With so many types of drug tests conducted by most employers, the hair follicle test is the most dreaded one, so you're probably wondering how to pass a hair follicle drug test.
But, I haven't even smoked marijuana for over a month, you say?
Unfortunately, the THC can stay in the system for up to 90 days, making it very hard for even occasional cannabis users to pass the test.
Now there are many types of drug tests, including urine, blood, and saliva sample tests, and although you can pass through most of these tests without a hitch if you've abstained for a while, the hair follicle test will still detect remnants of THC.
Using cannabis sounds fine and dandy until you have to attend an interview.
The good news is that most companies use saliva and urine tests, but what if your dream company goes through the hair follicle route?
Can you beat the test even if you've smoked in the past few days? What about heavy users? Well, many people pass the tests despite frequent usage.
In this article, we will cover all possible questions you may have related to hair follicle drug tests, and how you can beat them. For urine tests, you can go through this guide.
Before we begin, note that this isn't a sponsored article and we don't gain anything. What this is, instead, is a collection of products and resources that you can use to pass your test.
As mentioned above, there are several drug tests. Similarly, the hair follicle drug test screens illicit substances. Of course, it can screen for non-illicit drugs as well to detect if there's prescription medication abuse, but the point is to check whether the user has consumed illegal substances like marijuana.
It is pretty easy to conduct a hair follicle test. Usually, it's conducted in laboratories or sent there after taking the sample from you.
The lab technician will take a small sample, which is generally about 1.5-3 inches of hair from your head. Then, he tests the sample using various processes to detect whether you've consumed any drugs in the past 3 months or 90 days.
The procedure of conducting a hair follicle test is pretty simple. We will explain a few things about it so you know exactly what to expect.
First, personnel from the laboratory will collect about 100 to 120 strands of your hair. If you don't have enough hair, they will take it from different locations. Therefore there is no fear of having bald patches. Then, they will seal your samples to avoid contamination and send them for testing.
Next, they will subject the samples to ELISA, which is a screening process. If the samples turn out to be positive, they will re-test them through a Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry test (GCMS) test to identify false positives that usually occur when you're on some painkillers.
Every company has different rules, but you'll probably not need to take drug tests regularly. However the initial test is important and future employers can test for illicit substances, especially if you're aspiring for a government job.
Typically, your employer could ask you for a drug test on the day they provide the offer letter. Or, they could choose to do it the day you are going to accept their offer.
Sometimes they could ask you to do it immediately if they detect any signs of drug abuse. Needless to say, please do not use cannabis on the day of the interview. Some companies also conduct random tests to figure out if their employees are using cannabis.
Although cannabis is legal in many countries, many companies still insist to check whether you have consumed it. Also, note that the employers are not searching for THC in particular because the presence of any drug can be an issue for them.
Some companies, although it's rare, don't require tests at all, while some companies rule out cannabis from the list. Other companies may object to cannabis usage but still employ you if you're doing it for medicinal purposes.
So what's that one common test every employer may use? It's the urine test since it is approved federally.
On the other hand, hair tests are becoming very popular due to their accuracy. Therefore, if you're employer is very strict about cannabis and usage of other drugs, he may insist on hair follicle tests.
The numbers have gone up basically after cannabis was legalized since the employers suspect that there is rampant usage.
Some companies have to conduct hair follicle tests mandatorily since it allows them to find out which employee indulges in drugs for up to 90 days.
It's not uncommon for a few companies to ask for random drug tests to ensure there's no chance for the employee to detoxify themselves.
Hair follicle tests are not used only for cannabis. They are used to detect a variety of substances for up to 90 days, such as:
Therefore, even if you've smoked a small doobie about 3 months ago, chances are that it will show up in the test.
It can be very disconcerting for many users since they are asked to take tests even if cannabis is legal in their region. In addition, marijuana does not affect your performance at work like most other substances do, so many people who use only cannabis question the tests.
One major hindrance is that cannabis doesn't exit the user's system quickly compared to other substances.
