Hair Drug Testing
- Fast drug testing results within 3 days
- Wide range of drugs tested
- Hair drug testing services for members of the public, the legal profession, social workers and employers
- Winner of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation
- Accredited-laboratory processes
- In-house toxicology experts available for advice
- Nationwide network of sample collectors and free Walk in Centres
Why choose hair drug testing?
Hair drug testing is an extremely useful form of testing and can be used to determine whether drugs have been used over a period of time. It is known as a ‘wide window’ form of testing and can determine a history of drug intake for up to 12 months. Head hair grows at an average rate of 1 cm per month.
Following consumption of a drug and its passage into the bloodstream, a proportion of the drug’s metabolites will enter the hair follicle. Drug use can therefore be established over a defined period depending on the length of hair selected.
There are two types of hair drug tests available: overview or segmented analysis.
Segmented analysis is the most detailed form of hair drug testing. By segmenting head hair samples into 1 cm sections, a month-by-month profile of drug use can be attained to provide a detailed history of an individual’s drug exposure.
In cases where a single administration of a particular drug is suspected, the analysis of small segments may help establish a positive hair test in a narrow timeframe.
In addition, segmented analysis is useful if you need to obtain a trend in drug use, such as to see a decrease or increase in drug use over time, or to highlight intermittent use.
An overview analysis is beneficial to obtain a general indication of drug use because any episodes of drug taking are averaged out over the period being tested. This could range from 3 cm to identify drug use within that 3-month time period, up to 6 or even 12 months, dependent on the length of hair available. A 6-month overview could also be used to provide two results: one for the first 3 months and a second result for the later 3 months.
However, if an individual has not taken drugs for 2 months but then takes an excessive amount in 1 month, an overview analysis of 3 months (3cm) will find drug markers along the entire length of the hair.
|Analysis type required (months)||Number of segments||Reported time period||Type of Test|
|3||3||3 individual months||Segmented|
|6||2||2 x 3-month periods||Overview|
|6||6||6 individual months||Segmented|
Our standard drugs panel:
These are the main drugs we test for:
- Ecstasy (MDMA)
We are also able to arrange hair drug testing for GHB, LSD, Spice, steroids and Tramadol for an additional fee.
How are samples collected?
Around 200 individual strands of hair (about the width of a pencil) need to be collected from a discrete area. Hair samples are usually taken from a person’s head; however, if head hair is not available alternative collection sites could be considered including underarm, chest, leg and beard hair. The growth rate of hair from these alternate sites differs from head hair and as such body hair cannot be used to determine a specific timeframe of drug use.
UK-wide sample collection
We have a UK-wide network of sample collectors. Our fully trained sample collectors are able to collect samples from our nationwide Walk in Centres or from an address of your choice. For further information, please call our Customer Services team on 0333 600 1300.
AlphaBiolabs can provide hair drug testing to members of the public, social workers, employers, family law firms, legal practitioners, courts and local authorities. Please click here for information on our Workplace Drug Testing and Legal Drug Testing. We also offer legal DNA and legal alcohol testing services. If you are seeking a legal test, please call 0333 600 1300 for our latest offers.