A hair drug test is currently one of the hardest tests that could come your way as a regular smoker.
And to be completely honest with you, most of the advice you’ll come across on how to pass a hair follicle drug test is total rubbish.
Beating this test often requires a good amount of effort and time, money, and a little luck. So, don’t fall for any method that makes it look as easy as falling off a log.
There’s nothing to worry so much about, though. While it isn’t an easy task, passing this test is possible if done the right way. And we know how to do it.
The only thing that we ask of you is to follow our advice diligently, and you’ll have increased your chances of passing.
And don’t let anyone hoodwink you into thinking that there is anything that you can eat or drink to strip the drug metabolites embedded in your hair.
To that end, it’s very much to feel anxious and nervous about a forthcoming hair follicle drug test. We also understand that most of the remedies recommended around the internet don’t seem to work, especially for child protective service drug tests.
Instructions to Pass a Hair Follicle Drug Test
As I told you, a hair drug test is one of the hardest tests that could come your way.
Although the internet is full of recommendations on how to beat it, there are 2 methods that I can personally recommend if you are really desperate to pass the test.
The Macujo method
This is the most popular method.
The fact that it has been allowed for decades is a guarantee that it works.
So, what is the Macujo method?
Also known as the Mac, the Macujo method is a 7-step procedure that involves cleansing the hair deeply to open up the cuticles of your hair and strip out the drug metabolites embedded in the cortex (the hard part of the hair).
Before explaining how the Macujo method works, it’s important to mention that it requires quite a good amount of time.
Precisely, you’ll need to repeat the process every day for a few days to increase your odds of passing.
What you’ll need
- A large sink (or bath)
- A reliable supply of warm water (better if it’s flowing from a faucet or shower)
- Heinz white vinegar
- Clean and Clear Pink
- Nexus Rid Shampoo
- Tide Liquid Detergent
- Shower cap
- Gloves and goggles (these 2 are completely optional. But keep in mind that some of the ingredients above might irritate the eyes and the skin)
Step 1: Stop smoking pot
As with any other type of drug test, the very first thing that you want to do immediately you learn about a possible hair follicle drug test is to stop smoking pot.
Of course, this might seem quite hard, especially if you are a regular smoker.
But that’s one of the ways of increasing your odds of beating the test using this method.
Abstaining from weed (at least until after you are through with the test) means that you do not add more THC metabolites into the hair strand.
Step 2: Wet down your hair and apply the Heinz white vinegar
Using warm water, rinse the hair thoroughly over the sink. The hair should be wet from the root to the tip to make step 3 easy.
Step 3: Massaging the vinegar onto the scalp
Apply a liberal amount of Heinz white vinegar into the hair and spread it evenly and thoroughly throughout the head.
Keep in mind that the sample will be collected from the root of the hair.
So, be sure to massage the vinegar onto the scalp, thoroughly ensuring that every strand has been soaked. Note that your scalp will tingle at this point, but it’s manageable.
Step 4: Massage with Clean and Clear Pink shampoo (you’ll need to put on your goggles and gloves here!)
With the Heinz white vinegar still on your head, step 4 of the Macujo method involves massaging a generous amount of Clean and Clear Pink into your hair.
Just as you did in step 3, be sure to work in the shampoo to the scalp. This will make the scalp irritate even more.
But this is a vital step where the salicylic acid in the shampoo opens up the cuticle to make it possible to flush out the metabolites later.
After masking your hair with the Clean and Clear shampoo, put on your shower cap and let the vinegar and shampoo work on the hair strands for about 30 minutes.
You could do anything that distracts you from your tingling scalp in the meantime.
Step 5: Rinsing
After 30 minutes, the shampoo and vinegar should have done a great job opening up the cuticle. Next, thoroughly rinse your hair with warm water until it’s clean.
Step 6: Wash with the Nexus Rid Shampoo
After thoroughly rinsing the hair, put a generous amount of the Nexus Rid Shampoo in the palms of your hands, and massage it thoroughly through the hair.
This is yet another critical step of the Macujo method as the Nexus Rid Shampoo.
It is responsible for penetrating the hair strand and flushing out the THC metabolites.
Let the shampoo stay for a few minutes, then rinse it out till the hair is squeaky clean.
