Hair analysis has become more reliable and acceptable over the past 20 years. But there are still issues that raise legal and ethical questions about its use, including possible false positives and different results for people with different hair colors or ethnic backgrounds.
Some natural health and homeopathic companies offer hair analysis by mail order. But hair analysis is not a accurate way of determining your need for vitamins, minerals or other nutrients.
The importance of most of the findings from hair analysis is unclear. It is hard to interpret a hair analysis for the presence of heavy metals without other testing. For most trace minerals, what really means normal or significant deviations from normal is not known.
Although hair analysis is being done more frequently to test for illegal drug use (such as the use of cocaine or marijuana), it is not widely available. Drug screening is more commonly done on blood or urine samples. For more information, see the topic Toxicology Tests.
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