A hair follicle test can find out the presence of various substances as long as they remain in your hair follicles. Cannabis, in particular, can stay in the user's hair follicles for long periods.
This is because the by-products of any drug spread through various organs. Then the metabolites of the drug bind to the tissues and cells present around the roots of your hair. Finally, they bind to the hair follicles and also flow onto your strands, remaining there for 90 days.
To understand how effective a hair follicle test is, you'll need to compare it with other tests available. In addition, since the employer can choose to do any of these tests and not just a hair follicle test, it will help you to understand what they are so you can prepare for them.
Sometimes companies can also use testing kits and send them to labs. Or, if the company permits it, you can also order testing kits online; however, the company will send someone along with you for supervision.
Contrary to popular belief, you can style your hair, wash, and use hair colors without worrying about any impact on the test results. The results will be available in just 4-7 days.
As mentioned already, you can find several tests available to test for cannabis and other drugs. However, you'll notice that there are four common tests conducted across the globe.
Typically employers resort to these tests as they are often reliable, but since some tests are better than others, it depends on the employer.
Here is the list of the four common drug tests:
Saliva test — Saliva tests are one of the most common tests because it is easy and quick. However, some employers try not to go this route because it detects drug abuse for only up to 1 week.
Typically, a sample is collected with a swab and sent to a lab. If you have consumed cannabis in any form for at least 7 days before the test, it may not show up in the screening.
Urine tests — Like saliva tests, urine tests are also popular. In addition, they are quick; however, they are not as reliable as blood or hair follicle tests.
Generally, your employer will send the samples to the laboratory but you won't be permitted to take the samples at home. And since old samples may not be as accurate, they will prefer fresh samples.
This means that samples collected just a few hours before the test may not be permissible, thanks to fluctuations in the temperature.
While many people believe that they can get away from the tests by swapping their urine with synthetic urine, many employers surprise them by conducting sudden tests.
It's also useless to dilute your urine sample with a lot of water since they can detect the pH, temperature, and creatinine in levels present in the urine. We have a whole guide on how you can detox your body and pass urine tests, so don't forget to check that out.
Blood tests — Considered very accurate, blood tests are common and easily done. However, the downside is that it can be invasive. Still, many employers use it because of its accuracy.
For employers, it's mandatory that only certified professionals procure the samples, after which they are sent for analysis. A blood test can detect substances for up to three weeks or 21 days since usage.
However, this applies only to occasional users as it may take a long while for the THC to exit your system if you indulge in heavy cannabis usage.
Hair follicle tests — Hair tests are considered the most accurate because they detect THC for at least 90 days in your system. Sometimes they can detect up to 120 days depending on your usage.
So if you're a heavy user, the test may show up positive even if you take a test about hundred days from now. This is because the metabolites present in the substance can penetrate the blood vessels present in your scalp. Then they stay there for a long time and no amount of washing your hair with regular shampoos can get rid of them.
Hair follicle tests can detect the presence of substances but they cannot tell the employer whether you have used it recently. Therefore some employers consider this a little heavy-handed and go for other tests.
In summary, here's a timeline for the various drug tests available today. Note that this is for heavy users.
Saliva test — Detects from 1-7 days approximately
Urine test — Detects from 30-45 days approximately.
Blood test — Detects from 2 hours-40 days.
Hair follicle test — Detects from 90-120 days.
There are a few advantages for employers to conducting hair follicle tests, making them choose this technique over blood, urine, and saliva tests. Let's take a look at them.
Just like conducting a hair follicle test has several advantages, it comes with a few disadvantages as well.
Therefore users who consume various drugs will get a clean chit even if they have resorted to substance abuse in the past few days. Comparatively, urine tests need just a few hours to detect the presence of substances in your urine so employers may go for simple urine tests compared to complicated hair follicle tests.
All the information provided above has probably scared you enough to think that you'll never be able to beat hair follicle tests. However, despite the extended periods, there are several ways to get rid of toxins from your body so that you pass the test with flying colors.
