Hair Analysis for Drugs and other compounds (Anabolic Steroids, Drugs, and Poisonous Compounds Analysis)

Hair Specimen Collection Procedure

First, determine how far back in time (months) you like to know drug use or abuse.  Remember 1.0 cm or slightly less than 1/2 in. is equal to 1 month detection time.  Once you have decided in the time frame for drug detection, you can proceed with collecting the hair sample.  To do this, grab several strands (50-80) of hair on the scalp.    The number of strands of hair vary depending on the number of drug(s) that need analyzed.  In general, 50-80 strands of hair is ideal for 1-3 drug(s) analysis.  If you are not certain as to whether or not the hair volume is enough to do the analysis, please call our lab at 614-459-2307 or e-mail   Cut the hair with a scissors as close to the scalp as possible.  It is not necessary to pull the hair out.  Wrap a rubber band or a tape around the hair, whose end is closes to the scalp.   Place the hair in a labeled container, and submit the specimen along with a completely filled Chain of Custody/Drug Consent Release Form to our laboratory.

Other Areas in the Body Where Hair can be collected

If head hair is not available or insufficient length to determine drug use on a certain period of time, hair can be collected somewhere else in the body.  These include armpit, eyebrow, facial, etc.  Note that various sites of hair growth in the body will have varying growth rate. 

Table 2 shows different areas of the body that hair grows with its corresponding growth rate.

Area of Body Growth Rate
Growth Rate (Monthly) Equivalent Time of Detection per month
Coarse Body Hair 0.27 mm/day 8.10 mm or 0.81 cm 1.0
Eye Brows 0.15 mm/day 4.5 mm or 0.45 cm 1.0
Mustach (Beards, Whiskers) 0.40 mm/day 12 mm 1.2 cm 1.0
Pubic 0.20 mm/day 6.0 mm or 0.60 cm 1.0
Head Hair 0.33 mm/day 10 mm or 1.0 cm 1.0
Armpit 0.30 mm/day 9.0 mm or 0.90 cm 1.0

As an example, if the required time of detection period is 6.0 months and the head hair is only 4.0 cm that is equivalent to approximately 4.0 months of drug detection period.  However, if the same length of hair is obtained from other area of the body such as the pubic region, drug detection period would be roughly 6.7 months (4.0 cm  x 1.0 month/0.60 cm).

Turn-Around Time

5-14 business days upon arrival of specimen in our lab.   Time variations depend on     the number or drug analysis requested.

Reporting of Lab Results

Confidentially, results will only be reported to the authorized individual.  Please indicate how you would like us to report the results (verbal, faxed, and/or written mailed report).

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