Nervous about a Hair Follicle Test

Q: I have been asked to submit to a hair follicle drug test for my job. I have never had to take a hair follicle test before, and I’m a little bit nervous. I don’t have a high threshold for pain, and I don’t want to be left with a bald spot. Can you please tell me what to expect from this type of testing?

L. McPherson

Seattle, WA

A: There is nothing to be nervous about with this type of testing. A hair follicle test does require a hair sample, but this is usually not a painful procedure. A trained technician will remove approximately 100 hairs from your head. You may experience a bit of mild discomfort during the removal, but they make every effort to keep you comfortable. While 100 hairs may sound like a lot, there are literally thousands of hairs on your head. The removal of 100 hairs will most likely not leave any bald spots. If you do not have enough hair on your head, the collector may opt for body hair. They can take the hair from your under arms, legs, arms, or chest.

Once the collection process is complete, you should receive your results in about a week or so. Hair testing is used as an alternative to urine testing because it offers a longer range of detection, and it is also harder to adulterate. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to let us know.