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Of all the drug tests that are currently in use, the hair follicle drug test is the most difficult to cheat. This is rapidly making it the go-to drug test for employers, governments, and other people. While passing this test with a drug-filled body certainly isn’t easy, there are still ways for you to overcome it. One of the most reliable methods available to us right now is detox shampoos.
Unless you have the time to wait it out, if you want to scrub your hair free of any traces of drugs, detox shampoos are your best bet. They’re definitely a worthwhile investment towards making sure that you cover all your bases for potential drug tests.
To prepare for this article, we’ve researched extensively on the nature of hair drug tests as well as the detox shampoos that are currently available on the market—all to give you the ultimate comprehensive guide how to pass a hair drug test using detox shampoos.
So what are you waiting for? Continue reading on to find out more about how hair drug tests operate and the ways you can prepare for them.
Hair Drug Test Shampoos Are Changing the Game
Most commercial shampoo products only work on the outer parts of your hair. Simply washing your hair vigorously will not help you pass the test. You’re going to need something a little more powerful than regular shampoo, you’re going to need a product that can penetrate deep into the hair strands and bring the toxins out with it when you’re rinsing off your hair.
What to Look for in Hair Detox Products
Hair detox products will definitely need a significant amount of time and preparation, so it’s important that you read up on it and get to work as soon as possible. You may need to leave the product in for a specific amount of time, use it in tandem with another product, or wash your hair with it more than once.
Aside from the regular instructions, there are some home cleaning methods that you can try out for yourself. These usually involve a mixture of ingredients and hair treatments, but are worth the try because of the many happy users.
The hair detox products that are most likely to help you pass the drug test may come with a hefty price tag because these products will have special ingredients and processing methods to really work at removing the toxins from your follicles. As such, prepare yourself for the additional costs that come with choosing hair detox products as the way to go.
Additional Styling Methods
Heat styling or coloring may help make the process more effective as it damages the cuticle, allowing the hair detox product to better penetrate the shaft. In fact, intensive styling methods play a huge part in the Jerry G method—one of the most popular DIY at home detox methods on the internet. However, this can have long-lasting and damaging effects on your hair.
What Are the Best Hair Detox Product Options
#1. Aloe Toxin Rid Shampoo (Old Version)
The old version of the Aloe Toxin Rid Shampoo is a medical grade hair detoxification product that works its way to the very inside of your hair shaft, opening the cuticle and removing traces of foreign substances from the cortex. It consists of two parts, the basic product and the ultra clean shampoo. To get the best results, you have to use them together—the Aloe Rid first, followed by its companion Ultra Clean shampoo after.
The process goes like this. The Aloe Rid includes several ingredients, one of which is high propane glycol, that opens the cuticle and scrapes at the substances in the cortex. The second part of the Aloe Rid program then carries on with the deep clean process much like a conditioner, working its way into the follicles and sealing the metabolites in.
It is recommended that you begin this process at least five days before the test, but washing your hair and repeating this method multiple times has also reportedly made up for the lack of time.
Unlike most shampoos in this category, Aloe Rid helps with aftercare because it’s infused with moisturizing ingredients that help keep your hair smooth and silky.
If this product has won you over, make sure to only get the older version of Aloe Toxin Rid, as the newer ones do not contain the sufficient amount of propylene glycol needed to open the cuticle. This makes it as good as any other shampoo you can pick off the shelf and it will not work if you need to clear the drug test.
Currently, the older formula for Aloe Rid can only be found on this website. They’ve got a solid customer service team that works around the clock to answer questions via live chat and a phone line, which is a huge plus.
- Made from natural ingredients
- Contains moisturizing and nourishing agents
- Can be used on sensitive hair and scalp
- Good customer service around the clock
- Must follow instructions closely to get results.
#2. Clear Choice Shampoo and Purifier
The Clear Choice Shampoo and Purifier works in a different way compared to the Aloe Toxin Rid Shampoo. First, you only need to use it on the day of the test itself. This is because it is supposed to give your hair a clear zone effect for up to 8 hours after washing, by coating and masking the toxins.
However, it is extremely important that you avoid any environments that may contain traces of the toxins until after they have finished collecting the samples, because it may affect the strength of the coating.
To use Clear Choice shampoo, you have to evenly distribute the full contents of the shampoo bottle on wet hair and massage thoroughly for 5 minutes. Once finished, rinse it off and apply the full contents of the purifier bottle. Make sure you work it well into your roots and along the length of your hair, and then leave it in for 15 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water.
