Hair follicle drug test
January 8, 2008 3:01 PM   Subscribe

What is the best way to pass a hair follicle drug test?

I have been clean for a month or so, but was a regular marijuana user before.
posted by robot to Society & Culture (12 answers total)
Cut your hair.
posted by matkline at 3:04 PM on January 8, 2008

Cutting your hair I don't think will do much. I had to have one for employment a couple years back and was told that they would only use a small portion of the hair starting from the root - I think a half inch or less. So, while the more distant parts of your hair may have evidence of drug use, they only actually test the part near your scalp. Still, if I remember correctly, this tests back a couple months.

If you shave your head, they will just pull hair from somewhere else on your body, and if you shave everything, I think they'll know what you're doing.
posted by ecab at 3:17 PM on January 8, 2008

Someone I know had a surprise hair test following a planned urine sample. That someone's hair test (with a sample at least a foot long that would have shown a history of chronic usage) was apparently never checked since he/she passed the whiz quiz. Hair tests are expensive and that someone believes that the hair test is a backup in case of a positive on the urine test.

Armpit & pubic hair become fair game for the testers if the scalp areas are too short to test.
posted by bonobo at 3:18 PM on January 8, 2008

Just to correct myself, it's about 1.5 inches of hair that they will want to use, ideally, which works out to about 90 days. I don't know anyone who's tried to beat a follicle test - I'm actually the only person I know who's had one, they are expensive and not that common. There are some products out there, it looks like, but I'd be pretty weary because I would guess that the whole point of using the follicle test is that it's much harder to screw with.

Also, this article claims that there are no ways to beat the test, which seems right.
posted by ecab at 3:29 PM on January 8, 2008

Response by poster: Any thoughts on shampoos?
posted by robot at 3:52 PM on January 8, 2008

The only way to win is not to play.

I am sorry that you have found yourself subjected to such a thing, robot. Is there no way to avoid this invasion of your privacy?
posted by Meatbomb at 3:56 PM on January 8, 2008

I am going to repost my deleted answer.

I just wrote "don't do drugs" before, which perhaps made it seem as though I was just making a wisecrack.

It wasn't.

The best (and only) way to pass a hair follicle drug test is to not do drugs for several months prior to the test.

You should either find a way to postpone taking the test until you have been clean for several months, or resign yourself to the fact that it is very likely that you will test positive for marijuana.
posted by dersins at 3:59 PM on January 8, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks for posting again dersins. I agree that the BEST way is not to have any toxins in my system, unfortunately I do have some from a while ago. I am looking to remove what remains as I am now clean.
posted by robot at 4:03 PM on January 8, 2008

It sounds like you need to be clean for about 3 months to pass a hair test (based on answers above). Is there any way to postpone the test for another 2 months? Cleverly scheduled dentist appointments, vacations, sick leave, emergency meetings, etc?

Sorry, not a direct answer, but knowing the usual office environment that accompanies such a test, postponing for a couple of months could work.
posted by BigVACub at 5:11 PM on January 8, 2008

Talk with your potential employer about their drug policies. If you are valuable to them as a newhire, and you know you won't pass the test, tell them you have done drugs in the past but plan to make a fresh start of it...this job is the first step of that new lifestyle.

If this doesn't work, then you won't last long in the job anyhow. If they aren't sympathetic to your present situation, then they won't be sympathetic when they random test and find you have done drugs while under their employ.
posted by GAS_Wyo at 8:27 PM on January 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

^ If this doesn't work, then you won't last long in the job anyhow. If they aren't sympathetic to your present situation, then they won't be sympathetic when they random test and find you have done drugs while under their employ.

Disclosure up front is noble, and all--but you are really putting the person in charge of hiring you in a fugly ethical situation. Besides, not all places that test upon hiring will randomly test afterward. In my experience and the experiences of friends, random tests occur in dangerous jobs, following an on-the-job vehicle accident, following an on-the-job safety issue/accident, or when job performance has degraded to such an extent that the employer is fairly certain that the employee uses drugs and will do whatever it takes to get the person fired right now.
posted by bonobo at 8:50 PM on January 8, 2008

i beat one a while ago by washing my hair a lot ... like 5-10 times per day for two to three weeks. basically, the more washings, the better. cut your hair first so you don't have too much to wash. but just that. wash. wash. wash. wash. wash. wash. every day. shampoo wasn't important, though i did read somewhere that aloe vera was a useful ingredient.

i have thin blond hair, which also makes a difference. don't cut your hair too short because if they do use other hair (armpit, etc) that hair is much more likely to show a positive.
posted by lester's sock puppet at 10:27 AM on January 9, 2008

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