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Hair follicle Testing

Hair follicle Testing

The Premier Hair Follicle Testing For Employers

When you need to confirm the potential employees and active employees are following your businesses substance use protocol, Wolfe is there to provide industry-leading hair follicle testing services. Drug usage can be detected in hair follicle drug tests up to 90 days before the test date because the compounds in medications that wind up in your bloodstream become part of your hair cells and become a great way to test for a longer time period than urine drug screening.

About Our Employer Drug Testing

A hair follicle drug test, often known as a hair drug test, detects illicit drug use as well as prescribed medication misuse. A tiny piece of hair from your head is taken with scissors during this examination. The sample is then examined for indicators of drug usage in the 90 days following the test. It is commonly used to test for:

  • Opioids (6-acetyl morphine, morphine, codeine)
  • PCP
  • Cocaine
  • Marijuana
  • Ecstasy
  • Methamphetamine
  • Amphetamine


While hair follicle drug testing can detect drug use over the last 90 days, the popular urine drug test only test the last few days.  Your employer may request a hair follicle test before hiring or at random during employment to screen for illicit drug use. Some evidence suggests that hair drug testing, when combined with self-reporting, can be beneficial for monitoring drug use in at-risk people.

Understanding the Results of A Hair Follicle Test

Within 24 hours of hair removal, a negative test result can be determined. As a screening test, an ELISA test is used. This simple test only tells us if there are drugs in the hair. A negative test means you have not used illegal drugs in the last 90 days. To confirm a positive result, more testing is required. After 72 hours, a positive drug test is verified. All non-negative tests are subjected to a second test known as gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). It validates a positive test result. This test also determines which medicines were utilized.

When testing procedures are followed, an inconclusive result is very uncommon. In rare situations, incorrect hair specimen collection may result in the test being denied entirely. The test may be repeated in this scenario. Once we have completed the testing, Wolfe Inc. will transmit the results to the individual or organization that requested the test. We will share test findings in a secure manner, such as via the internet, phone call, or fax. Because lab results are considered personal health information, you must sign a release before the results are shared with your employer.

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Hair Follicle Testing FAQ's

Is the Test Capable of Determining the Date of Drug Use?

A hair drug test shows a pattern of drug usage in the previous 90 days. This test cannot tell you when the drugs were actually consumed. This is because hair growth rates are different for everyone. 

How Reliable is the Test?

To increase accuracy, hair is collected and tested according to a highly particular set of standards. During testing, the obtained hair is cleaned and examined for environmental contamination, which may affect the test results. If you wash, dye, or apply styling products, your results will not be changed.

Two tests are performed in laboratories to prevent false positives. The first, known as ELISA, can provide a negative or positive result within 24 hours. The second approach, GC/MS, is often used to confirm a positive result. This second test, which may detect up to 17 distinct substances, can also screen for specific medications. The GC/MS also protects against false-positive results from foods such as hemp or poppy seeds.

Certain drugs may have an impact on the test results. If you take an opioid pain reliever as prescribed by your doctor, the medications will appear on your test. In this instance, your employer will most likely require prescription documents.

If you suspect your hair drug test results are incorrect, you may seek a retest from your employer right away.

Blood testing is incredibly accurate, but it is also expensive and invasive.  Finally, a saliva test (also known as an oral fluid test) is less invasive than urine testing. But, this type of test has an even shorter detection window, or 7-21 hours. If an employer wants to avoid complications that arise when an employee does not produce enough urine, a saliva drug test can be an effective alternative to urine testing.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the cost of hiring the wrong person might amount to at least 30% of the individual's first-year wages. This can easily approach tens of thousands of dollars depending on the position's wage rate. Why are these costs so high? Termination costs. Replacing a person you hired can also be costly; you'll most likely need to supply orientation services, employment tests, training courses, and other services.  The cost of litigation and legal fees, if the employee chooses to sue you.

Employers collect a lot of information to analyze a candidate's character and prevent them from making the wrong hire. Continue reading to discover how an employer background screening helps in the hiring process, what they may reveal, and why they are important.

Hair Follicle Drug Test Vs. Urine Drug Test

The key distinction between a hair follicle drug test and a urine drug test is the detection window.

A urine drug test is used to detect drug use within three days of the test. However, for 90-day accuracy of drug use, a hair follicle test is your go-to. 

This is feasible because medications in the bloodstream become a component of hair cells as they grow. Sweat and oil on your scalp may also play a function in drug presence in existing hair strands.

Drugs cannot be identified in hair until five to seven days after use due to the rate of hair growth. A hair drug test would not be an acceptable test for detecting recent drug use in the case of a workplace accident.

Contact the medical review officer, or MRO, if you have any questions or concerns regarding your drug test findings. An MRO analyzes drug test results and may be able to explain yours.

When safety is an issue, employer drug testing is very important. In many places, occupations such as commercial drivers, medical, and teachers, for example, all need to be drug-free. Furthermore, many manufacturing facilities use our employer's drug testing services too. If you are an employer that wants to ensure your workforce is drug and alcohol-free, you should give us a call. We work with our clients to ensure they get the most comprehensive drug testing available at an affordable price—Call 1-800-230-2991 to find out more.

4th of July Closure Notice
In observance of Independence Day on July 4th, Wolfe will be closed. Normal office hours will resume on the 5th of July.