To finish off, use a clean towel and a clean comb. The best results are achieved within the first hour after washing and drying hair.
- More affordable than Aloe Rid
- Simpler to apply
- Safe for your scalp and hair
- Can be used in a pinch
- Maintaining your hair throughout the safe period can be tough
- Does not have an ingredient list online
What Are Hair Follicle Drug Tests?
Hair drug tests can detect the presence of a variety of drugs that have made its way into your follicles due to personal consumption. It is usually conducted by professionals and carried out in a laboratory for analysis.
The terms hair drug test, hair follicle drug test, and hair follicle test all refer to this one activity.
How Far Back Can the Drug Test Detect Illegal Substances?
The human head, on average, can grow out half an inch every month. The typical length of hair used for the hair follicle test is the most recent 1.5 inches of hair nearest to your scalp. Hair drug tests can detect the consumption of foreign substances as far back as 90 days. However, bear in mind that each and every individual has different hair growth rates, and the time frame is only an approximate value. It can vary greatly.
It is the farthest reaching drug test there currently is and it can be finished under a week. Blood or saliva tests usually detect drugs in just a few days, while the drug detection time of a urinalysis is also around a week.
However, there are some unusual cases wherein the hair drug test could go farther back than 90 days. It is merely the industry standard, but ultimately the length of hair that will be tested is up to the collector’s discretion. If the collector takes 2 full inches instead of just 1.5 inches, then your drug test can go as far back as 120 days instead of the usual 90 days.
It only takes a mere 0.125 inches of extra hair growth to add a full week of drug detection time to the hair sample. For reference, that’s about the size of an underline (_).
How Is the Hair Sample Taken for a Drug Test?
The industry standard may be 1.5 inches but many collectors in the market often chop off a bit more than they should for sampling just to make sure that they get viable samples for analysis. For them, it is always better to take too much than to not have enough. Will they take off an extra eighth of an inch or one full half more? That could mean as little as an additional week of detection, as mentioned before, to a full month’s worth of added detection time.
How Long Does It Take for Drugs to Get in My Hair?
It usually takes around 5 to 7 days for tainted hair to grow from the root to above the scalp line. From this point forward, traces of foreign substance will remain in your hair until you either cut it out or strip it away with chemicals.
Who Usually Asks You to Take a Drug Test?
It can be just about anyone. The request for a hair drug test can be made by:
- Court order
- Federal agencies
- Local governments.
Nowadays, the hair drug test is becoming the preferred test everywhere because it’s got high accuracy rates and extremely low chances for the outcome to be influenced.
The people or entities requesting for the drug test usually have third party drug testing facilities analyze the samples for them. From there onwards, it’s a pass or fail test. There will be no room to consider the circumstances of how foreign substances found their way into your hair follicles.
How Does the Hair Follicle Test Work?
A hair follicle test looks for drugs in the hair shaft, which may linger and have more lasting effects on the chemical structure of what’s in there compared to your blood, urine, or saliva. Because of this, a hair drug test can be extremely difficult to pass. This kind of drug test is highly resistant to individuals that are trying to get through the test by adulterating the sample, switching out the samples, or even abstaining from the use of drugs for a few days.
What Can the Test Detect?
With a fair amount of accuracy, the hair drug test can pinpoint when you started using a specific drug, how long you used it, and when you stopped using it. Advanced hair drug test analyses can go as far as to tell how much of a specific drug was consumed. These advanced hair drug tests are very expensive and as such, rarely used.
To sum it up, a hair drug test can give away three main points:
- The drugs that are being consumed
- The quantities of these drugs being consumed
- When these drugs were being used.
Why Do People Ask for Hair Follicle Tests?
The hair follicle test is the best there is in detecting drug usage. Some clinical studies have proven that these tests are between 5 to 10 times more effective. It’s been able to identify 85% of drug users that made it through a urine screen. It’s very good at what it does, and this is why it’s increasingly becoming the most requested drug test.
The test takes a while to finish because it needs to be analyzed over a long time frame. If this doesn’t make things hard enough for the patient to cover the toxins, the act of obtaining the hair for processing is reinforced and makes it doubly more difficult to cover.
What Specific Substances Can Hair Drug Tests Detect?
