How To Pass A Hair Follicle Drug Test

What to know about hair follicle drug tests

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Employers, lawyers, and medical professionals are increasingly interested in hair follicle drug testing as it can determine whether a person is using illegal drugs or misusing prescription drugs.

In this article, we’ll discuss how hair follicle drug tests work, how to use a home kit, and what the results mean. We also cover the appropriateness and cost of testing whether people without hair can still provide a sample, and how hair follicle tests are compared to urine-based drug tests.

What is a hair follicle drug test?

A hair follicle drug can determine the type of illicit drug use or prescription drug abuse over a period of time. This is usually 3 months for hair samples taken from a person’s head.

Testers can use hair follicle tests to look for specific drugs, or they can test individual hair samples for several different drugs or classes of drugs.

A hair follicle test can determine the following:

Bonsai Trees

Amphetamines, methamphetamine, MDMA (ecstasy) and MDEAA (before)
Opiates like heroin, codeine, and morphine
Phencyclidine (PCP)

Why is it necessary?

A person may need to be tested for drugs for employment, legal, or medical purposes.

Some companies require potential employees to take a drug test as part of their application process, especially for jobs with a high risk of injury. Employers can also test random drugs for current employees or request drug testing after a major accident or incident.

In the United States, drug testing laws vary from state to state. Some states prohibit employers from randomly testing their workers. In this condition, an employer must provide evidence to support their decision to test a particular worker.

Courts can require drug tests for individuals during legal proceedings or in cases of custody, adoption, and domestic violence.

Healthcare providers sometimes request tests for people who are at risk of drug or alcohol abuse.

However, it’s important to note that drug testing usually requires a person’s written consent.

What happens during the test?

A hair follicle drug used in healthcare, at work, or at home

During the test, the examiner removes a small sample of hair near a person’s scalp and sends it to the lab for testing overnight.

Prescription drugs and some foods like poppy seeds can contain compound ingredients that can produce false positive results. Hair samples go through a two-step process to ensure accurate test results.

The first step involves an ELISA (Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Veda) test, which is a rapid screening method.

If the LSA test gives a positive result for a particular substance, a technician examines the hair sample using safe chromatographic tests such as gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) to disprove false positive results.

How do you use the home test?

People can order hair follicle testing kits at home through online vendors. These kits contain a manual and a stamped envelope to send hair samples to the lab.

How to use the home test:

Carefully read the instructions that came with the kit.
Collect hair samples according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Wrap the hair swatch in a piece of foil.
Place the hair wrapped in foil in the envelope provided.
Send the envelope to the laboratory for analysis.

A person can usually access their test results by calling a toll-free number or going online using the unique identification number included in the kit.

What do the results mean?

The results of a hair follicle drug test can be negative, positive, or not selected:


A negative result means that the laboratory was unable to demonstrate the presence of drug metabolism in the hair sample or that the laboratory was unable to confirm the result using GC-MS after a positive ELISA screening.


Hair samples that give positive results for the ELISA test are subjected to a second test such as GC-MS. A positive result with confirmatory tests means that the laboratory confirms the presence of a specific drug metabolism in the individual’s hair sample.


If the hair sample is contaminated or something goes wrong during the test, the laboratory can declare the result illegal. In this case, a person may need to provide new hair samples to the laboratory.

How exactly is that

Hair follicle medications can tell if a person has used certain substances in the past 3 months. However, these tests cannot identify the exact date of drug use because the rate of hair growth can vary widely between people.

Although hair samples passed the two-step testing process, they are not 100 percent accurate.

Factors that can affect the level of drug metabolism in hair samples include:

Formation of drug compounds
The amount of medication a person has taken
How much do you sweat
The amount of melanin in a person’s hair (hair dye) – certain drugs bind melanin more easily
Bleach or dye hair

The use of common styling products and shampoos does not affect the test results.

In 2015, researchers at the Friends Research Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, conducted a study that looked at the effectiveness of drug tests on hair follicles.

