by Dr. Lawrence Wilson

© October 2022, LD Wilson Consultants, Inc.

All information in this article is for educational purposes only.  It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.



Retesting the hair mineral levels consists of sending in a new hair sample and receiving a comparison test. The new test reveals changes that have taken place in the mineral levels, ratios and patterns over the past three to six months.

Retesting is an enormous and very confusing subject. In fact, it is like learning a new language of how the body responds to its environment and to stress. Many of the patterns make no logical sense, at least not at first.

I am grateful to be able to tune into the Planning Souls that provided much of the information for this article.


A properly designed development program slowly uncovers and unwinds deeper and deeper layers of biochemical imbalances. This results in changes in the hair tissue mineral readings.

Balancing the body chemistry is one of the most important keys to success with the program. As the body chemistry changes, a new program is often required to rebalance the body.


A major reason retesting is required during a full development program is that the program can significantly change one's body chemistry. This is the opposite of what I was taught in medical school.

Physicians and the public learn that diet and food supplements are not too powerful to change body chemistry. I have learned this is a complete lie.

I will give a recent dramatic example. Not all instances are this dramatic, but we hear many dramatic stories of success if one does things right:

Case history. A 57-year-old man with renal failure was scheduled to begin kidney dialysis. He also had insulin-dependent diabetes and serious high blood pressure. I happened to meet his wife, who asked if there was anything he could do to slow down his diseases.

I suggested he needed to stop drinking coffee and drastically increase the amount of certain cooked vegetables in his diet. I also suggested he sit in from of four red heat lamps for two hours each day. I told her there is much more, but this is a start.

I give this advice to many, but most ignore it. In this case, the man followed the advice. I heard back from them two weeks later. The man had just had a visit with his doctor. His kidney function had improved to such an extend that they took him off the list of people scheduled for dialysis.

He then began a full development program. Within two months he was taken off all of his blood pressure medication and he did not need insulin as long as he followed the diet. Not everyone responds this quickly to a development program. The reason he did, I believe, is that his wife who did the cooking followed my suggestions very carefully and thoroughly.

Other simple examples of the effect of supplements. If a person has a fast oxidation rate, B-complex vitamins will often make irritability and anxiety worse!

An improper diet or supplement program can also make a person depressed.

If the body is in the process eliminating toxic metals, one may require different supplements to support the body. These are just a few examples of why retesting is so critical for the best results with development.


1. Safety. Retests are needed to make sure the healing program is actually improving one’s health.  Safety is always the most important consideration in development science, and we wish it were most important in all of health care.

2. Maintaining a high vitality level.  We find that when the development program is set up to balance body chemistry, a person’s vitality increases dramatically.  This is necessary for deep healing and development.  Retesting regularly is the only way to assess whether the program is appropriate to maximize vitality and adaptive energy production. 

3. Addressing new stress factors in a person’s life.  Retests allow us to alter a development program to account for changes in a person’s life that may affect body chemistry.  This is critical to assure the highest vitality level and a balanced body chemistry in the face of stressors such as accidents, divorce, and even a new job or a move.

4. Insights about puzzling symptoms.  Many symptoms such as fatigue, pain, low blood sugar or others may be due to temporary changes in body chemistry that will be revealed on a retest. If one knows what is occurring at the deepest cellular level, one can take steps to compensate or change the program, which often relieves these symptoms.  Symptoms may be physical, mental and/or emotional.

5. Addressing latent and sub-clinical health conditions. Most people have latent health conditions. This means they are not overt or obvious, but they are present.

They may include old, chronic infections, tumors, artery disease, tissue weaknesses or other conditions that are so hidden they are not revealed on standard medical tests.  However, they are important if one is to prevent health problems later in life.

The development program is one of the few ways I know of to address these hidden conditions. Often the only evidence of their existence is a significant shift on a hair mineral retest after a person has been on a development program for several months or longer.

Using the retest, it is possible to adjust the development program to assist the body to heal these sub-clinical and latent conditions.

6. Cost effectiveness.  It is a waste of money and effort to remain on a development program that is not appropriate for one’s body chemistry.  In fact, the wrong supplements, for example, can set one back instead of moving one forward on a healing path.

7. Reassurance, guidance and feedback for practitioners.  Retests provide a lot of reassurance for both Helpers and clients. 

8. Joy patterns.  On retests we look for joy patterns, also called development patterns.  These tell about a person’s progress with development.  For details, read Joy or Development Patterns.



We suggest retesting after 3-4 months after the first hair test and we require retesting every 6 months while a person is following a development program. If one does not retest every 6 months, we assume one is not following the program and that one is no longer a client.


In a few situations, it is best to retest after 3 months or no more than 4 months.  These situations include if your previous test revealed:

Patterns that often change quickly:

- a four lows pattern.

- a four highs pattern.

- a fast oxidation rate in an adult.

- a borderline pattern, meaning just barely in or out of four lows, or a borderline oxidation rate, for example.

Patterns that need watching:

- a step up pattern

- extremely slow oxidation

- perhaps if the toxic metal levels were very high.

