Can Body Hair Be Used for Drug Testing?

Updated on March 31, 2021

A drug test brings with it all sorts of anxieties, from the mere fact that one is about to undergo a drug test to the method used to administer the test.

Even a seemingly straightforward hair follicle drug test can cause you to worry about the act of hair removal. Will you get a bald patch? Do you even have enough hair to take a proper test? Then, there’s the result, which might have you considering the Macujo method to beat it.

To make the long story short, baldness doesn’t result from these tests (unless you were already bald, to begin with). Besides, if you happen to not have enough hair on your head, your body hair would more than suffice. But how does body hair testing compare to head hair testing? Let’s find out.

Head Hair vs. Body Hair Test

If you’re confused about which of these two tests to undergo, it’s best to have a talk with the experts. These could be the people from the lab or other knowledgeable professionals. Also note that different tests work for different scenarios.

How is detecting substances in body hair different from tracing them in head hair?


In terms of accuracy, there is not much difference between the two methods. That’s because whether you’re testing for drugs or alcohol, analysis for both is done in the same way. Where the slight discrepancy lies is in the timeframe of usage since head hair analysis tends to be more accurate on that front.

Proper Representation

As far as representation goes, the head hair test is far more accurate than the body hair test. Although they grow at the same rate, the time frame covered by the head hair test is usually more representative of substance use patterns compared to the body hair test.

Due to this biological characteristic, only head hair can paint an accurate historical picture of drug and alcohol use over a period of months.

Remember that hair is usually in two states: resting or growing. In the former, growth doesn’t occur, but traces from previous use can still be detected. Since body hair is practically resting 60 percent of the time, it doesn’t provide an accurate basis for the window of time of substance use.

Which Is the Better Method?

If you need results to convey a specific time period in which a drug or some other substance was used, and your hair is “testable,” opt for the hair test. Those worried about getting a bald patch might ask the tester to remove hair from his or her body instead, but rest assured that’s not going to happen. Once the sample hair is removed, no one’s going to notice which part of your head it was taken from.

Should the specific time period be required, but your hair is not up to the task (or you have no hair at all), it’s perfectly okay to use body hair. However, the use of body hair does pose some limitations. Tests that involve sectional analysis of hair to demonstrate how an individual has reduced his or her drug intake can only be done with head hair. Using body hair doesn’t make this possible at all.

One of the reasons why people opt for the hair follicle test is its versatility. If you’re not comfortable having samples of your head hair taken and your body hair is perfectly testable, there’s nothing stopping you from requesting a body hair test.

That said, there are situations when a head hair sample would be the only thing that leads to accurate results. This is particularly the case for instances when the time frame of substance use is required to determine the pattern of use.

How the Hair Follicle Test Match Up To the Urine Test

Another method known for its fast and accurate results is the urine test. However, with its swiftness also comes its lack of reliability. For the most part, this test is only dependable for tracing substance use over the three days preceding the test.

If you’re looking to find out patterns of drug use over the course of three months, the hair follicle test is your best bet to figuring things out. That’s because when you take in substances, these substances actually get absorbed by the blood, of which some end up settling in your hair follicles. Your scalp might also influence the detectability of substances in your hair.

Should You Go for Body Hair Testing or Head Hair Testing?

Now that we’ve established that a bald patch isn’t going to be an issue, you should definitely opt for head hair testing. It might not be any different in terms of accuracy compared to body hair testing, but it’s so much more reliable where the other parts of substance use detection are concerned.

Basically, a head hair test more accurately represents the time frame in which drugs were previously used, which can matter a lot in many court decisions.

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