Hair Analysis: Your Body’s Toxic Time Capsule

As our world becomes increasingly polluted, we find ourselves exposed to an unprecedented level of harmful toxins and heavy metals. One shocking discovery made by researchers is that many newborn babies who are just entering this world do so with an excess of a whopping 200+ cancer-causing chemicals! Even breast milk and certain powdered milk for infants contain trace amounts of rocket fuel, certainly not something any of us would (or should) expect.

It probably doesn’t come as any surprise that the water we drink may not be as safe as we assume. Lead contamination has long been an issue here in the U.S., and now scientists must find ways to rid our environment PFAS (“forever chemicals”) exposure, a dangerous new toxin to add to all the others. Repeated exposure to such toxic agents can have a very serious impact on our bodies as we struggle to detoxify as nature intended. The negative side effects for overall health increase exponentially with compounded exposure to these toxins and others.

As part of my journey to combat cancer naturally, I’ve come to understand the absolute necessity of recognizing and addressing dangerous toxins. Testing was absolutely crucial in order for me to fully understand what I was dealing with and to identify any problematic exposures.

The Benefits of a Simple Hair Analysis

Tissue Mineral Analysis (or Hair Analysis) is an excellent way of assessing what types and quantities of toxins a person is exposed to. When these toxins enter our blood stream, they circulate throughout our organs–and even our hair follicles–before being stored as our hair grows out again; providing a handy record of exposure over time.

Having your hair tested for toxins is really quite simple to do. Hair analysis involves collecting a small sample of hair from the scalp and sending it off for laboratory analysis. Hair analysis offers invaluable insights into long-term or chronic exposure to toxins. Its slow and consistent rate of growth serves as a precise record of accumulation over several months or years.

Conducting a hair test to detect toxins is a simple and non-invasive procedure, as the hair growth cycle of approximately three months corresponds to a three-month period. In cases where elevated levels of heavy metals are found during detoxification, it is recommended to retest after three months to monitor progress.

Hair analysis provides key data that can support targeted interventions such as lifestyle modifications, diet modifications, or detoxification protocols. Hair testing for toxins is easy to perform and non-invasive — three months of metals removal/growth cycle in hair represents three months. If detoxing, repeat the test after three months if heavy metal levels were elevated.

The Dirty Eight

Below are the eight heavy metals we are exposed to most often in our bodies, along with their main sources. All except nickel are neurotoxins, potentially contributing to neurologic conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Peripheral Neuropathy could also result from their exposure.

  • Aluminum can be found in numerous products, including drinking water, kitchen utensils and cookware, coffee pots and aluminum foil, coffee filters for infants, antacids for infants, processed cheeses and table salt as well as baking soda (and baked goods), cake mixes, pickled food and non-dairy milk creamers. It has even been found at high concentrations on hair tests after recent dental work has taken place; replace aluminum pans with enameled cast iron porcelain or glass cookware and avoid certain stainless-steel cookware that contain nickel content for optimal health results.
  • Arsenic can be found in drinking water as well as products like rice, chicken, infant’s formula and wood treated with chemicals as well as old plastic toys.
  • If you enjoy sushi, a hair analysis can help determine your Cadmium levels. This is important as Nori seaweed used for sushi rolls contains high concentrations of Cadmium as do pesticides on produce and some brands of rice, making organic produce preferable over conventionally-grown produce for optimal protection from pesticides, heavy metals, and pollution. Cadmium is also often found in batteries, pigments, and metal coverings.
  • Exposure to Lead can be harmful; it is present in paint, cosmetics and some herbal and Ayurvedic medicines as well as batteries, bullets, solder, and lead-glazed pottery.
  • Mercury can be found in amalgam (dental fillings), high fructose syrup, fish, seafood, and some vaccines. It is also present in coal and hydroelectric power plants, fossil fuel mining operations and paper mills. Its emissions seep into lakes, streams, oceans and even our drinking water supplies. My health improved considerably after having my amalgams removed by Dr. Hal Huggins – an expert in biological dentistry who provided my removal (for which you’ll find recommendations in our Resource section at Templeton Wellness Foundation).
  • Nickel can be found everywhere from certain baby clothing and foods, such as chocolate and almonds; to cigarettes and diesel fumes. Batteries, dental materials, and jewelry also may contain nickel. Nickel hypersensitivity causes an overreaction by your immune system resulting in allergies, sensitivities or even rashes.
  • Tin, one of the metals often found in dental amalgams, may lead to elevated readings following a dental visit. In addition, this element can also be found in dyes, cans, and even certain rodent poisons.
  • Uranium levels may sometimes be found in drinking water, root vegetables and soil – another reason to prioritize organic food consumption and consume only filtered drinking water.

