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The Rising Popularity of Hair Follicle Drug Tests

Recently, the hair drug test has emerged as one of the more contemporary methods of drug screening, rapidly gaining favor among employers and for court-ordered probation testing. This advanced testing procedure enables the detection of a wide range of drugs of abuse, including marijuana, cocaine, opiates, barbiturates, and various other substances.

Unlike traditional drug tests relying on bodily fluids, hair drug testing offers distinct advantages. By analyzing a person's hair sample, it can reveal a comprehensive history of drug consumption over an extended period. The detection window for this method spans approximately 90 days, providing valuable insight into a person's past drug use patterns.

Different from urine tests, which can only identify drug use within the past week, hair drug tests can detect binge or chronic drug usage up to 90 days into an individual's past. This prolonged detection window makes it invaluable in assessing long-term drug use patterns.

At Workplace Safety Screenings, we offer a variety of hair testing options, ranging from 5-panel to 17-panel tests.

It's essential to clarify that the term "hair follicle test" is often misused. The testing process involves cutting hair at the base of the scalp, not plucking it from the follicle. The laboratory then examines the drug metabolites embedded within the hair, making it virtually impossible to cheat on this type of drug test.

Hair Drug Test Panels

Various types of hair drug test panels are available, catering to specific substances of interest. The commonly requested tests include 5-panel and 12-panel tests. Additionally, comprehensive testing options encompassing any combination of drugs and alcohol use are also accessible. Workplace Safety Screenings can help you determine your needs.

Hair Testing Explained / Experience Easy Hair Testing / How Does it Work?

Choose your preferred location for hair collection: We can come to your location, visit our clinic, or your employees can head to our partner clinics.

Hair samples undergo professional analysis and review by a certified Medical Review Officer (MRO) at one of our accredited labs.  

Negative results for the basic 5-panel test are typically available within 2 to 3 days. For the more comprehensive 9 to 17 panels, it may take a few additional days. Positive initial results undergo further confirmatory GC-MS testing, ensuring accuracy and reliability.

Optimize Hair Testing: Beyond Head Hair / Can Body Hair be Tested for Drugs or Alcohol?

If head hair is insufficient or shaved, body hair from legs, chest, armpits, and even beards can be used. Contrary to common belief, body hair grows at a similar rate as head hair, but it tends to reach a shorter length before stopping growth.

Rest assured, our hair drug test provides an extended window for drug use detection, using an inch and a half of body hair. Positive results indicate drug ingestion within an estimated timeframe of the last 90 days, rather than pinpointing specific usage dates. Trust in our accurate and comprehensive testing process.

Unlock the Power of Hair Drug Testing with Workplace Safety Screenings 

As a national leader in hair drug testing, we've honed our expertise to streamline the testing process for simplicity and efficiency, ensuring accurate results.

All tests are meticulously analyzed by certified labs. Our hair drug tests undergo a thorough review by certified Medical Review Officers (MROs) before results are released.

In case of non-negative results during the initial screening, we conduct additional Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) confirmation testing. This step ensures that individuals legitimately using prescription medication have the opportunity to provide authorized proof to our doctors. When taken as prescribed, the final report will reflect a "negative" result, safeguarding individuals on prescribed medication. Choose Workplace Safety Screenings for reliable, accurate, and comprehensive hair testing solutions.

The Superiority of Hair Testing: Why Choose It Over Urine Testing?

Hair testing boasts an extended detection window compared to urine testing and offers greater resistance to cheating attempts. The analysis focuses on the drugs within the hair shaft, impervious to external contaminants and chemicals. Standard hair testing reaches back around 90 days, detecting drugs approximately 7 days post-ingestion.

A mere half-inch of head hair reflects roughly 30 days of history. Most labs test only 1.5 inches of head hair unless a special request is made. Body hair can also be tested, ensuring options for individuals without sufficient head hair. For optimal screening and confirmation, a 1.5-inch sample of about 200 strands closest to the scalp (approximately the size of a #2 pencil) provides an ideal 100mg of hair.

For EtG hair testing or 12 or more drug panels, additional hair (recommended 150mg) is required. Body hair can be collected from various locations and combined to meet the needed amount, ensuring comprehensive testing for various scenarios.  

Clarifying Hair Drug Testing: Understanding the Process / We Don’t Actually Test the Hair Follicle

Contrary to its name, a hair drug test doesn’t examine the root itself. Hair drug testing analyzes the first inch and a half of hair growth from the base, comprising approximately 120 strands, to detect drug use within the past 7 to 90 days.

When drugs are ingested, they enter the bloodstream and produce metabolites, which circulate through the blood. As blood nourishes the hair follicles, ingested drugs and their metabolites are deposited into the follicles. This evidence of drug use remains in the hair indefinitely, unless the hair is shaved and new growth occurs.

Can Individuals Cheat a Hair Drug Test?

Hair drug tests offer increased resistance to cheating compared to urine tests, as they are directly collected by trained professionals. However, individuals without body or head hair cannot undergo this test.

Concerns about environmental drug exposure, like second-hand marijuana smoke, have been raised. Hair drug tests detect both the drug and its metabolites, reflecting ingestion or smoking. Yet, exposure to marijuana smoke without inhaling it won't yield positive results.

Last words on Hair Drug Testing, the Metabolite Effect

Drug testing is a crucial aspect of ensuring safety and compliance in various sectors, as drug consumption leaves behind trace metabolites that can be detected in the bloodstream and different parts of the body. While traditional urine tests are widely used due to their convenience and ability to screen multiple substances, they have limitations in detecting short-lived substances like alcohol. In contrast, hair sample drug tests offer a longer detection window, up to 90 days or more, making them increasingly popular, especially in industries like trucking alongside standard urine tests. Conducting a hair sample test involves collecting around 100 milligrams of hair, and it is challenging to manipulate results due to the difficulty in removing metabolites from hair. This method is particularly suitable for both regular workplace and pre-employment screenings due to its extended detection period, making it harder for frequent drug users to manipulate results for job interviews.

Unveiling Hair Drug Testing: Key Facts to Know

  1. Secondhand smoke does not trigger positive tests
  2. The test detects drugs for 90 days
  3. The tests are almost impossible to cheat
  4. This test can’t be masked by shampoos

Detectable Drugs with Hair Testing

Hair testing enhances the effectiveness of drug tests but does not alter the range of drugs detected. A 5-panel test, for example, will still identify marijuana, cocaine, PCP, opiates, and amphetamines. As the testing complexity increases, it becomes more specific to various substances. It is essential to note that hair tests detect the same types of drugs as standard 5, 7, 10, and 12-panel urine tests, dispelling common misconceptions.

Body and Head Hair for Testing

The standard 90-day hair test necessitates a 1.5-inch hair sample from the subject. If the individual shaves their head before the test, a screening facility can use body hair instead. Body hair testing can extend the detection period twice as far as the head test, providing insights into the person's drug use over a more extended period. In cases where no hair is available, a urine test remains the only viable screening option for that individual.

Contact WSS for your Hair Drug Test

Workplace Safety Screening offers precise and swift nationwide hair drug testing services. Our team of drug testing compliance experts can assist you in selecting the most suitable test, ensuring adherence to your state's laws and regulations. We extend our drug and alcohol screening services to employers and individuals across the United States. Our experienced techs are always available to examine hair test results and provide quick notifications. We look forward to partnering with you soon.


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