Safework Health provides hair follicle drug testing at our in-house laboratories in Melbourne and Perth.;
Fast And Accurate Results

Hair Follicle Drug Testing

Safework Health is one of Australia’s leading providers of hair follicle drug testing services.

Backed by a national network of accredited laboratories, we employ a rigorous testing methodology to analyse hair samples for traces of drugs.

Results are delivered within 7 to 10 working days, ensuring swift and reliable outcomes for you.

We can come to you, or you can come to one of our collection centres.

Safework Health provides hair follicle drug testing at our in-house laboratories in Melbourne and Perth.;

In-House Laboratories

Hair samples are tested in-house at our NATA-accredited drug testing laboratories in Australia.

These on-site facilities allow us to provide a fast turnaround time for results. This allows you to make quick decisions, resolve legal or disciplinary matters faster, prevent potential risks, and reduce downtime.

The laboratories are fully equipped to conduct the analysis using Liquid Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (LC/MS) – the most advanced technology available for drug testing.

Our highly experienced team of scientists is always available to explain, discuss and interpret results. Chief Toxicologist, Dr Phil Tynan, is also available for additional support and reference when needed.

Safework Health's Brisbane site in Murrarie, Queensland;

Convenient Testing Wherever You Are

Our experienced team of over 100 Collectors can collect hair samples at a location of your choice or at any of our collection centres across Australia.

Collection centres are located in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Port Hedland and Darwin.

Safework Health's Brisbane site in Murrarie, Queensland;
Safework Health provides hair follicle drug testing;

About Hair Drug Tests

What is a hair follicle drug test?

A hair follicle drug test is a type of drug test that analyses a sample of an individual’s hair to detect the presence of drugs or their metabolites, which are substances produced when the body processes drugs.

How far back does a hair follicle test detect drugs?

Hair drug testing can provide information about an individual’s drug use over the past 90 days (three months), making it a useful tool for employers, legal authorities and healthcare providers to detect long-term drug use.

Does colouring your hair hair affect drug testing?

Colouring your hair doesn’t typically affect drug testing results, as drug traces are detected within the hair shaft, not the hair’s outer pigment. However, excessively bleaching or dyeing hair may damage the shaft, potentially affecting the accuracy of the test.

Safework Health provides hair follicle drug testing;

What Drugs Are Detected In A Hair Test

Safework Health performs hair drug testing based on several international guidelines and procedures including those published by the (International) Society of Hair Testing.

Unlike urine or saliva testing, there is no specific Australian Standard for detecting drugs of abuse in hair.

Hair drug tests can quickly and accurately detect the presence of a wide range of illicit and prescription drugs including:

Safework Health provides fast and accurate hair drug testing services.;

How Are Hair Samples Collected

During testing, technicians will cut a lock of hair of around 200mg from the vertex of the scalp, which is the area at the back of the donor’s head. The amount of hair samples taken is equivalent to the size and thickness of a small pencil. We routinely collect the lock of hair close to the scalp.

If there is no or insufficient scalp hair (i.e., the hair length is ≲ 1 cm) beard hair can be used but it is not possible to accurately determine the time period covered by such a sample because beard growth is highly variable between men.

Safework Health does not recommend using, nor does it analyse body hair, as drug uptake rates are variable, location-dependent and the rate of growth of body hair is poorly understood.

Hair grows at a rate of roughly 3.8 cm every 3 months so the length of a hair sample determines the time-span that can be examined. If the hair is long, we can perform a segmental analysis – cutting the hair into monthly segments (around ~ 1 cm) – to get a progressive picture of the donor’s drug use.

Chain of custody procedures are undertaken to ensure the results will withstand examination in a court if required.

Safework Health provides fast and accurate hair drug testing services.;

Benefits And Limitations Of Hair Testing

What are the benefits of hair follicle testing?

Overall, hair drug testing offers a comprehensive and reliable approach to detecting drug use over an extended period.

  • Extended detection window: Hair testing can detect drug use over a longer period (90 days) compared to other methods such as urine or saliva testing. It can detect drug use spanning several months, providing a comprehensive overview of an individual’s drug history.
  • Resistance to adulteration: Unlike other approaches, hair testing is highly resistant to tampering or manipulation of the sample. This makes it a more reliable method for detecting drug use, as it is difficult for individuals to interfere with the test results.
  • Monitoring long-term drug use: Hair testing is particularly useful for monitoring long-term or chronic drug use patterns. It can provide insights into an individual’s drug habits over an extended period, making it valuable for assessing substance abuse issues and determining appropriate interventions.
  • Reliability in safety-critical environments: Hair testing is commonly used in safety-critical environments such as workplaces and family law proceedings. Its extended detection window and resistance to tampering ensure reliable compliance, particularly in cases involving child custody and visitation rights, where the wellbeing of children is paramount.

What are the limitations of hair drug testing?

While hair drug testing offers certain advantages, it’s important to recognise its limitations:

  • Inability to detect recent drug use: Since hair grows gradually from the scalp, it typically takes about 10 to 14 days for drugs to show up in the hair follicle. This means that recent drug use within the last week or so might not be detected in hair samples.
  • Limited detection of infrequent drug use: Hair testing may not be sensitive enough to detect sporadic or occasional drug use, especially if the drug concentrations are low or if the hair sample is short.
  • Invasive collection process: While hair collection is generally non-invasive compared to methods like blood tests, it still requires the removal of a hair sample, which some individuals may find uncomfortable or objectionable.
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More Information

Contact us today to learn more about our hair drug testing services.


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