inexpensive way to get an analysis because you don't have to go to a local doctor and pay for an office visit. Just email him for instructions. When you get the results you can fax me them to me at 818-889-6969 or email me for a mailing address ( I would suggest using the supplement suggestions on this site rather than those from Dr. Wilson.  Dr. Wilson wrote to me saying, "Your readers might want to know that hair analysis tests from Great Smokies Lab, King James Laboratory, and Doctors Data will give significantly different results because they wash the hair in acetone and detergent.  Analytical Research Labs and Trace Elements, Inc do not wash the hair.   In the JAMA study referred to by Dr. Mercola, the labs that wash the hair produced erratic results.  This is also what was found in earlier studies.  Hair is biopsy material and harsh washing chemicals damage it.  That is a main reason I use ARL (Analytical Research Labs)."
  2. Analytical Research Labs, Inc. Phone: (800) 528-4067 or (602) 995-1580. I don't know if you can get an analysis directly from them without going through a doctor, but I will find out. Anyone know?
  3. Great Smokies Diagnostic Laboratory.  Go to their website at and write to them and ask for a list of health professionals in your area who use their lab.  Their analysis is more extensive than many labs.  I have talked to one of their research scientists about analyzing for additional minerals that I feel are important in thyroid disease and they seem open to that possibility.
  4. King James Medical Laboratory.  Go to their website at:    Phone number is (800)437-1404. Just ask for a kit to be sent and it is self explanatory on what needs to be done. The cost is $39.
  5. From Pat:  You can order a hair analysis kit for $70 from Johnson Drugs in Waltham, MA.

    The hair analysis company is Doctors Data.

    When the hair analysis comes back to the pharmacy, the
    pharmacist Gary Krakoff will call you and interpret it to
    you over the phone for no further charge.  Then he will
    mail it to you.  Gary tends to emphasize toxic elements
    load in his interpretation.
  6. Hi, I haven't posted for a while but agree John's ways work! I have come to believe that the hair tissue mineral analysis is one of the most helpful tools to know what is going on in our bodies. I am now working with Anamol Laboratories here in Ontario Canada. They have been honoured as one of the most respected nutritionally -oriented testing laboratories in North America. Their list of satisfied customers include practitioners from Europe and Lain America , as well as across Canada and the United States. If anyone is interested in a hair analysis ,I am able to send you the kit with complete instructions . You return to me with hair sample and I then forward to Anamol Laboratory. They test for 38 elements and provide a thorough explanation. I am able to provide this for $ 59.00 Canadian which would be a fair bit cheaper for you US folks at approximately $38.00 US. If interested please contact me privately at and I will send you a kit.  


    Hi John,
    I have great news ! I have spoken to Dr Tamari of Anamol Laboratories and  they have agreed not to wash hair samples that I send in .
    Now I can provide the folks on this site with a reasonably priced hair analysis that isn't washed before testing that test more elements than most labs.


The following is information on Swan's hair analysis.  I agree with Swan's analysis that she is deficient in selenium.  Because both her zinc and iron appear to be high in the ratios, this suggests to me that she is deficient in copper.  Also, the laboratory recommendations on the calcium/magnesium ratio (7:1) are different from the recommended ratio to take.  Most supplements are 2:1 (cal:mag) but 1:1 seems to work better for most hypers.  This is for correction purposes and not intended to alter the body's ratio to 1:1.


Hi, I wrote about the hair analysis report in March. I want to expand on it. It's neat that it has a page of ratios like: The lab has its own ratios to compare to now and optimum. It is, of course can not be expected to be, not like John's supplement list.

This can give a person an idea though of the ratios we are talking about on the page. I have only started supplements around January 2000.

Calcium:Magnesium mine 8:1 Labs suggests 7:1 John suggests 1:1 particularly if having heart palpitations Zinc:Copper (mine 18:1) lab suggests 7:1, I take 4:1 daily, Zinc:Selenium (mine 609:1) lab suggests 88:1 Zinc:Manganese (mine 448:1) lab 250:1 Zinc:Lead (mine 772:1) lab 250:1 Selenium:Mercury (mine .3:1) lab suggests 100:1 Selenium is DEFICIENT! Iron:Aluminum (mine 2:1) lab suggests .6:1 Iron is over the limit here Calcium:Phosphorus (mine 4:1) lab suggests 4:1 Calcium:Lead (mine 1365:1) lab suggests 679:1

I can tell that selenium as well as chromium are deficient in a big way. It may be years before I build it up for storage too. I am in the normal range for TSH now so those using the supplements to really help attain remission could benefit by knowing their own levels.

I would be interested in seeing other's ratios. Swan

Sci Total Environ 1994 Dec 1;156(3):235-42

Heavy metals in human hair samples from Austria and Italy: influence of sex and smoking habits.

