Drug test coming up? Guess it's time to shave off all that hair! Not a good idea.
Before you grab the scissors, did you know there are a few ways to help you pass a hair follicle drug test?
What is the Hair Follicle Drug Test?
A hair drug test takes a sample of the hair, typically from the root, to screen for drug use. When people ingest a substance or drug, either through smoking, eating, injecting, or inhaling, they begin to process or metabolize that drug. No matter how you ingest the drug, the body processes it the same.
As soon as the drug enters the bloodstream, the body starts to metabolize it. There is a blood vessel that feeds hair growth cells. It is carried throughout the body, ending up in places like the liver and hair follicles. For example, when marijuana is smoked, THC is carried through the bloodstream and directly to the lungs.
Testing the hair for drugs is becoming increasingly popular, thanks to the amount of time drugs stay present in the hair. Many organizations prefer to go with this option, meaning these days, it's rather important to know how to pass a hair follicle drug test.
That doesn't just mean the hair on your head too. All body hair is grown from hair follicles. Your armpit, leg, eyebrows - all would contain evidence of drug use.
The hair follicle test shows signs of drug consumption during the 90 days preceding the test.  Typically, they test for the following:
- Marijuana (THC)
- Opioids (codeine, morphine, 6-acetyl-morphine)
While urine tests can usually detect if you've consumed a drug in the last few days, hair tests are the most difficult to pass as these can detect it in the past three months.
How Does Hair Drug Testing Work?
When it's time for the test, the collector will cut directly from the crown of your head. For the analysis to work, the part of the hair sample needs to be 1.5 inches long and be around 100 to 120 strands of hair. Human hair grows at the rate of an inch per month. They can collect from different spots on your crown to avoid bald spots.
If you don't have 1.5 inches of head hair or none at all, the collector may use hair from different parts of your body. Once collected, it will be placed in foil and then sent to the lab for overnight testing.
If you have no hair on your body, then the testing won't be able to occur.
You may be asked to take a follicle hair test at your workplace, in a lab, or a hospital setting.
It's also possible to do the testing from home. You'd just have to mail the kit to a laboratory for the testing.
For workplace testing, you'll more than likely be supervised during the testing process to make sure there's no cheating going on.
Hair grows at a rate of approximately half an inch per month. In theory, if your hair was 18 inches long, and you tested the far ends of the hair strands, then you could find drugs consumed more than three years ago. - Jared Rosenthal, Writer
Hair Follicle Drug Testing VS Other Drug Screening
Hair follicle drug tests aren't the most common nor accurate way of testing for drugs.
Urine testing is the most common type of test. 90% of employers will require a pre-employment drug screening to be taken onsite.  If you're a light drug user, a urine drug test can usually detect drugs in the system for about 5 to 8 days.
For people who are heavy drug users, it can remain detectable up to 40 days after consumption. Typically, urine drug testing will look for evidence of marijuana, cocaine, opiates, amphetamine, and alcohol.
You can read more about how to pass a urine drug test here.
Saliva testing only looks for recent drug use (like THC) and provides a quick and easy result. During the test, a mouth swab will be used to collect saliva. The test subject also may be required to spit into a cup.
Drugs will usually be detectable in saliva about an hour after consumption. It will be detectable until the saliva is fully swallowed. That typically takes between one and two days.
Brushing your teeth, drinking lots of water, eating fatty foods, and using mouthwash could possibly help flush out the traces of drugs from the saliva.
Out of all the drug screening methods, blood screenings are the most accurate. They're also the most invasive and can only be performed by professionals and analyzed in a lab. Due to this, blood testing isn't used very often.
How To Pass A Hair Follicle Drug Test?
If you're lucky, you'd have had some advanced warning of an impending follicle test, giving you a little time to prepare.
If you've taken drugs recently, then you're probably in the clear. If you smoke for the first time the night before a screening test, you'll pass.
Why? Well, it takes up to 10 days for "contaminated" hair to break through the surface of your scalp. So unlike a urine test, they can't detect recent drugs.
So, the most sure-fire way to test negative for hair follicle testing relies on timing. If you've had a fair amount of advanced warning, you'll have to avoid drugs in a 90-day period.
If an unexpected test has snuck up on you, there's always a second plan of action. Your drug screening result could come back negative if you inflict enough damage on your hair.
Bleaching and dying may damage the hair strands enough to make it too difficult for the test to detect any use of drugs.
Here are one or two that are often tried when looking to pass hair follicle tests:
Hair Dye / Bleach Method
This dyeing/bleaching method also works by damaging the hair enough to make the test negative. This method is generally used to remove THC; however, it may work for other drugs too.
- Bleach or dye your hair using a dye that contains ammonia.
- Use a detox shampoo to wash your hair and scalp.
- Bleach and dye the hair once more a day before your screening.
- Right before your screening, apply baking soda to the hair in a paste form. Leave it for around 15 minutes before rinsing off with a detox shampoo.
Keep in mind there are no guarantees that these methods will work, but they have been tried and tested and usually end with a negative result.
The Macujo method is a detoxification method. This method will help to extract enough toxins from your hair so that the report may come back negative.
- Rinse with warm water to remove oil and other residues. This will help open up the cuticle.
- Apply vinegar all over the hair and cover it with a shower cap for 30 minutes.
- Rinse thoroughly and wash it with detox shampoos.
- Repeat this method 3 times a day, right up until your hair test.
There are also several hair detox home remedies that might help, so feel free to try them.
So, How Do I Pass A Hair Follicle Drug Screening?
Here's the thing: the sure-fire way to get negative hair follicle drug test results is to quit using drugs 90 days before testing. When worse comes to worst, you may try dyeing or bleaching your hair.
But attempting to trick the collector with fake hair or shaving all your body hair is probably not the wisest decision there is!