How Can You Pass a Hair Follicle Test

When facing a looming hair follicle drug test, it’s only natural to feel worry and stress. However, with the right preparation and knowledge, it is possible to pass this type of drug screen. This in-depth guide will explore hair follicle testing procedures and cover evidence-based strategies to effectively detoxify your hair of drug toxins.

Understanding the Hair Follicle Drug Test

A hair follicle drug test examines hair strands for traces of drug metabolites that become trapped in the hair as it grows out of the scalp. Hair grows at an average rate of 1-1.5 inches per month, so a hair sample longer than 1.5 inches indicates drug use within the past 90 days. Different sections of the hair strand can reveal a timeline of substance use over several months prior to the test.

How the Hair Follicle Test Works

How the Hair Follicle Test Works

During the test, several strands of hair are collected, usually from the scalp or other body hair like arm or leg follicles. An initial screen is done by an immunoassay, then positive samples undergo Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) for confirmation. The GC/MS method can detect drug use within the past 3 months for marijuana, 6 months for cocaine, and up to 90 days for other substances like opiates, PCP and amphetamines.

How Long Does Weed Stay in A Hair Follicle

THC, the main psychoactive compound in marijuana, is fat-soluble and can remain in the body for extended periods. Hair follicle tests have the ability to detect THC up to 90 days after use. Even occasional or one-time marijuana use could trigger a positive result depending on the cutoff levels of the specific drug test. Regular or heavy cannabis smokers may even test positive for over 6 months, as THC stays in the body’s fatty tissues.

What the Hair Follicle Drug Test Examines

Unlike urine tests that only show recent drug use within the past 3 days, hair follicle drug screens offer a longer detection window into substance abuse patterns over several months prior:

  • Marijuana – up to 90 days
  • Cocaine – up to 90 days
  • Opiates – up to 90 days
  • PCP – up to 90 days
  • Amphetamines – up to 90 days
  • Methamphetamines – up to 90 days
  • MDMA/Molly – up to 90 days

Scenarios of People Having to Pass a Hair Drug Test

Some common scenarios where individuals may need to pass a hair follicle drug test include:

  • Court-ordered drug testing as part of probation
  • Pre-employment screening for safety sensitive jobs
  • Random workplace drug testing programs
  • Child custody disputes requiring parents to be drug-free
  • Athletes subject to anti-doping regulations

Hair Follicle Drug Test Procedures

The standard hair drug testing procedure involves:

  1. A certified technician collects 30-50 strands of hair, typically from the back or side of the scalp for greater follicle yield.
  2. The sample is tested via immunoassay, either enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) or radioimmunoassay (RIA).
  3. If the initial screen is positive, a confirmation test using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS) is required due to the more precise results it provides.
  4. Results are reported to the entity requiring the drug screening, such as a probation officer or employer’s medical review officer.

Role of Supervised Testing

Most pre-employment and legal hair drug tests are directly observed or monitored collections to ensure sample authenticity and prevent tampering or substitution. The collector watches and verifies that the individual actually removed their own hair sample without any outside help or products that could alter results.

Interpreting Drug Test Results

After laboratory analysis, hair test results will typically be reported as either:

  • Negative – No drugs or metabolite levels above the cutoff threshold detected.
  • Positive – Drugs or metabolite concentrations exceed the specified cutoff limit.
  • Diluted, adulterated or substituted – Attempt made to alter the sample.

Confirmation Testing Methods

GC-MS confirmation is done on specimens that screen positive. This highly accurate method identifies drug molecules by their unique fragmentation patterns to confirm presence without false positives. Cutoff levels range from 1-25 pg/mg depending on the specific substance and testing guidelines.

Factors Influencing Toxin Retention

Several variables determine how long drug residues persist in hair:

  • Drug chemistry – Fat-soluble compounds like THC stay in hair longer.
  • Dosing patterns – Heavy, chronic use means a longer detection window.
  • Hair treatment history – Color processing or relaxing can affect toxin binding.
  • Toxicology of individual – Genetics impact metabolic capabilities.
  • Hydration and health status – Proper care preserves drug remnants.

Pre-Test Preparations: What to Avoid

To give the best chance at a negative result, it’s wise to avoid substances for at least 3 months prior by:

  • Ceasing all recreational drug use
  • Discontinuing prescribed medications if possible
  • Cutting hair short to minimize detectable growth (>1.5 inches)
  • Drinking plenty of water to flush the body
  • Exercising regularly and maintaining good nutrition
  • Consider natural remedies to help detoxify like:
    • Apple cider vinegar
    • Baking soda
    • Dandelion
    • Milk thistle

Debunking Common Myths

Contrary to popular belief, hair can’t simply be “washed clean” of drug metabolites through shampooing or dyeing. Chemical treatments may disrupt drug bonding to an extent, but won’t remove all toxins if the testing cutoff is very low, say below 10 pg/mg. Home detox products also provide limited effectiveness at best given the challenge of extracting fat-soluble compounds embedded within the hair shaft at the microscopic level.

Mastering Hair Detoxification

While no method guarantees success, the highest odds involve using a medically-developed hair detoxifier coupled with diligent cleansing over several application periods. Research the following top products:

Using Old Style Aloe Toxin Rid and Zydot Ultra Clean Shampoos

Both popular shampoos contain advanced cleansing formulas to lift built-up drug deposits from the hair. The key is following directions exactly – wash daily and do multiple rounds leading up to the test date to give contaminants maximum time for release. Completely dry hair afterward to seal in removed toxins prior to re-absorption from the scalp.

Detox Methods

Other possible adjunct techniques include: low-level laser treatments, maca root supplements, niacin flush therapies, intensive cardio workouts and sauna sessions to promote heavy sweating for accelerated detox timeframes. However, no guarantee of success exists as each individual’s hair and metabolism differ. The safer path involves abstaining from all recreational drug use for 90+ days in advance of important screenings whenever possible.


 While hair follicle drug testing presents a significant challenge due to its ability to detect substance use up to 90 days prior, preparing effectively and choosing scientifically-validated detox methods can meaningfully increase your odds of achieving a negative result. Following the recommendations in this guide, from lifestyle changes to product routines, supports the natural excretion of drug metabolites through elimination pathways over multiple weeks.

No one solution guarantees success, as each body retains toxins differently. However, committing to a thorough detox plan incorporating multiple strategies in the ideal 90+ day window prior to screening gives the best chance at clearing your system and passing this intensive test. With diligence, even overcoming this daunting test is achievable for motivated individuals.

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