Since we are talking about cannabis, in particular, we will discuss how to eliminate THC from your hair. There are various techniques to do so just before you appear for your test but many of the methods you may have read on the internet may not work at all.
Therefore in subsequent sections, we will also talk about the techniques that do not work to get rid of THC from your hair.
Okay, so coming back to the methods that work, the good news is that we have come a long way from previous techniques that just involved washing your hair with shampoos that could get rid of toxins. So let's check them out.
Typically, there are two ways to get rid of THC from your hair follicles, and they involve using detox products just like you eliminate THC from your urine and DIY remedies.
The method you choose is totally up to you, depending on the timeline of your test, your preference, and, of course, your budget.
Before we proceed, just know that the easiest technique is to abstain from cannabis. It's guaranteed that the test won't be able to detect THC if you stay away from cannabis for about 3 to 4 months.
However, this is easier said than done if you love cannabis for both recreational and medicinal purposes. But, since it's your job is at stake here, you may have to completely abstain from cannabis for at least 90 to 100 days to make sure that there is no trace of TC in your hair follicles.
If you are a heavy user who smokes almost every day, you may need up to 120 days but since it is a long period to plan, we will look at other ways to ensure that you pass the test.
There is a plethora of products that claim to get rid of THC from your hair. While some of them work effectively, others could be a complete waste of time so it's best to read other user reviews before you go for them.
If you're short of time, though, here are a few products that help:
Considered one of the most effective detox products available today, the shampoo may help eliminate THC from your hair within just one day. If you are looking to get rid of THC in a very short period you should try this shampoo.
The Old style is a very famous brand for helping people pass their hair follicle tests. They also have products for urine and saliva tests. Although it is pretty expensive compared to other products you can use this if you are short of time.
However, note that you may need a little more time if you are a heavy cannabis user. To ensure it works effectively, use the shampoo every day for at least 10 days for best results.
How to use Toxin Rid shampoo
Ultra Clean from Zydot is available as an add-on for the Old Style shampoo, but many users use it on its own to get rid of toxins.
However, we recommend using this product along with other detoxifiers or DIY home remedies to ensure you clear the test. What makes this product slightly better than Toxin Rid is that it works in a short period and isn't as expensive.
Available with a conditioner and purifying clarifier, it's designed in such a way that it penetrates and rubs off the toxins from the scalp. The conditioner is unlike regular conditioners. Apart from adding a silky shine to your hair, it also masks the attempt you just made to detoxify your scalp.
Although it is comparatively slower than Toxin Rid, it works just as effectively if you pair it with other methods. Since the product works for about 24 hours after treating your hair, you need to use it at least one day before the test.
How to Use Ultra Clean Shampoo
Another great detox shampoo product that is very popular in the cannabis community is the Folli-Clean Shampoo. The manufacturer states that this product is not meant to pass drug tests; however, it has quite a lot of reviews from users stating that it works pretty effectively.
And the best part? It is available for only $35!
To stay on the safe side, you can couple this product with other detoxifying shampoo products or DIY remedies to ensure you pass the test.
Folli Clean shampoo works for both permed and colored hair as it is pH-balanced. But you need to follow some steps to make sure it works.
After using the shampoo, do not lay down for a while to avoid getting other contaminants on your hair. This includes pillows headbands and even headscarves that you may have worn before using the shampoo.
How to Use Folli-Clean Shampoo
Yet another product most cannabis users love is the Ultra Cleanse shampoo. Like any other detoxifying shampoo, it works to get rid of the toxins built up in your hair follicles.
But what's most impressive about this company is the confidence they have in their shampoo. So much that they offer almost 500% money-back (if you purchase through Pass USA) if it somehow doesn't work for you.
Like Folli-Clean, Ultra Cleanse is also very affordable and you can purchase a bottle for just $50. Therefore if budget is your main concern you can use this along with another product or DIY remedy to increase your chances of passing the test.
