Frequently Asked Questions

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What is hair mineral analysis?

Hair tissue mineral analysis (HTMA) is an analytical test that evaluates hair tissue for nutritional and toxic elements as a reflection of the bodies’ mineral stores. It is a safe and non-invasive test that provides indicative mineral balances and comparative ratios of nutrients and toxic minerals in the body.

How is the hair sample taken?

The hair should be clean, well rinsed, untreated and uncoloured. Using clean, stainless steel scissors, cut small amounts of hair from the back of the head. Cut the hair as close to the scalp as possible. If the hair is less than 4cm in length, keep all of it for testing. If hair is longer, cut off and keep the 4cm that was closest to the scalp. Place hair in the hair sample envelope provided by InterClinical Laboratories.

Order a test kit >

The laboratory requires approximately one loose tablespoon of hair for testing (0.5 gm).

Do I have to use the envelope that InterClinical Laboratories has provided?

It is not essential, however we do prefer that you use the envelope we provide as it is of a specific weight for the laboratory and also guarantees a clean and untainted environment for the hair sample. Mediums such as plastic or foil are unsuitable and can contaminate the sample and lead to potentially inaccurate results. Additionally, by using our envelope, we do not have to transfer the sample when it reaches us. This minimises the potential of external contamination. If you do choose to use your own envelope, place the hair sample in a plain clean unused paper envelope, making sure to write your name, gender, age, sample location (eg. scalp) and phone number on the envelope before placing the sample inside. Put the hair sample envelope into another envelope with the required request form and post it to our facility.

If I can't use head hair, can I use pubic hair?

Our reference ranges are based on scalp hair. A scalp sample is preferable. However, we can accept pubic hair, beard hair or axillary hair. These samples can provide reliable data for toxic minerals, but results for the nutritional minerals may be misrepresented e.g. potassium and sodium, due to contamination by soap and cosmetic residue. Please ensure the hair is thoroughly rinsed with clean water and dried before taking the sample to avoid the presence of soap, deodorants and cosmetic products.

How to take a hair sample

It is essential that you do not mix different types of hair e.g. do not mix head hair with pubic hair. If there is no body hair available, finger nail clippings may be sent. The same amount of sample is required, approximately 0.5gm. Please ensure nails are scrubbed and cleaned before submitting the sample to the laboratory for analysis.

Can I send my hair if it is dyed?

If hair is treated or coloured, wait ten to twelve weeks and take the sample from the freshly grown, untreated hair. Any hair treatment or colour, natural or otherwise, can potentially lead to less accurate results for some elements tested.

How to take a hair sample >

How long is the hair sample good for once I have cut it?

As long as the hair is stored in a paper envelope and in a clean dry area, the hair sample will maintain its integrity indefinitely. Please do not store the hair sample in plastic or foil as these are potential contaminants. The longer it is between cutting the sample and the sample being processed by our laboratory, the less relevant the results become to your current nutritional and toxic element status.

What do the << symbols mean on the Hair Tissue Mineral report?

When this symbol << appears on the report, it means that the element in that column is below the laboratory calibration limit. The number listed below it, is the calibration limit for that element. It does not mean that this element is zero in the tissue sample, however it does mean that the level is low.

How much does it cost?

There are 3 profiles to choose from:

All profiles analyse over 35 nutritional and toxic elements and provide a graph showing these levels, as well as over 26 important toxic and nutritional ratios.

Profile 1 – Results only report – this report shows just the analysis of the test on a graph

Profile 2 – Interpretive report – Recommended – This report is comprehensive and contains the graphical data and detailed information about your result plus dietary recommendations.

Profile 3 – Comparative report – this report compares current and previous test results and is most beneficial if you have had a test in the last 12-18 months and require a follow up analysis.

Learn about pricing or contact us on 02 9693 2888.

How do I pay for the hair test?

Payment methods include Mastercard and Visa, cheque and money orders. For payment by Mastercard or Visa, please complete the credit card payment authority on the back of the Hair Tissue Analysis Request Form. Cheques or money orders should be made payable to: InterClinical Laboratories.

Can I claim the hair tissue analysis on Medicare or private health funds?

At present, you cannot claim the hair tissue analysis on Medicare. It may be possible to claim from private health funds, please check with your fund for information. Some health funds offer rebates on non-specific health care items when recommended by a health care professional.

How long will it take to receive my results?

It will take approximately 10-15 working days to receive your results. They will be sent to the address supplied on the request form. If your practitioner has requested the test, the results will be posted directly to the practitioner. The practitioner will receive two copies of the results. At your follow up appointment to discuss the HTMA results, they should give you one copy to take home.

Do you send the results to me?

If you are ordering the hair tissue analysis privately (i.e. without practitioner referral), the results will be sent to the email address that has been filled out on your request form. You will receive the patient copy. If you require the Doctor’s copy to be emailed to your healthcare practitioner, please contact InterClinical Laboratories on (02) 9693 2888. If a referring practitioner has requested the hair tissue analysis, then the practitioner copy and your patient copy will be emailed to your practitioner, where they will be available for you at your next appointment with your practitioner.

Do you test the hair for chemicals or drugs?

We test the hair for over 35 different minerals (i.e. nutritional and toxic minerals), but we do not test the hair for chemicals or drugs.

Do you test the hair for allergies?

We test the hair to show the internal storage of nutritional and toxic minerals; we do not test the hair for allergies. However, due to our understanding of mineral balances, out report may indicate certain mineral patterns that are known to influence particular allergy types.

Do InterClinical Laboratories conduct any other testing?

InterClinical Laboratories solely focus on being the leading provider for hair tissue mineral analysis (HTMA) services in Australia and New Zealand, and for that reason do not provide any other testing.

Can you tell me what supplements I should take?

InterClinical Laboratories is a laboratory service provider, not a clinic. We are unable to legally give individual health advice or treatment recommendations to the general public. It is advisable to take the results to your healthcare practitioner for them to advise you of supplements that might be appropriate to your individual health situation.

Where can I buy your nutritional products?

InterClinical Laboratories have two product ranges; ICL Health and InterClinical Professional.

ICL Health is available through practitioner clinics, leading health foods stores, pharmacies and from our website.

InterClinical Professional is for Practitioner Dispensing and is only available from a qualified nutritional practitioner. Alternatively, InterClinical Professional can be ordered through our website if a script has been provided by your practitioner.

How much is postage?

Standard postage rates are:

Flat shipping cost $15.50 to Australia.

Free shipping for orders above $275.

Additional freight charges may apply in some circumstances.

International freight and insurance charges to be quoted separately.

Can I order your products from overseas?

Yes, it is possible to order our products from overseas. The postage will be quoted on a per order basis as freight is charged based on weight and size.

Are your products vegan friendly?

Our two ranges of nutritional products, InterClinical Professional and ICL Health are vegan friendly. All of our products are vegan, with the exception of Goaties, goat milk snacks.