The hair follicle test can detect any and all kinds of drugs. Here are some common substances that hair drug tests can detect:
Is There Any Way I Can Check My Results Beforehand?
Yes. You can choose to test yourself with an at home hair drug testing kit. This is a great option if you have the time to complete the process and/or if you fall into the light user category and you aren’t sure if the tests will detect your consumption of foreign substances.
Some popular hair drug testing kits include the HairConfirm hair follicle multidrug hair test and the ezHome 5 Panel Drug Test.
Can the Results of My Hair Drug Test Be Used in Court?
Yes, with a few conditions. The court needs to be convinced of the custody and the control of the hair sample drug test. For example, if someone collects a hair sample from their spouse and is planning to use it in court then it will generally not be admissible.
What If I Shave All My Hair off Before Going to the Test?
It is highly unlikely that choosing this method will yield successful results. The first reason is even if you shave off all of your hair, they can simply move to collect hair on your other body parts, perhaps your underarm hair. They can also go for an on the spot urinalysis or blood test instead.
Furthermore, it’s going to be a huge giveaway if you walk in for your hair drug test with a shiny bald head. If you go all the way and remove all the hair on your body, then they can simply fail you and cite avoidance as the reason for your failure. Most people have already caught onto this hack, so it’s not the best solution to the problem.
What Are the 3 Ways to Pass a Hair Drug Test?
1. Wait Until the Drugs Naturally Clear out of Your System
It takes around 90 to 110 days to get the drugs out of your system. If you avoid using drugs for this period of time, then it will no longer show positive results on the hair drug test because it will no longer register on your follicles.
The downside to this option is that one is rarely given this much time to prepare for a hair drug test. It is often demanded for immediately, with the least amount of time to prepare. For some people, waiting simply isn’t an option.
2. Use a Hair Detox Product
The right hair detox product can penetrate deep into your individual hair strands and affect any traces of drugs that has managed to burrow its way into your follicles. However, we have yet to find completely reliable and effective detoxification products for your hair.
This is because most hair detox products are formulated to try and work deep into your hair so it can remove the drug. Since traces of the drug are all the way in your hair follicle, the drug cannot be removed without destroying the follicle itself.
Other hair detox products work to simply seal the drug away from the drug test. This means that even as it is under analysis, it still contains the drug but it will no longer be detected because of an added layer of protection.
3. Refrain From Doing Drugs
Of course, if you do not consume any drugs then passing the hair drug test will be a breeze.
What If I’ve Been Exposed to Secondhand Smoking?
You’re going to pass the drug test. It is highly unlikely to fail the hair drug test if you have only interacted with drugs in this manner and not ingested it yourself. This is because the drug needs to work its way into your bloodstream in substantial amounts before it shows up in your hair follicles.
What Do These Detox Shampoos Have In Common?
You may be wondering how these specific detox shampoos are supposed to help. It’s an effective way of tackling the problem because it doesn’t bank on removing the toxins from the hair strands. The thing is, even if they succeed in removing these toxins, it’s impossible to remove all of them in such a short time. A great number will still remain for the hair drug test to pick up on.
Sealing Your Hair Into Capsules
When the tester cuts the hair samples into smaller segments, the sealer on your hair follicles immediately works to seal the end of each shaft where and when it was cut. In this way, it will create hundreds of small and entirely sealed capsules.
Minimizing the Number of Detected Toxins
The tester will now proceed to soak the sample in the solvent, but it will no longer be able to remove the toxins from the hair. The end result is that there is a significantly reduced amount of toxins extracted for the hair test to detect, and you will end up testing clean.
The detox shampoos will only work on the hairs on your head for 8 hours after application, with maximum effectivity in the first hour. If the hair sample is taken from you after 8 hours, the sealer will no longer be thick enough to protect you. Day to day movements such as combing your hair, the wind blowing, natural hair movement and just about everything else will wear down the sealer and cause it to be too thin in some areas to provide complete protection. At this point, it’s a gamble and this is why we suggest that the best detox shampoo is used no longer than 8 hours before your hair will be collected for testing.
Admittedly, the detox shampoos cannot promise to remove all the toxins from your hair. It will not be able to seal each and every hair strand on both ends and some are bound to make it through. However, the cut off point for the presence of foreign substances is far higher than the concentration of these few toxins that make it through the testing process.
Are There Any Special Methods to Using Hair Detox Products?
