Metabolomics is a powerful tool used to understand comprehensive changes in the metabolic response and to study the phenotype of an organism by instrumental analysis. It most commonly involves mass spectrometry followed by data mining and metabolite assignment. For the last few decades, hair has been used as a valuable analytical sample to investigate retrospective xenobiotic exposure as it provides a wider window of detection than other biological samples such as saliva, plasma, and urine. Hair contains functional metabolomes such as amino acids and lipids. Moreover, segmental analysis of hair based on its growth rate can provide information on metabolic changes over time. Therefore, it has great potential as a metabolomics sample to monitor chronic diseases, including drug addiction or abnormal conditions. In the current review, the latest applications of hair metabolomics in animal studies and clinical settings are highlighted. For this purpose, we review and discuss the characteristics of hair as a metabolomics sample, the analytical techniques employed in hair metabolomics and the consequence of hair metabolome alterations in recent studies. Through this, the value of hair as an alternative biological sample in metabolomics is highlighted.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited