Do you have an upcoming hair drug test and wondering how much hair is taken for a hair follicle test? Did your employer schedule the test very soon? Are you afraid of bald spots on your scalp? Such rumors are very much common when it comes to drug tests. It doesn’t matter if you are bald or have long, beautiful locks. We always worry about how much hair is pulled out in a hair drug testing.
The testing experts will only take a small amount of hair during hair tests. This is more than enough for them to conduct the lab test efficiently. Though there are several ways to detect traces of drugs in the body, hair drug tests are the most common.
This is because urine drug tests have a shorter detection time (2-3 days). On the other hand, hair drug tests can detect usage for about 90 days. In addition, hair drug tests are more successful and result in positive tests. But urine tests do not have a long tracking frame. This is why hair drug tests are widely popular in drug testing programs. They are also a prerequisite for many employment opportunities.
There are many misconceptions about hair strand tests. The second thing people worry about apart from testing positive for THC is their head hair. Here we are going to explain how much hair legally should be taken to do it so you can relax for a bit.
How Long Does Your Hair Need to Be for A Hair Drug Test?
According to hair testing experts, a small hair sample is enough for drug screening. You just have to provide 1.5 inches of hair that are cut from the scalp. We highly advise you to ask the technician to cut off hair above 1.5 inches. The reason for taking 1.5 inches of hair is because this length equals 3 months of drug history.
How Much Hair Do You Need for A Hair Follicle Drug Test?
You only need 100 milligrams of hair from the first 1.5 inches from the root. Now, every individual has a varying hair weight. Also, the lab technicians do not own special weighing scales. Thus, they often evaluate the sample by the width or diameter of the hair.
Only 120 strands are essential for the test if the hair exceeds four inches. Visually speaking, 120 strands is similar to a pencil’s circumference. In width, it is about 1 cm. The roots of the hair must be cut. To ensure the level of consumption, the technicians will cut about 1½ inches from the root end. If the hair is less than 4 inches, additional hair strands are cut to ensure accurate testing.
However, if the hair is curly, the sample will resemble the size of a cotton ball. A research paper published in the Annals of Clinical Biochemistry gives a detailed description of collecting hair samples. So that explains how much hair is needed for hair follicle drug test. You can check out videos on how lab testers collect samples for hair drug tests for a better understanding.
What Happens When the Hair Is Too Short for Hair Follicle Tests?
If the hair on your head is short, hair from other body parts works well. For instance, the technician can take hair from the chest, underarms, legs, or face. This is the order of preference that they take body hair from. The quantity of the hair should be similar to the size of a cotton ball.
Expert hair collectors note down the source of the hair samples. They write down the source on the hair collection envelope. This allows for an accurate drug test result. Here you should note down a few things. The collector needs to take as much hair as possible in case of body hair. This is because body hair is lighter in weight than the hair on the scalp. So, you need more quantity of hair for the right results.
These are some basic sample collection protocols every hair-drug test user should know. People often freak out when they don’t know how a lot of hair is normally taken for a drug test. But lab testers would not cut more hair than they should. Also, a professional collector ensures the task is done perfectly well.
Hair Strand Test: List of Detachable Substances
People who use drugs show little concern about how much hair is needed for tests. It is possible to detect almost all kinds of drugs or alcohol in the body with follicles tests. Initially, these tests could detect only a handful of drugs. But, now, they are capable enough to track a variety of them. Here are the substances identifiable using hair follicles.
- Expanded Opiates
- Synthetic Marijuana
Is It Possible to Run Drug Tests for Varied Drugs at The Same Time?
Yes, that is possible. There is something called the Hair Testing Panel. In simpler terms, a panel is like a combination or a package. Your employer can request the test to include alcohol, synthetic drugs, opiates, etc.
Some highly popular tests are:
- Hair Follicle Test for Alcohol
- 5 Panel Drug Test for Hair Strand
- 14 Panel Drug Test for Follicles Test
It is best to know about details if you have to undergo a hair drug test, especially about how much hair is used for drug testing. With hair follicle drug tests, you can track the presence of drugs for over 90 days. It is one of the most reliable drug tests that employers generally ask for.
Hair drug tests are mostly accurate. And this is because the residue from the drugs ends up in your bloodstream. However, it is proven in research published in Egypt J Forensic Sci. that a hair strand test isn’t ideal to detect recent or infrequent substance usage. It takes about 5-7 days for the drugs to be identifiable through the hair follicle. You can try urine drug tests to track recent drug consumption. Hopefully, you found this article on how many your hair to collect for a hair drug test helpful.