Yes. There are two popular systems that have purportedly yielded successful results for thousands of people. However, keep in mind that these methods do not work for everybody. The effectivity of this method differs from one person to another based on the detox shampoo used, the amount of time, and the damage it will cause to hair strands.
1. Jerry G Detox Method
The Jerry G Method is an 8-step process that aims to fundamentally change the structure of your hair. For this to work, you are advised to stop using drugs at least 10 days before the day of your scheduled test. This is the minimum amount of time you’ll need to change your hair.
On day one, you need to bleach your hair and then dye it back using a home hair dye containing ammonia. To avoid arousing suspicion, make sure you use a permanent hair dye that is a shade very close to your natural hair color. After this, wash your hair thoroughly with Toxin Rid and leave it to dry. At this point, we highly recommend you refrain from blow drying your hair as your hair will be unable to withstand the heat.
On day ten, you need to repeat this process again. To make the most out of this treatment, some use the Ultra Clean shampoo after the Toxin Rid at this step.
From there, allow your hair to air dry or towel dry before going in for the test.
This method places a lot of strain on your hair but can be effective in changing the chemical state of your hair so as to remove any traces of foreign substances deep within the cuticle.
2. Macujo Detox Method
The Macujo method relies on several different ingredients to clean your hair follicles. Before starting the process, make sure to prepare to abstain from consuming substances until after clean test results are reported back.
To begin, wet your hair until it is damp but not dripping. Pour some Heinz vinegar into your scalp and along the length of your hair, taking extra care to massage it into your scalp. Once you are finished with this, add Clean and Clear shampoo to the Heinz mixture that is already sitting on the head. Like the Heinz vinegar, make sure that it is also massaged and worked into both the hair and deep into your scalp.
Now the mixture needs to sit on your head for a half-hour. After this, wash this mixture out of your hair with the Aloe Rid shampoo. Keep on rinsing until you’ve removed every trace of all the substances you’ve put on your hair.
Finally, finish off the whole process by washing your hair with Tide laundry detergent, specifically the liquid variety. This will be difficult to handle—be very careful with this step and make sure that the detergent does not enter your eyes.
It’s a long process and is somewhat more complex compared to the Jerry G method, but the advantage to it is it can be done at home and at your convenience. It is recommended that this method is repeated to increase its effectivity.
The Science Behind the Hair Drug Test
How Hair Follicles Become Contaminated
Prescription medicines, other medications, and controlled substances can enter your body in a variety of ways. They can be consumed, injected, or smoked. In some cases, they can even be absorbed from the environment. Regardless of their entry point, once they are in your body they metabolize and move through your bloodstream. As they move, these ‘metabolites’ of foreign substance become entrapped in the hairs growing all over your body, always in amounts that are more or less proportional to the amount that was taken in. Unless you go and destroy the hair follicle itself, the drug cannot be removed. As your hair grows out, it becomes a calendar of drug usage to be evaluated and analyzed.
How Hair Follicles Are Structured
Hair follicles are made up of three layers. The innermost layer is the medulla, followed by the cortex and then the cuticle. The substances that are ingested are gathered in the cortex layer as it feeds off of your blood and grows. The cuticle, which is the outer shell, then makes up the majority of the follicle and is what you see when you look at hair. This is the part you take care of for cosmetic purposes.
How Hair Strands Will Be Used for Testing
While they will take out entire strands of hair, the actual hair sample will only be the first 1.5 inches of the hair strand, because that’s where recent consumption of foreign substances will have left its mark. The rest of your hair will be discarded while this sample gets prepared for analysis.
Where the Test Will Be Conducted
From start to finish, there’s no way to be able to switch out the samples under the collector’s nose.
On the day of the test, the collector personally takes the sample from you and it is never out of their sight. They will pluck 100 to 120 strands of hair from your head. You cannot switch it out for another sample, or place anything in or on it to change the results. Also, there is nothing on the market that you can eat or drink to affect the quality of the hair sample.
First, the hair sample is cut into very small pieces. These pieces are then soaked in a solvent that causes the metabolites to go into suspension. After, the solution is placed in a centrifuge and separated. This is where the specific hair analysis test begins.
Understanding Your Results
There are three possible results that you can get from a hair drug test.
A negative result can be determined at the shortest time of all three, only 24 hours after removal. It indicates that you have not consumed any illicit drugs in the past 90 days.
