Hair analysis or hair follicle drug test is an efficient way to check for illegal drug abuse as well as compulsive consumption of prescription meds.
The test includes removing small amounts of hair as the biological specimen by using specified scissors in laboratory or medical facility by trained personnel.
The best thing about it is its ability to check the consumption of drug abuse in the last three months; however, it was not accessible due to the expensive price tag that comes with it.
You should check out more on how to pass a hair drug test using THC detoxification shampoo by visiting the article we shared with you. Even though employers rarely used this particular screening method, in the last few years, things changed, and this specific approach earned its position.
We can consider numerous reasons why someone would request a hair drug test such as pre-employment screening or random drug test. It is a useful method because it can carefully check and monitor patterns of drug abuse, which is efficient for ex-addicts and potential ones as well.
The test includes supervision, which is why it is challenging to tamper with the samples, and almost impossible during the process. The technology brought us to the point in which common using products for washing your hair will not affect the result.
Administrators will take 1.5 inches of your hair from the crown, without affecting your haircut. In case you do not have enough hair, they can choose from any area of your crown, or even body hair for the test because it is also relevant.
If you are negative, the results will be available in 24 hours after the initial testing. The most common method for checking the hair’s content is the ELISA test that determines whether the test is negative or not.
In case you have not ingested illegal or prescription drugs in the last three months, the test will be harmful, and it will not go to the second step of screening.
In the case of the positive or inconclusive result, they have to conduct an additional test that will confirm it and identify metabolites found in follicles. That will require a GC/MS test, which will be available after 72 hours from the initial testing.
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Have in mind that administrators can avoid handling the entire procedure as per instructions, which may lead to inconclusive results. In the most situation that happens due to the improper collection of specimen, which may lead to repeating the screening and entire procedure.
The laboratory will deliver relevant results to an organization that requested the test in the first place, and they need to be completely confidential. It means that they need to use a secure phone call, fax, or online interface to provide the proper results.
At the same time, you have to sign a release form before they pass it towards your employer due to confidential health information and privacy regulations that are protecting you in this particular situation.
Is It Accurate?
When it comes to hair drug test, you should have in mind that it can detect the patterns of drug abuse that happened in the last three months.
Of course, the growth rate tends to vary from individual to individual, which is why they cannot accurately check the exact period of drug consumption, but the hair will still contain every single compound you consumed throughout that period.
Laboratories and drug testing companies are using a specific set of regulations and technology standards to improve overall accuracy and reduce the possibility for false-positive results.
They have to wash and test the hair after the collection for environmental contamination that could affect the outcome you are expecting. Have in mind that dying your hair will not affect the results, which is something you have to remember.
We have mentioned above that labs are conducting two tests to reduce the possibility of false positives. Therefore, if you consume some supplements or foods such as poppy seeds or hemp seeds, you will not be affected, but we still recommend you to avoid them just in case.
Some meds can affect the outcome of the test, which means that if you consume opioid painkillers due to some chronic pain that you have, these drugs will appear as well as other prescription meds.
Therefore, you have to provide complete documentation as well as proof that you are consuming meds due to a specific reason. You can always challenge a drug test in case you think that results are inaccurate, so your employer will have to retest you in short notice.
Have in mind that if a potential employer is screening you as a part of the hiring process, he/she does not have to compensate for lost time, but you do not have to pay for the test from your pocket.
Difference Between Urine and Hair Drug Test
You should have in mind that the main difference between these two methods for drug screening is the window of detection.
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Urinalysis is an efficient method for checking the number of drug metabolites in urine, but it can only detect short-term drug use except for cannabis users because THC can remain in urine for a few months in chronic users.
On the other hand, hair follicle drug test can detect the presence of drug abuse as well as patterns that will help you determine bad habits of a potential employee in the timeframe of 90 days or three months approximately.
Since drug byproducts enter your hair cells as it grows, the combination of sebum and sweat will also affect the window of detection that you feature in already existing hair.
Of course, you have to wait for at least five days from consumption so that your newly grown hair could have traces of drugs that you have consumed. It means that if you smoked a joint yesterday, you would be able to pass a hair drug test in the first five days after consumption.
It is entirely non-invasive procedure, and you will be able to determine the long-term drug abuse from your potential employees and the ones that are currently working for you.