Hair Drug Test

The Hair test is performed in a UKAS 17025 Accredited laboratory and provides the most reliable and accurate form of historical drug use.

The Hair test analyses the drugs and metabolites found inside the hair strand. When a drug is ingested it enters a person’s blood stream, it then transfers from the blood vessels into the hair shaft at the root.

Hair can be taken from anywhere on the head or body, however we recommend that head hair is used due to biological factors that influence hair growth rate.

Regardless of the hair origin, only a moderate amount of hair sample is required for the analysis. This means that the area from which the hair has been collected is normally unnoticeable.

Hair Testing can be used to show the level of drug use over a specific period-of-time, or provide evidence of abstinence from 1 month to 12 months, depending on the length of hair available.

Segmentation of the hair sample is also possible to provide a month by month view of potential drug use. This would also support a claim that someone had recently stopped taking drugs. This is possible in increments of 1cm or 0.5cm segments. Other options are also available for certain circumstances such as spiking incidents. This can be discussed with a Clinical Advisor at the time of booking.

There are 19 different drug groups that can be included in the analysis, some of these are; Amphetamine, Methamphetamines (including Ecstasy), Benzodiazepines, Cannabis, Cocaine, Methadone, Opiates, and Ketamine.

Each 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 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 clinics or via the mobile collection service.

Your test report will be issued within 3 to 5 working days of your sample being received at Crystal Health.

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

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

Click here to view the groups and cut off levels>>
Click here to view the Detection Windows>>

Why and when would you use this drug test?

Hair testing is commonly used in the following circumstances:

  • Social Service matters
  • Family Court matters
  • Spiking Incidents
  • Evidence of abstinence

The Hair test is ideally suited to the above circumstances, as it offers a longer and more accurate detection window than Urine and Saliva drug testing. If you do require an analysis that covers a short time period of detection e.g. up to 1 week, you may wish to consider the following alternative tests:

The Hair test can detect drug use, or provide evidence of abstinence for up to 12 months, depending on the length of hair that the sample donor has available. 1cm of head hair will show approximately 1 month of use. 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.

The time it takes for a substance to enter the hair shaft must be taken into consideration and will play a factor in the period of analysis and ultimately the timing of the sample collection. On average, it takes a drug 5 days to metabolise and enter the hair shaft, at which point the hair sample can be taken, cutting to the scalp. This will be discussed with you at the time of booking your test.

If required, additional hair samples can be taken to accommodate a request for a drug and alcohol test. A Hair Alcohol test can be used in conjunction with the Blood Alcohol test to ensure the most accurate picture of alcohol intake is provided. In conjunction with the drug test, the alcohol test will fulfil any requirements for legal purposes.

The Hair test is used for a variety of civil or legal sectors (e.g. Social Services) along with private individuals to determine drug use or evidence of abstinence. The test has also been used for commercial purposes, for specialist agencies or in circumstances that require evidence of abstinence or to challenge positive urine results for Industrial Tribunals.

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

  • UKAS 17025 Accredited Hair Drug test
  • Provides the most accurate longer term analysis of an individual’s drug use
  • An Expert Witness Statement can be provided at an additional cost, to provide further understanding of the laboratory test report, especially for court cases

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.


  • 17025 Accredited
  • Long-term detection window
  • Set time frame to analysis
  • Accurate concentration provided for positive results
  • Legally defensible results


  • Correct hair type and length must be available

How much does this drug test cost?

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

  • Whether you book an appointment at a clinic or opt for the mobile collection service
  • The number of drug groups to be tested
  • If segmentation of the hair sample is required

The cost of one individual booking a Hair Drug test is from £190 + VAT.
If required, an Expert Witness Statement of the results can be produced for an additional £90 + VAT

How can you book this drug test?

The Hair Drug test can be used to determine historical drug use of an individual for private, legal or commercial matters.

Private individuals can also book this test and attend a 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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