49—Step right up, Ladies & Gentlemen...

The Mane Attraction

Naturopath Lisa Fitzgibbon displays her red hair for a blog-post on hair testing for food intolerance

I don't beat around the bush anymore…

Unless there is a food or food group that conspicuously features in your daily diet, I always recommend hair analysis testing. This will determine the substances that cause adverse reactions for you.

While The Elimination Diet and Food Challenge1 is highly reliable (and free), the clients I work with usually don’t have the time or the inclination to perform this somewhat daunting self-analysis. Also, hair testing is affordable, simple, and non-invasive. I like to think of hair analysis testing as the ‘cheats way’ to perform The Elimination Diet and Food Challenge.

Note: I would never recommend someone completely take a particular food/s out of their diet for a few months duration without some form of evidence.

Food + Environmental Testing can even be done with dyed hair2. Previously, if you had dyed hair and wanted to have a hair test performed, we would have had to resort to drastic measures. We’d have to ‘whip off’ some of your pubic hair (assuming your beautician hadn’t gotten there first!) Thankfully for everyone concerned, this is no longer the case. Unless of course you have no hair on your head, or you like to keep a very short hair style. In which case, might I suggest you consider growing a wee mullet (2.5cm in length) for the purposes of this procedure?

I find that providing a ‘head-hair’ sample is more accurate than providing pubic or underarm hair. I have clients who experience severe itchiness, irritation/inflammation, or dryness in the region of the head that I take the sample from (indicating that it is a high metabolic area). My clients don’t tend to complain of these chronic issues in their groins or underarms — or tell me about it at least!

Interestingly: The hair on your head grows for approximately 7 years before falling out — which is why some people are able to grow their hair down to their bums. Fortunately, the pubic hair only grows for 7 months…

Naturopath Lisa Fitzgibbon displays her red hair and uses scissors to indicate where to take the sample from
I take wee snippets from a number of places around this region of your head to 1) collect a comprehensive sample, and 2) so you don't look like you've had a chunk of hair taken from your head!  This way it's essentially undetectable.

(RRP: $149 each)

Find out exactly what your food  intolerances + sensitivities are3!
The Food + Environmental Sensitivity Assessment will also establish any environmental compounds that will be affecting your health4. You’ll also discover any past or present infections such as Candida albicans, ‘Staph’, or ‘Strep’.

You will be tested for over 200 different substances!
Make no mistake, you won’t be disappointed if you get a hair analysis test done. It’s not a matter of will you or won’t you have any allergens — because you most definitely will! It’s more a matter of discovering how many you have, and to what degree they affect you. (You may have severe intolerances, mild intolerances, sensitivities, or a mixture of them all.) Everyone has a range of foods that don’t suit them. Most people come back with an average of 16–21 allergens on their results list!

Note: Obviously then, it’s not just the gluten & dairy you should be focused on (or worried about). Please see my previous blog-post on this: Food. Inglorious Food!

You’ll need to spend one hour with me!

The charge for this ‘results’ appointment is $115 for adults (or $85 for kids – under 12 yrs old).

My job will be to teach you how intolerances ‘work’ (there is a grading system). I’ll teach you how you did this to yourself, and how you can undo it through better dietary choices. I’ll also teach you how to prevent yourself from developing food intolerances in the future!5

Note: This time doesn’t allow me to discuss your specific health objectives or concerns. To discuss these with me, you would need to book in for an initial appointment at the beginning of this process ($145). I generally recommend this approach as it’s more comprehensive.

Who would want to get a Hair Test done?

Anyone who can’t quite figure out what’s going on with their health, or is having difficulty determining the cause of their health concern.

Note: Finding out your intolerances + sensitivities is particularly helpful for gastrointestinal disorders, skin disorders, respiratory disorders, musculoskeletal disorders, and allergic/inflammatory type reactions.

Anyone who suspects they may have a health issue with a certain food or environmental compound but wants to know for sure before they modify their diet + lifestyle.

Anyone who has reduced or removed the usual suspects from their diet (gluten, dairy, and sugar) but still doesn’t feel quite right.

Who can get a hair test?

Anyone with at least 2.5 cms of hair in the occiput region of the head (the part where the base of the head meets the neck). The sample is taken with scissors from as close to your scalp as possible (it is not pulled from your head, like some people believe!)

Note: You can use pubic hair or underarm hair if you prefer!

How often can you get a hair test done?

You could get a hair test every 3-4 months if you wanted to – to determine how your body is reacting to certain foods. Your body is dynamic and is constantly changing in response to things such as your diet, stress, the environment, and to your circumstances. Therefore, any hair test you’ve had performed in the past has a limited ‘shelf-life’.

The test reading gives us an idea of what’s been happening in the body over a  period of approx. 4-16 weeks. (It will depend on your hair growth rate.)

Note:  I would never work with someone’s hair test results from more than 6 months ago (unless I had already been working with them, and instructed them to stay off certain foods for a longer period of time). I would commission a new test.

You have a remote chance of winning!

Your results appointment can be done in person, on the phone, or via SKYPE. Therefore feel free to enter if you currently reside in Australia, The UK, Yemen, or the like!

Note: I can send you the instructions for taking a hair sample, and you can mail this to me.


Simply comment below.

Tell me (and your friends & family) what your favourite LISA SAID SO blog-post is so far!(You’ve got 48 to choose from.)

The winners will be drawn on Monday 20 July.
Winners will be announced on my OOMPH Facebook page, as well as on this blog-post.

Note: You will need to claim your prize within 7 days of this notification, otherwise I will redraw.

Naturopath Lisa Fitzgibbon displays her red hair against a ruler to indicate how much hair is required for testing
This is an indication of the amount of hair required for a sample. The hair is taken as close to the scalp as possible (and the length is discarded).

Lisa says:


You can develop an intolerance to anything: that which we consider bad, and that which we consider good.

Luckily, food intolerance is only temporary.
Check out my blog-post on: Food Intolerances.

If you take the burden off the gut & the respiratory system, you also take the burden off the immune system. This allows the body to reset itself.

Make an appointment with Lisa

Lisa Fitzgibbon is a degree qualified (2006), experienced and registered Naturopath & Medical Herbalist. She runs her own private practice – OOMPH in Grey Lynn, Auckland, New Zealand.

Lisa has been involved in the Natural Health industry for 16 years. She draws on her professional training and experience, as well as her own personal experience to bring you realistic, holistic health advice.

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