How to take the perfect hair sample
Updated: Mar 28
Download, print out and assemble the Hair Collection Envelope:
Here are the key points on how to obtain a hair sample
Wash your hair with regular shampoo only, rinse thoroughly with water, do not use anti-dandruff shampoo or conditioner. Once hair is cleaned and dry for at least four hours you may cut the sample. Avoid any activity which will cause you to sweat excessively before cutting your sample, as this may affect the hair analysis results.
If the hair has been bleached or permed it is best to wait six to eight weeks and take a sample from the freshly grown untreated hair. Some of the sample taken may be bleached or dyed since hair tends to rebalance over time and washes. We will take this into account when reviewing your report. Hair colour and tints do not affect the test because they contain chemicals, not minerals, but it’s best to wash the hair several times over a few weeks after applying a tint or colour rinse, then cut a hair sample. Since highlights are done on the surface of the hair, you can sample a piece of hair that has not been highlighted on the underside of your hair. The back of the neck is usually okay.
Cut the hair with clean stainless steel scissors. Thinning scissors or clippers can be used on short hair while ensuring they are clean from oil or rust. DO NOT use an electric razor to cut the hair sample, because pieces of metal from the blades and mineral oil may become mixed with the hair sample.
Cut small amounts of hair from the nape of the neck and/or several other locations on the back of the scalp. Cut hair as close to the scalp as possible.
If the sampled hair is less than 4cm long, keep all of it for testing. If the hair is longer than this, cut off and keep the 4cm of hair that was growing closest to the scalp (discard the excess).
Place the hair sample in the envelope provided/downloaded, or in a clearly labelled paper envelope or sachet. Include your name, age, gender and where the hair was sampled (scalp, pubic, etc).
DO NOT PUT HAIR SAMPLES IN PLASTIC WRAP, ZIP LOCK BAGS, ALUMINUM FOIL OR TISSUE PAPER AS THIS MAY CONTAMINATE THE SAMPLE
How much hair is enough?
You will have enough hair when the 1 inch (2.5-4 cm) hair sample fills a FULL DESSERTSPOON about 125 milligrams (0.125 Gram).
If you are unsure if you have enough hair, send a little more to be safe. For repeat hair analyses, it’s best to keep the samples no longer than one inch (2.5 cm).
Do not send too little as it may result in us having to come back to you for more hair, with lengthy delays and we don't want that.
Handy tip: take your hair sample to your local chemist and ask them to weigh it on their special clinical scales.
If there is not enough scalp hair
You may provide the following samples in order of preference
Body hair including axillary (no deodorants!)
Do not mix hair from different places.
If you can not provide enough such as from the scalp of a baby or due to chemotherapy, collect what you can and send it in with a brief note and we will all do our best to accommodate you while ensuring an accurate test is reported.
If necessary, you can collect as much as you can, store it in a clean, dry envelope, wait for more hair to grow then add to the sample until you have sufficient. The age of the hair for the sampling is not a problem.
Where to send the hair sample
Download, print and send the HTMA Request Form below with the hair sample to our office:
15 Heaton Terrace
New Zealand Clients with the consultation fee:
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you do not reside in NZ and we will advise you how to obtain this test.
The Consultation Process