They’re considered to be more accurate than both mouth swab and urine tests, which not too long ago were the most common method of testing. It will take about five days for weed to show up in your hair, but it can continue to be detectable in a hair follicle drug test for several months. Interesting to note is that back in 2015, as many as 7% of American employees failed their hair follicle test because of weed. Even more surprising, these weren’t one-off, irregular smokers who had been caught by bad luck or bad timing. Those who fail the hair drug test are typically habitual users.
Essentially, this is the purpose of the hair follicle test, to detect regular cannabis use. The presence of weed (and/or any other illicit substance) that can be found in your hair can be understood by one single principle; when weed is ingested into your body, it circulates through the bloodstream and into your urine, saliva, blood, and hair follicles via the bloodstream. The drug metabolites that enter into your hair follicles are then trapped in the hair structure as it starts to grow out. Hair grows at a rate of approximately 0.5 inches per month, and drug testing labs will typically test for toxin metabolites that are trapped in the shaft core. The length of your hair sample can measure historical drug use , but it’s not possible to determine a specific timeline of usage. In short, a hair follicle test cannot tell the difference between THC metabolites that were introduced two weeks ago, from ones that were only introduced two days ago. Now, this possibly sounds a little confusing, so let’s break it down a little. Your body will react to THC and other cannabinoids in a complex way, and as a result, these cannabinoids and their metabolic byproducts will end up scattered in various systems throughout the body.
Weed ends up in your hair via your bloodstream, and while it only stays there for a very short time (usually only as long as you are high), signs of weed use can be detected in your hair for a significantly longer time. Before the body rapidly breaks down the cannabinoids in the blood, they will bind to the sheath of tissue and cells surrounding the root of your hair. This initially happens underneath the surface of your scalp, but eventually, the cannabinoids will become incorporated into the follicle and ultimately the hair strand itself. Finally, after about five to ten days, the “weed-infused hair” pops out the top of your head. This is why it’s not easy to cheat a hair follicle drug test. Hair samples are used because the drugs in the bloodstream will bind to hair follicles underneath the scalp (it generally takes five to 10 days for the hair that contains the drugs to reach the surface of the scalp). The standard hair sample is 1.5 inches from the scalp, and since head hair grows at an average rate of half an inch per month, we can estimate that 1.5 inches of hair would give results over a period of three months (1.5 inches divided by 0.5 inches). So why are more institutions opting for the hair follicle test over other methods, you might be wondering? Well, as it turns out, there are many reasons for this. Some of the most noteworthy are that the hair follicle tests are known to give more accurate and precise results, as opposed to urine or oral swab tests. Secondly, these tests can detect a longer history of substance abuse when compared to other tests. And lastly, it’s thought that beating a hair follicle test is a lot more challenging and difficult than other tests. The good news, however, is that it’s not impossible to pass. The bad news for a few of you is that if you are a regular smoker and a hair follicle testing is thrown your way at the last minute, there’s not much you can do. In fact, you best start job-hunting because unfortunately, things probably won’t be looking too good for you. The good news, however, is that if you’ve only smoked recently, you have nothing to worry about since the weed will only show up in your hair five to ten days after consumption. Technically you could even take a puff of the good stuff the very day of your hair test, and it still wouldn’t be detected. Also, if you’ve only smoked a couple of times in the last 90 days, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. Although the hair follicle drug test is relatively sensitive, only regular weed use will put enough THC into the hair to trigger a positive result. In short, passing a hair drug test is all in the timing. If you are aware of an upcoming drug test, you could always abstain from weed for the time being. We know it’s not fun, but it may just be necessary. As we have already mentioned, passing a hair drug test is not an easy task. The very moment that you find out that you will be submitting to a follicle test, you should stop using cannabis right away. It’s also important to avoid all skin-to-skin contact with anybody who consumes cannabis since there is always the risk that this type of contact could transfer weed metabolites onto the follicles of the hair (sounds crazy, but it’s true). Now, one of the methods that you could try – although it is by no means foolproof and demands some seriously hard work – is detoxing the hair.
The first thing you must do is get your hands on three different shampoos, each of which will serve a different purpose in your detox regime. These shampoos consist of Zydot Ultra-Clean shampoo, Neutrogena T/Sal, and Nexxus Aloe Rid.
The Zydot package contains packets of specially formulated conditioner and purifier, the T/Sal contains salicylic acid (which will help to remove all dirt and grease buildup in your hair), and the Aloe Rid performs the real detoxifying functions that will (hopefully) get rid of pollutants, medicines, and other stressors from the hair.