What is a hair alcohol test?

Hair testing for Alcohol

Organisations that require a longer window of detection for alcohol may now opt for a hair drug alcohol marker test to view use over months rather than days or weeks.

This is particularly useful for showing trends in use via a non-invasive sample and used mostly for family law cases and pre-employment tests.

This alcohol marker is known as Ethyl Glucuronide (ETG).

Abbott Laboratories

  • TDDA have partnered with Abbott Laboratories, one of the worlds largest medical technology companies based in the UK. One of the many services that Abbott can provide is in the hair testing space.
  • Abbott laboratories have ISO 17025:2017 accreditation that covers the laboratory analytical function for hair analysis and ISO 9001:2015 certification that covers the provision of administration services for drug and alcohol testing programmes.
  • The accreditation status of the laboratory is available on the UKAS website ukas.com under laboratory reference number 2720.

Hair sample:

  • Using a simple, non-invasive collection procedure, hair testing can provide an overview as well as trends of alcohol/drug use or abstinence. 


  • One of the main benefits of hair testing is that drug/alcohol use can be detected going back over several months to years, if the length of the sample is sufficient. This extended window of detection makes hair testing particularly useful in legal cases and pre-employment tests.
  • Month-by-month or overview analysis available
  • Non-invasive sample type with a long window of detection
  • The laboratory TDDA uses has validated methods that are accredited by UKAS toISO/IEC 17025:2017 (accreditation number: 2720)
  • Our sample collection process follows a full chain of custody protocol
  • Confirmation testing provides fully defensible results for a court of law or industrial tribunal
  • Expert Witness Reports written by experienced scientists, providing you withprofessional and objective evidence

What is a Hair Drug Test?

Hair drug testing detects a lifestyle of drug use as opposed to one-off or infrequent use. Since a bloodstream feeds hair growth, TDDA can assist in detecting drug use by analysing a small sample of hair.

Workplace Team Meeting

Benefits of hair drug testing

  • Hair samples cannot be substituted or diluted, and therefore difficult to adulterate
  • Long detection timeframe—90 days being the standard testing timeframe
  • Collection is safe and simple
  • Flexible collection: while head hair is preferred, body hair can also be used
  • Results are not affected by external contaminants
  • Detection period is only dictated by the length of hair available
  • Results are admissible in court

What drugs can be tested for?

TDDA offers a range of hair drug test panels (ranging from a 5-drug panel to an 18-drug panel), which cover a wide range of drug types depending on the requirement. Speak to TDDA today about what hair drug testing panel best suits your requirements.

Where can TDDA’s hair drug testing services be of help?

Hair Sample
  • Workplaces
    • Pre-employment testing
    • Random
    • Rehabilitation
    • Return to work
  • Family law matters

Why choose TDDA’s hair drug testing services?

TDDA’s hair testing process, which features a robust internal chain of custody, is modelled after US federal guidelines published by The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), as well as that of other accrediting agencies, such as the College of American Pathologists (CAP).

Clinical testing lab

The US-based laboratory TDDA utilises follows cut-off levels generally accepted industry-wide. Once samples are received at the lab, a report is produced within 1-3 business days.

Need help with hair drug testing?

The Team at TDDA did an amazing job helping us to implement random drug testing into our workforce. Our team members see management working with them to assist us to becoming a drug and alcohol-free workplace, which has strengthened our team culture. 

Sharlene Duncan
HR Manager
Mitre 10

Drug testing continues to be a dynamic area of the health and safety industry. New drugs and therefore testing technology and devices are evolving at a faster rate than previously. One of the bonuses of using TDDA has been the provision of accurate advice and on-going assistance of a technical nature prior to testing and ongoing.

Lynn Hart
National OHS Supervisor
Ullrich Aluminium

After extensive research TR Group selected TDDA as its testing provider. The manner that they have conducted themselves with the selected person for testing has resulted in TDDA being regarded as part of the team rather than an imposition or threat. I would highly recommend TDDA to any potential party seeking an outsourcing solution to complement their Health and Safety programme. 

Andrew Roberts
People Care and Development Manager
TR Group