Wolfsperger M, Hauser G, Gossler W, Schlagenhaufen C

Institute of Nutrition, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Austria.

Hair samples from 79 young healthy adults from Vienna (Austria) and Rome (Italy) were analyzed for As, Cd, Co, Cr, Ni and Pb by ICP-MS. No differences were found between the two locations except for chromium, which was significantly higher in the Viennese population (P < 0.001). In both cities male hair contained higher arsenic (P < 0.001) and lower cadmium (P < 0.05) levels than female hair, and in Vienna lead concentrations were lower in males (P < 0.05). Striking differences appeared when smokers were compared with non-smokers. Geometric means (micrograms/g) of smokers versus non-smokers were: arsenic 0.081 vs. 0.065, cadmium 0.075 vs. 0.038 (P < 0.05), cobalt 0.025 vs. 0.010 (P < 0.05), chromium 0.84 vs. 0.72 (P < 0.05), lead 3.42 vs. 1.47 (P < 0.001) and nickel 0.64 vs. 0.32 (P < 0.005). Consideration of a large number of biological and behavioural factors minimizes bias inherent in unmatched sample composition.

The following is from Dr. Mercola's website,

Hair Mineral Analysis

JAMA published a negative study on hair analysis this past January regarding the clinical use of hair analysis. It was an incredibly poorly designed study and I was surprised to see that it was even published.

For the first fourteen years of my practice I was opposed to hair analysis testing as I bought the "traditional" perspective on this tool.

Later, I learned from some skilled clinicians, that this was indeed a useful clinical tool. However, it appears the issue complicating optimal interpretation, and what has seriously confused the issue of hair analysis, is the practice of washing the sample prior to analysis.

There are only two labs that I recommend using for proper readings for hair analysis. Trace Elements and Analytical Research. Both labs are based on the work of Paul Eck.

The major distinction from other hair analysis labs is that they don't wash their samples prior to the analysis. As far as I can tell all the other labs wash the hair and this has a tendency to disturb some of the essential mineral ratios. It does not seem to make much of a difference for the toxic metals.

If you are a licensed health care professional I have made special arrangements with Analytical Research to provide you with three free kits to see how you enjoy their service. The only thing you need to do to obtain your kits is to call them (602-995-1580) and mention that you were calling regarding the special offer you saw on my web site.

They provide educational materials but they also have a book "Nutritional Balancing and Hair Mineral Analysis" for $18 written by Larry Wilson, MD, that helps one understand the biochemistry behind hair analysis.

The analysis has specific nutrient recommendations, mostly minerals. One can obtain them from the company, but I find that it is much easier to use the ones we, or the patient already has. I am amazed at how many people do not actually need to take calcium based on this analysis. It is quite a remarkable way to identify which minerals a person needs to build their bones.

This offer is ONLY available to licensed health care professionals.

JAMA Letter to the Editor; March 28, 2001 285(12):1576-7

Dr Seidel and colleagues (1) found that there is excessive variability between laboratories in the results of hair analysis.

This study should not be represented as a final, rigorous, and decisive condemnation of the entire commercial hair analysis industry, as other studies have established the validity of hair analysis evaluation. (2-6)

The study by Seidel et al simply shows that there is some variation among the laboratories' results, as would be expected. The study's design was critically flawed in several areas.

The authors compared test results and reference ranges for laboratories using different methods. They also failed to distinguish between accurate and inaccurate laboratories, as they did not use a specific standard or reference laboratory.

The authors' inclusion of a noncertified, unregulated, and illegally operating laboratory that represents less than 3% of the total hair analysis activity in the United States introduced bias and error into the analysis and conclusions. This unregulated laboratory was responsible for 12 of the 14 "statistically significant (P<.05) extreme values" cited in the study.

Furthermore, the bias of this study is further evident as the authors did not adhere to their own stated laboratory selection protocol.

This resulted in a certified laboratory with a significantly higher monthly sample volume not being included in the study in favor of the small uncertified laboratory that reported extreme and dubious measurements.

It should also be noted that blind proficiency testing, such as was used in this study, is the most stringent form of laboratory evaluation, so stringent in fact that it is rarely used in clinical laboratories.

Modern clinical proficiency testing is overt in that the test specimens are identified as such. This fact coupled with the absence of any criterion standard for identifying correct incorrect test results seems designed to unfairly target the entire hair analysis industry.

Such a standard applied to most clinical tests would result in similar findings.

We do acknowledge that this limited study does raise some challenging issues that the industry must deal with, such as, the identification of laboratories misrepresenting themselves as certified and yet operating illegally. Most commercial hair analysis companies, however, are on record for proficiency testing initiatives, data comparison, and clinical case presentations involving hair elemental analysis.

Joseph M. Mercola, DO
eHealthy News You Can Use
Schaumburg, IL

David L. Watts, PhD
Trace Elements Inc
Addison, TX