Hair Strand Test: How it Works and What to Expect

When you need to know that your employees, children, or potential hires are drug free you need clear results that inform you without adulteration concerns so a hair strand test is the perfect solution to learn about their drug use status over time.

What Is a Hair Strand Test?

A hair strand, or what you may hear referred to as a hair follicle test, is exactly what it sounds like. A sample of hair is taken from the body, from the head unless the subject is bald, and it is examined for drug use. A hair strand test can tell you about drug use or medication abuse over approximately a three month period, but it cannot tell you about recent use or abuse since it takes about a week to a week and a half for the drug to make its way into the hair shaft.

This two prong test is accurate and reliable and can give you a real picture of how much and how often drug abuse is occurring or if it is a negative result, that there is no abuse for that time period. Since hair grows at different rates for different people, it can’t say precisely when drug use occurred, we can be certain it occurred at some time during the 90 days. 

What Does a Hair Follicle Test Detect?

Hair follicle tests are capable of detecting a single use of many drugs, and is an excellent test to detect the general amount of repeated use. This makes it particularly suited for parents looking to ensure their children’s well being and for any management who needs to ensure the safety of their workplace. Having all of this information from one test is invaluable. In combination with a blood test or urine test to determine more recent use, it can give a complete picture of what is actually occurring. 

Commonly abused drugs that show up on a hair strand test include:

  • Amphetamines: methamphetamine, amphetamine, MDA, and MDMA
  • Opiates: codeine, morphine and 6-monoacetylmorphine
  • Cocaine 
  • Marijuana 
  • PCP 

And others may be available upon request. Reach out to us to learn more. 

It is important to note that Tylenol with codeine can cause a “false positive” because codeine is a drug of abuse as seen in the list above. That is why you want to hire a professional, highly regarded testing facility, like us here at Blue Star Diagnostics, because we have the skills to ensure a properly conducted test including excellent review of the results.

So, how can you pass a hair follicle drug test?

That’s a trick question! Because you can’t. Don’t use these drugs or this hair follicle test will catch them. There are a bunch of snake oil products claiming to “wash” the indicators away, but since it is the inside of the hair follicle that is being tested, none of these products will make any difference. You cannot wash away the metabolites that will give away drug use. These tests are a solid and trusted choice for this very reason. When it really matters, a hair follicle test should be a part of the drug testing you need to be sure you are getting accurate results.

Give us a call right away to schedule testing suited to your needs at (469) 656-7999. We are ready and able to help.

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