Considering the great role of this shampoo, it’s advisable to apply it again and massage it thoroughly from the hair's tip to the root. This ensures that more THC toxins are removed.
Step 7: Wash the hair with Tide Liquid Detergent
The last step of the Macujo method is as important as the 2 steps above.
Use Tide Liquid Detergent to scrubba-dub the hair and the scalp until you are convinced that it is impeccably clean, then rinse it out with warm water.
This detergent's role is to flush out the last of the stubborn metabolites that may have made it through the Aloe Toxin Rid wash.
Lastly, and the most important thing, on the day of the test, REPEAT the entire method 3-5 times.
What? It’s such a demanding task.
But reports from people who have used the Macujo method indicate a higher success rate among those who repeated the test more times.
Does the Macujo method work?
Yes. This method to pass a hair follicle drug test has received much praise from people who have used it for years.
To be precise, the Macujo method has been reported to work at least 90% of the time if followed diligently and if all the recommended ingredients are used.
There’s a catch to its performance, though.
As you may have noted from the steps above, this method is annoyingly time-consuming and will work for you only if you have time (at least 3 days) on your side.
But what if you don’t have this precious commodity with you?
What do you when you have to pass a hair drug test in 24 hours?
The Macujo method alone may not be of great help, especially if you are a regular and heavy hitter.
That’s where you want to check out our next method: the Zydot Detox Shampoo.
Zydot Detox Shampoo
The Zydot Detox Shampoo is our #1 recommended solution for passing a hair follicle drug test the same day.
The Zydot Detox Shampoo is a 3-in-1 internal hair purification treatment that combines the functionality of a shampoo, purifier, and conditioner in one affordable box.
The shampoo compositions of this treatment work by stripping off chemical buildup from day-to-day hair spray and styling and finishing products on the hair shaft.
This makes it easy for the purifying ingredients to penetrate the strand into the inner structure.
The purifying component removes drug metabolites that have been entrapped within the hair.
The last component of this shampoo employs Aloe Vera's power to condition your hair by making it easy to control tangles and adds sheen.
You must be wondering, will the Zydot work for heavy smokers? The answer is YES. This shampoo is a same-day solution for all smokers, regardless of their smoking habits. If you are a heavy smoker, though, it’s highly recommended that you clean the hair twice using the Zydot Ultra Clean to ensure that the purifying process eliminates all the drug metabolites.
Why is a hair drug test so risky?
It costs a company anywhere between $100 and $125 to test one applicant using a hair follicle drug test.
This is much more expensive than a urine test that costs as low as $20 to test for the same drugs.
But most companies are now preferring the hair follicle method regardless of the high cost because it has several advantages over other types of tests.
These advantages are risks to you and what you’ll struggle with when trying to cheat this test.
Perhaps the biggest risk of all is that unlike a urinalysis that detects drug use in 1-4 days, a hair drug test effectively tracks drug-use as far back as 3 months (90 days).
This test is usually 5-10 times more effective than urinalysis and will tell the type of drugs used, the month around which the drugs were taken, and the consumed quantity.
But what you should worry so much about is that there is nothing that you can eat or drink to alter the constituents of the hair sample.
Also, during specimen collection, the collector takes the sample (usually 100-120 strands of hair) from your head, and the specimen never gets out of their sight.
This means 2 things: First, you cannot replace the hair collected with someone else’s.
Second, it’s impossible to adulterate the specimen by placing or adding anything in or on the sample.
What Can a Hair Drug Test Detect?
- Cannabinoids (THC) - marijuana, weed, hash, edibles, cannabis
- Opiates (OPI)- heroin, codeine, Morphine, Tramadol, and Lortab
- Cocaine (COC) Crack
- Oxycodone (OXY)- Percocet, Oxycontin, Percocet, and Vicodin
- Hydrocodone- Lorcet and Vicodin
- Amphetamines (AMP)- Ecstasy, Phentermine, Ritalin, Adderall, Dexedrine, MDA, MDEA, and MDMA
- Methamphetamines- Crystal Meth
- Buprenorphine- Suboxone and Subutex
- Propoxyphene- hydrochloride, Norpropoxyphene, Darvocet, and propoxyphene
- Barbiturates- Secona, Amobarbital, Nembutal, Butabarbital, Pentobarbital, Butalbital, Secobarbital, Phenobarbital, and Amytal
- Benzodiazepines (BZO)- Valium, Xanax, Restoril, Serax, Ativan, Midazolam, Dalmane, Klonopin, Tranxene, and Librium
- Hydromorphone- dilaudid
- Oxymorphone- Numophone, Numorphan, and Opana
Hair Follicle Drug Test Detection Times
It will take marijuana about 5-10 days to show up in your hair after your last toke.
