From the last 50 years, in human hair for the determination of trace element level has been used to
find the occupational and environmental exposure of the toxic components. It is reported that the
analysis of hair is used to assess the status of nutrition in individuals. Hair analysis is more stable
and useful as matrices in comparison to the other biological mediums of human-like urine and
blood. The components of contents 50-100 time greater in the hair tissue as compared to the urine
From the segmental analysis obtained the information about short and long term exposures of
drugs. Hair samples are easy to collect, transport and store and the concentration of the element in
the serum mostly do not relate with the contents that are present in the whole organisms, because
through the mechanism of homeostasis concentration in the blood is controlled. In the keratinous
structure elements are permanently combined during the development of the hair fibres.
Additionally, hair sampling is the non-invasive method as compared to the sampling of blood that
is typically important in the epidemiological studies (Pereira, R.,2004)
Chemical analysis of the hair sample is called hair analysis. For the investigation of the
controversial diagnosis as an alternative to medicine, this analysis is used. It is specifically used in
the case of unconfirmed status and potential for the fraud of healthcare. Analysis of single hair
gives a lot of information about an individual. Before falling out 2-6 year hair grow on the head
and number of small vessels supply the each of strand. During hair growth hair also absorb the
chemical from the drug that individual take as well as also contains, natural body oil, sweat and
It is a special technique to observe the hair samples under the microscope, that provides
information about the health and behaviors. Different labs perform different types of test that gives
diverse results. Experts reveal that the analysis of hair is most helpful in the diagnosis of the health
issue of the individual and provide the information about the intake of various drugs and minerals
( Rodrigues, J.,2008). A number of important techniques are used for the analysis of hair such as
atomic fluorescence spectrometry( AFS), atomic absorption spectrometry, cold vapor atomic
absorption, electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry( ETAAS) and neutron activation
analysis ( NAA) etc (Wołowiec, P.,2013)
Furthermost of certain studies are associated with the number of health issues such as
• Myocardial infarction
• Diabetes mellitus
• Kidney disease
• Vitamin D deficiency
• Various genetic disorders
• Cushing syndrome
Why hair analysis was done
For the investigation of paternity and criminal cases hair analysis is used to identify the evidence
of DNA. The single root of the hair is used for the DNA testing and it establishes the genetic
makeup of a person’s but its fewer uses in the detection of heavy metal like lead, arsenic and
mercury in the body (Kempson & Lombi, 2011).
What it can check for
In the field of clinical toxicology, occupational medicine, doping control and in forensic analysis
delivers good indication but not describes the clear marks on screening of general health. However,
blood and urine analysis indicates the current status of the body and hair analysis provide a log
time frame that incorporates from several years. The element present in the hair at a higher level
and are more sensitive. It is suggested that for monitoring and screening of individual in the
exposure of putative toxic and for therapy hair mineral analysis may be cost-effective (Namkoong,
Hair analysis provides information about the toxins of heavy metal that lead to a certain health
The drug that is used by individual stick with the hair strand after analysis gives information about
the use of different types of drug-like cannabis, cocaine, opioids and amphetamines. Urine test
also provides information about drugs (Pereira et al., 2004)
Some genetic disorders
Analysis of hair sample helps in the diagnosis of various genetic disorders like Fragile X syndrome.
It is the most common genetic disorder which is delivered down in the families.
Hair analysis is known as a noninvasive method for the diagnosis of Cushing’s syndrome, It is the
latest method discovered by the scientist. Researchers at the National Institutes of Health reported
that by using hair analysis method, the stress hormone (Cortisol) can be detected that indicates the
condition of Cushing syndrome. It is considered a reliable method for the diagnosis of Cushing’s
syndrome by analyzing the level of cortisol in the hair that is close to the scalp. In this syndrome
for a longtime level of cortisol increased and it triggered the adverse effect of the medications like
corticosteroid that are used as anti-inflammatory diseases like asthma, lupus and rheumatoid
arthritis. Cortisol level may be increased due to the presence of tumor inside of the body glands
like pituitary and adrenal gland and its normal level help to control the blood pressure, regulation
of heart rate and immune system. Mostly the diagnosis of this syndrome is difficult and time consuming and rarely occurs but this condition is not treated lead to life-threatening (Rodrigues et al., 2008).
Occupational, environmental and alternative medicine
Hair analysis to assist the screening and diagnosis, as the method of investigation is used in the
environmental, occupational and as an alternative to medicines. To study the level of minerals and
metals. hair sampled, processed and then analyzed by following the proper protocol. After that
practitioners check the toxic exposure of the heavy metals poison and also reveals that this analysis
is used to find the deficiency of minerals. In the Autism disorder, people are with unusual contents
of minerals and heavy metals. A recent study by Dr Kempson reveals the analysis of mineral and
metal as well as acute poisoning (Wołowiec et al., 2013).
1. Namkoong, S., Hong, S. P., Kim, M. H., & Park, B. C. (2013). Reliability on intra-laboratory and
inter-laboratory data of hair mineral analysis comparing with blood analysis. Annals of
dermatology, 25(1), 67-72.
2. Kempson, I. M., & Lombi, E. (2011). Hair analysis as a biomonitor for toxicology, disease and
health status. Chemical Society Reviews, 40(7), 3915-3940.
3. Wołowiec, P., Michalak, I., Chojnacka, K., & Mikulewicz, M. (2013). Hair analysis in health
assessment. Clinica Chimica Acta, 419, 139-171.
4. Pereira, R., Ribeiro, R., & Goncalves, F. (2004). Scalp hair analysis as a tool in assessing human
exposure to heavy metals (S. Domingos mine, Portugal). Science of the Total
Environment, 327(1-3), 81-92.
5. Rodrigues, J. L., Batista, B. L., Nunes, J. A., Passos, C. J., & Barbosa Jr, F. (2008). Evaluation of
the use of human hair for biomonitoring the deficiency of essential and exposure to toxic
elements. Science of the Total Environment, 405(1-3), 370-376.