How To Take A Sample

Proper collection of the hair sample is extremely important and cannot be over-emphasised. Cutting hair from the back of the head is recommended for testing. Freshly cut hair, cut close to the scalp, reflects the body’s most recent metabolic activity.

We require 0.25 grams (250 mg)  – please send us a bit extra just in case!!

Sample Type

Scalp hair is the only source recommended for analysis. Pubic, beard and other body hair should only be used as a last resort if scalp hair is not available. Pubic hair is suitable for toxic element analysis but will not provide reliable data for nutritional elements.*


Hair must be clean and untreated. If hair has been coloured or chemically treated wait ten to twelve weeks and take a sample from freshly grown, untreated hair. Hair should be untreated, and free of all gels, oils, sprays and hair creams prior to sample collection. Medicated shampoos should be avoided.

Cut hair with clean stainless steel scissors (thinning scissors can be used on short hair) from the nape of the neck, posterior vertex and posterior temporal regions (see image). Cut hair as close to the scalp as possible.

If the sample is less than 4cm long, keep all of it for testing. If the hair is longer, cut off and keep the 4cm that was growing closest to the scalp (discard the excess).

Place the hair sample in the envelope provided, or in a clean, clearly labelled envelope or paper sachet.

IMPORTANT : Do not place hair in plastic or aluminium as this well affect the result.

Do not mix different types of hair tissue samples, eg. do not mix head hair with pubic hair.

*Pubic, beard or underarm hair is not suitable for testing for nutritional elements because these regions are both glandular and secretory regions. Growth patterns are relatively short compared to scalp hair. These hair samples often contain external contaminants such as soap, make-up, cosmetics and other residues and are therefore more likely to give false results. The laboratory reference ranges for elements tested are based on scalp hair samples.

Pubic hair samples have a greater variation in nutritional elements. If this is the only hair available we advise practitioners to pay more attention to the significant ratios and toxic elements from the report, than individual levels of nutrients.

InterClinical Laboratories provides a request form and an envelope specifically designed for hair samples.

Request a hair sample kit

You will receive your test results and report in the mail approximately 2-3 weeks from the date we receive your hair sample and payment.