The researchers compared the use of self-reported medications with the results of hair follicle tests in 3 adults, 0 adults at risk of moderate drug use.

According to the results of the study, the test for hair follicle medicine was correctly identified:

52.3 percent of people who recently reported cannabis use
65.2 percent of people who recently reported using cocaine
24.2 percent of people who recently reported using amphetamines
2.9 percent of people who recently reported opioid use

In a 2017 study, researchers compared the results of a hair follicle drug test with the self-reported drug use of 3,643 participants. The test results showed fewer potential false positives than the researcher expected, but more potential false positives.

Based on the results of the study, the researchers concluded that hair follicle tests do not provide reliable information about drug use in the general population.


There are several home kits for hair follicle medicine testing on the market. People can buy these kits directly from these companies’ websites or from pharmacies and online.

Some drug testing kits are available for a flat fee that includes laboratory tests and all shipping costs. For other kits, a person gives a starting price for the actual kit and an additional amount based on which drug has been tested for the lab.

Packages that include home kit testing and 12 different medications typically cost less than $ 100.

Employers wishing to test their employees’ drugs must subtract all testing costs taking into account the individual’s time.

Some health insurance companies offer drug testing costs for hair follicles for treatment.

What if a person has no hair on their head?

Hair samples can be taken from the armpits or mouth, so people who do not have hair on their heads can still get a drug test for hair follicles. However, a person’s hair length should be at least 0.5 to 1.5 inches. A person with short hair may need to provide more hair for the sample.

People who shave their whole body cannot provide samples of hair use.

Hair follicle test vs. Urine test

Hair follicle tests offer a much larger window of detection than urine tests.

According to a 2017 survey, urine tests have a detection window of 10 hours to about 1 week for most drugs other than marijuana, which can be present in a person’s urine for up to 30 days.

Hair follicle tests can detect drug use up to 3 months before testing on hair samples from a person’s scalp.

Urine tests can show recent drug use, but hair follicle tests can show regular, long-term drug use.

It is easier for a person to cheat with a urine sample than with a hair sample, which hair follicle tests can be more beneficial than a urine test when tested in a laboratory setting.

Although screening for most drugs still includes testing urine samples, hair follicle tests can help identify people who have participated in regular, long-term drug use.

Go It

Some corporate, legal, medical, and educational institutions have turned to drug testing of hair follicles as a complementary method to traditional urine-based therapeutic testing.

Interest in hair follicle testing is growing as drug metabolism can be present in a person’s scalp for up to 3 months.

The hair follicle examination is a two-step examination process to reduce the risk of false positive results.

Individuals currently taking prescription medication should provide this information to their employer or trial administrator. Hair follicle tests can detect the presence of certain prescription drugs, which can lead to a false positive result.


Everything You Should Know About a Hair Follicle Drug Test

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What is a hair follicle drug test?

A hair follicle drug test, also known as a hair follicle drug test, is a screen for illegal drug use and prescription drug abuse. During this test, a small amount of hair will be removed from your head with scissors. The sample was analyzed for signs of drug use within 90 days of testing. It is widely used for testing:

Opioids (codeine, morphine, 6-acetylmerphine)

A urine medicine screen can determine if you’ve used the drug in the past few days, a hair follicle drug test can identify drug use in the past 90 days.

Your workplace may request an on-screen hair follicle test for illegal drug use prior to hiring or random hiring. Some studies also suggest credible sources that self-reporting, as well as using it to test hair medication, can be effective in those at risk.

What happens during the test?

The follicular exam of your hair can be done in a laboratory or in a hospital. Or, you can test your workspace with a kit sent to a lab. You can also order hair follicles online at home.

If your workplace orders you to take the test, you will likely need to be monitored during the testing process.

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

After confirming the identification information, the collector will cut between 100 and 120 hairs from the crown of your head. These can collect hair in different parts of your crown to avoid bald spots.

