Drug testing for hair will be highly accurate and will get back in 3 months approximately, showing any drugs of abuse used in the detection window. However, recognized hair drug testing laboratories, use only 2.5–4 cm of hair and dispose the rest. Some tried to avoid this test by shaving their heads. In such circumstances, body hair can be used as the substitute for testing. As the hair drug testing is more expensive than urine, sweat or saliva testing, many companies consider the benefits to offset the costs. It is even difficult to mask the drugs in this type of drug testing.
What is Hair Drug Testing?
It is an inspection to identify the specific drug usage with a small sample of hair by the person being tested. This test measures the drug molecules and their specific metabolites that are produced only after the drug has been processed by the human body. After the drug is processed, trace amounts of its metabolites are inserted into hair follicle by the bloodstream.
How do drugs get into hair?
After ingesting the drug substance, orally, smoked, or injected, metabolites are produced as the drug is processed by the human body. As these drugs and metabolites circulate in the blood stream, they enter and nourish the hair follicle and are then inserted into the hair strand.
How much hair is needed?
A standard Hair Testing with GC/MS confirmation requires 40+ milligrams of hair or 50 – 70 strands with 1.5 inches of length. The thickness and pigment color of different types of head hair is the basis of this variation.
What Type of Drugs can be detected in a Standard Hair Test?
Usually hair drug test mandates the following five drug classes:
- Phencyclidine (PCP),
- Cocaine (Cocaine & Benzoylecgonine),
- Opiates (Codeine, Morphine & 6-Monacteyl Morphine) and
- Methamphetamine (Methamphetamine/Amphetamine & Ecstasy).
How effective is hair follicle testing in detecting drug usage?
When compared with the other drug testing, hair testing analysis has proven that it is more effective in identifying low-level drug use over an extended period of time, as the other tests are normally out of the bloodstream in within 3-7 days. The detection of marijuana is currently less sensitive than the other drugs in identifying low level drug users, but is considered approximately equal to urinalysis in identifying marijuana users. The drug detection period for hair is limited only by the length of the hair sample and is approximately 90 days for a standard testing.
Hair Drug Testing provides much longer window for detecting the substance. This testing has been proven to be more effective and less invasive than other alternatives. Moreover, it cannot be used if the donor has no hair on their body.