Hair Follicle Testing

What is hair testing?

Hair drug testing or “hair follicle testing” is a very accurate and efficient way of screening for drug use. Whether you’re trying to screen potential candidates for a new job or you’re maintaining compliance with certain regulations, drug testing is often used in the workplace to keep employees safe and healthy. While most employers are familiar with using urine samples for drug tests, an increasingly popular testing method is hair drug testing.

Here are our answers to some of the common hair drug testing questions we’ve received.

How does a hair drug test work?

A hair drug test uses a hair sample, typically from the hair’s root, to screen for drug use. When someone uses drugs, the substance is absorbed into the bloodstream. Because each hair follicle has a blood vessel to feed the hair growth cells, the drugs are carried from the blood into the hair follicle. Traces of drugs can then be detected in the hair follicle.

What does a hair drug test test for?

Hair drug tests typically test for cocaine, marijuana, opiates, methamphetamine, ecstasy, and PCP.

What is required for a hair drug test sample?

A single hair isn’t going to be enough for a hair drug test, and you can’t use hair collected from a brush or another source – it must be taken directly from the person’s head. For the analysis to effectively determine drug use, a sample of hair needs to be 1.5 inches long, and have the thickness of a pencil.

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