Many different tests can be done to find out if someone has taken drugs recently. You might know about urine tests that can tell us this.
However, these urine tests usually only tell us if a person used drugs shortly before the test. That is why lots of employers are now deciding to check if their job candidates or current employees have used drugs by examining their hair. This special test is called a hair follicle drug test.
- What is the meaning of the Hair Follicle Drug Test
- How It Works and What It is Used For
- Cutoff Levels of Hair Follicle Drug Test
- How to Pass a Hair Follicle Drug Test
- Some FAQs
- What is a hair follicle drug test?
- Can I pass a hair follicle drug test if I have used drugs in the past?
- Are there any other ways to cheat a hair follicle drug test?
- What should I do if I have a hair follicle drug test coming up and I am not sure if I will pass?
What is the meaning of the Hair Follicle Drug Test
A hair follicle drug test is a way to check if someone has taken prescription drugs or illegal drugs. To do this test, a few hair strands are cut near the scalp. Then, a lab checks the hair sample to see if there has been any drug use in the last 90 days.
How It Works and What It is Used For
In a hair follicle drug test, they take a hair sample, usually from the root or nearby, to see if you used drugs. When you take drugs, they go into your bloodstream. Each hair follicle has a tiny blood vessel that gives nutrients to the hair cells.
If you have used any drugs, those drugs get into the hair follicle through the blood vessels. Small amounts of the drugs can then be found in the hair follicle, that is the reason which is called a hair follicle drug test.
These tests can check for different kinds of drugs, including legal and illegal ones like:
- Weed (Marijuana)
- Speed (Amphetamines)
- Meth (Methamphetamines)
- Angel Dust (PCP)
- Painkiller pills and heroin (Opioids)
When you have a hair follicle drug test, they have to take a hair sample from your head. You cannot use hair from a brush. The sample should have enough hair strands to be as thick as a pencil, and it should be one and a half inches long at least.
Even though it is called a hair follicle test, they do not have to pull the hair out with the root. They just need to cut it as close to your scalp as they can.
Normally, hair drug tests happen in a lab or a medical place. Some workplaces might cut your hair themselves and send it to a lab with a special kit. You can also buy hair testing kits online if you want to do the test at home.
If you need a clean drug test to get a job or if your employer asks for it, you will probably have to do it in a place where someone can watch you. This makes sure that the hair they use really belongs to you.
Once they are sure it is you, a lab worker or someone else will cut about 100-120 hair strands from the top of your head. They might take hair from other parts of your body, too, so you do not have a bald spot.
If your hair is very short or you are bald, they might take hair from other places on your body. They put the hair in foil, then in a sealed envelope, and send it for testing.
Not matter you wash your hair, dye it, use bleach, or styling products, it will not mess up the hair follicle drug test. It can show if you used drugs in the last 5-90 days.
Cutoff Levels of Hair Follicle Drug Test
In a hair follicle drug test, there are certain levels that help decide if the test shows whether someone used specific drugs or not. When it comes to drug testing for jobs, there is a common way of doing it involving two steps.
First, they check one part of the hair to see if it is negative or positive. If it is negative, they do not do more tests on it. However, if it is positive, they go on to the next step, which is more detailed. They use a method called chromatography-mass spectrometry to find and measure the drugs in the sample. The cutoff levels for these tests depend on the drug being looked for and have to follow the rules.
If a drug is found in the hair at levels equal to or higher than the cutoff, the lab says it is a positive result. If the level is lower than the cutoff, even if there is a little bit of the drug, it is not reported as positive. So, a negative result does not guarantee there was no drug use, just that it was below the set level.
The levels that decide if a hair follicle test is positive or negative are measured in very tiny amounts called picograms per milligram. Here are the cutoff levels for some common drugs tested in hair follicle tests:
|Drug||Cutoff Level of Screen||Cutoff Level Confirmation|
|Marijuana||1 pg/mg||0.1 pg/mg|
|Methamphetamines/Amphetamines||300 pg/mg||300 pg/mg|
|Opiates||500 pg/mg||500 pg/mg|
|Cocaine||300 pg/mg||300 pg/mg|
|PCP (phencyclidine)||300 pg/mg||300 pg/mg|
How to Pass a Hair Follicle Drug Test
The only way to pass a hair follicle drug test is by not using any drugs for the 90 days before the test. This kind of test is tough to cheat because they take the hair sample right from your head, and the people who do it are experts.
If you get rid of all your body and head hair, the test cannot happen. However, some employers might think that is the same as a -ve test. There are unique hair products that claim they can make your drug test come back negative, but do not believe them – they do not really work.
If your hair follicle drug test shows up positive, you might want to say you were around drugs like marijuana smoke, however, you did not use them. That will not work because the test looks for the drug and the stuff your body makes when it processes the drug.
It will only be positive if you actually use the drug. In other words, if your hair was near marijuana, however you did not use it, your test will be negative.
Many people use hair follicle drug tests for job applicants and sometimes for their current employees without warning. These tests can find drug use that happened up to three months before the test.
The only way to be certain that your test won’t show as positive is to avoid using any product that will be checked for at least 90 days before the hair drug test. These tests are accurate, giving employers truthful information about the people who work for them.
If you have to take a hair drug test, be sure to tell the lab worker if you are using any prescription medications. Some medicines can make the test show as positive even if you have not used drugs.
What is a hair follicle drug test?
A hair follicle drug test is a type of drug test that analyzes hair samples for the presence of drugs and their metabolites. Drugs can be detected in hair for up to 90 days, making hair follicle drug tests a popular choice for employers and other organizations that need to test for long-term drug use.
Can I pass a hair follicle drug test if I have used drugs in the past?
The only way to guarantee that you will pass a hair follicle drug test is to abstain from using drugs for at least 90 days. However, there are some things you can do to try to speed up the process of eliminating drugs from your hair, such as washing your hair frequently with a clarifying shampoo and using a hair detox treatment.
Are there any other ways to cheat a hair follicle drug test?
There are a number of products and methods that claim to be able to help you cheat a hair follicle drug test, but none of them have been proven to be effective. In fact, some of these products and methods may actually damage your hair or make it more likely that you will fail the test.
What should I do if I have a hair follicle drug test coming up and I am not sure if I will pass?
The best thing to do is to abstain from using drugs for as long as possible before the test. If you are unable to do this, you can try a number of hair detox products and treatments. However, it is important to note that these products or treatments are only sometimes guaranteed to work.
Disclaimer: The information provided on this website is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or addiction.Checkout More: How to Pass a Hair Follicle Drug Test: A Comprehensive Guide
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