If needed for very careful monitoring, one can retest the hair after about 2 months.  To do this properly, one cuts the hair sample very close to the scalp and then cuts off most of the hair, leaving a sample that is no more than ½ inch or 1 cm long.


Symptoms often begin to disappear within a few weeks to months when one follows a development program.  However, rebuilding digestion and releasing traumas and deeper layers of adaptations and compensations takes longer. 

Also, development begins to occur within a year on a development program.  Development is an amazing and lengthy process that goes on for years and years.  It offers tremendous benefits, so we highly recommend that one remain on a development program for life.  For details about development, read Introduction To Development.


A person may feel better, yet a hair mineral analysis retest might reveal worsened ratios or little significant change.  Conversely, a person may feel the same or worse, yet the retest shows improvement. Why does these confusing situations arise?

Compensations and adaptations.  A key to these phenomena is to understand adaptationA fundamental principle of development is that our bodies survive by compensating or adapting to stress. 

Adaptations are biochemical changes in the body that occur moment to moment and day to day as we react to our environment.  They are reflected in altered mineral levels and ratios on a hair test. Taken together, the altered levels and ratios are called homeostatic states.

For example, very slow oxidation is a homeostatic state characterized by the tendency for low energy, depression and low blood sugar. It is, however, the best the body can do at the time. Very fast oxidation is another homeostatic state with different symptoms. High levels of toxic metals is a third state and so forth.

With this understanding of adaptations and compensations, one can better understand why retests and symptoms do not always correlate completely.

The test or the symptoms may lead.  In some cases, the symptoms change before the retest.  In other cases, the body chemistry may shift before symptomatic changes are noticeable.  This is a common source of confusion with retests.

Uncovering deeper layers of imbalances.  This is another key concept to avoid confusion with retests.  Often a retest shows a different picture because one has discovered a deeper layer of imbalance. It is not a “worse test”. Most people make this error when interpreting restest.

Now let us discuss why certain unusual phenomena occur on retests.


1. Decompensation.  One reason this occurs is decompensation.  After several weeks or months on a nutrition program, nutrients are replenished and energy improves. The body then does not need to compensate as much and a change of equilibrium or homeostasis occurs. Occasionally, a temporary increased imbalance occurs.

Zinc decreases. An example is a patient with a good zinc level, in spite of symptoms such as prostate enlargement, skin problems, decreased sense of taste and smell, poor digestion or other zinc deficiency symptoms. On a second or third test, the zinc level may drop precipitously, yet the patient reports feeling better. What happened?

Perhaps the zinc reading was originally displaced upwards, to balance something else or by a toxic metal such as cadmium. Cadmium and other toxic metals can cause physiological mineral levels to appear higher in the hair.

As energy increases, cadmium is eliminated from the body.  As cadmium is released, zinc replaces it in the tissues and for a while less zinc is excreted into the hair tissue. This is called zinc retention and it is a normal part of the development process.

The oxidation rate worsens.  A second common example is a chronically ill (compensated) person with a fairly balanced oxidation rate on the first hair test. This includes most people.

After one or several tests, the oxidation rate may become very slow or very fast, indicating severe energy loss. However, the person often reports feeling better.

In this case, the body had compensated for nutrient imbalances by accumulating toxic metals that temporarily balanced the oxidation rate.

Cadmium, for example, will raise sodium levels. Lead can replace calcium. In spite of a fairly balanced oxidation rate, the person did not feel well because of the presence of the toxic metals, often hidden deep within the tissues.

As body chemistry improves, the body eliminates the toxic metals, replacing them with physiological minerals. This is why the person begins to feel better.

However, the oxidation rate may reveal the underlying imbalance and look worse for a while.

2. Symptom relief.  A second reason the test may look worse but the patient feels better is if the patient gains relief from an important symptom. This may produce psychological well-being in the patient, even though other imbalances exist.

3. Not reading the test carefully enough.  A third reason for an apparent worsening of the test in spite of symptomatic improvement is the client or practitioner may not understand how to interpret the new test. This is very common. Hopefully this article will help.

4. Higher toxic metals.  For example, higher toxic metals usually means one is actively eliminating of metals, not a worsening of toxicity.  An unbalanced oxidation rate may grab one's attention, causing one to overlook an improved sodium/potassium ratio or improved phosphorus or zinc level.

5. Uncovering a deeper layer of imbalances.  This occurs often on hair mineral tests.  The main reason is that imbalances in body chemistry are unwound or uncovered layer by layer.  Often, a superficial layer does not appear that abnormal.  However, a deeper layer reveals hidden toxic metals and other imbalances that are more aberrant.

This is not a cause for alarm, but for gratitude that one is uncovering and correcting deeper imbalances.  Usually one feels better as these are uncovered, as it means one must no longer spend energy compensating and adapting to underlying imbalances.  Adaptive energy that was tied up in this way is now freed and one often feels better.

Blood and other medical tests. In those following a development program, blood, urine and other tests may also be skewed temporarily as the unwinding of layers of adaptations proceeds.  One simply addresses the imbalances that are present without placing too much emphasis on the seemingly worsened appearance of the mineral or other test.


