Internet search results are full of articles and blog posts about how to pass a hair follicle drug test. They all provide fool-proof instructions for passing that test. But, are they all merely click-bait or is there some truth to their claims?
Any kind of test is vulnerable to manipulation in some way. For example, dilution with water and chemicals can render a urine sample invalid. Blood tests are more reliable if a blood sample is drawn while the person is on drugs. So, are there effective ways of manipulating hair follicle tests?
Hair follicle tests are quite reliable. Some would even say they are virtually impossible to cheat. If a hair follicle test was easy to manipulate, courts wouldn’t prefer it over other methods of testing.
In this article, we’ll go over what a hair follicle test is and how it works. Then, we’ll look at some of the popular methods people use to fool hair follicle tests.
What is a hair follicle test?
The hair follicle test can effectively detect prolonged drug use. Urine tests, for example, can show the presence of drugs a few days after consumption. But, a hair follicle test can go back even three months. To perform this kind of test, a lab technician only needs a hair sample from the test subject.
Its simplicity and accuracy are the reasons why it’s gaining traction among employers and law enforcement authorities. Also, it’s comfortable for the test subject. A hair follicle test is not invasive and the sample collection process is quick.
Also, labs can use hair follicles to test for one specific drug or multiple drugs. Commonly tested substances include:
- heroin, morphine, codeine
- methamphetamines, MDMA
How does a hair follicle test work?
A hair sample is typically collected from the head. The hair follicle is not plucked but cut with scissors close to the scalp. If the person is bald, the collector can use hair from other parts of the body — chest, legs, arms, armpits. Usually, up to 120 strands of hair will produce reliable results.
Likewise, the sample collection process usually happens in a medical facility. A lab technician will collect the sample to rule out the possibility of tampering. But, drug testing kits are common in the workplace. Employers can collect samples from their employees with a kit and then mail them to a testing facility.
Supervision of the sample collection process is of the utmost importance, so as to prevent any attempts of manipulation. The test subjects can wash or dye their hair or use styling products. None of those procedures will affect the hair sample in any way.
The hair follicle drug test is reliable because the hair follicle absorbs any drugs that have entered the blood. The drug toxins will remain in the follicle as it grows. That’s why this particular test can detect drug use 90 days after intake. Hair follicle tests can even determine at what point in time a drug was consumed since hair grows at a steady rate.
Hair samples will go through a two-step testing process. The first step is an initial rapid screening. If that test produces positive results, the sample will undergo another, more detailed test to exclude any false positives.
How to pass a hair follicle drug test
The only way to successfully pass a hair follicle test is to abstain from using drugs.
That’s why it’s practically impossible for active drug users to bypass it. In spite of that, people are still trying to develop new methods on how to pass a hair follicle drug test. Most of those methods are ineffective and only a few have produced positive results.
The goal is to break up the hair cuticle to destroy traces of drugs. Every cheating method utilizes strong chemicals to achieve that result, some of which can damage the hair and scalp.
So, here is a list of commonly practiced methods for fooling hair follicle tests.
One of the most common ways cheaters try to fool a hair follicle test is bleaching their hair. It’s a fact that bleach can damage the hair and decrease the presence of drugs up to 60%. For some people, that’s enough to pass a hair follicle drug test.
If there is visible damage to the hair on the head, lab technicians can take samples from the pubic region, legs, arms or other parts of the body.
Shaving is not an effective method on how to pass a hair follicle drug test. But, many people think that shaving off all their hair will help them pass the test. Lab technicians are aware of that because the attempt of tampering is obvious. So, they will take samples from other parts of the body.
If all body hair is also shaved off, the person will have to take a urine or blood test instead.
Ammonia and vinegar
There are two improvised methods that claim to mask the presence of drugs in hair: the Jerry G method and the Macujo method. It’s important to note that both methods are dangerous. They can cause severe damage to the hair or scalp.
The Jerry G method involves a hair dye that has ammonia in it. That combination of chemicals can cause hair damage or inflammation of the scalp. The Jerry G method also uses a detox shampoo and baking soda.
The Macujo method is more dangerous than the Jerry G method. It uses vinegar and laundry detergent to break open the cuticle to destroy the drug toxins. According to customer reviews, some people claim this method actually works. But, the trick is to repeat the cleansing procedure a couple of times a day.
However, to get potentially effective results, a person can’t consume drugs during the cleansing process, which lasts for a couple of days.
The Aloe Toxin Rid shampoo is the most trusted shampoo for masking the presence of drugs in hair follicles. This particular shampoo is popular because it’s easy to use and it doesn’t cause side effects. People have reported passing a hair follicle test by applying this shampoo multiple times a day before testing.
There are other detox shampoos on the market like Zydot Ultra Clean shampoo. This shampoo is often used as part of the Jerry G or Macujo methods.
To sum up, a hair follicle test is practically impossible to fool if a person is an active drug user. Most of the methods employed for cheating require that a person stops using drugs for some time before testing. That’s because drug toxins can remain in the hair follicles for up to 90 days.
However, strong chemicals can break up hair cuticles but may also cause side effects. Those side effects include burning, scalp irritation and inflammation. The price to pay is high, especially if a person has to get tested often or uses drugs continuously. Tricks with shaving and bleaching are myths because any part of the body can supply the hair sample. Labs can even collect pubic hair for testing.
Knowing the tricks on how to pass a hair follicle drug test doesn’t guarantee results. Testing facilities are aware of all the ways people try to fool hair follicle tests. If a hair follicle test is impossible, there are alternatives — a urine or blood test.
So, the only sure way to pass a hair follicle drug test is to not use drugs.