Hair drug tests present a challenge to anyone who has dabbled with drugs. They have a typical detection time of 90 days, so even if you've been cleaner than clean for weeks already, you can still fail a hair drug test. You're probably therefore wondering if there's a way to clean your hair before a drug test. For example, will excessive washing strip your hair of THC? Are there any other methods that work
Hair drug tests
It helps to know a little about hair drug tests first. Each hair grows from a follicle in the scalp. At first, a hair bulb forms at the base of the follicle, which is nourished by blood vessels. This enables the cells in the hair bulb to subdivide and grow the hair shaft, which eventually leaves the follicle and creates the hair we see.
Now, because the hair bulb takes nourishment from the blood vessels, it also takes various other substances from the blood with it, including drug metabolites. These drug metabolites are then permanently locked into the new cells as they grow out.
Hair drug tests work by dissolving a sample of hair and then analyzing it for drug metabolites. The sample of hair used usually corresponds to the last 90 days of hair growth. This detection period is possibly even worse for formerly heavy weed users, because THC metabolites can float around the body for weeks, potentially ending up in new hair even after stopping.
So, will excessive washing strip my hair of THC?
Sadly, no amount of regular washing will affect the THC content in your hair. This is because the inner cells of a hair (the cortex) are protected by an outer layer called the cuticle. Regular shampoos simply do not penetrate this deep. In fact, most are designed to be as gentle as possible on your hair.
Are there other ways to strip your hair of THC?
Some people cut their hair short or even shave it to avoid failing a hair drug test. This is inadvisable for two reasons. Firstly, it may look very suspicious if you suddenly shave your hair just before a hair drug test. Secondly, in the absence of sufficient head hair, testers may instead ask for a sample of body hair. This can be even worse, because body hair grows slower than head hair.
Other attempted solutions include bleaching your hair multiple times, possibly followed by dying it to resemble its original color. There may be some benefit to this, but it will cause extreme damage to your hair in the process.
A more pleasant way to pass a hair drug test is to use a detox shampoo on the morning of your test. Unlike regular shampoos, these shampoos are designed to penetrate deep into the hair strands and dissolve toxins such as drug metabolites.
These products are usually packaged in sufficient quantity for a single use, but if you have particularly long or thick hair, you may need to purchase two units to adequately treat all your hair.