What Are the Benefits of Hair Follicle Drug Tests?

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Drug testing is a common way to ensure that your employees are not working under the influence of drugs, which can affect the work and create an unsafe environment for others. And not just for office employees but also to keep abstinence in check. So, you may have come across various ways one can conduct a drug screening. There are urine drug tests, saliva drug tests, hair follicle drug tests, also commonly known as hair drug tests, etc. These ways have different functions and can’t replace one another.

Hair drug testing involves professionals taking around 200 mg of your hair closest to the head. This is to detect the recent use of alcohol or any other substances. Unlike the urine test, where the results come in for the last few days, a hair drug test gives you results for drug use in the last 90 days. The sample collected is sent for overnight testing, and you will get the results within 24 hours if the test comes back negative and 72 hours if the sample is positive for the use of illicit drugs in the last 90 days. And here are various benefits of doing a hair drug test for employees:

Avoid Subversion Techniques

Subversion in drug testing is a method wherein the employee or the person being tested can manipulate the sample by providing a sample that is not theirs, adulteration, etc. This method is standard in cases of urine testing. Hair drug tests can avoid this as the sample is taken by a professional, or you will be supervised if there is a home kit. Besides, the sample collected from the scalp wearing a wig (a form of substitution) will also not be a successful attempt.

Range of Detection

As mentioned, hair drug tests can screen repeated drug use or any illicit drug within 90 days. It is usually not the case for other screening methods, such as urine drug tests, where the sample provided can show the drug used in the last few days. This limited window of only a week or three days is a less preferable option than the hair drug test’s longer window of three months.


Unlike urine tests, where the person being tested has to go in and hand out a container of their specimen, which can look embarrassing at times, hair drug tests offer a less invasive method of collecting a sample. The process takes a few minutes and does not include urinating in some containers. And as this method can be openly done, the attempts to cheat are also reduced.


The professionals follow specific guidelines to collect the sample and maintain a standard for their test. Meanwhile, the sample is not affected by your products or if you washed your hair that day. The test begins by cleaning the sample and ensuring no other environmental factor affects the result. As such, the primary test, wherein you get a negative and positive result, is done within 24 hours. The sample undergoes another test to ensure that the result is accurate and not false positive.

Hair drug testing is an effective and assured way to ensure that your work environment is safe for your employees. Using it to check people in rehabilitation centres is also a good way as there are fewer chances of manipulation.

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