Best Hair Follicle Detox Shampoos for Drug Tests

Drug Detoxification Hair Shampoo

If you have a hair drug test coming up, you may be aware that passing tests for metabolites of drugs depositied in the hair can be harder and require more sophistication than passing urine tests with a detox cleanser you can buy from local novelty stores.

Before you go out and grab a detox shampoo, you should be aware that using a product to try to beat a drug test is illegal in some states and jurisdictions. As a disclaimer, LeafExpert is not recommending that you try to beat a drug test in any jurisdiction where it is illegal. Rather, we are merely describing techniques people have used and the possible results. You should be aware that in the US, it is against the law to try to defraud the United States government, therefore using a product or method for beating drug tests for federal court mandated purposes is a federal crime.

How Hair Follicle Drug Tests Work

When you get a hair drug test, they’ll first remove a hair sample, generally from the head area.  In this case, they’ll only test the 1.5 inches of hair coming from the follicles that are nearest your scalp. The follicle itself is just the little pore and is not tested so ‘hair follicle drug test’ is a misnomer. It will test the first 1.5 inches of the hair shaft from the scalp. This sample will be sufficient to reveal your drug use for the prior 3 months.

A hair drug test can be done onsite or at a lab like Labcorp. A trained technician will remove exactly 1.5 inches of hair from your head. If you don’t have hair on your head or if it is too short, they may take a hair from your armpit. If there is no hair there, they can go for a beard hair or a pubic hair (in cases like those in the court system, they will invade your privacy under the assumption that you are a criminal but they are not likely to go this far for an employment drug test; however, if you have no available hair, you may be disqualified, so shaving off all of your hair is not an effective method). Hair grows at a rate of 0.5 inches per month, so 1.5 inches contain a 3 month or 90 day history of drug use. This is the longest window of any drug testing method. The hair even further away from the scalp may contain even older drug residues but it is not standard practice and is sometimes expressly forbidden to test hair further than 1.5 inches from the scalp.

The hair sample will be taken into the lab. It will be put into a solvent that will remove the drug residues from the hair. Methanol may be used, which is a form of alcohol which is mildly poisonous to humans. Some deep thinkers have claimed to have used methanol to remove drug residues from the hair before testing. This is inadvisable as it may absorb through the skin and poison the user or cause skin irritation. Also, one study showed methanol only removed drug residues which were added to the hair from the outside, not those deposited through the blood or sweat.[1] Instead, people have used other acids, bases, and proteases to try to get drug residues out of the hair. We will discuss these shortly.

Once dissolved the mixture is tested using antibodies and confirmed with gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. This can take a few days.

Hair tests are more expensive and are not used as often as urine tests. They are more likely to be used if a longer drug history is needed. They may be used in determining employment for law enforcement agencies. Such agencies sometimes only do drug testing during the initial employment screening. Many police agencies do not regularly test officers.

What Drugs Does Testing Uncover?

A hair drug test will pick up all of your major types of illicit drugs. Some tests may even look for nicotine and alcohol. Very specific tests may look for synthetic cannabinoids. Hair tests for the herb kratom have recently been developed but are not yet likely widely employed.[2]

Drug residues won’t be detectable in the hair until about seven days after use, after which it can be detectable for up to three months. Even though that is the case, you should avoid all drug use before the test as hair can be contaminated from the outside or from your sweat.

Is it Possible to Cleanse Hair for a Drug Test?

According to our research, it is theoretically possible to beat a hair follicle drug test. Also, users of hair detox methods online claim to have successfully foiled hair drug tests and gotten the job of their dreams or at least kept their bodily privacy from being violated.  In order for beating a drug test to work, the drug metabolites in the hair have to below cut off values. Small amounts of drugs can get into the hair by outside contamination such as second hand smoke. Luckily for you, if your friends smoke up the house and it gets in your hair, it doesn’t count. It should be below the cut off unless you’re in  limo with Snoop Dogg.

Anything that can take drugs out of hair could also get you below the threshold of detection. In the International Journal of Legal Medicine (1997), a study was published titled  “Effect of the shampoo Ultra Clean on drug concentrations in human hair.” They were testing the hair of cadavers (dead bodies) of known drug users. They measured the levels of drugs in the hair, then washed  them with Ultra Clean detox shampoo. The results were significant percentage losses in drug residues, i.e. ““cocaine -5%, 6-MAM -9%, morphine -26%, THC -36%..”[3] As you can see, there was a 36 % reduction in THC residues. However, even with that reduction, some will have to emply the Macujo or Jerry G methods to bring levels below threshold.

