Hair Follicle Drug Screening: Everything You Need to Know about the Test

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hair follicle drug test

For those who may be in the process of job hunting, you may be asked to submit to a drug test. The most common drug test is a urine drug test, but there is also another option that is becoming more and more popular.

A hair follicle drug test consists of taking a piece of one’s hair and testing it for drug particles. The major benefit of a hair follicle drug test is that it has a much longer detection period for drug use, which is usually up to 90 days. The collected hair will be sent to a lab for testing and the results should be back within one to five days.

Drugs tend to show up in hair five to 10 days after the last intake, but as said before, it can stay in the hair for up to 90 days. Any hair that is collected outside of the five to 10-day window may not show recent drug use. However, because of the reliability of this test, recipients are far less likely to try and cheat the test.

To prepare for the hair follicle drug test, one will have to wash their hair thoroughly with a provided shampoo. This will get rid of any external contamination. The test can either be performed at home using drug test kits or in a drug testing facility. The at-home test requires self-collection while the facility test requires laboratory collection.

There are many drugs that the testers are looking for when they perform a hair follicle drug test. Some of them include amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, opiates (heroin and oxycodone, and fentanyl), tramadol, prescription anxiety medication.

Many people may question what to do if they have a shaved head but are required to submit to hair follicle drug screening. In cases like that, body hair may be used as an alternative. However, body hair grows much slower than head hair, so it has a more distant time frame.

The reason as to why hair drug screening is becoming more and more popular is because it is the hardest test to beat. However, if you have hair that has been treated with chemicals like hair dye, it is unclear how it will affect the test.

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