Hair drug testing works by cutting off a clump of hair and sending the sample to the lab. The hair is then put through a testing process to determine whether drugs are present.
We work with a NATA accredited hair testing lab for Drugs of Abuse and ETG (Alcohol). DOA screen covers over 60 common drugs of abuse, including both illicit substances and prescription medication. Hair drug testing can also offer an anabolic steroid screen, which provides sensitive detection of anabolic steroids and their esters.
How long will hair testing detect drugs?
Different to oral and urine drug testing, drugs will remain in the hair follicle for as long as 90 days. The window of detection with urine differs from drug to drug, but is no longer than 30 days, and with saliva… no more than 3 days.
Such a long window of detection is possible mostly because drugs in the blood become trapped in the hair follicle and can stay there for as long as 12 months for small amounts!
Hair drug testing at work?
It is very unlikely hair drug testing will be used at work. It is not a good idea to use this method when trying to detect recent use. It takes about 7 days for drugs to show up in the hair follicle after a drug enters the body. If the worker tests positive, the worker would not be under the influence at all!
Most places that are perform hair tests are schools, employment purposes, probation or parole programs, prisons, legal proceedings, etc.
Hair drug testing is mainly used for abstinence monitoring.
What drugs can be detected?
The following are drugs that can be detected in hair,
How much hair is needed?
A good amount would be a shoe lace thick lock of hair (50-100mm). This will give the lab technicians enough in case of a non-negative result. A non-negative hair drug test will require a secondary test with gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS).
Will shampoo mask the hair from detection?
No. The target drugs or their metabolites are trapped within the hair shaft, and are chemically stable. So not even bleach will wash away the evidence.
For this reason hair drug testing is regarded as a preferred method as the sample is so hard to adulterate. However, some people can get around this by shaving off all hair!
Can body hair be used?
Yes, but typically only male patients. Hair can be taken from arms, underarms, legs, stomach, face, etc. Pubic hair cannot be used. The hair is collected and bunched together into a cotton ball like sample.
The window of detection from body hair can be as long as 12 months.
What is the cost of hair drug testing?
The cost is significantly higher than urine or saliva.
Pricing is as follows, fee per test is determined by number of samples submitted at one time; if different segments of the same sample require analysis they are charged per test.
|Fee per test*||1 – 3 |
|4 – 9samples||>10samples|
|Drugs of abuse screen (DOA)||$500.00||$375.00||$250.00|
|Anabolic steroids & their esters screen||$750.00||$600.00||$600.00|
|Sample collection kit||$6.00|
Please let me know if you’re interested here.