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What Is Hair Follicle Testing All About?

  • Published: Jan, 16 2020
  • Updated: Jan, 16 2020

For those taking hair collector training, you may be wondering more about just what hair follicle testing is all about. A hair collection test refers to a hair follicle test, and it screens for a wide array of illicit substances within one’s body. The sample provided during a hair follicle test can determine if any of these substances have been present in the donor’s body within the last 90 days. When compared to a urine screen test, which can only test for the presence of substances going back a matter of days to weeks, a hair follicle test can show if a person has used any of these substances in a period of around 3 months. 

Hair can be washed, dyed, or otherwise treated without having an effect on the results of the test. This means that if an individual has dyed their hair recently, the test can still be performed with the same level of accuracy as it would with no hair treatment at all. For those with very little to no hair on the head, hair from another part of the body may be used. 

How Does The Hair Follicle Test Work? 

Those taking hair collector trainings are likely interested in just how the hair follicle test works and how one goes about collecting a sample for such a test. After collecting and confirming the identifying information of the donor, they will then use a small pair of sterile scissors to cut a small portion of hair for the sample. This small portion of hair typically consists of between 100 and 120 strands of hair, and it usually comes from the crown of the head. If the crown is not able to be used for collection, hair from another portion of the head or another portion of the body may be used. 

When testing procedures are followed correctly, inconclusive results are exceedingly rare with a hair follicle test. If an inconclusive result does occur, another sample may be taken as your earliest convenience. A negative result is typically determined within 24 hours of removal and testing, while a positive result is typically determined within 72 hours of testing. A hair follicle test can test for the following substances and more:  

  • Opioids
  • PCP
  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamine 
  • Amphetamine 
  • Ecstasy 

Hair collector training will cover all of the various ins and outs of hair follicle testing, as well as provide hands-on mock training to prepare you for the scenarios you’re likely to see in the field. 

We are an education company, not a law firm. The information and content we provide is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. We make no representations, warranties, or guarantees regarding the accuracy, completeness, or applicability of the content. It is important to always consult with a qualified attorney for specific legal counsel pertaining to your individual circumstances.