DNA Hair Testing

DNA Testing Hair
The gold standard for DNA testing is to collect DNA samples by the use of an oral swab. This is because an oral swab is so easy to use and offers a high success rate.

At AlphaBiolabs we get many people inquiring about using hair samples for testing. It is a modern misconception that hair DNA testing is the best method of DNA testing. This is not the case, DNA collection by mouth swab more effective than a hair sample, and in most cases hair cannot be used in DNA testing.

DNA Hair Testing

All Hair is split into two parts:

  • The shaft which is what you see above the surface of your skin, this is what your brush, wash and style. There is no nuclear DNA present in the hair shaft
  • The root or follicle which is below the surface of the skin. This dose contain DNA and can be tested although most responsible DNA testing companies will discourage strongly using hair for DNA testing.

Human Hair is made up of a type of protein known as keratin and are made from two to three intertwined layers.

Movies and TV shows seem to be responsible for the misconception that hair is generally used in DNA testing cases such as paternity testing.

At AlphaBiolabs we perform DNA Hair Testing to test for the presence of drug. Hair retains any consumed chemicals/drugs in the hair cortex. This means as the hair grows we can identify if the subject has used illicit drugs and by working out how quickly a subjects hair grows we can work out how long ago those illicit drugs were consumed.

AlphaBiolabs do not use DNA Hair Testing to test DNA for use in paternity cases for example. We use buccal mouth swabs as this is a much safer method of collection DNA samples and causes much less discomfort for the individuals being tested as to perform DNA Hair Testing it would require us to take whole hair strand samples as hair contains no DNA traces, but the follicle dose.

If you require a DNA test for paternity which you are not using in a court of law please visit our DNA paternity testing page.

If you require a DNA test for paternity and you want to use the results in a court of law or for use with the CSA (child support agency) then please visit our legal DNA paternity test page.

If you require a DNA test to determine a relationship such as grandparentage or maternity then please visit our DNA relationship testing page here.


*Please note: Our sample collection service is not included in our scope of accreditation.