Hair Follicle Drug Testing: How It Works and What to Expect

Hair Follicle Drug Test: How It Works and What to Expect

hair follicle drug test

A hair follicle drug test is a testing option for detecting drug use, and its efficiency and accuracy has made it an ideal option for legal proceedings, employer-required testing, and more. Here’s a quick guide that breaks down a few basic facts about hair drug testing, including how it works, what it tests for, and what you can expect during the process.

What is a Hair Follicle Drug Test?

As its name suggests, a hair follicle drug test is a drug testing method that uses a sample of hair to screen for drug use. Typically, the hair sample is collected from the root to provide optimal testing material.

How Does a Hair Drug Test Work?

When a person uses drugs, the drug substance is absorbed into his or her bloodstream. Every hair follicle is connected to a small blood vessel, which enables the production of hair growth cells. As a result, the drugs in the bloodstream are carried through the person’s system and into the hair follicle, where traces will be detectable by a hair drug test.

What Drugs Can a Hair Follicle Drug Test Detect?

The most common hair drug tests are designed to test for marijuana, cocaine, opiates, ecstasy, methamphetamine, MDEA, and PCP.

How Soon After Drug Use Will a Hair Follicle Test Detect Drugs?

Because of the average growth rate of hair, a hair follicle test cannot immediately detect drug use. Instead, it will take between 5 and 7 days after the ingestion of drugs for a sample of hair to test positive for the substance.

What to Expect from Hair Follicle Drug Testing

During a hair follicle drug test, a sample of hair will be collected to use during the analysis process. For optimal results, about 1.5 inches of hair needs to be collected, with the total sample measuring about the thickness of a pencil. The technician will not pull the hair out; instead, it will be snipped as closely to the scalp as possible.

What are the Benefits of Hair Drug Testing?

Hair drug tests are becoming increasingly popular, due largely to the range of benefits they offer.

On average, the detection window is up to 90 days, varying slightly depending on the rate of hair growth. With just 1.5 inches of hair, the test can provide a clear picture of any drug use over the past three months or so, making it a good option for measuring habitual substance abuse. Additionally, because the detection window is so long, hair drug testing is a highly reliable method that’s extremely difficult to “cheat.” Simply abstaining from drug use a few days before testing will not be enough to pass a hair follicle drug test.

Also, the collection process is relatively non-invasive, offering a painless, simple method. Finally, hair drug testing is very efficient, particularly because the same sample can be tested and retested to verify accuracy as needed.

Confidential, Accurate Hair Follicle Drug Test in Austin, Texas

If you’re in need of a fast, reliable hair follicle drug test, ARCpoint Labs of Austin North can help. We offer a wide range of lab testing solutions, making it easy to choose the best option to suit your needs. Whether you’re searching for a drug test provider for personal, professional, or legal reasons, you can be confident that ARCpoint Labs testing services will provide you with accurate, court-admissible results. Thanks to a highly-trained staff of professional technicians, your lab experience will be quick and hassle-free, completed in our clean and comfortable facility in Austin.

Learn more about our lab service menu by contacting ARCpoint Labs of Austin North today.

Image Credit: Tonhom1009/Shutterstock

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