How does the Hair Drug test work?

Since the bloodstream carries nourishment to produce new hair, scientists are able to identify the ingestion of drugs of abuse by simply analysing a hair sample. Using Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) methodology and a variety of mass spectrometry techniques, scientists measure the drug molecules embedded inside the hair shaft. Through this method, which has been approved by multiple accrediting agencies, any chances of external contamination are totally eliminated. In fact, hair testing results cannot be altered through the use of shampoos or any other external contaminants or chemicals.

Why choose this Hair Strand Drug test?

When compared to other drug testing methods, hair sample testing is known to detect a much longer period of drug use. The test’s standard window of detection for head hair is 90 days whilst body hair samples are noted for having an approximately 12-month time-frame. On the other hand, urinalysis (urine testing) can only detect most drugs within 2 to 3 days of use.

After this period, the tested person will result negative and slip through the screening process. This is important in pre-employment testing since most candidates are aware that a drug test might be required and might try to delay or avoid it.

benefits of hair drug test

What Drugs of Abuse are tested for?

The Hair Drug Screening test tests for a variety of illegal drugs. A wide range of drug testing panels is available for clients who may wish to test for different substances. Why don’t you take a look at the full list of drugs tested HERE for and different drug testing panels available?

Please note that the substances analyzed may vary depending on the panel tested and are subject to the laboratory. If you would like to know the exact substances, please click here to check the cutoff levels (where provided) and their presence or absence (blank) in each panel type.


Hair Sample Collection Procedure

In the Hair Drug test kit, you will find a hair specimen pouch, collection foil and a clear plastic transport bag. The sample collection process is relatively simple and easy. However, please make sure to read the below instructions for a successful collection.

• More than 60 milligrams or 90-120 strands of hair is required
• Take hair from several places around the crown
• Do not use head hair if it is shorter than ½ inch long, in such a case use body hair only
• If you take body hair, you must mark on the sample collection form that body hair was collected
• Make sure not to mix head hair and body hair

For more detailed information, please read the sample collection instructions HERE which are also provided in the Hair Drug testing kit.

Sample report

After the laboratory receives your sample, you can expect the test results to be ready in 3-5 working days.

Sample report for positive results.

view sample report

Sample report for negative results.

view sample report

Legal Hair Drug testing

At EasyDNA, we understand that you may need this test for reasons such as pre-employment or a court case which require legally defensible drug test results. That is why we are offering you the option to upgrade to a legal Hair Drug test for just an additional £40!

Please note that legal testing requires a doctor or professional sampler to collect the hair sample and verify the identity of the donor. The sample collection kit will be sent directly to your nominated sampler. Should you be interested in this upgrade, make sure to select the respective option when ordering the test.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between anonymous and legal testing?

Anonymous hair drug testing does not require a registered sampler to confirm the identity of the tested person, and limited documentation is involved. It is also important to note that non-legal results do not mention the donor’s name. This type of testing is recommended for personal use, such as a parent testing a sample of their teenager’s hair. On the other hand, legal hair drug testing needs a doctor or professional sampler to collect the hair sample and confirm the tested person’s identity. The sampler is requested to clearly and completely fill out the chain of custody form provided. Legal testing is ideal for clients who need legally defensible results for reasons such as pre-employment or a court case.

Is the name of the donor included in the test results?

The result for the non-legal version of hair drug testing does not mention the donor’s name and is reported as an “anonymous” donor. This is because there is no third party verification of the identity of the client. Clients should opt for a legal version of the test if they want the donor’s name to be included.

How soon after use can a drug be detected in a hair sample?

It takes around 5 to 10 days from the time of drug use for the hair follicle containing the drug to grow above the scalp, where it can be collected.

Does body hair give the same type of results as head hair?

Body hair is accepted for Hair Drug testing. However, it represents a more distant time frame than head hair and the approximate time period cannot be identified due to the high variability of growth rates.

Does hair colour affect the results?

Hair colour is determined by the amount of melanin in the hair. It has been shown experimentally and determined in court that it has no significant impact on results.

Can hair collected from a brush be used?

Yes, it can be used, but the test will be reported as having an “anonymous” donor. The laboratory cannot attribute the sample to a specific person and cannot determine the time frame of the test, i.e. the test result will not be legally defensible.

Can external exposure to drugs affect the results?

Scientists at the laboratory wash all hair specimens prior to confirmation testing to remove any possible extermination. To rule out the possibility of external contamination, they also look for both the parent drug and metabolite (bi-product) of drug usage. This metabolite is only produced by the body and cannot be an environmental contaminant.

Read our terms and conditions for Hair Drug testing