How Much Do Hair Drug Tests Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 13, 2018

A hair follicle drug test is considered to be a zero-tolerance test and is one of the most reliable methods of drug detection today.  It is used by parents, law enforcement, officials, and employers  With this procedure, even the smallest amount of a drug can be revealed.

How much do hair drug tests cost?

To use a professional, the costs will depend on the testing center and geographical location.  On average, plan on spending about $100 to $350 for the testing.   This will depend on the number of drugs the test has to detect and lab providing the test.  A 5-panel test can cost as little as $100, while a 14-panel test can be closer to $350.

At home tests can cost anywhere from as little as $35 to $90.  This will depend on the brand and where it’s purchased from.  For example, the Hair Confirm drug test is going to cost between $50 to $85.  The First Check 12 drug test can cost anywhere from $38 to $49.




Hair drug tests overview

A hair drug test analysis can supply a drug record over the past 90 days and has consistently been shown to be more dependable than a urinalysis since it can only go back seven days.  Drugs can be detected about seven to 10 days after the drug has been used.  This is the time it usually takes to allow the affected hair to emerge from the scalp.

Using a small hair sample cut at the scalp, this test evaluates the amount of the substance deep-rooted inside the hair.

A hair drug test can detect the following drugs:  Amphetamines, Barbiturates, Benzodiazepines, Cocaine, Marijuana (THC), Methadone, Methamphetamines, Opiates (Codeine & Morphine), Phencyclidine and Propoxyphene.

The most common types of tests on the market include a 14-panel, 12-panel, 10-panel and 5-panel.  The number is simple:  It will tell you how many drugs the test will be able to detect.

The results of your test will be analyzed by a specialist, and these results will be sent to the company/person requesting it.  You can call and get the results as well.  During the testing, the hair will be cleansed using a special shampoo to make sure all contamination is gone.  The laboratory will then use enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay methodology to detect any presence of illicit drugs.

The results of hair follicle drug testing should be provided by a CAP accredited Laboratory.

Depending on the test, up to 100 strands of hair may be needed to get an accurate result.  If sending to a lab via the mail, most will ask that the hair is as thick as a shoelace tip.  Once the strands have been cut, it can be screened for more than five different drug classes.

What are the extra costs?

A 1.5-inch sample will provide a 90-day history of use.  An extra fee will be charged to go back farther.   The cost can go up to $2,000 depending on how far they go back.  It is possible, however, that a drug cannot be detected up to three years after use.

If you order a kit online, shipping charges may apply.  Keep in mind that most employers won’t allow you take the test at home.  Some kits may also charge an additional fee to have their lab analyze the results.  Pay close attention to the fine print before purchasing.

Tips to know:

Even if a patient hasn’t taken any sorts of drugs within the last three to six months, positive results can still show up on a test since some hair can show traces of a drug for up to a year.

If sending into a lab, be sure to see if they are accredited.

If your hair is too short, laboratories can also use body hair as an alternative.  Body hair, such as facial, underarm, or even pubic hair, is a suitable alternative.  If no hair is available, the lab may have to resort to an oral or fluid test.

Compared to other drug tests, a hair test is considered to show a longer detection period, and it also has the ability to show you when the drug was being used.

While there may be tricks to beat this test, the only way to do it is simply by shaving your entire body.  Don’t fall for the shampoo gimmicks or giving up drugs for 90 days prior to the test as some can detect it even further than 90 days.

Can you fail a drug test from second-hand smoke?  No.  Second-hand smoke won’t affect your test results.

How can I save money?

If a company requires this type of test, they will more than likely pay for it.

Those who want to take the test at home should compare at least three to five labs before choosing one.


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