Drug testing on hair

Ron Kilgarlin
3 min readApr 4


A hair drug test finds metabolites in the hair shaft generated by drugs and alcohol. In contrast to urine tests, these metabolites are precise indicators of a person’s drug or alcohol use over an extended period of time. The hair test can be performed anywhere and does not require a private space, unlike blood or pee tests. Additionally, it removes the possibility of sample contamination from outside sources such as chemicals and shampoos.

Hair drug testing examines a person’s hair for signs of illicit drug use. Compared to urine testing, it is a quicker and more reliable method of detecting drug misuse. Hair drug tests find substances that have been applied or consumed and then deposited into the hair follicle. This approach prevents tampering and adulteration efforts and is quicker than urine testing.

Instructions, a foil-wrapped sample envelope, and a transparent plastic transport bag are all included in home hair drug testing kits. Additionally, within 3–5 business days, a results key code that can be used to view private and confidential results is provided.

For a longer period of time than urine, hair tests can identify drug metabolites. Up to 90 days after ingestion, metabolites can still be found in a person’s hair follicle. An guidance manual and pre-paid envelope for sending the sample to the lab are both included in the Hair Testing Kit. A Sample ID Slip is also included, which must be inserted inside the bag when sending the sample.

To guarantee the most accurate results, a sample is first screened using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Any samples that pass the screening procedure are subjected to confirmatory testing using either liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry or gas chromatography/mass spectrometry.

The amount of time needed for detection changes depending on the test due to the variable growth rate of hair. For instance, 4 cm of hair must be gathered and put through a laboratory analysis if the test is required to determine drug use over the previous four months.

Hair testing can be used for DOT drug tests administered at various times while an employee is working. Additionally, it can be used to keep an eye on at-risk people’s substance use. During the collection procedure, a patient’s head or body hair is gathered using a unique sampler. The threads are put inside a bag with a chemical solution.

Any external contaminants that might taint the findings of the test are eliminated by the chemical solution. Hair testing can identify metabolites that the body hasn’t excreted in addition to drugs once the hair is put in the bag and sent to a lab for analysis. Compared to other drug checking techniques like urine, blood, or saliva, this enables a much wider detection window.

After the sample is received, the results of your hair testing are typically accessible within a few business days. The laboratory may deliver the findings via fax, email, or web interface. The collected hair is first washed to remove external contaminants that could skew the findings of the tests, increasing accuracy. Small pieces of the hair samples are then cut up and analyzed chemically for the presence of drugs and metabolites using methods like gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS).



Ron Kilgarlin

Ron and Shawn Kilgarin, who runs American Screening Corporation, has been at the forefront of offering these services.