Hair Strand Testing

A hair drug test is often requested in cases of judicial testing or when long-term, extremely accurate results are required. We recommend hair testing for safety-critical positions where there is a zero tolerance for drug use.

As individuals use drugs, traces of the drug travel through the blood and end up the hair shaft. Collecting a small pencil-sized portion of hair will determine if drugs have been used.  Oftentimes this is  improperly called a hair follicle test (we do not test the follicle).

hair follicle test for drug use

A few key features of a hair test:

  • A hair test most accurately detects drug use within a 14 to 90-day detection window.
  • Hair testing is ideal for chronic drug use.
  • Results usually returned within 3-5 business days.
  • There are no proven ways to falsify a hair drug test.

How do we collect for a hair test?

At our many labs nationwide, a hair drug test is actually quite simple and requires only a small volume of hair preferably taken from the crown of the head.

The hair is cut as close to the scalp as possible, and it is put into a chemical solution to rid the hair of all external contaminants. After that, it is liquefied and tested for the presence of drugs.

How far back can a hair drug test detect?

In most cases, hair sample drug testing can detect drug use for up to 90 days after use. The detection window is much longer in hair drug testing because trace amounts of drug chemicals become trapped inside each hair.

Like fingernail testing, hair is composed of a hard protein called keratin and is tested using the same process as fingernails. Drugs are incorporated into the hair’s fibers from the bloodstream and remain locked in the hair as it grows.

To arrange to have a hair drug test done, simply come by or call your local ARCpoint Labs of Herndon.