Why You Should Consider Using A Hair Testing Kit Before Any Job Drug Screening

"Interviews are all about projecting confidence, and that’s why knowing the results of a screening ahead of time can help."

Photo Credit: @LIWORDSON

| June 25 2019,

8:37 pm

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Maybe you’ve moved from a state where recreational marijuana was legal, to a state where it isn’t. Perhaps you’re a recent graduate who’s about to embark on a job search. Maybe you’re an independent contractor who wants to explore in-house jobs. Or perhaps for one of thousands of other possible reasons, you need answers before taking an employment-related drug test.

If that’s you, you might be thinking about “studying” for an employment-related drug test with a self-testing kit. That’s a good idea, especially if you’re not 100% confident about what your screening might reveal. Interviews are all about projecting confidence, and that’s why knowing the results of a screening ahead of time can help. However, the test type matters for the most accurate results.

Here are three reasons why you should consider using a hair testing kit:

1. More employers are using hair testing kits.

For many years, urine and saliva testing were the go-to screening methods for most companies. That type of testing remains popular, but now, more employers are using hair testing kits (like HairConfirm) because they provide a detailed look at substance abuse patterns and longer window into use — about 90 days rather than 30 days or less.

Because molecules that indicate substance use are embedded in the hair shaft, hair tests are virtually cheat-proof, unlike urine or saliva tests, which have a shorter testing window and are easier to evade. Hair tests can use hair from anywhere on the body, so be aware that a shaved head will not necessarily prompt an employer to switch testing methods.

2. Self-testing your hair is private, confidential and quick.

In the past, if you wanted to self-test your hair you’d have to arrange a lab visit. Now, it’s as simple as a trip to a national retailer, such as a CVS Pharmacy. Depending on which testing kit you choose, you can self-screen for so-called “street” drugs like marijuana, ecstasy and cocaine, or commonly abused prescription drugs.

With the right self-testing kit, the process is simple. You just confidentially register your kit online via a secure portal, collect a hair sample and mail it in with a pre-paid envelope that comes with the kit. When your results are ready (as fast as three to nine days with some vendors), you can log in to the portal to view your results. That’s all there is to it — no embarrassing, expensive trips to a lab!

3. Hair testing kits provide the clearest picture.

Urine and saliva testing kits may be less expensive at some outlets, but the savings come at a price – the tests aren’t as thorough as hair drug tests. According to the Mayo Clinic, urine testing for opiates tests for all types right after ingestion, whether prescribed or illicit.  

The timeline varies for different types of drugs, metabolism and frequency of use; some stay in the system longer and some for shorter periods. But the point is, job candidates generally don’t know what type of pre-employment screening test a prospective employer plans to use. Hair drug tests provide a clear picture for job candidates with a 90-day window into substance use.

When you’re applying for a job, you have enough to contend with as you prepare to showcase your talent, education and experience in the most positive light on your application or résumé. The last thing you want to think about is running into possible snags during a pre-employment drug screening.

Hair drug tests are growing in popularity among employers, so techniques to avoid issues with urine or saliva tests may fall short if your prospective employer has moved on to more accurate, thorough screening methods. “Studying” for an employment-related drug test by doing a hair drug test yourself can provide the peace of mind you need to approach a job opportunity with confidence.