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Hair Follicle Drug Testing

What Is Hair Drug Testing?

Hair follicle testing can provide a long-term detection window of drug and alcohol use. The science behind this kind of testing is similar to fingernail testing. When a drug enters the bloodstream, it gets absorbed into the protein fibers (keratin) that make up hair as it grows.

Additionally, hair receives the vitamins and minerals it needs to grow through the blood. Therefore it traps the biomarkers of the chemical compounds of the drug, making it easy to detect drug use. The process of testing hair follicles allows scientists to see patterns of drug use going back 3-6 months. In some cases it can go farther.

A collected sample of hair for a Hair Follicle drug test for Butterfield Onsite Drug Testing being sealed..

What Factors Can Affect Hair Drug Testing? 

Hair drug screening is a highly reliable means for identifying drug use over the past three months. Although sometimes referred to as a hair follicle test, testing is actually performed on the hair strands. 

Clients sometimes express concern regarding factors that could negatively impact hair drug testing in Oregon. For example, we are frequently asked whether hair color affects hair drug testing results. To date, no link has been established between hair color and the accuracy of hair follicle drug screening. It should be noted that bleached hair – especially if bleaching has occurred multiple times – may affect the ability of follicle testing to identify substance use. 

In the event that an individual’s hair has been subjected to multiple bleachings, collectors can successfully complete the testing using body hair, if available. 

Contact Butterfield Testing Solutions today to learn more about the details and accuracy of a hair drug test in Oregon. 

How Much Hair Is Required for Accurate Drug Testing? 

Typically, collectors use approximately 3.5 inches of hair, taken from the portion of the hair strands closest to the scalp. The quantity of hair needed for a sample is approximately the same thickness as a standard No. 2 pencil – about 6 millimeters or slightly larger than 1/4 inch. 

These factors necessitate the individual having hair at least 3.5 inches long and having a sufficient quantity of head hair to provide enough for testing. If an individual does not have head hair of sufficient length or quantity, body hair may also be used to conduct drug screening in Oregon. 

Hair drug testing can successfully be conducted on hair samples taken from the chest, arms or legs. Like head hair, body hair samples are clipped as closely as possible to the root. 

Contact BODT now to learn more about the many options – including hair follicle testing – we offer for on site drug testing in Oregon. 

Stopwatch representing how long it takes to do a drug test.

How long does it take to do a hair follicle drug test?


About 15 Min.

Verified results for how long it takes to receive results for a drug test.

How long does it take to get results for a hair follicle drug test?


About 3-5 Days

Calendar representing how long a drug test's detection window is.

Detection Window Period


Approximately 90 Days

How A Hair Follicle Drug Test Is Done

A collector from Butterfield Onsite Drug Testing is trimming a man's hair for a hair follicle drug test.

Step 1

First, the subject checks in and fills in the necessary paperwork. Then, the collector explains the collection process.

Step 2


Next, the collector preps equipment for the hair sample collection. The collector uses sterilized scissors, combs, and other tools to collect the specimen.

Step 3


Now the collector will strategically collect hair specimens to have sufficient for the drug test and not leave noticeable spots of missing hair.

Step 4


The hair specimen is sealed and shipped to the lab to be analyzed.

Step 5

Lastly, we send the test results to the client within 3-5 days.

Things To Know About Hair Testing

Hair drug testing tends to produce more positive test results because the detection window is greater. A longer detection period will usually yield a higher possibility for drug use activity.

Hair testing is often used by companies that employ people in extremely safety-sensitive positions and the risk of injury is greater. This “lifestyle” type of drug test helps them immensely as drug abuse in the workplace also puts employers at risk for higher insurance rates, increased absenteeism, and less than acceptable productivity.

The cost of hair testing is higher than other forms of testing, but in the long run, many employers find it more cost-effective when they look at the history of turnover in their company due potentially to drug and alcohol abuse.

Hair follicle drug testing is a great alternative to urine or oral fluid testing. This type of testing is available at our collection site and onsite testing. Call us today to learn more about our testing services and how we can help you maintain a drug-free workplace.