Hair Drug Testing: Myths V/s Facts

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Hair Drug Testing: Myths V/s Facts

Drug testing is a crucial process, so there are many myths about hair drug tests. You need to know each fact of this test. For many people who have a question like this, can a hair follicle test go back 12 months? Let’s discuss some common facts and misconceptions associated with the hair follicle testing.

How far back does it go?

A hair drug test goes much further than a urine test, and it shows the result in 3 months. The fact is that when you take a drug, drug measures can go into a strand of hair and stick there forever. If you give it some thought, hair typically grows 5 inches per month. If you have ingested a drug, this test can detect your drug use for the next 3 years through a strand of hair that is taken from your root. For example, if your hair is 18 inches long, testers take your hair from at the end of the hair strand, and it detects your drug use.

No worries, there is one standard method that it includes for this test: 1.5 inches of hair, removed from the root, only showing the result of the previous 2 months.

Why is a hair follicle drug test trustworthy?

The most important factor is that a drug user cannot cheat or it is impossible to cheat. Your hair is something you cannot cover-up. In this procedure, one cannot escape because it shows mostly accurate results, whether your hair is taken from your head or body.

However, you cannot cover up, but there are some misconceptions, such as special shampoo cannot be used to cover up, and second-hand smoke will not show a positive drug test.

Body hair or Head Hair?

Whether it is your body hair or head hair, the result is quite similar, but there are a few differences. Let’s check the facts:

  • For the standard test of 90 days, it needs 1.5 hair length and if your head hair is too short, your body hair cannot be used.
  • If it is suspected your body hair cannot detect drug use, as far back as a year.
  • The test cannot detect the specific day of drug use.
  •  Urine tests only show the recent result, while hair follicle tests can find use over time.

What are other facts about hair testing?

This test does not test for alcohol use. Unlike other drug tests, the hair follicle test is not recommended for testing for occasional use.

Although this test can provide a rough timeline for drug use over extended periods. This test helps detect chronic substance use and helps find the duration of drug use, and they can also tell periods of abstinence.

Here are some facts about hair sample test get affected by the following factors:

  • Sweat
  • Bleach or color of hair
  • Second-hand smoke

The hair is generally cut from the scalp as close to the back of the head as possible. You can also give your hair from the armpit, face or other unshaven parts of the body if you don’t have hair on the scalp.


Last but not least, hair follicle testing is the most effective way to detect drug use for far-back or chronic substance use. Some factors can a bit affect this test, but even though this is a more powerful drug use test than other drug tests. One can rely on hair follicle drug use tests and use them to fulfill their purposes. There is no way to cover up the test, mostly authentic for drug use detection.

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About the Author: John M. Romine