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Hair Testing: How Much Scalp Hair is Required?

A regular question we are asked by our clients and donors is related to the amount of hair collected at drug and alcohol hair collections. We are also asked whether the donor will have any visible mark left on their scalp.

If scalp hair is being collected, our Sample Collector will section the hair and cut two hair samples near to the scalp, ideally this should be from the posterior vertex (the crown).

Usually, our Sample Collector will cut approximately a pencil width of hair. However, there are cases where more hair may be needed, as the weight and texture of hair varies from one individual to another. If the hair is being tested for Spice, Psychoactive Substances, or Steroids, then more samples are required.

The collection of a scalp hair sample unavoidably leaves a patch of removed hair on the scalp, but is unlikely to leave any considerable cosmetic mark to the donor.

Our Sample Collectors are trained to be sympathetic and sensitive to the donor’s appearance and attempt to collect sufficient hair for the analysis whilst minimising the cosmetic impact. The hair is cut with scissors and not shaved.

We have produced a ‘Guide to Sample Collections’ that provides everything you need to know about our hair, blood and DNA sample collections. We recommend that you ask your client to read this document prior to attending the collection appointment, so they know what to expect and to ensure the appointment runs smoothly.

To arrange a sample collection appointment for drug, alcohol or DNA testing, please get in touch via our client app, the website, an email to [email protected] or by calling 029 2048 4141.

Published 06/07/22 – All information correct at time of publication