Detoxifying from Dangerous Heavy Metals

There are multiple strategies available for detoxing heavy metals from your system. I first learned of their potential danger while having my teeth fixed. To address my condition, I created my own detox plan using helpful ingredients like alpha-lipoic acid (ALA), chlorella-rich organic green powder, fiber, and organic leafy vegetables. As part of my detox regimen, I engaged in activities such as sweating out (see “Deep Heating Your Way Out of Cancer: The Promise of Far Infrared Saunas“), taking regular outdoor walks, drinking lots of water and staying hydrated. S-Acetyl Glutathione, NAC (N-acetyl cysteine), probiotics, and cilantro may also prove useful for detoxification.

Hair Analysis: Your Body's Toxic Time Capsule


Grandjean P, Landrigan PJ. Developmental neurotoxicity of industrial chemicals. Lancet. 2006 Dec 16;368(9553):2167-78. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(06)69665-7. PMID: 17174709.

Kannan K, Tanabe S, Giesy JP, Tatsukawa R. Organochlorine pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls in foodstuffs from Asian and oceanic countries. Rev Environ Contam Toxicol. 1997;152:1-55. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4612-1964-4_1. PMID: 9297984.

Woodruff TJ, Zota AR, Schwartz JM. Environmental chemicals in pregnant women in the United States: NHANES 2003-2004. Environ Health Perspect. 2011 Jun;119(6):878-85. doi: 10.1289/ehp.1002727. Epub 2011 Jan 14. PMID: 21233055; PMCID: PMC3114826.

Hopenhayn-Rich C, Biggs ML, Smith AH, Kalman DA, Moore LE. Methylation study of a population environmentally exposed to arsenic in drinking water. Environ Health Perspect. 1996 Jun;104(6):620-8. doi: 10.1289/ehp.96104620. PMID: 8793350; PMCID: PMC1469390.

Aylward LL, Hays SM, Kirman CR, Marchitti SA, Kenneke JF, English C, Mattison DR, Becker RA. Relationships of chemical concentrations in maternal and cord blood: a review of available data. J Toxicol Environ Health B Crit Rev. 2014;17(3):175-203. doi: 10.1080/10937404.2014.884956. PMID: 24749481.

Cordier S, Garlantézec R, Labat L, Rouget F, Monfort C, Bonvallot N, Roig B, Pulkkinen J, Chevrier C, Multigner L. Exposure during pregnancy to glycol ethers and chlorinated solvents and the risk of congenital malformations. Epidemiology. 2012 Nov;23(6):806-12. doi: 10.1097/EDE.0b013e31826c2bd8. PMID: 23007043.

Whyatt RM, Rauh V, Barr DB, Camann DE, Andrews HF, Garfinkel R, Hoepner LA, Diaz D, Dietrich J, Reyes A, Tang D, Kinney PL, Perera FP. Prenatal insecticide exposures and birth weight and length among an urban minority cohort. Environ Health Perspect. 2004 Jul;112(10):1125-32. doi: 10.1289/ehp.6641. PMID: 15238288; PMCID: PMC1247388.

Sathyanarayana S, Barrett E, Nguyen R, Redmon B, Haaland W, Swan SH. First Trimester Phthalate Exposure and Infant Birth Weight in the Infant Development and Environment Study. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2016 Sep 23;13(10):945. doi: 10.3390/ijerph13100945. PMID: 27669283; PMCID: PMC5086684.

Hu H, Téllez-Rojo MM, Bellinger D, Smith D, Ettinger AS, Lamadrid-Figueroa H, Schwartz J, Schnaas L, Mercado-García A, Hernández-Avila M. Fetal lead exposure at each stage of pregnancy as a predictor of infant mental development. Environ Health Perspect. 2006 Nov;114(11):1730-5. doi: 10.1289/ehp.9067. PMID: 17107860; PMCID: PMC1665421.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This