Skip to content

Understanding how drugs get into your hair follicles

    Drugs can enter our bodies in various ways, and some drugs make it to our hair, becoming a potential indicator of drug use. But how do drugs enter our hair strands and miraculously show up on hair follicle drug tests, and is there anything we can to avoid it?  Well, to answer that question correctly, we much dive into the subjects of drug metabolism, hair growth, and how those two come in contact. 

    How do drugs enter our bloodstream?  

    Whether you snort them, smoke them, ingest or inject them, all drugs eventually reach our bloodstream. But before they do, all drugs, including intravenous ones, must pass through several bodily systems. And the first pass throughout the body always depends on the route of drug administration, while the rest follows the body’s natural flow of blood.

    For example, smoked drugs, like cannabis, go directly to the lungs, binding with the oxygenated blood. From there, they travel directly to the heart. They leave the heart through the aorta, which is the major artery, and travel to the rest of your body, along with the oxygenated, nutrient-rich blood.

    If the drugs are snorted or injected, like cocaine and heroin, they enter the bloodstream and bind to the de-oxygenated blood, traveling to the heart. From there, the drug-infused blood travels to the lungs where it gets oxygenated, and then back through the heart to the rest of the body. 

    Orally ingested drugs are absorbed into the bloodstream by capillaries in the stomach and small intestine. From there, drugs travel to the liver via blood, where some get metabolized and sent straight to the heart. From there, the drug-infused blood goes to the lungs and back to the heart and the rest of the body.

    From these three administration-distribution models, we can easily conclude that the circulatory system makes a very effective way of drug distribution throughout the body. As we described above, drugs leave the heart through the aorta, branching into arteries leading to various organs. Arteries inside the organs branch into arterioles, branching into capillaries that supply the surrounding tissue with nutrients and oxygen. 

    In fact, the entire cardiovascular system, including capillaries, is a distribution network for delivering oxygen and nutrients to the body’s different parts. But it also carries drugs, drug metabolites, and other elements you introduce into your system to the various part of your body. This also includes hair.

    How do drugs enter our hair? 

    We already established that everything you introduce into your system becomes a building block of your body. The same rule applies to hair. Before drugs are distributed throughout the body, they must pass through the liver, which metabolizes them into their inactive forms, or drug metabolites. The reason behind this metabolism is the body’s natural detoxification process, which turns drug into a form that’s easier to expel through urine.

    However, as drugs travel through the bloodstream, some reach the hair follicles via capillaries that supply the follicle with nutrient-rich, drug-infused, and oxygenated blood. That way, drugs enter the hair follicle and becomes a building block of your hair. That said, the concentration of parent drugs found in hair is much smaller than the concentration of drug metabolites, and for a good reason. 

    As we stated above, drugs get processed into drug metabolites pretty quickly, so not much parent drug gets into the hair. Instead, your blood carries drug metabolites as it circulates through the body. Before said metabolites get filtered out by the kidneys, some of them enter your hair. And once that happens, they stay in your hair indefinitely.

    There’s a common misconception regarding a 90-days period during which drugs stay in your hair. Most users believe that if they don’t use drugs for 90 days, they will wash out of their hair. Unfortunately, that isn’t true; organic compounds, including organic drug metabolites such as THC metabolites, survive in your hair for an indefinite amount of time.

    Another way drugs enter our hair is through environmental contact. If you’ve touched drugs, and then your hair, drugs can dissolve in sebum and penetrated hair shafts to lubricate the hair. Second-hand marijuana smoke might bind to your hair the same way. Even so, testing positive because of physical contact is highly unlikely, considering that laboratories thoroughly wash their samples before testing to remove contaminants that might trigger false positives.

    It’s worth remembering that once the drugs enter the hair shafts, they’re there to stay. There is no way of removing them, unless you cut your hair off, or remove them through a hair detoxification method.

    How can you remove drugs from your hair?

    Removing drugs, drug residues, and drug metabolites from your hair is tedious and exceptionally hard to perform. Your regular, everyday shampoos aren’t effective when it comes to hair detox, as they’re not potent enough to penetrate the hair and rinse out the drugs. But you can use a high-quality detox shampoo, like now-discontinued Nexxus Aloe Rid, which was sold in Walmart, as described in this review:

    The reason why we’re suggesting Old-style Aloe Toxin Rid as a substitute for original formula is that it’s one of the well-known, best-selling, and highly effective shampoos for removing drugs from your hair. It’s specially formulated to open up the hair cuticles, penetrate the hair, and remove any medicinal and recreational drugs found within. However, it’s worth mentioning that you’re supposed to stop using drugs to prevent any new toxins from entering your hair.

    Infrequent intermediate drug users can remove drugs from their hair by simply applying the Old-Style Aloe Toxin Rid per instructions provided with the product. Chronic users, on the other hand, should use a structured hair detoxification method that relies on Old-style Aloe Toxin Rid hair detox shampoo. 

    Final Thoughts 

    Coming into frequent contact with drugs, whether through handling or consumption, makes it nearly impossible to prevent them from entering your hair. And whether they may enter via blood or through physical contacts, once the drugs are in your hair, they’re incredibly difficult to remove. Luckily, you can use a good, high-quality hair detox product like Old-style Aloe Toxin Rid shampoo, to remove drugs from your hair and prepare for hair follicle testing.