It also comes with instructions, making it easy for you to use it.
How to Use Ultra Cleanse Shampoo
As mentioned already, another way to eliminate THC from hair follicles is to use some DIY home remedies. You can combine these DIY remedies to get rid of THC from your hair with other products to get the best results because using them on their own may not be as effective.
In addition, the ingredients used in these remedies including baking soda, detergents, lemon juice, and vinegar may help you eliminate THC as much as possible.
However, you should know that such remedies take long periods when compared with detox shampoos. Therefore, resort to these techniques only if you have time on your hands before the test.
Two of the most common home remedies are Jerry G and Macujo methods. We will explain the methods so you can try them at home.
As mentioned already, it may take a while to try this technique.
Disposable gloves, shower caps, and goggles
Any detox shampoo
Clean and Clear wash
Tide detergent liquid
Follow these steps for best results:
Notes — No matter what shampoo you use, make sure you follow the instructions mentioned on the pack. Many people state that this method works best with Toxin Rid.
Albeit expensive, you can take your chances if you want to get ahead in your career. It's a good idea to use the shampoo 2 to 3 times for best results.
In addition, you can do this at least one day before the test or on the day of the test. However, you should begin at least 10 to 15 days before the test and repeat to make sure the toxins are eliminated. Also, you must abstain from cannabis for at least 15 days before starting this process.
Jerry G is more popular than Macujo because it works a little faster, but many users swear by the Macujo method. Again you need to use a Detox shampoo and pair it with this method for the best results.
Any hair dye (should be ammonia-based)
Hydrogen peroxide bleach
Towels and combs
Follow these steps:
Notes — As you can surmise by now, the ingredients used in this method can damage your hair. Therefore, use it if you have no other option. In addition, the combination of all the chemicals can cause your skin to break out, making it obvious that you have employed some methods to get rid of the toxins.
Therefore, make sure the chemicals do not touch your skin. You can also apply a layer of Vaseline on your hairline to prevent the chemicals from seeping into your skin.
Okay now you know what works to pass your test but it is also important to know what you should not do. For instance, you will find many videos on simple tricks that claim to have 100% results.
However, it is not an easy feat to pass a hair follicle test, which is why you need to rely on methods that work. In short, you should be aware of the methods that don't work.
As mentioned already, the lab technician will take about 100 strands of your hair so it is natural to believe that shaving your head completely can save you from the test.
However, not only will you raise suspicions by shaving your head all of a sudden, but it is also not possible to pass the test because they can ask you for samples from other parts of your body. Or, they can ask you for a urine analysis test.
You have probably noticed that some of the DIY remedies include bleaching as a way to remove toxins from your hair. However, it will not work as a standalone trick. It works only if you pair it with other detox shampoos or home remedies as mentioned above. Simple bleaching will not eliminate THC or other toxins from your hair.
Although abstaining from cannabis is a great way to make sure you pass the test, it will not work if you don't combine it with other shampoos and home remedies mentioned above. It may work if you stop using cannabis for at least 4 months but it simply won't work if you stop it for a couple of days.
Hair follicle tests can be very unsettling, especially if your employer springs it as a surprise on you. However, there's no need to panic. If you've taken the time to read this super-long guide, you'll know there's hope.
This guide covers everything you need to know about how to pass a hair follicle test. Depending on your budget you can choose any of the methods. Although some of these methods are a tad expensive, they give you a higher chance of succeeding in the test.
Think of these methods as an investment for a bright career and you will be well on your way to beating the test. Ensure you don't take it lightly and resort to cheap tricks that simply don't work.
Many people also question whether detox pills work, but they don't. This is because the pills will not affect your hair at all.
Also, if you're wondering what shampoo is the best, know that every individual is different. However, based on reviews, Toxin Rid seems to be the best. You can combine it with DIY remedies for a better chance. If it's too expensive for you, try to employ other methods and go beat that test!