There are several reasons why there may be little change on a retest, but the patient feels better. Possible reasons include:

1. Anchor patterns.  This is a very exciting and newer pattern. It is present when a person follows the development program, yet the mineral readings do not change or change very little on a retest.

Anchor patterns can easily be confused with a little change pattern. This is what occurs when one does not follow the development program well. For details, read Anchors and Pivots.  

2. It’s too soon to notice. A diet, supplement or lifestyle change increases well-being, but has not yet impacted body chemistry enough to show up on the test.  Remember that a hair analysis is a picture of the past three months or so of a person’s body chemistry.

Recent changes may take an extra month or two to show up on a retest. This is quite common.

3. Faulty Interpretation. The practitioner overlooks a subtle improved ratio or level. Many times, I am told by the planning souls that a person's improvements are revealed only on the levels of minerals that are not reported by the mineral testing laboratory. There are some 60 of these.

4. Averaging. The change may be too subtle to see on one test. For example, a copper level that is rising from 2.5 mg% to 8.5 mg% over the 3 month sampling period will be averaged resulting in a reading of 5.5 mg%.

Over the next 3 months, a decrease in the copper level from 9 mg% to 2 mg% will be averaged to also produce a reading of 5.5 mg%. The reading will be the same, but the meaning is very different!

The only way to detect such a subtle change would be to retest sooner. Eventually, of course, the trend in body chemistry will be revealed, but on a temporary basis it can seem as though nothing has changed.

5. Faulty hair sampling. Rarely, The hair was not sampled correctly.  This should not happen if instructions for sampling hair are followed to the letter.  However, if someone sends in a long hair sample, the readings may be old. A sample cut away from the scalp will not show recent changes. Occasionally, a sample is contaminated or dirty.

6. Override. Occasionally, the person did not follow the program correctly or there was so much stress that little change occurred. Dr. Eck called some of these incidences psychological override.


A person with an improved retest can feel worse for several reasons.

1. Retracing reactions.  The most common reason is a healing reaction or retracing reaction. This can give rise to many kinds of symptoms.

Most do not last long, but chronic conditions may require months for retracing.  One patient began to dissolve old kidney stones, which then began to pass, causing extreme discomfort until all had passed.

2. Ridding the body of a latent condition. During a development program, unlike most other nutrition or healing regimens, the body corrects the most important imbalances first. The most important imbalance may not be one’s main symptom, however.

Therefore, one may not feel better immediately, even though positive change is occurring.  Some understanding of the correction process is required in order to continue with the program in spite of little apparent symptom change.

For example, a latent condition might be a partially clogged artery or an early cancer.  These conditions usually have no obvious symptoms and one is unaware of the developing pathology.

Since there are no obvious symptoms of pathology, one is also often not aware of the correction of the latent pathology either.  Therefore, one might think that nothing has occurred after a few months on a program, when in fact an important healing has occurred.  The hair analysis may be the only indicator of the healing.

Meanwhile, one’s more ‘pressing’ symptoms may not change.  In reality, these may be much less important, however, than healing the latent heart attack.

3. A higher level of awareness of symptoms.  This is a common occurrence on the development program.  Many people are not aware of their true health status or their mediocre energy level when beginning a development program.  As they progress, however, they become far more aware of their bodies.

With this comes greater awareness of problems, aches and pains and other symptoms.  This can make a person believe they are worse, when really they are simply more in touch with the body and the mind as well.

4. New stress factors.  As health improves, new challenges may occur in a person’s life, creating anxiety or other symptoms.

5. The person may have forgotten some of his original complaints.  This is far more common, in our experience, than one might imagine.

For this reason, it is always wise for practitioners to keep a written record of all symptoms and conditions at the beginning of treatment.  Then, when a person says there is no improvement or they are feeling worse, you can refer to this sheet and ask about each symptom. Often half are gone and forgotten.

6. The person increased their activity level. This is common with fatigued patients who are anxious to get back to their old routine. As they improve, they increase their activities, using up the extra energy they gained. As a result, they may not feel better. Careful questioning may reveal an increased activity level, needing fewer naps, or some other subtle improvement.


We have identified dozens of hair mineral patterns that are revealed only on retest hair mineral analyses.  Many are rather interesting.

A few of the important ones are:

1. Back In the Tunnel Of Death

2. Settling Down Pattern

3. Coming alive

4. Elimination Of Metastatic Calcium

5. Getting Rid Of The Crutches

6. The Hill

7. Emerging From Four Lows

8. Forward Flip Pattern (positive change in the oxidation rate or the sodium/potassium ratio

9. An explosion or surge

All retest patterns are listed on the Read Articles page of this website in alphabetical order. When we find a new pattern, we add it there.


We work with several advanced acupuncturists who tell us that they can often identify the same retest mineral patterns as are found on hair mineral tests. They often use the same names to describe them. Some of the names we use were given to us by them.

NOTE: Sadly, we don't recommend acupuncture therapy. The advanced acupuncturists tell us that most of the time, the acupuncture is not good enough and can unbalance the body.

Other articles about retesting are Retests – Evaluating Progress, and Joy Patterns.

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