Why hair drug testing?

Scientists in laboratory performing hair testing and drug testing
Drug abuse in the workplace puts employers at a risk of increased accidents, increased absenteeism, decreased productivity, and higher insurance costs. Hair testing, like all drug testing methodologies, helps to mitigate these risks by screening out applicants and employees who use drugs. 
 
Hair testing for drugs of abuse is the only drug testing method available that provides up to a 90-day drug use history. When compared with urine testing, hair testing tends to provide a greater number of positives due to its longer detection window. Hair testing requires a small sample of hair that is collected under direct supervision without any invasion of privacy. It is an excellent option for pre-employment and random drug testing programs. 
 
What drugs are tested with hair testing?
Quest Diagnostics tests for amphetamines (amphetamine, methamphetamine, MDMA and MDA), opiates (codeine, morphine and 6-monoacetylmorphine) or “expanded” opiates (which includes semi-synthetic opiates), cocaine (and cocaine metabolites), marijuana metabolite (THC carboxylic acid metabolite), and PCP (phencyclidine).
 
How much hair is needed to perform the drug test?
Quest Diagnostics standard screen usually requires a cosmetically undetectable lock of hair preferably snipped from the back of the head, just below the crown. In general, the amount needed equates to a single row of hairs approximately one (1) centimeter wide.
 
Can a hair drug test be beaten or adulterated?
We have not found any adulterants that can beat a hair drug test at this time. Moreover, the risk is minimized because every hair collection is observed.

What is the difference between hair testing and hair follicle testing?
Calling a hair test a hair follicle test is a common misnomer. The hair follicle is actually the pocket, below the scalp, from which the hair strand grows. During a hair drug test collection, the hair is cut as close to the scalp as possible, so only the strands of hair above the scalp is tested and not the actual hair follicle.  True hair follicle testing requires the hair to be “plucked” rather than cut which can lead to extreme donor discomfort.  
 
Can I see the hair testing laboratory in process?
While there is no better way to learn about our testing processes than to take a live lab tour, our video is the next best thing as it details our commitment to quality and the processes and procedures involved in hair testing.
 
Read more FAQs or download our hair drug testing brochure.

Download our new case study about why Brazil chose to hair drug test its professional drivers. We examine the county's history of drug use, traffic-related fatalities, overall drug positivity, most commonly-detected drugs, and how U.S. testing regulations for transportation compare. 

Download our Hair Testing Specimen Procedures and Information guide.

Download our Guide to Establishing a Workplace Drug Testing Program.

Download our white paper about the accuracy of hair testing.

Watch our hair drug testing video

To get started with Quest today, call 1.800.877.7484 or contact us online.