This is unlike in blood, where the metabolites show up almost immediately after consumption, or in the urine, where the drug metabolites are detectable after a few hours.
The metabolites that get deposited into the hair follicles are that they remain detectable through a hair follicle drug test for up to 3 months after exposure.
Here is a low-down of how this happens
- When you consume marijuana (either through ingestion, vaping, or smoking), THC metabolites are absorbed into the bloodstream, where they are transported to the cannabinoid receptors found in the body cells.
- As this happens, some of the metabolites are circulated into the saliva and urine, and others enter the vessels that take blood to the cells around the scalp.
- When the THC metabolites reach the hair papilla (interface between the blood vessel and cells of the follicle), they cross over to enter the matrix where actual hair growth happens and become a part of the hair strand core.
- It takes about 5-10 days for the hair to shoot out from the matrix and through the scalp.
- Since hair grows at the rate of approximately 0.5 inches per month, the guys taking the sample will cut around 1.5 inches of your hair strand from the scalp to represent a 3-month/90-day drug usage history.
- Going by the facts above, it’s very much possible to toke and pass a hair follicle drug test scheduled 1-4 days after consumption if you are an occasional smoker. However, keep in mind that your existing hair will still have drug metabolites from your previous sessions if you are a regular smoker.
How a Hair Drug Test is conducted (step by step)
Taking the sample
A hair drug test can be conducted in a laboratory or within the hospital premises. The sample may also be collected within the work premises using a kit and then sent to a laboratory for actual testing.
The process starts with verifying the identifying information. The collector then cuts 100-120 strands of hair from your head's crown, each measuring approximately 1 ½ inch from the base.
As pointed out earlier on, the essence here is to ensure that the information obtained is of the most current drug use.
The collector will cut the hair from different spots of your head to prevent forming a bald spot.
On the same note, the strands will mainly be collected from parts on your scalp that are least seen and won’t cause you any cosmetic grief.
If you don’t have enough hair on your head to fill the required sample, the collector has the right to collect body hair from top-down.
This includes facial hair, underarm, chest, leg, etc.
In case the hair is shorter than ½ inch, the collector might need to collect more than the usual 120 hair strands to complete testing.
After enough hair has been collected for the sample, the collector puts it in a hair collection envelope and also indicates the source of the sample.
Testing the sample
After collection, the sample is thoroughly washed to remove external contaminants before being chopped into tiny bits.
The sample is then put in a solution meant to digest the strands of hair into their constituent components.
This is mainly keratin plus other components that are embedded in the strands.
Next, the solution is screened using ELISA (Enzyme-Linked Immunoassay Sorbent)- a popular screening technique where specific antibodies bind to specific antibodies to predetermine the molecules that the subject is being tested for.
Understanding the results
A hair follicle drug test results are pretty much similar to any other type of test (saliva, urine, and blood). The subsequent steps to follow depending on the results don’t vary so much too.
Following ELISA screening, the results may be negative, positive, or inconclusive.
Usually, a negative result will be determined (and sometimes even confirmed and reported) 24 hours after collecting the sample.
Here, the subject is considered clean for the drugs that he/she is being tested for.
In case the results come out positive with ELISA screening, the sample is taken through another test known as Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) for confirmation and to eliminate any risk of a false positive.
This confirmation test takes 72 hours and will also identify the specific drugs in the sample.
If the GC/MS confirmation results come out positive, too, a Medical Review Officer (MRO)- a licensed physician who receives and reviews laboratory results- makes sure that the chain-of-custody procedures were followed.
The MRO then contacts the person being tested to determine whether there might be any medical or other reasons for the results.
In case there is any medicine that may have caused the positive results, and a doctor prescribed it, the MRO may report the results as negative.
If this isn’t the case, though, the MRO proceeds to report the positive results to the organization.
When the test results come as ‘inconclusive,’ it means that the test could not determine whether or not the drugs you are being tested for are present in your hair sample.
In other words, the results do not indicate a clear positive, or negative.
An inconclusive result may be as a result of failing to follow the testing procedures to the latter.
The best course of action at this point is to repeat the test.
However, not all drug testing companies will repeat the test, especially when they are convinced that all the necessary procedures were followed diligently.
Nevertheless, considering the cost of a hair drug test, some employers may fail to employ a job applicant whose results come as ‘inconclusive.’
Delivering the results
After testing the samples, the drug testing organization will deliver the results to the client (the organization that requested the tests), usually through confidential means, such as a phone call or private fax.
The results of a drug test are considered personal health information, though.
That being said, there are restrictions on whether and how the results are made accessible to others.
As such, you’ll need to sign a results release form for the results to be shared with your employer (potential employer).
In most instances, you will be required to sign this form during the test.
Remedies that don’t work
The thing that makes a hair drug test so hard to beat is that no homemade remedy can help remove the THC metabolites from the hair shaft.
That being said, be wary of hocus-pocus products and tricks that promise to mask all the THC metabolites in your hair sample and thereby help you beat the test.
At the end of it all, you might end up losing your money and an opportunity for a potential job.
Here are some of the most common urban legends you’ll come across and why they never work.
Showing up with a clean shaved head
Showing up at the collection point clean-shaven might seem so clever to you.
But in the real sense, it only makes you look stupid, especially if you are not known to maintain a closely-shaven scalp. It only makes you suspicious.
If you choose to give your head a smooth shave on the day of the test, you’ll need to shave all the hair on your body since the lab experts may collect the sample anywhere on your body.
You could decide to get smarter and wax every part of your body and ensure that there isn’t a single strand of hair visible.
In such a scenario, the lab guys might simply report to your potential employer that they were unable to test you for lack of hair.
If you are lucky, the employer may request another type of test (for which you need to be prepared).
If luck isn’t on your side, the employer may count it as a fail (most employers and organizations take the latter option. Remember that having you tested is an expense to them).
Natural detoxing (dieting and exercising)
Natural detoxification helps pass almost all other types of tests- saliva, blood, and urinalysis. But it won’t help you with a forthcoming hair drug test.
This is because the drug metabolites (in this case, THC) are trapped into the hair follicle, where they might remain embedded as long as you have the hair on you.
This also means that it’s possible to pass a urine drug test and fail a hair follicle drug test done at the same time.
To pass a hair drug test using natural detoxification, you’d need to abstain from weed completely then flush out all the THC stored in your fatty cells.
Depending on your smoking habits, this is a process that might take you a long time since even after flushing out all the metabolites embedded in your fatty cells; you’d still need to wait for at least one more month for the THC deposited at the matrix of your hair to shoot out through the scalp.
Vinegar is a renowned home remedy for cleaning hair follicles. But that’s just what it does.
Vinegar only stimulates the hair follicles, clogs pores, and loosens buildup from dead skin cells, styling products, and oil.
While vinegar is an important ingredient of the Macujo method, what you want is an ingredient that will penetrate the hair shaft and release, dissolve, and remove the THC metabolites.
Thinking of surprising your potential employer with nicely bleached hair on the day of the test?
Great! The good news is that bleaching has been found to remove up to 80% of all the drug components trapped in the hair's shaft.
Unfortunately, bleached hair is as good as a clean-shaven head, and drug testing companies are aware of this trick.
As such, they might resort to an alternative drug detection method such as fingernail testing that is even more accurate than a hair drug test.
The method of passing a hair drug test using baking soda involves mixing baking soda, cinnamon powder, and olive oil and then using the mix to cover the scalp.
Like vinegar, this mixture effectively removes residues from chemicals and hair care products and opens the scalp’s pores.
Unfortunately, it does not affect the hair itself, where the drug metabolites are trapped.
Freshly squeezed lemon juice is rich in vitamin C, and it’s highly regarded as a solution for stimulating re-growth from dormant hair follicles. It’s also known for its anti-fungal properties that aid in maintaining scalp health.
However, it does not affect (positive or negative) the components that make up your hair strands.
Hair Drug Test FAQs
Can a hair drug test give a false positive?
