Hair testing

Hair testing is useful when a profile of historic drug use and chronic excessive alcohol use over a number of months is needed. Hair grows at an average rate of 1cm per month; therefore a 3cm section of scalp hair can provide an approximate 3 month retrospective profile of drug or alcohol use. Due to the growth rate, hair provides a unique window of detection covering months rather than days that urine or oral fluid analysis can show.

When drugs or alcohol enter the body, it is transported via the blood stream and incorporated into the hair follicle. As the hair grows, it incorporates trace amounts of drugs and alcohol markers in the hair shaft.

If no scalp hair is available, then body hair or facial hair can be used. However it has a different growth cycle to that of scalp hair, meaning that body or facial hair samples are analysed as a whole sample and are unable to be segmented into a month by month analysis.

When should I use hair testing?  

Hair testing should be used to profile historic drug or alcohol use over a number of months.

How much hair is collected?

Two samples (the ‘A’ and ‘B’) are collected. Each is cut close to the scalp / body and is approximately the thickness of a pencil.

Our sister company Lextox, and part of the SYNLAB Group is a specialist hair drug and alcohol testing laboratory accredited to ISO 17025 UKAS testing standards and can assist you with all of your hair testing requirements. Their range of services, turnaround time and combined experience of over 50 years, makes Lextox the trusted choice for over 8,000 clients across the UK.

You can learn more about Lextox by visiting their website or alternatively you can call them on 02920 484141 to discuss your hair testing requirements.