A hair drug test identifies metabolites produced by drugs and alcohol in the hair shaft. These metabolites are specific markers of a person's drug or alcohol use over a longer time than urine tests can detect. Unlike blood or urine, the hair test does not require privacy and can be conducted anywhere. It also eliminates the chance of sample contamination from external sources like shampoos and chemicals.
Hair drug testing tests the presence of illegal drugs in a person's hair. It is a faster and more accurate way to test for substance abuse than urine testing. Hair drug tests detect drugs deposited into the hair follicle after someone consumes or applies a drug. This method is faster than urine testing and eliminates tampering and adulteration attempts.
Home kits for hair drug testing include instructions, a foil-wrapped sample envelope, and a clear plastic transport bag. They also come with a results key code that can be used to access private and confidential results typically within 3-5 business days.
Hair tests detect drug metabolites for a longer time than urine. Metabolites deposited in a person's hair follicle remain detectable for up to 90 days after consumption. The Kit for Hair Testing includes an instruction manual and pre-paid envelope to send the sample to the lab. It also comes with a Sample ID Slip to be placed inside the bag when submitting the sample.
A sample is first screened using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to ensure the most accurate results. Any samples that are found to be positive in the screening process undergo confirmatory testing with gas chromatography/mass spectrometry or liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry.
Because the growth rate of hair varies, the time frame of detection required depends on the test. For example, if the test is needed to assess drug use in the past four months, then 4 cm of hair must be collected and analysed with the laboratory.
Hair testing can be used for DOT drug screenings before employment or random drug tests during employment. It can also be used to monitor drug use in at-risk individuals. A patient's head or body hair is collected using a special sampler during the collection process. The strands are placed in a bag that contains a chemical solution.
The chemical solution removes any external contaminants that can affect the test's results. Once the hair is placed in the bag and sent to a laboratory for analysis, in addition to detecting drugs, hair testing can also identify metabolites that the body has not excreted. This allows for a much longer detection window than other drug testing methods such as urine, blood or saliva.
The results of your hair testing are generally available within a few business days after the sample is received. The lab may provide the results via email, fax or online interface. To increase accuracy, the collected hair is first washed to remove external contaminants that could change the results of the tests. The hair samples are then cut into small pieces and tested for drug and metabolite presence using chemical test techniques, including gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS).