Are you getting ready for an upcoming hair drug test? If yes, you may face moments of anxiety because you’re scared of getting a positive result. You don’t have to – not when we’ve prepared a detailed article that answers popular questions like “Will I pass a hair drug test if I smoked once?” From the name of this test, you probably can already tell that it tests hair samples for the presence of drugs. Although this test is generally considered effective, it still has its limitations and that’s part of what necessitates this article. The rest of this article dives deeper into the most important information about this type of test, including how to pass a hair drug test.
Understanding the Hair Follicle Drug Test
Now you probably know that a hair follicle test would screen your hair for traces of drugs in your system. This type of drug test ranks high in reliability and accuracy. No wonder it is gaining more popularity among employers and government agencies. It also has the longest detection time window as it can detect drugs for up to 90 days.
Despite being popularly referred to as a hair follicle drug test, this kind of test does not examine the follicles. Instead, it examines the hair strands, meaning that hair strands are the sample required. It’s also important to state that this drug test does not necessarily require strict supervision like other tests. However, it’s still hard to pass, making for the necessity to take precautionary steps before the test date.
How it Works
Usually, when people smoke, the smoke metabolites find their way to the bloodstream. The blood vessels then transport the metabolites to different parts of the body, including the hair follicle.
During the hair follicle test, a lab technician takes samples of your hair from your scalp area. The sample is usually 1.5 inches long.
What the Hair Follicle Drug Test Examines
Simply put, hair follicle drug tests detect the presence of drugs or drug metabolites in the system. The drug will usually turn into a substance called metabolite as it breaks down and circulates to different parts of the body. Some popular drugs that can be detected in the hair include:
Below is a table of some of these popular drug classes and their cutoff levels during a drug test.
|(ELISA test cutoff, GC-MS Cutoff)
|1 pg/mg hair, 0.30 pg/mg hair
|300 pg/mg hair, 300 pg/mg hair
|500 pg/mg hair, 500 pg/mg hair
|500 pg/mg hair, 500 pg/mg hair
|300 pg/mg hair, 300 pg/mg hair
Who Gets Tested?
The most popular scenario for hair drug testing is in the workplace. Employers typically conduct drug testing when they suspect use based on several symptoms you may exhibit around the workplace. They may also require employees to test for drug use after an incident or accident at work. Don’t be surprised if they also request such drug tests after a long period of absenteeism.
Other contexts in which drug screening can be used include:
- Legal/forensic testing: hair follicle drug tests may be recommended or mandated as part of a court case or ongoing investigation where evidence is required to prove or defend a crime. You may also be subjected to this test if you’re suspected to be drunk driving.
- Risk management: hair follicle drug tests are also popular in work environments where employers have direct access to heavy-duty equipment and other hazardous materials. In this case, impaired judgment due to substance abuse can lead to a significant loss of lives and properties. Therefore, this type of drug test is usually performed to ensure safety and mitigate any potential risks.
Hair Follicle Drug Test Procedures
Like most other tests, the hair drug test can be done using different procedures. You can usually just choose the procedure you want and go for it. The most popular procedures include:
1. Laboratory Testing
This one involves walking into the lab yourself and having a lab technician handle the hair tests for THC from the hair collection stage to the final stage. It’s the easiest method since you don’t need to do much.
2. Hair Sample Collection Using Kits
This option involves collecting your hair sample in specialized home hair drug testing kits and sending it to the lab for test. The hair drug test kit typically contains a hair specimen pouch, a clear plastic bag, and a collection foil. The process of collecting hair samples is usually easy; however, we recommend reading specific instructions on the kit to know how to use it.
3. Online Screening
Online screening platforms like the National Drug Screening make for easy ordering and collection of hair tests online or over the phone. This procedure works well for employment purposes, court orders, probation, personal drug tests, etc.
Most online testing platforms will provide several hair testing options, including:
- 5-panel hair follicle drug test
- 7-panel hair follicle drug test
- 9-panel hair follicle drug test
- 12-panel hair follicle drug test
- 17-panel hair follicle drug test
- Etg hair and alcohol testing
- Hair vaping panel
Simply log into their website to see the procedure and how you can handle it.
Should All Hair Drug Screening Be Supervised?
Although it’s very difficult to cheat in a hair follicle drug test, many examinees are still concerned about supervision, hence, the question of whether all drug tests are supervised. It significantly depends on who’s ordering the test. For example, if it is ordered by an employer or a criminal investigation department, you may have a supervisor attached to you throughout the process. However, in most cases, this test will be unsupervised because of how difficult it is to cheat in it. Please note that whether the drug test is supervised or not, it is illegal to tamper with the sample.
Interpreting Drug Test Results
The first and most important thing to know about this test is that the results are reported as positive or negative. Getting a positive result means that the rest has detected drug metabolites in your sample. However, a negative result means that you are free from any trace of drugs. The test can test negative if:
- You have not consumed the specific drug the test targets
- You only used the drug outside the test detection window
- You consume an insufficient quantity of drugs to be detected
While trying to interpret drug test results, it helps to understand which method the laboratory used for the testing. In this case, the laboratory testing methods are generally categorized into two: initial testing and confirmation testing.
- Initial testing method: although relatively common, this method provides preliminary results. The test results typically explain drugs and drug classes that surpass the lab’s cutoff point for positive results.
- Confirmation testing method: As a follow-up testing method, this method helps to reduce the risk of errors in the initial testing method. The results here are usually more detailed, so you can expect to see the specific metabolites that the test detects.
Factors Influencing Toxin Retention
Test type is not the only answer to “How long is marijuana detected in hair follicle drug test?” Hence, you may see different results for different people who have used the same type and quantity of drugs. It boils down to individual toxin retention capability. Here, take a look at the most common factors that can influence toxin retention in smokers. This way, we can answer the question, “How long does weed stay in a hair follicle?”
Body Mass Index (BMI)
Body mass index can affect marijuana retention in the body. THC is fat-soluble, meaning that it can attach itself to fat molecules and stay in the system longer. So bigger-sized people will metabolize weed rather slowly because of their body fat concentration.
People become more aware of their gender differences after puberty. As a result, sex hormones may begin to affect gender-related changes in metabolic rate. Such gender differences have been extensively researched in rats, with results showing male rats to have larger drug metabolism abilities.
Frequency of Usage
The dose, administration route, and frequency, in addition to tissue distribution, can influence the metabolism rate. So, two people can have different drug retention capabilities based purely on this, even though they’ve consumed the same drugs.
Pre-Test Preparations: What to Avoid
The days leading to a drug test can come with uncertainty and fear, especially for vapers. But it’s also possible to go through the drug test with minimum problems. Here are some steps you can follow to prepare yourself better for the test.
- Learn about the process: The first and most important step in preparing for a drug test is to learn about the process. For hair drug tests, you’ll be required to submit hair samples. Therefore, your preparatory steps should focus mostly on your hair.
- Abstain: there’s no better way to prepare for a drug test than to completely abstain. The complete elimination of drugs from your body can take several months. You don’t want the errors that may come with quick solutions; therefore, it makes sense to completely abstain.
- Hydrate: drinking enough water before your test can help hasten the process of weed detoxification in your system. You want to increase your water intake days before the drug test to improve your chances of passing.
- Artificial detoxing solutions: there’s no answer to the question “How long does it take weed to get out of your hair?” that wouldn’t talk about artificial detoxification. Detoxification solutions like specialized shampoos can help remove weed traces from your hair before your drug test.
However, there’s a need for care when choosing detoxification products, as some products can cause false positives. For instance, some weight loss pills, mouthwash, antidepressants, and antibiotics may trigger false results in your test. If you’ve used any of these, be sure to tell the lab technician before your test.
Debunking Common Myths
Firstly, it’s important to note how almost impossible it is to cheat in this method of drug test. Our hair is something we can’t cover up, so a hair follicle drug test will always show the accurate amount of drugs in our system. Over time, we’ve heard different facts about hair drug tests. Unfortunately, not all these facts are correct. Here, let’s review some popular hair follicle drug testing myths.
1. Shaving your hair can help you game the system
Why shave your hair when they can also use your body hair? Remember, they only need two inches of hair for the test, so unless you want to shave your whole body, shaving your head may not be a good solution.
2. Hair from a brush will work
This type of test requires fresh hair for accurate results. Otherwise, the test will come back inconclusive. There’s also the high possibility of the sample being communicated from another source.
3. Secondhand smoke can trigger a positive result
If you’ve been close to someone smoking before your test, don’t worry. The little amount you’ll inhale during this period will not be enough to trigger a positive result.
4. Immediate drug cessation can help you pass a drug test
Unfortunately, hair drug tests can detect drug use for up to 90 days, so the chances of passing a drug test through immediate cessation are non-existent. Instead, you should abstain from drugs long before the test date. This is the only way you can go into the test center with absolute peace of mind.
Strategies to Pass Hair Strand Drug Tests
Yes, it takes a long for drugs to clear from your system, but that doesn’t mean you’re completely helpless. There are a number of strategies that can help. One of them is the Macujo method. Here’s an overview of how the Macujo method works.
The Macujo Method
This is a popular hair detox routine that has existed since the early 2000s. It involves the use of strong ingredients to break down hair cuticles and remove drug metabolites. The use of powerful chemicals for this method means you’ll need to apply conditioner on your hair constantly to reduce the possibility of damage. However, the effectiveness of the Macujo method depends greatly on the ingredients. The most important ingredients include:
- Heinz vinegar
- Zydot Ultra Clean Kit
- Clear and Clean deep cleansing solution
- Shower cap
- Detox shampoo
- Rubber gloves
- Dampen (not drench) your hair with warm water.
- Coat your hair with enough vinegar and massage thoroughly until it reaches your scalp.
- Use your hand to work the Clear and Clean solution until it saturates your hair.
- Leave the combination on your hair for up to 30 minutes (preferably wearing your shower cap).
- Use warm water to wash the mixture away.
- Use the best hair detox shampoo for drug testing (Old Style Aloe Toxin Rid Shampoo) to wash the hair thoroughly again.
- Massage a generous amount of Tide detergent into your hair before rinsing it with warm water.
- Finally, use the Zydot Ultra Clean kit to wash all remaining solution out of your hair.
We recommend a careful repeat of the washing process for seven days before your test date.
The Jerry G Method – An Alternative Approach
Here’s another amazing alternative for cleaning up drug toxins from your hair before a test. From its name, you can tell that the method was invented by a weed enthusiast named Jerry G. This method uses powerful ingredients to break down hair cuticles. The chemicals are allowed to penetrate the different layers of the human hair to eliminate drug residues effectively. Despite the efficacy level of this method, it still takes up to 10 days to complete. Some users even prefer to do it for longer.
- Zydot Ultra Clean kit
- Old Style Aloe Rid Shampoo
- Peroxide bleach
- Permanent hair dye that matches your hair color (with ammonia content)
- Baking soda
- Hair care accessories (brushes, combs, towels, etc.)
- Use a permanent dye containing ammonia to dye your hair. The presence of ammonia will help open your hair cuticle, which is key to flushing out toxins effectively.
- After dyeing the hair, apply a generous amount of Old-Style Aloe Rid shampoo. Wash thoroughly and rinse until you’re sure the shampoo is completely out. Allow for natural air to dry before moving to the next step.
- Repeat the steps again after ten days of initial application
- Apply an already prepared baking soda pass to each strand of hair. Give the soda paste about 15-20 minutes to sit on the hair before washing it out with Old Style Aloe Rid Shampoo.
- Finally, use the Zydot Ultra Clean to wash the hair again. Now, you’ll be ready to submit your hair sample for a drug test.
Mastering Hair Detoxification
Let’s face the fact – we’re all scared of tests like this because of the uncertainty they come with. However, a good way to get yourself ready is to detoxify with a reliable detox shampoo. This type of shampoo breaks down toxins and removes drug metabolites from your hair. It also helps to replace essential nutrients that will help your hair remain healthy. The shampoo’s design allows it to cooperate with your body’s natural detoxification process. So, instead of obstructing the detoxification process, it hastens it, allowing for easier flushing of toxins that may have accumulated on your hair.
Two of the best hair detox shampoos for drug testing are the Old Style Aloe Toxin Rid and the Zydot Ultra Clean Shampoo.
Old Style Aloe Toxin Rid
This shampoo is a blend of natural ingredients like Aloe Vera and propylene glycol that targets and eliminates lingering drug traces from the hair. It features a thorough cleansing action that’s popular for removing unwanted substances from different parts of the hair. The propylene glycol present in the shampoo acts as a catalyst that bolsters the shampoo’s ability to purify the hair.
- Designed to offer deep cleansing of the hair
- The use of natural ingredients makes the shampoo safe for use on any hair
- It has a pleasant fragrance
- Supports hair growth
- Relatively expensive
- It may take some time to work for hard levels of chemical pollution
Zydot Ultra Clean Shampoo Kit
This complete kit of shampoo, purifier, and conditioner removes all kinds of toxin buildup from the hair, getting you ready for a hair drug test. Just like the previous option, this shampoo contains aloe vera and other natural ingredients that help condition the hair and scalp, while the penetrating cleansing agent removes impurities.
- Relatively affordable
- An all-in-one package that cleans, conditions, and improves hair quality
- Contains natural ingredients
- Not the ideal option for heavy smokers
- Contains some organic ingredients that may be harmful to some kinds of hair
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How Long Does it Take for a Hair Follicle Drug Test to Come Back?
Results for specimens that test negative are usually available within 48 to 72 hours after the lab acknowledges receipt of the specimen. However, positive results will undergo another confirmation test, in which results take an additional 72 hours to be ready.
2. How Accurate are Hair Follicle Tests for Drugs?
Although we’re all humans, we’re different in a lot of ways. So we’re different in the way we react to several things. Despite the accuracy of this type of test, our differences can still influence how it goes. For instance, factors like how a person sweats, skin pigmentation, drug use frequency, and the use of hair bleach can also affect the results.
3. How Many Times do You Need to do the Macujo Method?
The Best possible way to go about this is to repeat the process several times. However, since you have a very limited time, you can do it two times per day for three days. Aim to go as close to seven times as possible to reach even the most invincible metabolites.
4. Will I Pass a Hair Drug Test if I Smoked Once
The test result can return negative, even if you’ve just smoked once. However, if the time you smoked falls w more than 90 days before the test date, you’re likely to have a negative result.
Although the hair follicle drug test is a relatively dangerous test for smokers, you can still pass it. You just need to know what it is and everything it entails. Usually, we recommend abstinence from all kinds of smoke as the best way to beat any drug test. However, if for any reason you smoked recently and need to do a hair drug test, you can resort to the information in this article to help you. Remember, your best shot at passing a hair drug test is abstinence. Another option is to use reliable shampoos for drug detoxification. Here, we’ve recommended the Old Style Aloe Toxin Rid Shampoo and Zydot Ultra Clean Shampoo Kit for the numerous positive reviews they are getting from past users. Using the well and carefully following the instructions on the kits will help increase your chances of passing a drug test.