Ask a Naturopathic Doctor

What Hair Can Reveal

We often send snips of patients’ hair off to a lab for analysis of trace minerals and heavy metals with interesting results…

One woman’s report came back with radioactive metals.  We checked the rest of her family and found the same thing.  It turned out their house was on radioactive mine tailings!

Another case of radioactive metal was in an 8 year old boy whose favourite food was daily seaweed from the Pacific Ocean where Japan’s nuclear accident leaked radioactive waste a few years ago.

In a 3 year old hyperactive child who had a seizure, his hair tested excessive for most toxic metals: aluminum, arsenic, mercury, cadmium and others.  His mother had dyed her hair during pregnancy and breast-feeding.  Over the years we have helped him detoxify these poisons.  No more seizures and better impulse control!

Excess copper in a man’s hair exposed a deadly liver disease.

Deficient lithium explained mental symptoms that abated when tiny amounts were given (we all need some).

Zinc deficiency can be identified in a low immune system.  Adrenal insufficiency can be seen in abnormal patterns of sodium and magnesium.  Calcium and magnesium deficiency can masquerade as excessive due to over-acidity.  Low chromium can be related to hypoglycemia.  An overall deficient test can be the result of insufficient digestive enzymes.  Excess mercury and lead can be a cause of autoimmune disease.

Conclusion: hair analysis is a useful screening tool!

Dr. Katherine Willow N.D. directs the Carp Ridge EcoWellness Centre where people come for meditation, yoga, naturopathic medicine and educational programs.  Sign up for our monthly newsletter at to be updated on events.