How Long Does Alcohol Stay In Your Hair?

Did you know that your hair follicles keep track of how much alcohol you drink? It can be stored for up to 90 days in your hair and most people don’t even know about this. What they also don’t know is that there are hair alcohol tests that many employers give to detect your exact alcohol consumption level. Most of what is being saved in your hair are the derivatives of your body’s metabolization of liquor called EtG. Hair tests can identify EtG and most people don’t know this because the test isn’t as popular as the others. The following are some facts you need to know before you learn how long does alcohol stay in your hair.

Usual Misunderstandings About Hair Alcohol Content

Misunderstanding #1

A few individuals worry about whether hair alcohol tests can say exactly what day it was that they drank alcohol. It is impossible to tell so you will not have to worry about this. The only results that the reports reveal is your average level of EtG. Don’t worry about receiving a report with detailed graphs specifying the exact dates you consumed liquor.

Misunderstanding #2

Having one drink within a 3-month span will not get you a positive outcome on your hair alcohol test. You will have to drink a lot more than this to test positive. The reason for this is because EtG is a metabolite that can sometimes be in your hair even when you don’t drink. Lab physicians examining your results will use a “break off “point in order to take into account the amounts of EtG you are exposed to in your external environment and the amount your body produces on its own. To put it simply, the physicians working in the lab want to evade the possibility of false positives. What this means for you is that having a drink or two is not going to generate a positive result which is the last thing you want if this test is for your employer. Just make sure you don’t get to careless and go overboard when you are at a party or in a bar. I hope that this answer the most commonly asked question – how long does alcohol stay in your hair?

Misunderstanding #3

There are people that wonder whether a hair alcohol test can tell if you are currently under the influence kind of the way a breathalyzer test does. The response to this question is a resounding no. Any doctor will tell you that it takes about 4 to 5 days for EtG to get into your hair follicles. So, if you are worried that policeman will start stopping you on the roads to ask for pieces of your hair, you can stop worrying now because it will never happen. Breathalyzers give instant results but hair alcohol tests don’t so it just doesn’t work out.

Frequently Asked Question When it comes to Hair Alcohol Tests

#1 Who should sign-up for a hair alcohol test and why?

If you are worried about a family member or a friend who is an alcoholic, you should tell them to take this test so you can help them seek help after. It really is an eye opener and many time, the test site will have programs your friend or family member can use to help them heal their addiction.

#2 How Does a hair alcohol test work?

For a typical hair alcohol test, technicians will need about 60 to 80 strands of your hair to perform it properly. The length of each strand has to be at least 1.5 inches so that it gets scrutinized correctly. The hair doesn’t have to come from your head. You can also use hair from your chest, armpits or legs if you are bald. If you don’t have hair on your hair, make sure the clinic that you choose can do body hair tests.

#3 How can you arrange a hair alcohol test?

Most clinics allow online registrations or you can just call which sometimes make it easier. On the day of your test, don’t forget to take a photo ID as proof of who you are you will be rejected.

#4 How long does it take to get results for a hair alcohol content test?

You will receive your results within 2 to 4 business days. Many times, it will take longer if your results are not negative. If they are on the other hand, you will get them much quicker and all results are signed a physician.

#5 How Long Does Alcohol Stay In A Hair Follicle Test?

Close to 3 months is the answer most specialists give but usually it takes a little less time as long as you don’t binge drink.


So, does alcohol stay in your hair? The answer is yes and it does stay for a long time as we mentioned in the introduction. It will stay in your hair follicles for at least 3 months so keep that in mind if you have a hair alcohol test scheduled in the near future.