Why Hair Follicle Drug Tests?

Q: My employer announced that he is going to start random drug testing the employees. I have no problem with this – I am not a drug user. However, my concern is that my employer will not be utilizing a standard urine drug test. Instead, he said he is going to use hair follicle drug tests. I’ve never taken this type of test before. Can you please tell me what to expect?

A: Hair follicle testing is a simple process in most cases. While this type of testing is not normally chosen by employers, simply because it carries a higher price tag, it can provide a reliable indicator of drug use. Hair follicle drug tests have a larger timeframe in which they can detect drugs. In other words, where a urine screening might only be able to detect drugs for up to 30 days, a hair follicle screening can detect drugs, in some cases, for up to 90 days.

The only thing you should expect is a quick, hassle-free process. When you go to the lab for your hair follicle drug test, the technician will remove approximately 100 hairs from your head. There will be no noticeable bald spot or any significant pain with the process. Your results should be ready in approximately 3-5 business days.