Hair Follicle Drug Test

hair drug testing

One of the most common and effective tests for the presence of drugs in the body is the Hair Follicle Drug Test.

Understanding the Test

A hair follicle drug test, likewise called a hair drug test, screens for illicit drug use and the abuse of prescription medication. Throughout this test, a small amount of hair is removed from your head utilizing scissors. The sample is then examined for signs of drug use throughout the 90 days preceding the test. It’s normally used to test for:

  • amphetamine
  • methamphetamine
  • ecstasy
  • cannabis
  • drug
  • PCP
  • opioids (codeine, morphine, 6-acetylmorphine).

While a urine drug screen can identify if you’ve used drugs in the last couple of days, a hair follicle drug test can detect drug use in the past 90 days.

Your work environment might ask for a hair follicle test to screen for illicit substance abuse before hire or randomly throughout work. Some research study also suggests that hair drug screening can be beneficial for monitoring drug use in at-risk people when utilized together with self-reporting.

How do drugs enter into the hair? After you consume a drug, the substance itself or metabolites that are produced as the drug is processed by your body are transferred from your blood stream into the hair shaft through the hair follicle.

What Happen During Hair Follicle Drug Test?

Your hair follicle test might happen in a laboratory or within a hospital setting. Or your office might perform the test utilizing a set that’s then sent by mail to a laboratory. You can likewise purchase at-home hair follicle tests online.

If your office has actually mandated that you take the test, they’ll likely require you to be supervised throughout the screening process.

You can clean your hair, dye your hair, and use styling products without impacting the accuracy of the test.

After validating determining info, the collector will cut between 100 and 120 hairs from the crown of your head. They can gather the hairs from different spots on your crown to prevent producing a bald spot.

If you have very little or no hair on your head, the collector may use body hair for the test instead. The collector will place the hair in foil and after that in a protected envelope to be mailed for overnight screening.

How to Understand the Results

An unfavorable outcome can be figured out within 24 hours of hair removal. A test called ELISA is used as a screening test. This test determines if the hair sample is unfavorable for substance abuse. A negative outcome suggests that you haven’t engaged in illegal drug use over the previous 90 days. Extra testing is needed to verify a favorable outcome.

A positive drug test is verified after 72 hours. All nonnegative tests undergo a second test, called gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). It verifies a favorable test result. This test also recognizes the particular drugs used.

An inconclusive result isn’t common when testing treatments are followed. In many cases, incorrect collection of the hair specimen may result in the test being rejected completely. In this case, the test may be duplicated.

The lab accountable for testing will provide the outcomes to the individual or company asking for the test. They’ll utilize personal methods, like a secure fax, a telephone call, or an online user interface to share test results. Due to the fact that lab outcomes are confidential health info, you’ll require to sign a release before the results are passed on to your work environment.

Can the Test Detect the Date of Drug Use?

A hair drug test detects a pattern of duplicated substance abuse over the last 90 days. Due to the fact that hair growth rates differ from individual to person, this test can’t precisely identify when in the 90 days drugs were utilized.

Can Hair Test Detect One Time Drug Use?

While urine tests or saliva tests can pick up one time use, hair tests look for long term usage and resemble a timeline of usage. Furthermore, a positive result does not indicate the date of drug use, however rather drug concentration over a particular time period. When it comes to single usage, the results depend upon numerous aspects like drug type, hair type, metabolic process and so on.

Cocaine intake on one occasion is more likely to be detectable in hair than a one-off usage of THC (although this does not come as a certainty). The same gets alcohol: it depends upon the type of alcohol consumed, the amount, and the customer behavior beforehand etc. For this factor we recommend 100% abstinence for an unfavorable result.

Accuracy of Hair Follicle Drug Test

The collection and testing of hair for this test follows a very specific set of standards to increase precision. During testing, the collected hair is washed and tested for ecological contamination that could change the results of the test. Your results won’t be affected if you wash your hair, color your hair, or use styling products.

To guard against an incorrect favorable, laboratories carry out two tests. The first, called ELISA, is able to deliver a negative or positive outcome within 24 hours. The second, called GC/MS, is a widely accepted approach for validating a positive outcome. This second test can likewise test for particular drugs and can discover as lots of as 17 different drugs. The GC/MS likewise defends against false-positive results caused by foods like poppy seeds or hemp seeds.

One 2017 research study did discover inconsistency between self-reporting of marijuana usage and the results of hair drug tests. This might suggest the capacity of a false favorable.

Certain medications may influence the results of the test. If a physician has actually prescribed an opioid painkiller and you utilize them as directed, these drugs will appear on your test. In this case, your company will likely request you supply paperwork of prescriptions.

If you believe your hair drug test results are inaccurate, you might instantly request a retest from your company.


A hair drug test is more pricey than a urine drug test. An at-home kits costs between $64.95 and $85. Drug tests carried out in a hospital or laboratory may cost between $100 and $125.

If you’re a current staff member and your office needs you to take a hair follicle drug test, they’re required by law to pay you for the time invested taking the test. They’ll also spend for the test itself.

If a drug test is part of pre-employment screening, the employer isn’t needed to compensate you for your time.

Numerous insurance carriers cover drug tests if it’s carried out within a medical facility for medical functions, like an inpatient stay or an emergency room go to.

Hair Follicle Vs. Urine Drug Test

The main difference in between a hair follicle drug test and a urine drug test is the window of detection.

A urine drug test is used to test for drug use over the three days preceding the test. A hair follicle drug test is the only drug test that can discover duplicated drug use as much as 90 days prior to the test.

This is possible due to the fact that drugs present in the blood stream actually become a part of hair cells as the hair grows. The sweat and sebum present on your scalp might likewise contribute in drug presence in existing strands of hair.

Since of the rate of hair growth, drugs can’t be discovered in the hair till 5 to 7 days after usage. In the case of a work environment accident, a hair drug test wouldn’t be an appropriate test for finding current substance abuse.

If you have questions or concerns about your drug test results, connect to the medical evaluation officer, or MRO. An MRO evaluates drug test results and might have the ability to explain your test results.


Hair follicle drug tests can recognize drug use as much as 90 days prior to the test date. That’s due to the fact that the chemicals from the drugs that wind up in your bloodstream become part of the hair cells as your hair grows.

Hair follicle drugs tests may not be suitable for figuring out recent substance abuse. That’s because it may take 5 to seven days for the drugs to be identifiable through a hair follicle test. Urine drugs tests are used to spot recent substance abuse.

If you’re taking prescribed medications, let the administrator of the test know. Medications might cause a false-positive test outcome.

This is an introductory article about a drug test in the body based on body hair. And we strongly recommend not to use drugs under any pretext, and if there are drug addicts in your environment, then leave communication with them. Team
Health and Welfare
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