Want to Learn How to Pass a Hair Drug Test? Stay Sober.
Hair follicle tests are highly sensitive, adding value to zero-tolerance policies.
Offering the most expansive detection window of 90 days after substance abuse, hair follicle tests are used in federal, industrial and educational settings where strict drug regulations are in place. Other workplaces express reluctance about adopting this method of testing because they do not have accurate hair drug test facts, until now.
Shampooing will not remove the drug(s) from a user’s system.
Drug metabolites are embedded in the center of each strand called the cortex. Shampoo cannot reach the cortex, and therefore only eliminates surface contamination. During a hair follicle drug test, chemical reagents are scrubbed onto the sample to break down keratin protein and access the cortex. Hair follicle detox is virtually impossible using conventional hair products, and no shampoo for drug testing exists.
Hair bleaches and dyes cannot detox the hair follicle, either.
Bleach and other hair coloring agents only affect the surface of the hair strand. Like shampoo, bleach and dyes do not penetrate the follicle unless the shaft is completely broken. Hair follicle detox can only be achieved through sobriety.
Hair removal will not exempt users from taking a drug test.
Donors without head hair can submit body hair for a hair follicle exam instead. If the intended donor has undergone full body hair removal, it constitutes failure; not exemption of a test.
More than a single strand of hair must be supplied.
A proper hair sample is 1.5 inches in length, and about the circumference of a pen. For the most recent history, hair should be cut as close to the roots as possible. It is not recommended to obtain hair from strand ends because it may not indicate drug abuse within the last 3 months. If hair is shorter than 1.5 inches, the detection window will be shortened.
Samples from drains or brushes are not permissible.
Degraded hair samples from sources other than the donor’s scalp, e.g. shower drains, hair brushes, etc. compromise result accuracy. If a degraded hair sample is provided for analysis, the laboratory will discard the sample and annul the drug test.
Someone else’s hair can be used.
Hair follicle drug testing in the workplace is impossible to cheat because a non-biased third party collects the sample. Therefore, a donor’s hair cannot be substituted with someone else’s, unless the test is performed for private use.
Drug metabolites are permanently embedded in hair follicles.
Depending on the length of the sample and strand region, the detection window of hair dates further back than 90 days after abuse. In fact, drug metabolites are permanently fixed into the cortex until the strand is cut. However, since employers are mainly only concerned with recent drug abuse, the specimen should be obtained as close to the scalp as possible. If the sample provided exceeds 1.5 inches, the lab technician will cut the strand to the appropriate length.
Drug abuse within a week of testing will likely go undetected.
Whereas the body manufactures urine and saliva multiple times a day, hair requires a longer time frame for synthesis. Hair grows from the scalp after one or two weeks, which means if drugs are ingested one week ahead of an exam, the sample collected may not contain any metabolites. In this scenario, a false negative may be the result.
Hair follicle drug tests go further back in time than other drug testing methods.
The timeline of drug abuse correlates to the length of the hair supplied for testing. Although hair follicle tests cannot determine the precise date of ingestion, they provide a historical spectrum for analysis. This is precisely why hair is a better tool to indicate a predisposition for drug addiction.
Alcohol and nicotine cannot be traced with hair follicle tests.
Although hair drug tests cannot screen for alcohol or tobacco abuse, they can identify all SAMHSA 5 drugs: Amphetamines (AMP), Cocaine (COC), Marijuana (THC), Opiates (OPI) and Phencyclidine (PCP). Hair follicle tests can also test for the following prescription drugs: Hydrocodone (Lorcet/Lortab), Hydromorphone (Dilaudid) and Oxycodone (Oxycontin).
Hair color affects concentration, not accuracy.
Hair color is determined by the presence of melanin pigment. Melanin uptakes drug metabolites, meaning the more melanin produced, the higher the concentration of drug metabolites will be detected. People with naturally lighter hair (less melanin) will test for a lower concentration of drug metabolites in their system those who are naturally dark haired. Hair follicle tests account for this variation, and are sensitive to even the smallest amount of drug metabolites.
Second-hand exposure will not yield positive results on a hair follicle test.
Being in the presence of a drug abuser does not necessitate a positive result on a hair drug test. The surface of the hair may carry traces of a substance through surface or airborne cross contamination, but metabolites will not be present within the follicle unless direct abuse occurs through the bloodstream. If a false positive is obtained, a Medical ReviewOfficer (MRO) will provide an explanation.
False positives may occur in rare situations.
Substances like ELISAs (enzyme-linked immunoassays) can yield false positive results on a hair follicle drug test. ELISAs are used to detect antibody defects caused by contracted retroviruses like HIV. However, through Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry confirmation testing by a Medical Review Officer, cross-reactions can be accounted for.
Hair follicle tests are not DOT-certified, yet.
Many logistics companies have adopted hair follicle testing because they recognize the flaws of traditional urinalysis. Regulatory bodies are currently petitioning for DOT-certified hair testing to be paired with periodic urinalysis. Transportation companies need to learn about a candidate’s pre-employment drug abuse history in order to mitigate risk on the road.
Results are confidential. Positive results will not prompt a criminal record.
If a hair follicle drug test is ordered for pre-employment purposes, reports are only disclosed to the donor and employer. The employer must honor confidentiality; otherwise, they risk violating the donor’s human rights. Depending on state legislation, positive results are discarded after three years in a medical record database. Negative results are held for one year. Chain of custody forms must be provided and signed by the donor prior to testing. In neither scenario are results shared with law enforcement.
Test results are not preserved forever.
Trying to learn how to pass a hair drug test is senseless. Results are impermanent no matter the result. Positive results are discarded after 3 years, while negative results are held for only one year. These are general timelines, as each state mandates the length of retention.
As hair drug test facts become more available, people will feel encouraged to try this method of screening for drug abuse. Of all the specimens used for drug analysis, hair is the hardest to adulterate. Any time a specific drug is ingested, metabolites are permanently embedded in the hair follicle. Saliva and urine are synthesized often, so they cannot provide insight of drug abuse history. Hair follicle exams are impervious to bogus shampoos for drug tests and other cheating mechanisms. When it’s all about the bottom line, hair follicle drug testing is a good strategy to regulate productivity. Company costs due to drug abuse need a trim every now and again.