Ultimate Guide To The Hair Follicle Test

image of hair drug test subject 1Pre-employment screenings are becoming more and more common in companies around the world. In workplaces where the public could be in danger through the unsafe operation of machinery or equipment, screenings are nearly always mandatory.

There are many types of bad things out there, and many companies use a wide variety of them. The most common is the urine test. This is the cheapest, easiest method of determining if someone has the chemicals inside their body. One method that is growing in popularity is the hair follicle test. One reason is that it is highly accurate, but another larger reason is that it allows for a determination of certain substance use going back not just a few days, but three months.

The basics of the test

Typically, about 120 strands of hair are taken off the head, cut from the person and then sent away. If a person is bald, the test can still be done, but it is done using hair from elsewhere on the body including chest hair, leg hair and armpit hair. Pubic hair is not applicable for the test.

Only the first 1.5 inches of the hair from the head is used, because this shows the past 90 days of use if there has been any. Hair from the chest or armpits will have a different amount taken because they grow much slower on the human body and 1.5 inches could account for many months of growth, rather than only 90 days of hair growth.

Can it be beat?

More difficult than the urine test to beat, but easier than the blood and saliva test to beat, hair tests are very difficult to cheat. External chemicals and shampoos are not going to change the outcome of the test because the markers are inside the hair itself. It should also be noted that being certain smokes will not cause you to test positive because it does not seep into the hair. As well, bleaching hair does not prevent a positive test either.

If you’re looking to pass a hair follicle test then we suggest you read the following:

1) Topix Forum – People discuss the results of their test.

Good luck and please let us know if you were able to pass your test.

Pros and Cons of the Test

There are many good things, and not so good things, about the test. The first thing is that it, as was already stated, allows for up to 90 days of evidence to determine if there has been bad stuff use. Another positive is that it is very, very hard to be able to cheat this test and get away with it. The hair is cut right from the person and catalogued, there is no way to switch anything out.

There are problems with the test though. Unlike the urine test which shows if anyone used any sort of substances in the past few days, even once, a person who inhales stuff once in 90 days will not have traces of chemicals in their hair. In addition, if the person has no hair on their body whatsoever, then there can be no test done.

Another issue is that a urine test can show almost immediate usage, while a hair follicle test needs about five days for the markers to get from the body into the hair follicle.

The Testing Procedure

image of hair cutting for drug test 1When you do bad things, thy metabolize and are deposited into your hair follicle. The follicle is not what is tested though, instead since the hair grows out of the follicle, that is what is tested. The markers stay in the hair for as long as the person has the hair growing on their head.

The technician will cut 120 strands or so off a person’s head and put it into a bag marked with the individual’s name. At this point, the bag goes through a chain of custody process where every single person who handles the specimen is catalogued and recorded along the way.

Once the hair reaches the lab, it goes through the first test. If this test finds that the hair is positive, a second test is done. This test, a gas chronographer test is only done if the first test is positive. If this test comes through as positive, then the Medical Review Officer is contacted and that individual will look at the results and then speak with the company. The company can then find out if there is a medical reason for the test coming back positive. If there is, the test will be listed as a negative, but if there is not, then disciplinary action will be conducted.

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