A positive hair drug test result is confirmed after 72 hours. This will undergo a second test called gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). Its purpose is to confirm the initial positive result and identify the specific drugs found in the follicle.
It’s uncommon, but still possible to get an inconclusive test result. This usually happens in cases where the hair specimens were not properly collected. If this happens, then the test will be repeated.
Dos and Don’Ts of a Hair Follicle Drug Test
The biggest strength of a hair drug test lies in the accuracy of its outcome. However, there are still ways to help you get past a hair drug test without working towards changing the outcome itself. Make sure you’re ready and prepared for a hair drug test with this quick list of dos and don’ts.
Don’t Draw Attention to Yourself
Just keep your head down and follow the directions of the testers. Avoid being too friendly or standoffish— just be yourself. Be organized and have everything you need by your side at the test. The less attention you are drawing to yourself, the better.
In line with this, if you suddenly show up to your hair drug test with all your hair removed then it will definitely catch people’s attention and act as a red flag for the medical personnel.
Do Your Research
The more you know about the hair follicle test, the less nervous you will be about it. It’s important to be informed about what to do and how it works so you can stay calm. Keep in mind that the testers have undergone training to detect nervous, anxious, and uptight people.
Do Get Ready for the Test
Gather all the information you need to present to the testers on the day of the test. Compile a list of over the counter medications, prescription drugs, and vitamins that you’ve been taking. Most companies are sure to ask for a list of medications you’ve been taking for the last 30 days. The hair follicle drug test will be able to detect all the current drugs and medications.
Do Ask Anyone Who’s Gone Through the Test About It
Take the time to ask someone who’s personally gone through a hair drug test about it, to get a first-person perspective on the whole experience. You can ask if there were any tips and tricks that helped them in passing the test, or whether one In order to avoid attention, be sure to stay discreet about who you ask.
Do Bring Identification
You will need to have proof of your identity when you’re at the testing site. Bring a government issued ID with you so you can present it to your testing facility’s personnel.
Don’t Bring Too Many Personal Effects
When you arrive at the testing site for your appointment, you may be asked to store your items in a secure location. To eliminate hassle for both you and the personnel, it is best to only bring your most essential items with you.
Do Schedule Childcare
If you have children you need to attend to, then make sure to schedule someone to take care of them ahead of time. You are not allowed to bring children to the collection area where your hair testing is to take place and you are not allowed to leave them in the waiting area either.
Analyzing the Mind of a Tester
There are no quick tricks or magic fixes to a hair drug test. Try putting yourself in the shoes of a tester, whose job is to collect hair samples day in and day out, and see how these scenarios would put you at higher risk:
Showing up Bald
We’ve already gone through this in earlier parts of the article, but it’s important to reinforce how hair removal will not solve your problems for a hair drug test. Collectors may simply opt to take from secondary sources for sampling. The hair on your body takes a much longer time to grow compared to the hair on your head, so this means you would inevitably expose yourself to a longer hair follicle drug detection time.
This happens in cases where the collector decides to still push through with getting samples. In cases where they decide against it, however, you could automatically fail the test simply because they could not obtain a hair sample.
Being Overly Anxious or Jittery
Collectors are trained to observe the patients they work on, and they are sure to be keeping a watchful eye on you from the moment you walk into the site. While it may feel unnerving at first, try and practice a few quiet calming techniques to keep your emotions under control for the moment. Acting lowkey will be crucial in getting you through the test in one piece.
Work on finding the right balance between being friendly and being professional in your own special way until you forget about your nerves for this scenario.
Coming in With Soaking Wet Hair
This isn’t exactly a hard and fast rule unlike the others, but the collectors are sure to have heard of the rise of detox shampoos on the internet and have incorporated it into the list of characteristics to watch out for. Just make sure to take the time to dry your hair properly before going to the clinic so it’s not too obvious that you washed your hair before going.
Always make sure to do extensive research before you engage in any activities that have not been proven to work in a scientific setting. They may or may not work on you, and at this point, it’s a risk that may not be worth the reward.
Natural home remedies involving a mixture of kitchen ingredients have not been proven to work at all. There are no naturally occurring ingredients that can penetrate into the hair shaft and rinse off the cortex in such a limited period of time.
Yes, there are people and websites out there that sell detox drinks and pass it off as the answer to your hair drug test. Even if it detoxifies your blood and urine, it won’t do anything much to the toxins gathered up in your hair.