Alexandra LaFollette
May 11, 2023

How To Pass A Hair Follicle Drug Test

Drug screening is a common practice employers, schools, and other organizations use to ensure people are not using illegal drugs or misusing prescription medications. It may also be used to detect the presence of performance-enhancing drugs, like steroids, in the case of sports. 

There are many types of drug tests based on the biological sample they use and the types of drugs they detect. These include urine, blood, breath, sweat, saliva, and hair follicle drug test. But unlike all other tests, hair drug test provides information on substance abuse over time.

A hair drug test analyzes a small sample of hair to detect the presence of drugs in the system. That’s because a strand of hair serves as a timeline of one’s substance intake history. You might have used marijuana weeks ago, which would be detected through a hair drug test.  

The reason is that when you use drugs, the body metabolizes and circulates them in the bloodstream. As blood flows to the hair follicles, drug metabolites are deposited into the growing hair shafts. These drug metabolites remain in the hair as it grows, creating a record of drug use over time.

Hair drug tests can detect drug use up to 90 days before the test, but they can have a detection time of up to 12 months for slower-growing hair. This means that if you have used drugs in the past three months (sometimes more), the drug metabolites will be present in your hair sample.

The most common drugs that hair drug tests detect include:

  • Ecstasy 
  • Amphetamine 
  • Methamphetamine
  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine  
  • PCP opioids (morphine, codeine)

When Do You Need a Hair Drug Test? 

Hair drug tests are typically used when there is a need for a highly sensitive and accurate method of detecting drug use. Here are some common situations where a hair drug test may be required:

  • Pre-employment drug screenings are especially common in industries where safety is a top priority, such as transportation, manufacturing, and construction.
  • Workplace drug testing to ensure a drug-free workplace. 
  • Probation and parole as a condition of their release.
  • Child custody case as part of a child custody case to determine if a parent or guardian is using drugs.
  • Drug treatment programs for those participating in drug treatment programs monitor their progress and ensure they maintain sobriety.

Common Fails of Passing a Follicle Drug Test

Trying to cheat or manipulate a hair drug test can have serious consequences, including loss of employment, legal and financial penalties, and damage to your reputation. The best way to pass a hair drug test is to abstain from drug use and maintain sobriety. Here are some ways people try to cheat on the test.

  • Shaving your head: Shaving your head won’t help you pass a hair drug test because the testers can take a sample of hair from another part of your body, such as your arms, legs, or pubic area. Besides, shaving your head right before the test may raise suspicion and lead to further testing.
  • Eating particular types of food: There is no evidence to suggest that eating certain types of food will help you pass a hair drug test. While some may claim that certain foods can help flush out drugs from your system, there is no scientific basis for these claims.
  • Eliminating THC by “Washing” it out of your hair: It is impossible to wash THC or other drug metabolites out of your hair with ordinary shampoo or other hair products. Some products may claim to be able to do this, but there is no scientific evidence to support these claims.
  • Getting Your Hair Bleached To Confuse The Testers: While bleaching your hair may remove some drug metabolites, it is not a reliable way to pass a hair drug test. Testers are aware of this tactic and may take additional measures to ensure the accuracy of the test results, such as taking multiple samples or testing hair from different parts of the head or body.

How to Pass Hair Drug Test

The most reliable way to pass a hair drug test is to abstain from drug use altogether. However, if you have used drugs in the past and are concerned about passing a hair drug test, there are a few things you can try:

  • Time: The hair drug test can only detect drug use within the last 90 days, so if you have been clean for longer than that, your test results should be negative.
  • Detoxifying shampoos: There are shampoos available that claim to remove drug metabolites from the hair. While these products may help remove some residue on the hair’s surface, they are unlikely to penetrate deep into the hair shaft, where drug metabolites accumulate. Additionally, many of these shampoos can cause hair damage or scalp irritation.
  • Hair detoxification treatments: Some hair salons offer hair treatments that claim to remove drug metabolites from the hair. These treatments may involve a combination of deep cleansing shampoos, conditioners, and scalp treatments. However, there is no scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of these treatments.
  • Home remedies: Some people suggest using natural remedies, such as vinegar or baking soda, to remove drug metabolites from the hair. However, no scientific evidence supports the effectiveness of these remedies.

Where to Get a Hair Drug Test 

You can get a hair drug test at different places depending on the purpose. For example, if you need a hair drug test for employment or legal purposes, you may be required to take the test at a designated testing facility chosen by your employer or the legal authorities. These testing facilities may include specialized drug testing centers, clinics, or laboratories.

If you need a hair drug test for personal reasons, such as monitoring your drug use or testing a family member, you can purchase at-home hair drug testing kits from online retailers or some drug stores.

Some medical facilities may also offer hair drug testing as part of their diagnostic services, particularly if drug use is suspected as a possible cause of a medical condition.

How Much Does Hair Follicle Drug Test Cost?

Hair drug tests are more expensive than urine, saliva, or blood tests. According to Healthline, drug tests performed in a lab or hospital may cost between $100 and $125, while an at-home hair drug test kit costs between $64.95 and $85. The cost variation is due to various factors, including the type of hair drug test ordered, where the sample is collected, and who’s covering the costs. 

How Accurate is the Test?

Hair drug tests are highly accurate and reliable, with a detection window of up to 90 days. They are considered one of the most reliable drug testing methods, as they can detect drug use that occurred several months ago. 

The hair drug test accuracy is attributed to the fact that drug metabolites are incorporated into the hair shaft as it grows and remain there, making it difficult to tamper with or cheat the test. However, false positives can occur if the person being tested has been exposed to drugs passively or if the samples have been mixed up. Generally, hair drug tests are considered very accurate and widely used in drug testing programs.

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