Testosterone is a hormone that plays a key role in sexual and reproductive development, as well as other aspects of health such as muscle mass, bone density, hair growth, energy, and mood. It is produced primarily by the testicles in males and by the ovaries and adrenal glands in females. Testosterone levels vary depending on age, sex, genetics, and environmental factors.
Testing for testosterone levels can help diagnose certain medical conditions that affect both males and females. For example, low testosterone levels in males can cause symptoms such as erectile dysfunction, infertility, and low sex drive. High testosterone levels in females can cause symptoms such as acne, excess hair, and irregular periods. The results can help your healthcare provider determine the best treatment options for you.
Testosterone is often measured using saliva and blood samples. While these measurements reflect current levels in the body, one pressing limitation is that hormones can fluctuate throughout the day, or at different times of the menstrual cycle.
Hair analysis for testosterone is seen as a valuable tool for the determination of testosterone levels. Testosterone levels measured in hair provide a retrospective blended average of free testosterone available to the body over a period of up to 3 months. Rather than results from a single, random serum or saliva sample, the hair technique provides a longer-term perspective that can allow for a better assessment of chronic disease and insufficiency.
- Testosterone Analysis in Hair, J Preinbergs, 2022, https://doi.org/10.3384/9789179294274.
- Cortisol and testosterone in hair as biological markers of systolic heart failure, David Pereg, et al. Psychoneuroendocrinology, Vol 38, Issue 12, 2013
- Profiling steroid and thyroid hormones with hair analysis in a cohort of women aged 25 to 45 years old. Peng, F. et al, Eur J of Endocrinology, 186, K9–K15, 2022
- Assay validation of hair androgens across the menstrual cycle, Wang, W et al. Psychoneuroendocrinology, vol 101, 2019