The Ins And Outs Of The Hair Follicle Test

The Ins And Outs Of The Hair Follicle Test

Whether you are applying for a new job or you are a constant drug user, it is hard to not recognize that there are a variety of drug screen applications on the market.

Some employers and screeners use the urine test, some use the blood test, and others like the hair follicle drug test, which is much more efficient and dates back longer periods of time.

So, what do you really need to know about the hair follicle test?

How Does The Test Procedure Work And What Is It?

Some individuals refer to it as hair follicle drug test and others might refer to it as a hair drug test. It doesn’t really matter what you call it, because the test does the same exact thing. It screens for the use of illegal drugs and the misuse of prescription medications.

The test is called a hair test because during the procedure a small amount of hair is removed for the individual’s head. This is usually accomplished with a pair of scissors. Once the tester has procured the sample it then can be analyzed and screened for a variety of different substances. The test can date back as far as ninety days.

The most common types of drugs that the test screens are: amphetamines, methamphetamines, ecstasy, marijuana, cocaine, PCP, and opioids. More and more testers are opting for the follicle test to the urine test due to its ability to date back so much further.

Sure, a urine test can show if you have used drugs in the past couple of days, but the follicle test can go back much further.

Some workplaces like to utilize the hair follicle test for pre-employment procedures and some like to use them to randomly test their employees. Testers are now even taking advantage of the benefits of this test to monitor drug risk in individuals that are at risk or have been known to use in the past.

What Can You Expect During A Hair Follicle Test?

There is a variety of different setting in which a hair follicle test can take place. For instance, you might be required to visit specialized labor maybe the test will take place in a hospital type setting. The test can even be administered right on the spot in the workplace.

This usually occurs when the employer gets a kit shipped to them from a special laboratory. You should also know that there are at-home kits available that can be purchased online.

Anytime you are mandated to undergo one of these tests a supervisor will monitor the procedure. Over the years many individuals have tried dying their hair, cutting it, washing it, and even styling it to beat the test.

Unfortunately, none of these methods have been proven effective, as the test really does its job. Once you are called in to take the test, the tester will go ahead and confirm your identity. Once your identity is confirmed with a driver’s license or social security card the tester will cut between 100 and 120 hairs from the head.

The hairs are usually collected from various spots around the crown, as to prevent creating a bald spot.

There are some situations when facial and body hair can even be utilized to procure the results. These situations usually occur when the individual being tested is bald or keeps their cut extremely low. After the samples of the hair are collected they will be placed in foil and then in a secure envelope.

The samples will be sent to a laboratory for analyzing. Each lab is different, but most of the time, you can expect to get the results within a day. Urine, blood and swab test can provide results right away, but they are nowhere near as effective and they only date back to a couple of days, whereas the hair follicle test can date back as far as ninety days.

There are a couple of ways to cheat a hair follicle test such as the Macujo and the Jerry G method, but hair drug tests are the hardest to pass.

hair sample

Know How To Interrupt The Results

When it comes to a hair follicle test there are a variety of results that you can get. You can get a negative result, a positive result, or you can even be issued an inconclusive result. So, what do these results represent and what exactly do they mean for you?

  • Negative – In most cases, a negative result will be confirmed within 24 hours of the initial testing. And, this basically indicates that you haven’t used any illegal drugs in the past ninety days. There might be some situations where additional testing is required just to confirm the results.
  • Positive – A positive test can take as long as 72 hours to comes back. The reason the time limit is so much longer is that any nonnegative test has to legally be run through another testing process. The additional testing process is known as a gas chromatography/mass spectrometry test (GC/MS). This specialized test not only confirms the positive results, but it can identify the type or types of drugs that you tested positive for.
  • Inconclusive – An inconclusive result is that last result that you might see on a hair follicle test and it is a result that isn’t often seen. When this result comes up it is usually due to the fault of the tester or the individuals that took the samples. Either the hair was collected improperly or the tester at the lab messed something up during the testing process. In this event, the test will more than likely be repeated.

The lab that sold or issued the will be the ones responsible for reporting the results. They can either issues the results directly to the individual that was tested or they can issue them to the employer. Of course, confidential means are always utilized.

This might include secure fax, private e-mail, or a secure online interface. Keep in mind that anything you get from a lab is considered confidential health information, so you will have to sign a release form before the results can be passed on.

In some states, if you refuse to pass the results on, this could automatically result in suspension or termination.