Hair Alcohol Test

The Hair Alcohol Test provides an accurate analysis of longer term alcohol intake for upto 6 months. This test provides the most reliable and accurate form of historical alcohol use. In addition, you can find details of how much a Hair Alcohol Test costs below.

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How does Hair Alcohol Testing work?

As hair grows, alcohol markers such as Fatty Acid Ethyl Esters (FAEEs) and Ethyl Glucuronide (EtG) can be absorbed and bound into the hair strand.

Long term excessive consumption of alcohol would cause an elevated FAEE result. For example, if the amount of FAEE detected in the hair sample is above the cut off level of 750pg/mg (picogram per milligram), this could suggest that alcohol has been consumed at a chronic level.

In addition, we also analyse EtG levels to give the best overview of a person’s alcohol consumption. This is because both can be affected by environmental factors. EtG is formed in the liver, and is only produced when alcohol has been consumed. As a result, EtG is then deposited into the hair, mainly from sweat.

Therefore, a higher level of EtG being detected in the hair would indicate that more alcohol has been consumed. As such, the reporting guidelines are as follows:

  • lower than 7pg/mg= suggestive of abstinence
  • between 7 – 30pg/mg = suggestive of alcohol use
  • higher than 30pg/mg = suggestive of chronic excessive alcohol use

Also, we do recommended that a Blood Alcohol test is performed in combination with the Hair Alcohol Test. This could give a moret accurate picture of a person’s alcohol consumption.


Hair Alcohol Test Time-frames

The Hair Alcohol Test can detect alcohol for a period of up to 6 months. But this does depend on the length of hair that the sample donor has available. 1 cm of head hair will show approximately one month of use.

If no head hair is available, we can test body hair from some areas. For example, we cannot use underarm hair for the analysis. The period shown by 1 cm of body hair is approximately 2 to 3 times longer than 1 cm of head hair.

We take in to consideration the time it takes for alcohol to move from the blood to the hair follicle. On average, it takes alcohol 7 to 10 days to break down in the body and move into the hair strand.

Once alcohol has moved from the blood into the hair strand, we detect it using the Hair Drug Test. Also, we can segment hair samples to provide a month by month view of potential alcohol use. However, this is limited and you must speak to a Clinical Advisor about the limitations.  Furthermore, technical information on hair growth is available from the Society of Hair Testing.


Test Accreditation

Our laboratory is UKAS 17025 accredited. As a result, all test reports can be used for legal and court purposes. Also, all processes follow ISO 9001, ISO 27001 and ISO 14001 standards. Also, the collection and lab analysis follow EWDTS guidelines.


When to use Hair Alcohol Testing?

The Hair Alcohol Test will verify if a person has been abstinent from alcohol; or if they have been consuming alcohol that has not been at a chronic excessive level. Hair Alcohol Testing is ideal in the following circumstances:

  • Social Service matters.
  • Family Court matters.
  • Evidence of abstinence.

Also, we recommend that an Expert Witness statement is requested to give a further understanding of the test report. This can be discussed at the time of your booking.

In addition, we can take extra hair samples for a drug test. For instance, we can undertake a Hair Drug Test in combination with the alcohol analysis if requested by court or social services.

Hair Drug Testing is also suitable for the workplace. For example, for specialist agencies or in circumstances that need evidence of abstinence. Or to challenge positive urine drug test results for Industrial Tribunals.


Choosing this test

This test provides the following benefits:

  • UKAS 17025 Accredited test.
  • Provides the most accurate long-term analysis of an individual’s alcohol use.
  • An Expert Witness Statement provides further understanding of the test report. Thereby, making it especially useful for court cases.
  • All processes follow ISO 9001, ISO 27001 and ISO 14001 standards.

There are many benefits in using Hair Alcohol Testing. But there are limitations you must consider.

  • It will not pick up single use of alcohol consumption.
  • Certain hair treatments may reduce the effectiveness of the analysis.
  • The correct hair type and length must be available for the analysis required.
  • Also, a court may require a Blood Alcohol test to be performed in combination with this test. This could provide a more accurate analysis of alcohol consumption

For commercial Alcohol Testing, Crystal Health recommend the Breath Alcohol test.


Hair Alcohol Test Costs

There are several different factors that influence Hair Alcohol Test costs. These include:

  • Whether you book an appointment at a clinic or opt for the mobile collection service.
  • Or, if you also need a blood alcohol analysis as well.
  • Also, the length of time required for the period of analysis.
  • Finally, if you need a Hair Drug Test as well. We can offer discounts in this case.

Hair Alcohol Test costs are from only £395 for both FAEE and EtG analysis. Also, if needed, we can produce an Expert Witness Statement for an extra £95. For example, this can provide more detailed information about a result.



We identify each donor at the appointment, using photographic identification. Next, we collect the hair sample, seal and barcode the collection card. The entire collection process follows strict chain of custody procedures. For instance, you will need to sign consent to have your hair sample tested. Also, you will witness the sample collector tamper proofing your hair sample.

We cut the hair samples using scissors. Or a razor for body hair samples. We can take this from anywhere on the head or body. But we do recommend the use of head hair due to biological factors that influence hair growth rate. You can speak to a Clinical Advisor to understand the limitations for some types of hair.

Regardless of the hair origin, we only need a small amount of hair for the analysis. This means that the area of collection of hair is usually unnoticeable.

Finally, we will issue your test report within 3 to 5 working days of receiving your sample. Usually, this is only 3 working days. Also, Hair Alcohol Test costs include the results package.

The Hair Alcohol Test is available at our UK clinics. Or, you can request a mobile collection officer to attend your location.

Our Clinical Advisors will guide you through the entire booking. This includes arranging the appointment for you. Furthermore, they will answer any technical questions you have.


Please note:
All advertised prices are exclusive of VAT.

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