Hair Alcohol Test

This UKAS 17025 accredited Hair Alcohol laboratory test provides an accurate analysis of longer term alcohol intake for upto 6 months.

As hair grows, it absorbs the metabolites of alcohol, Fatty Acid Ethyl Esters (FAEEs) and Ethyl Glucuronide (EtG) into its structure.

A Hair test will look at the amount of each metabolite found in the hair sample, to indicate the level of alcohol consumption for the required time period, up to the previous 6 months.

The FAEE finds its way into the hair mainly by diffusion from an external sebum layer. This is an oily substance secreted by glands in the skin.

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

The FAEE is used alongside the EtG analysis to give the best overview of a person’s alcohol consumption, as both can be affected by environmental factors. EtG is formed in the liver, and is only produced when alcohol has been consumed, the EtG is then deposited into the hair mainly from sweat.

A higher level of EtG being detected in the hair illustrates that more alcohol has been consumed, the reporting guidelines are as follows:
Example of EtG Interpretation

If the EtG is lower than 7pg/mg, this is suggestive of abstinence within the period covered by the sample.

If the EtG is between 7 – 30pg/mg, this is indicative of alcohol use within the period covered by the sample.

If the EtG is over 30pg/mg, this is suggestive of chronic excessive alcohol use within the period covered by the sample.

Each Drug Test Donor is legally identified at the appointment. hair samples are then collected, sealed and bar coded to strict Chain of Custody Protocols by a fully trained & certified sample collection officer. Samples are then processed to our UKAS 17025 and ILAC accredited laboratory, where the test is performed.

The test is available at selected Crystal Health network of UK Drug Testing Clinics or via the mobile collection service.

The analysis for a Hair test takes 3 – 5 working days from receipt of your sample.

The fully accredited sample collection process and laboratory analysis ensures that all test reports issued are legally defensible.

It is recommended that a Blood Alcohol test is performed in combination with the Hair test to give the most accurate analysis of a person’s alcohol consumption.

We also recommended 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.

All administration including the test results process is performed in compliance with ISO 9001, ISO 27001 and ISO 14001.

Why and when would you use this alcohol test?

The Hair 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 testing is a requirement in many legal cases and can also be used for personal information.

We are able to indicate the level of alcohol use for up to 6 months with the Hair test, this can be to provide evidence of abstinence or show that alcohol is not being abused.

1cm of head hair will show approximately 1 month of alcohol use, however as per the Society of Hair Testing (SoHT) guidelines, it is recommended that either 3cm or 6cm of hair is tested.

Body hair from certain areas can be used if a head hair sample is not sufficient for the required analysis, however, the time period shown by a 1cm body hair sample is 2 to 3 times longer. Back hair and underarm hair cannot be used. However, pubic hair can be used only to prove abstinence but not to disprove accusations of abuse.

The Hair Alcohol test used in combination with the Blood Alcohol test is used for a variety of civil or legal sectors (e.g. Social Services) along with private individuals to determine alcohol intake or evidence of abstinence.

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

The legal sector and Individuals choose the Hair test option as it provides the following benefits:

  • UKAS 17025 Accredited Hair Alcohol test
  • Provides the most accurate longer term analysis of an individual’s alcohol intake when used in combination with the Blood Alcohol test
  • Discounted cost when ordered with the Blood Alcohol test
  • An Expert Witness Statement can be provided at an additional cost to provide further understanding of the laboratory test report

Limitations to consider for this test:

There are many benefits in using the Hair test, however there are limitations that must be taken into consideration before deciding if this is the correct test for your circumstances.

  • The correct hair type and length must be available for the analysis required
  • A court may require a Blood Alcohol test to be performed in combination with this test to provide a more accurate analysis of alcohol consumption


  • 17025 Accredited
  • Long-term detection window
  • Discounts available when used in conjunction with a Blood Alcohol Test
  • Set time frame to analysis
  • Accurate concentration provided for positive results
  • Legally defensible results
  • Can be used to provide evidence of abstinence


  • Correct hair type and length must be available
  • Recommend having Blood Alcohol test in combination
  • Back hair and underarm hair cannot be used

How much does this alcohol test cost?

There are a number of different factors that influence the cost of the Hair Test, these include:

  • Whether you book an appointment at a Drug Testing Clinic or opt for the mobile collection service
  • If the Hair Alcohol test is to be performed in isolation or in combination with a Blood Alcohol test

The cost of one individual booking a Hair Alcohol test is from £395 + VAT.

The cost of one individual booking a Hair & Blood Alcohol test is from £525 + VAT.

If required, an Expert Witness Statement of the results can be produced for an additional £90 + VAT

How can you book this alcohol test?

The Hair Alcohol test can be used to determine the alcohol intake of an individual for private, legal or commercial matters.

Private individuals can also book this test and attend a Drug Testing Clinic or request a mobile collection officer attend their location (if suitable).

Our Clinical Advisors will guide you through the entire booking, appointment and drug testing process and will answer any technical questions you may have.

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