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July 23, 2007 5:32 PM   Subscribe

A hair test (drug screen). A question on length and...well, hair.

I hear the length of a hair test is 90 days. Is this true or is it more? What if it's been six months and how much suspicion will it cause because I shave my head (and have been for 6 years)? Where do they shave you if have no head hair? (I have a goatee...would that work?)
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
It's my understanding that they don't so much shave as pluck.
posted by rbs at 5:48 PM on July 23, 2007


Underarm or pubic hair is most likely. They will need about a half inch of hair.
posted by decathecting at 5:49 PM on July 23, 2007


I don't know about the rest, but yes, a hair from your face would work, as would hair from your undercarriage. (I have no idea if they'd take the latter. They might just decide it's not worth the trouble, or this might be the sort of thing they do all the time.) If you want to shave your head because you've always done it, it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to check with HR or the testing company and make sure they'll be okay with a beard hair - logically, they should be, but that's not necessarily an indicator, right?
posted by spaceman_spiff at 5:49 PM on July 23, 2007


I heard a story once of some people who tried to beat a hair test. Shaved everything. The nurse found out they forgot to shave their anal region, and they failed the test. Supposedly a true story.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 5:49 PM on July 23, 2007


Oh, and if they are using body hair, the window will likely be more than 90 days because body hair grows more slowly than head hair.
posted by decathecting at 5:51 PM on July 23, 2007


Supposedly a true story

The urban-legend-monger's mantra.
posted by dersins at 5:52 PM on July 23, 2007


supposedly, they only use 90 day's growth, regardless of length. also, if you have light colored hair, your chances for passing are much greater. if you're blond on top, you are better off having them take that sample, then a darker one below. if you happen to be dark haired, or worse, african, you are in trouble.

bleach won't help, nor will any other typical hair treatments. what may work is washing your hair ... a lot. think three months of washing. like 10 times a day. i also heard that using head and shoulders dry formula causes problems with the test, but have no idea if it's true.

no harm in getting your hair cut now--do it because it makes washing it easier, and will restrict the time sample. if your use is more then 90 days, you probably have washed most of it out already.

disclaimer: i am a blond, with fine hair.
posted by lester's sock puppet at 6:07 PM on July 23, 2007


My blond ex-husband used expensive Tea Tree Shampoo at least three times a day for a month. His spring break in Jamaica two months before caused him to fail a hair employment screen with flying colors. Invest in quick fixes found on the internet with caution.
posted by Gucky at 8:43 PM on July 23, 2007


My mom works at a lab where they do drug testing. When people come in for a test with a shaved head, they end up plucking a pube. It happens all the time and it really sucks to be the person that has to, uh, acquire the sample.

So if you don't want them finding a usable hair, shave everything. Although at the point that you don't have a single hair on your body, it's a pretty clear admission of something to hide.
posted by katieinshoes at 9:04 PM on July 23, 2007


FYI, from Erowid.org:

Beating the hair test is extremely hard, and there are false positives. Bleaching or dying your hair is rumored to work, but it doesn't. I imagine you can shave every hair on your body and claim that you're a swimmer. According to NORML, Aloe Rid by Nexus is a shampoo that will aid in testing negative. Aloe Rid is available only in salons. Healthy Hair, from Sampson Health Products, is another shampoo designed to beat the hair test. Healthy Hair is sold in retail stores throughout Las Vegas. Keith Thrash from Sampson Health Products reccommends precleansing with Aloe Rid prior to using Healthy Hair. Healthy Hair is used in the morning and before going to bed. Each session takes 20 minutes. According to Steve at Sampson Health Products, two out of a thousand people failed the hair test when using Healthy Hair. Byrd Labs is currently developing a shampoo to defeat the hair test. Some have suggested treating hair with oil because THC is oil based and oil soluble. However, there is no proven way to beat the hair test, so it's all heresay and guessing at this point. (If anyone has any success with the shampoos or the swimmer excuse, please let me know). Swimming and washing your hair removes toxins, and Keith Thrash recommends doing both as much as possible. Fortunately, the hair test cannot be used alone as evidence because there are no forensic standards. It can only be used when substantiated by other evidence. Also, there are no intoxication standards. I believe if you tested positive for the hair test that you would probably have a good chance of fighting it. (BlockBuster Video uses the most up-to-date equipment, and passing such a test can be difficult). It takes several months of precleansing to beat the tests given by Psychemedics.
posted by decathecting at 10:17 PM on July 23, 2007


In some cases, shaving completely will be treated the same as a positive, so be careful there.
posted by dpx.mfx at 5:59 AM on July 24, 2007


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