Hair Testing

Hair testing has been around for over 15 years and a small sample taken from the crown of the head once analysed can show substance use or abstinence over a period of months.

When a substance is ingested into the body, it is absorbed into the blood which supplies each hair follicle on your body. Therefore, the drug is transferred from the blood into the hair. The drug remains trapped in the hair like a permanent record of use. By sectioning the hair, we can show trends of use, for example a 3cm sample divided into 1 x 1cm samples will show a month by month use by a donor.

A hair test is a non-invasive method of testing and our team are trained in the professional methods of taking a sample for you. If your client is being tested for drugs and alcohol you would need two samples of hair taken. The sample will be taken under strict chain of custody procedure and passed to the laboratory for analysis.

All drugs of abuse can be tested for and a 3cm sample of hair will give you an approximate window of detection of 3 months. A standard 8/9 panel of drugs can be tested for as required.

We use a UKAS/COFRAC accredited laboratory for analysis of hair samples.


Q: How much hair will needed to be taken in each sample tested?
A: Approximately 150 hairs are need for each sample.

Q: If you test for alcohol and drugs in hair how many samples will be needed?
A: Two samples will be needed if testing for alcohol and drugs.

Q: Where is the sample taken from?
A: Samples are taken in general from the crown of the head.

Q: Are samples tested in an Accredited Laboratory?
A: All samples taken by our team are tested in UKAS/COFRAC Accredited Laboratories

Q: What if the client has no head hair?
A: It is possible to take underarm hair or chest or leg hair but the window of detection is different from body hair than from head hair. Body hair will produce a longer window of detection and is not possible to segment this sample.

Q: What if I need to prove my client is no longer using drugs?
A: We can take a three cm sample of head hair and segment into 3 x 1cm samples to be tested which will give a history of the last three months use or abstinence on a month by month basis, potentially showing a decrease in drug use. We would suggest that when carrying out an alcohol test in hair that a blood analysis for alcohol levels is carried out at the same time to give a clearer picture of use.