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Rapunzel Study

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Step 1: Determine if you qualify for the study

You qualify for the study if

(1) You are a healthcare worker

(2) You live in Minnesota

(3) Your hair is 3cm or longer and

(4) You are 18 years of age or older

Step 2: Read the consent form

The consent form is located on the link above "Click here to begin survey + task". After reading the consent form, you will be asked if you would consent to participate. You may withdrawl consent at any point in the study.

Step 3: Take the survey

You can take the survey by clicking the link above - "Click here to begin survey + task"

The survey should take you 15-30 minutes.

You must take the task and survey at the same time.

Step 4: Take the computer task

You will be automatically redirected to the computer task once you are done with the survey. 

The task should take you 20-30 minutes.

Step 5: Collect hair sample

Instructions for hair collection are located below and will also be available for download on the survey.


When sending your hair samples after you've completed the task, please leave the return address blank for anonymity. Please

1) Note the direction of the root of your hair

2) Your email address used to sign up for the study

3) the date that you took the sample. 

Address your envelop to: 

Psychiatry Information Desk - Rapunzel Study

2450 Riverside Ave.


Minneapolis, MN 55454

Step 6: Compensation

You be emailed a $30 electronic payment once you have completed the entire study. You should expect to receive this 7-10 days after mailing your hair sample.

Frequently Asked Questions

About the Study

Q: Why do you need samples of my hair?​

A: We hope to analyze cortisol levels using these hair samples. It can tell us whether any emotional stress you have experienced has affected you physically in ways which could affect your health.

Q: What will happen to the sample I provide?​

A: Once the hair samples have arrived with us, we will first store them in a safe place for analysis. To extract cortisol from hair, your samples will be assayed following a standard laboratory protocol. We will use your hair samples to extract only cortisol. You will not be identified during the analysis phase.


Q: Are you going to analyze something else with my hair?​

A: No. We will use your hair samples to only measure cortisol levels. 


Q: I am concerned about the information you get from my hair samples. Are you going to analyze my DNA or something else from them?​

A: No. Your hair samples will only be used to measure cortisol levels. We will follow a standard laboratory protocol. 


Taking Your Hair Samples


Q: Is a single hair or a lock (group) of hair needed?​

A: For each hair sample, it should be a lock (group) of hair which is at least 3mm wide (about the width of half a pencil) and 3cm long. This amount will enable us to look at levels of the hormone over a 3-month period.


Q: Do I need to wash my hair before taking the sample?​

A: No, you don’t need to wash your hair before taking any hair samples. When we analyze the hair samples, they will be washed as part of our standard procedure. 


Q: What if I dyed or bleached my hair? Can I still take the hair samples?​

A: Yes, you can still take part in the study if you have dyed or bleached your hair. Hair washing frequency and hair treatment have only minor effects on cortisol in hair. 


Q: I have plenty of grey hair, can I still take part?​

A: Yes, you can still take part. We can extract cortisol from grey hair.


Q: I have plenty of grey hair, Do I need to pick them out from the samples?​

A: No. You don’t need to take the grey hair out. We can extract cortisol from grey hair. 

Q: Where shall I take the hair sample?​

A: The hair sample should be taken from the back of your head, the ‘cranial bone’ area where you feel the shape of your head change into a pronounced bulge (i.e., the bumpy bit at the back). This is the area from where we can measure cortisol most reliably. 

Q: If I don’t have enough hair at the back, can I take the samples from other area?​

A: Unfortunately, we cannot accept hair samples taken from places other than the ‘cranial bone’ area. This is the area from where we can measure cortisol most reliably. 


Q: My hair is long or at least longer than 3cm, do I need to cut my hair from the tip when taking the sample?​

A: No. Please do not cut your hair from the tip or into pieces while taking the hair sample. 

Q: Do you need the root of the hair?​

A: No. For the analysis of cortisol in hair, we do not need the root of the hair. Please do not pull your hair out! 

information from this FAQ was taken from

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