How Long Do Drugs Stay in Your Hair?

Last Updated on February 21, 2024

If you’re wondering, “How long do drugs stay in your hair?” you’re probably expecting to have your hair tested at some point in the near future. In which case, you’re right to do your research. As it turns out, hair acts as an impressively detailed map for a lot of substances depending on when they were taken.

Of course, it depends on a few different aspects, all of which are worth knowing to better tackle an imminent drug test. Knowledge is power, so keep reading to find out whether you’ve got anything to worry about, or if you’re in the clear.

How Long Do Drugs Stay in Your Hair?

Strictly speaking, different factors influence how long traces of an illicit substance are likely to stay in your hair. In simple terms, the rule of thumb is something in the ballpark of 90 days. There’s no guarantee if you wait that long a hair follicle test won’t come back positive, however.

Some studies suggest that hair color, sun exposure, hygiene regime, and even diet can play a large part in how long drug metabolites stick around. Others state that without directly seeking to strip or otherwise obscure them they’ll stay within the core of your hair indefinitely. The test designers are well aware of the few shortcomings of the process, so it’s highly unlikely you’ll be given a 90-day grace period before being tested anyway.

Testing hair follicles for drug use is the industry standard due to the fact it’s hard to cheat and gives an accurate look into your past. In layman’s terms, the longer your hair is, the further back they’re going to be able to detect drug use. If you’re up for a promotion, are interviewing for a job, or are simply being subjected to a routine test, you might want to consider a haircut.

Otherwise, it’s a good idea to acquaint yourself with how the process works, which drugs your hair is likely to be screened for, and what you can do to avoid testing positive. It’s also worth learning which methods aren’t effective to avoid disaster, such as soaking your hair with tomato ketchup. When it comes to cheating on these types of drug tests, some of the advice you’ll find online is truly nonsensical and has no basis in reality, so keep your wits about yourself!

Understanding Hair Tests and Drug Use Detection

Can a hair follicle test go back 12 months? The answer is, unfortunately, yes. This is due to how the screening process works, and the part of the hair that goes under scrutiny. The drug test results are designed to expose the contents of the hair follicle itself, rather than simply checking the outer layer.

Even after months, the inside of a hair follicle is essentially cut off from the outside world, as are its contents. Hair follicles are made of the same stuff that makes up your fingernails, a substance called keratin. This is also what your outer layer of skin is made of, and it does its job so well due to its impermeable nature.

It’s not completely impermeable, of course, but for the most part, it’s resistant to much of what we subject it to daily. This includes shampoo, so no amount of washing and rinsing your hair is going to do you any good when it comes to the removal of drug metabolites.

What Are Drug Metabolites?

The human body responds to and processes many of the most common drugs similarly. Through ingestion, inhalation, or injection, the chosen substance finds its way into the bloodstream. From this point, it’s distributed throughout the body, reaching all the cells that require oxygenated blood for growth, nutrients, and waste removal.

The cells that grow our hairs are no different, except that traces of these substances become locked within the keratin of the hair follicle as it grows. Once inside, it’s effectively hermetically sealed. If you’ve ever seen Jurassic Park, think of the mosquito that gets trapped in amber, and you’ve got the general idea.

What Drugs Are Screened For?

The most commonly screened for drugs are the most commonly taken. Benzodiazepines, cocaine, opiates, ketamine, cannabis, and ecstasy will all show up on even the most basic hair follicle tests. These are the usual suspects for the most common type of drug use, so it makes sense to test for them first.

More in-depth tests exist and screen for slightly more obscure substances, too, such as psilocin, psilocybin, LSD, and DMT, but generally speaking hallucinogens aren’t part of the usual test protocol. Nor are anabolic steroids, hydrocodone, or inhalants.

Only the most expensive hair sample interpretation tests screen for such a broad spectrum, and there’s usually no point as it’s mostly the more popular drugs that are a cause for concern for employers.

Detox Kits

If any of the drugs tested for sound familiar, you might want to consider looking into how to remove the evidence. Unless you want to bleach your hair, there’s not much you can do other than shave it all off. Not many people are willing to go bald or bleach-blonde to secure a job, but those are the best options outside of purchasing a specifically designed hair detox kit.

These kits are formulated to strip your hair without looking obvious. They also come with instructions to follow, which are important to take seriously. If you’ve come this far, it would be a shame to test positive simply because you skipped a step or two.

The Macujo Method

If you’re still asking yourself, “How long do drugs stay in your hair?” there’s no need. With our specially formulated drug metabolite removal kits, you don’t need to know. Simply follow the instructions and you’ll pass the test without breaking a sweat.

We are fully aware that these tests can come out of the blue, so we offer next-day shipping if you order before 4:30 pm Monday to Friday.

If you’re not convinced or have any unanswered questions, don’t hesitate to reach out! We’d love to hear from you.

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