If you have very little or no hair on your head, the collector can use body hair for testing instead. The collector keeps the hair in a secure envelope for wrapping and then sends it out overnight for testing.

Understand your results

A negative result can be noted within 24 hours after hair removal. A test called LSA is used as a screening test. This test determines if the hair sample is negative for drug use. A negative result indicates that you have not used any illegal drugs in the past 90 days. Additional tests are required to confirm a positive result.

A positive drug test is confirmed after 72 hours. All non-negative tests go through a second test called gas chromatography / mass spectrometry (GC / MS). This confirms a positive test result. This test also identifies the specific drugs used.

An undesirable result is not common when following test methods. In some cases, improper hair sampling can result in the test being rejected entirely. In this case the test can be repeated.

The laboratory responsible for the test will make the results available to the person or organization requesting the test. They use confidential means such as secure fax, a phone call, or an online interface to exchange test results. Because laboratory results are confidential health information, you must sign a disclosure before the results can reach your workplace.

Can the test determine the date of use of the drug?

A hair drug test detects a pattern of repeated drug use over the past 90 days. Because hair growth rates vary from person to person, this test cannot accurately determine when the drug was used in a 90 day period.

How accurate is the test?

This test follows a very specific set of values ​​for hair collection and increasing test accuracy. During the test, the collected hair is washed and tested for environmental pollution, which can change the test results. Your results will not be affected if you use shampoo, hair dye, or styling products.

To protect against a false positive result, the laboratory performs two tests. The first, known as ELISA, can give a negative or positive result within 24 hours. Second, known as GC / MS, it is a widely accepted method to ensure a positive result. This second test can also test for specific drugs and identify around 17 drugs. GC / MS also protects against false positives caused by foods like poppy seeds or flax seeds.

A 2017 study found inconsistencies between self-reporting of cannabis use and the results of hair drug tests from unreliable sources. This can indicate the possibility of a false positive result.

Some drugs can affect the test results. If a doctor prescribes an opioid pain reliever and you use it as directed, those drugs will appear on your test. If so, your employer will likely ask you to document the prescriptions.

If you think the results of your hair medicine tests are incorrect, you can request a re-examination with your employer immediately.

How much does the test cost?

Hair drug tests are more expensive than machine drug tests. The price of kits that sit at home. Between 0.9 64.95 and 85. Drug tests performed in a hospital or laboratory can cost between $ 100 and $ 125.

If you are a current employee and need to have your hair follicle medication tested for your workplace, you will need to pay for the time spent on the test in accordance with government regulations. You will pay for the test yourself.

If the drug test is part of the pre-hire screening, the employer does not have to compensate you for your time.

Many insurance carriers test medications such as a patient stay or an emergency doctor’s visit when they are experimentally operated for medical care in a hospital.

Hair follicle vs. Diuretic drug tests

A window into identifying the key differences between a hair follicle drug test and a urine drug test.

A urinary medicine was tested for drug use for three days prior to testing. A hair follicle drug test is the only drug test that can detect repeated drug use 90 days before the test.

This is possible because the drugs present in the bloodstream actually become an organ of the hair cells as the hair grows. Sweat on your scalp and sebum can also play a role in the presence of the drug in the existing strands of hair.

Due to the rate of hair growth, the drugs cannot be detected in the hair within five to seven days of application. In the event of an occupational accident, a drug test may not be the appropriate test to determine recent drug use.

If you have any questions or concerns about your drug test results, contact the Medical Review Officer or MRO. An MRO evaluates drug test results and may be able to interpret your test results.


Drug tests with hair follicles can detect drug use 90 days before the test date. This is because the chemicals in the drugs that get into your bloodstream become part of the hair cells as the hair grows.

Hair follicle drug tests may not be useful for determining recent drug use. This is because it can take five to seven days for medication to be detected by a hair follicle test. Urine drug tests are used to determine recent drug use.

If you are taking the prescribed medication, notify the test administrator. The drug can cause a false positive test.

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