Hair Testing & Oral Fluid Testing: How Useful It Is For A Workplace Drug Test?


Some of the most common methods of drug testing at the workplace are hair and saliva testing. Both of these are highly effective, but they give completely different results for the same timeline of drug consumption. Oral fluid testing gives you a quick insight into recent drug or alcohol use (within a few days), whereas hair testing will allow you to know about drug usage up to 12 months of consumption.

So, which test should you prefer while conducting workplace drug testing? And who should you contact if you want to conduct drug testing in Corpus Christi? Let’s know!

While both of these tests have different results to display, the combined insights of these tests can help you look at the bigger picture of short-term and long-term drug usage if used together. You’ll be able to assess the history of drug consumption in a much more detailed manner if you use the combined results of these tests.

Hair testing

One of the most accurate methods of drug testing, hair testing tells you about long-term substance abuse. With the widest window for drug testing, it allows you to know if the person has consumed drugs or alcohol within a few months or days of testing. 

The hair shaft is collected within controlled conditions and then those samples are checked for a various number of drugs along with their metabolites. Now, the detection of metabolites is done because it confirms that the person had consumed drugs and it’s not any external contamination.

Depending on the lab you’re selecting, the number of drugs that one could test for is variable. At 24/7 Onsite, drug testing services at the Port of Corpus Christi, we are detecting 100+ substances including but not limited to opiates, amphetamines, alcohol, steroids, legal highs, etc. 

Now when it comes to drug testing via hair, it is a little expensive to conduct the test. But as costly as it might be, it is very effective and accurate. Hence, it replaces the need for multiple tests via other samples such as oral fluid or urine.

Additionally, it is the best method for knowing whether the person has abstained from drug abuse over a long period of time.

Oral fluid testing

Contrary to hair testing, oral fluid testing is a less expensive, fast, and least invasive method of drug testing. It helps you detect the presence of drugs and their metabolites in the saliva. There are two specific methods used for oral fluid testing. Liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. One of them is based on an immunoassay and another one on the principle similar to colorimetry. 

Once they collect the sample, it is screened instantly to know if any drugs are present. If it is found positive, it is then passed on further for quantitative tests to know what drugs are present and in what quantity.

Saliva testing is useful for knowing about the drug usage in a period that hair testing possibly can’t. It helps you trace the remains of drugs for between 6-24 hours, making it perfect for random drug testing.

Which drug testing to use at workplace?

Hair testing is more relevant at the workplace if you are testing someone for pre-employment formalities. It gives you an insight into someone’s drug usage over a period of time as long as 12 months. 

That will allow you to make the decision whether to employ them or not. Next, saliva testing of the same person will give you an idea about the recent most drug use giving you a clear picture of the prospect.

Oral fluid testing tells you on-the-spot; whether or not the person is involved in a recent drug use making it a perfect tool for knowing whether or not they should be employed. In random drug testing, oral fluid testing plays an important role in industries like medicine, aviation, police, etc. 

In case you are looking to conduct reasonable drug testing, oral fluid would be a good fit there as well.


Drug testing is a crucial factor when it comes to ensuring the safety and integrity of a workplace. There are numerous methods to do so and two of them are hair and oral fluid testing. You can only decide the best method based on your situation and requirements. 

Once, you consider the budget, time, purpose of testing and the outcome significance, it will be easier for you to decide on one method. You can even use a combination in case you suspect any ambiguity in the case in question.

Whatever it is, 24/7 Onsite drug testing services in Corpus Christi can help you achieve the best outcome with maximum accuracy and in least possible time.