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How Far Back Does a Hair Follicle Test Detect Drugs?

hair follicle drug testing

When considering drug testing, it’s important to have a solid understanding of how it works and what it’s capable of. While most people have a solid grasp on how urine testing works, a hair follicle test is unfamiliar to many. Despite this, it is a minimally invasive and highly effective method of drug testing. If you’re seeking to explore the different options for drug testing, and the benefits of a hair follicle test, this article will outline the basics of the process and why it may be the best option for you and your business.

This blog includes essential details about hair follicle drug testing and the science behind it. To discuss whether this may be right for you and to get personal advice from a professional, contact ReliaLab.

What is Hair Follicle Testing?

To put it simply, hair follicle testing is a reliable way of testing for drugs that uses hair to measure if any drugs have been in a donor’s system. The process requires around 120 strands of hair (smaller than a finger’s width) at least ½ an inch long. Hair is cut as close to the scalp as possible to achieve the clearest results. When drugs are ingested, traces can go into a strand of hair that will remain for a long time. Hair follicle testing, whilst many are
perhaps less familiar with the process, is a trusted method that has been used in professional settings and law proceedings to achieve accurate data.

How Far Back Does it Test?

The biggest benefit of hair follicle testing is the long history it can provide. Whilst urine testing can provide results from a more recent timespan, an average hair test can typically show around two to three months’ worth of drug use. With the rate that hair grows, ten inches could provide over eighteen months of data. With the typical test (around 1.5 inches of hair), you’d be looking at around 90 days. It all depends on the sample, but on average hair follicle tests provide far greater and accurate analysis of the donor’s history with drugs.

How Trustworthy is a Hair Follicle Test?

What makes this method of testing so reliable is the fact that it is nearly impossible to cheat the results. Indicators of drugs in hair cannot be hidden, no matter any treatment done to the hair over time. When tested from our hair, traces of drug consumption will always be
accurately presented. Whether head hair or body hair, the results are trustworthy – no matter what myths about specialised shampoo or second-hand smoke affecting data that you may have heard.

Who Can Get Tested?

The only requirement of the follicle testing process is, simply, hair. The minimum amount needed for testing is ½ an inch of hair, so as long as the donor can provide that sample they can submit for testing. In the case of somebody whose hair isn’t long enough to provide the minimum length, using nails or body hair to complete the follicle testing may be an option.


Here are a couple of reasons you may consider this method of testing:


1. Individual Purposes


A hair follicle test can be used to confirm or deny drug use for legal reasons, or to loved ones or employers. If you are looking to prove that you have abstained from drugs over the last several months, a voluntary hair follicle test is a non-invasive and quick way to provide reliable data to whoever may need it in your life.


2. Business Purposes


If you’re an employer, the 90-day window for testing provided by this process is ideal for screening potential employees. Whilst a urine test can allow for a candidate to evade detection by abstaining for a few days, a hair follicle test can provide a detailed history of drug use. Reliable and easy to provide, this is a simple choice you can make to protect your company and ensure the information you receive is as accurate as possible.

Looking to Organise a Test?

Hair follicle testing is one of the most reliable, non-invasive, and highly effective methods of testing. If you’re looking to organise a test for yourself or your business, this may be the best option for you. ReliaLab Test is a professional Drug and Alcohol Testing Centre ready to give advice and help provide the best testing for you. Reach out today to discuss your needs and organise a test.

Order a Test

Whether you are an individual looking to get a drug test done today or an employer looking to get a pre-employment drug test done today, ordering a test online is easier than ever! Just submit your order online, receive your test authorization by email, go to your local clinic to be tested, and receive your test results in 24 to 48 hours.

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