Of course, similar to any other test type, a hair drug test may also lead to a false positive with the initial screening test (ELISA).
But the good news is that a second test (also known as a GC/MS test, which is more accurate) has to be done on all positive results to eliminate the possibility of a false positive.
It’s important to keep in mind that certain medications can trigger a false positive during a hair drug test.
It’s important to divulge the use of any of these medications to the drug testing guys beforehand. These include;
Can you simply wash toxins out of your hair?
Passing a hair follicle test wouldn’t be so hard if it was possible to wash marijuana out of the hair.
To eliminate the toxins encapsulated in your hair strands, you need to remove the chemical residues on the shaft and then penetrate the strand to release, dissolve, and remove the toxins inside.
This is something that is simply washing the hair won’t do.
Will you fail a hair drug test by smelling or touching weed?
A few years back, it was believed that THC and its metabolites would only enter the body through smoking, vaping, or ingesting (through edibles).
However, a very recent study conducted in Germany and published in the Journal for National Institutes of Health in 2016 shows that THC and THCA-A are detectable in hair with regular handling of cannabis.
Check out this study for a detailed analysis of the study and results.
Can you fail a hair follicle drug test through second-hand smoke?
Well, we’ve come across complaints from non-smokers who report having failed a cannabis hair drug test due to exposure.
While it’s hard to simply disregard these claims, the likelihood of generating detectable levels of THC-COOH in the hair through exposure is rather too low.
It’s worth noting that hair tests look for the THC-COOH metabolite, which is only generated by the body after an individual has consumed cannabis.
This means that for THC-COOH to be deposited into the hair strand matrix, there has to be the actual process of breaking down cannabis in the body.
This doesn’t happen during cannabis exposure.
Answering the same question, Dr. Barry Sample of Director of Science and Technology at Quest Diagnostics Employer Solutions, says that there is no published study that proves that a hair specimen can turn positive for THC through passive or incidental exposure.
Can a hair drug test detect one-time use?
No. Unlike in urinalysis and saliva tests where it’s possible to detect one-off THC use, this isn’t the case for a hair drug test.
This is because a hair follicle test detects long-term drug usage patterns but won’t detect recent and first-time drug usage.
What do you if you have dreads?
Things might be a little bit tough if you are a regular stoner with dreads.
This is because, for either of the above 2 methods to pass a hair follicle drug test to yield the required results, you’ll need to work in the ingredients thoroughly through each strand.
This might not be possible if you have dreadlocks.
At this point, you might want to evaluate the risks involved (for instance, a jail term, losing out on a potential job opportunity that you have been offered) and your love for your dreadlocks, then determine the most appropriate thing to do.
How long do hair drug test results take?
After a sample of 100-120 strands of hair has been taken from the crown of your head, it is tested using an ELISA screening test to determine whether or not the parent drug or its metabolites are in the sample.
Usually, negative results will be reported within 24 hours.
In case the results come out positive, the sample undergoes a second test called a GC/MS (Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry) for confirmation.
Confirmation of nonnegative results takes 72 hours.
What should you do if you fail to pass a hair follicle drug test?
Your goose is not yet cooked if your results come out positive. But this is the time to start thinking of your next course of action.
The first thing that we recommend, however, is to remain calm and avoid fighting.
In such a scenario, you will be contacted by the HR department.
If the results show that a certain medication may have contributed to the positive results, you will be required to provide a prescription from your doctor just as proof that the medication was recommended by a qualified medical practitioner and taken as required.
Things may turn out a little bit ugly where your results come out positive, yet deep inside. You are sure that you haven’t used illegal drugs. Still, you don’t have solid proof to show that the non-negative results may be a result of a medication you are taking.
At this point, you might consider asking whether the HR department can reschedule a confirmation test through GC/MS. If you are lucky, your wish may be granted.
Unfortunately, a GC/MS confirmation test is quite expensive to carry out, and most employers will stop at the ELISA screening.
At this point, you might want to fight back with the knowledge that you have a right to a confirmation test that eliminates the likelihood of a false positive.
If the results remain positive, though, you could try to play cool and convince the HR that you no longer do the drugs you just tested positive for and that the results don’t represent the new you.
You might also try to convince the HR department to give you another test (saliva, urine, blood) only if you are pretty sure that you’ll beat it.