Collecting a Hair Sample


1.         Fill out the GENERAL INFORMATION SHEETS as completely as possible.  

2.         CUT THE HAIR SAMPLE. For the test interpretation to be as accurate as possible, the laboratory must receive a clean sample of hair that is free from external contaminants.

The laboratory needs about a full tablespoon of hair, which will be more than enough to perform testing.  As little as a teaspoon of hair may be enough since the sample is based on weight.

You can use the Hair Sample Weight Scale to both measure the length of the hair (circle diameter) and to weigh the hair. When the scale tips like a teeter-totter then you have enough hair to seal in the paper envelope.

The hair on the back of the head often grows fastest and is easiest to sample. However, any part of the head may be used. Short hair is fine and can be cut with an electric razor or thinning shears. If no head hair is available, you may use beard hair in men. Please use pubic hair only if no head or body hair is available, as it is not quite as accurate.


Hair Preparation: It is ideal that the hair sample is collected before any treatments including bleaching, dyes, or permanents take place. Hair spray, gel, hair creams, and oil application are included.  It is also important that the hair is washed 24 hours prior to sampling and dries for at least 4 hours. 

The hair sample should be no longer than 1.5 inches in length, although we prefer 1". Any shorter length is acceptable for testing.  Cut several small snips of hair as close as possible to the scalp. You may cut the samples from along the sides, top or back of the head; however the nape of the neck is the recommended location for the sample collection.

Measure from the scalp end of the hair to a maximum of 1.5 inches in length and cut off the longer hair strands and throw away. Shorter hair is fine. However, the long ends of hair are older and are not as good for sampling. The new hair, near the scalp, is much better.


You will have enough hair when the 1.5-inch (or less) cut samples will fill an ordinary tablespoon. Combine these and place in a clean, paper envelope and seal. Write your name, age and date of sampling on the envelope.

It is important you do not put the hair sample in aluminum foil or plastic bags. Also do not staple or tape the sample to the scale or envelope. 


Please do not mix different hair types in the same envelope - such as head hair with pubic or beard hair. In fact, we firmly encourage the use of head hair because of its consistent growth rate.  Only if sufficient head hair is unavailable should pubic or other body hair be used.

Medicated Shampoos:        Most rinses, shampoos, and conditioners do not contain metals and will not affect the accuracy of the analysis. However, medicated shampoos of concern are Selsun Blue (selenium) and Head and Shoulders (zinc).

Tints, dyes, color rinses (such as henna) and highlighting: Grecian Formula contains iron and lead, and it is best to wait 4 to 6 weeks after treatment before taking a sample.
Most tints, dyes and rinses do not contain many minerals so they will not usually affect the test at all and can be on your hair when you cut a sample.  Just make sure you have washed your hair at least 6 to 8 times after treating your hair, before cutting your sample.

Bleaches and Permanents: If you have had a bleach or permanent, especially from a beauty parlor, be sure to wash your hair four or five times before submitting a sample. The used chemicals can have an affect on the hair structure, but it will be able to recover after multiple washings.

Home Water Softener: If your home has a water softener and you have used this water for bathing, it could have an affect on the test. If this is the case, make sure to wash and rinse your hair TWICE with distilled or reverse osmosis water before collecting a sample of hair.  This will help remove the salt or potassium residues from your hair. You can purchased distilled or reverse osmosis water at the supermarket.

Wellness Shopping Online uses Eileen Durfee as their Nutritional Balancing and Lifestyle Coach for all customized programs.  Testing and consultations performed are not intended as diagnosis, treatment or prescription for any condition or disease.

 After you have collected your hair sample please follow these instructions to mail your sample with the Laboratory Order form.