A hair drug test can determine whether employees or contractors have engaged in long-term drug use. It is especially effective when 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).
A few key features of hair testing:
- 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 returned within 3-5 business days.
- You can feel confident in the accuracy of results because there are no proven methods of falsifying 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.
Before hair testing, 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.
The window for effective hair drug testing
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 fingernails, hair is composed of a hard protein called keratin. Drugs are incorporated into the hair’s fibers from the bloodstream and remain locked in the hair as it grows. Hair is tested using the same process as that for fingernails.
Learn More About Our Testing Services
It’s easy to arrange an employee hair drug test by referring them to the nearest ARCpoint Lab. Call your local ARCpoint Labs for more information on hair testing.