It is not really hair follicle testing since no one is plucking the hair from the scalp and testing the “follicle”. It is simply a hair test.
Hair screening drug tests are becoming more and more popular among individuals and employers. Hair drug tests can determine if a person has ingested drugs in the past 90 days. Since hair tests can identify drug use further back in a person’s recent past than a urine test, many employers choose the hair test method instead. It is also becoming more common in the legal industry when court-ordered drug testing may be required, like for probation, or divorce and child custody cases that may have mandatory drug testing required. Urine drug tests can only identify drug use for approximately a week into an individual’s recent past. For that reason, hair drug or hair alcohol EtG tests are better suited to detect binge or chronic drug usage over a more extended period of time. National Drug Screening offers hair follicle drug and alcohol screening testing for employers and individuals throughout all areas of the United States.
Although hair drug testing is still fairly new technology, it is very effective as long as it is administered by a properly trained technician. National Drug Screening is a national leader in hair drug testing. Our experience has allowed us to develop the expertise that has helped to make our testing processes as simple and efficient as possible. All of our tests are analyzed by certified labs like LabCorp or Quest Diagnostics. National Drug Screening hair follicle drug screening tests are also always reviewed by a certified MRO (Medical Review Officer) before the results are released. If an initial screening yields non-negative results, then they will undergo additional Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) confirmation testing. This allows individuals that may be legitimately taking prescription medication a chance to provide authorized proof to our doctors. As long as the individual takes the medication in accordance with the prescribed dosage, then the final report will list the result as a “negative”.
Although the test is called a hair follicle test, it is not actually the root itself that is tested. The hair follicle test uses the first inch and a half of growth from the base and roughly 120 strands, to determine any drug use within the past 5 to 90 days. When a person ingests a drug, it enters into the bloodstream while the body simultaneously metabolizes the drug, causing those metabolites to circulate through the blood as well. Since a person’s blood nourishes their hair follicles, any ingested drugs and their metabolites are deposited into their hair follicle where the evidence of drug use remains indefinitely, or until the hair is shaved, once the hair grows out of the follicle.
If the head hair is not long enough or shaved, then a sample of body hair from the legs, chest or armpits, and occasionally beards, can be used instead. Many people may think that body hair grows slower than head hair, which is why using an inch and a half of body hair for a hair follicle test will provide a longer period of drug use than an inch and a half of head hair. However, body hair and head hair generally grow at the same pace, but body hair usually stops growing at a shorter length. Once the hair stops growing and becomes dormant, it is pushed out to make room for a new hair to replace it, which is why we appear to shed at times. A positive drug test result doesn’t actually indicate the exact date or dates the drug was used, just that it was ingested in an estimated timeframe within the last 90 days.