Hair Follicle Drug Test

The hair follicle drug test is becoming more frequently used by employers, courts and other governmental agencies due to the fact that the window of detection for illegal drug use for a hair follicle is up to 90 days.

Hair Follicle Testing

A hair follicle drug test is a simple process whereby a drug testing collection specialist cuts approximately 120 strands of hair from the head or a specific amount from the body and submits the hair to a certified laboratory for analysis. A hair follicle drug test can be screened for a 5 panel, 10 panel or 12 panel test and can also include expanded opiates.

Hair drug testing is an increasingly common method of detection of substance abuse in legal proceedings and has several advantages including a non-invasive procedure and the ability to measure a large number of potentially illegal and toxic drugs. Many courts have begun accepting hair testing in place of urine or blood testing and hair testing has been determined to be legally and scientifically admissible evidence in a court of law.

The hair follicle drug test is also reviewed by a licensed physician who serves as the medical review officer and generally a negative hair follicle drug test result is available in 2-3 business days. A positive hair follicle drug test will be sent for confirmation testing and this result will be available in 3-5 business days. Cut off levels for a hair follicle test are expressed picograms per milligram (pg/mg) or as a weight of the drug per unit weight of hair.

The time frame for an illegal drug to be detected in a hair follicle test is approximately 7 days from the date of use, if you want to know if drugs where used yesterday a urine test is the best method, if you want to know if drugs where used last month, the hair follicle drug test is the best available drug testing method. Instant hair follicle drug tests do not exist, for an accurate and certified test result hair follicle specimens must be sent for a laboratory for analysis.

If a donor does not have an 1 ½ inches of hair on their head, body hair can be utilized however, if the donor is bald and has none or very little body hair, a hair follicle drug test is not an available option, a urine or oral/saliva test should be utilized.