 A study in 1997 that was published in the Journal of Legal Medicine looked at the consequences of cosmetically treating hair on the ability of hair tests to pick up on drugs.  This study found that those who bleached and also dyed their hair, had dramatic decreases in detectable drug levels. “40%-60% (reduction) (cocaine, benzoylecgonine, codeine, 6-acetylmorphine and THC-COOH). For morphine the mean difference was higher than 60%, and two cases (THC and nicotine) differed by approx. 30%.”[4] Cosmetic treatment reduced detectable drug metabolites directly proportional to the amount of damage done to the hair. So expect to fry the hair especially if you have a lot of drugs to get out of it. And remember, it’s the first 1.5 inches of hair from the scalp that will be tested so aim your efforts at this hair and you can leave the rest of the hair relatively undamaged. In 2019, a study was published in Drug Test and Analysis comparing detox shampoos. They looked at the following:

  1. Folli-Cleanse High Voltage
  2. Kleen Deep Detox Shampoo
  3. Test Pass Detox Shampoo
  4. Ultra Cleanse Shampoo

They compared each shampoo with deionized water. 3 of them fared no better than using water as far as removing drug residues. One stood out, displaying a  “decrease of 73% ± 12% as compared with non-incubated hair following 8 hours.”[5] High Voltage Folli-Cleanse was the winner. However it requries the hair be incubated with the shampoo on it and a swimming cap for at least 2.5 hours. If you decide to purchase this product, make sure you get High Voltage Folli-Cleanse as there are many products with a similar name. In this study, it helped beat a test for a metabolite of alcohol, but we can assume it may do the same for other drugs.

 In the Annals of Analytical Toixicology in 2005, a study was published that looked at cosmetic treatments which included peroxide or ammonia, typically used to dye hair. Peroxide is also a known oxidizer and could change the structure of drugs such that they are rendered undetectable due to no longer having the chemical properties of the metabolite being studied. Benzodiazepines are susceptible to being destroyed by peroxide. This study noted that these cosmetic treatments do indeed reduce drug metabolites. The study also verified that Ultra Clean can help remove drug metabolites. These shampoos alone may not remove enough drug metabolites to pass a test. They should be used with a method like the Macujo Method or Jerry G Methods, or used in the same way as used in the studies, which sometimes involves incubating the hair in the shampoo for up to 2.5 hours.

A 2014 study in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology looked at African American and dark hair types that contain a high amount of melanin. Drug metabolites cling to the melanin. They used hair straighteners with and without lye to see what is the effect on the drug metabolites in the hair. They found the following: “only 5–30% of the original concentration remained in authentic drug hairs that had formerly tested positive for COC, BZE and CE.” Straightening dark hair with a perm with or without lye and also washing with a detox shampoo like Folli-Cleanse may give the uservery high chances of passing a hair drug test. The drawback is that since you will have to reach down to the first 1.5 inches, be careful not to get chemical burns in your scalp. Some perms include a scalp protectant like petroleum jelly.

The Jerry G Method (higest rating): bleaching your hair pass a hair follicle test

Hair follicle drug test is a misnomer. The follicle is the pore that produces the hair, it is not tested. What is tested is the first 1.5 inches of hair outside the pore, the hair shaft.

The Jerry G. Method can be easily summarized. Get two bleach and dye kits which are your natural hair color. Use them 10 days apart just before your test. Therefore you need 10 or 11 days. We will describe the method here. Due to the research we’ve done, we substitute High Voltage Folli-Cleanse for the Toxin Rid because it is overpriced and has no studies showing that it works.

Materials
  1. 2 boxes of hair bleach and dye, it should have ammonia or peroxide and be your natural hair color
  2. 2 boxes of Ultra Clean Shampoo by Zydot
  3. High Voltage Folli-Cleanse, enough for two applications
  4. Baking soda
  5. New combs and hair instruments not contaminated by old hair.

Steps.

  1. Refrain from drugs starting 10 days out and through to your drug test. If you have a prescription for the drugs, consult with your doctor about ceasing use or getting an excuse. Check with the employer that an excuse is valid. Some jobs, like truck driving, allow no prescriptions for drugs that can cause drowsiness on the road for obvious reasons.
  2. On day one, use your first bleach and dye kit. Make sure you use it on the hair that is 1.5 inches from the scalp.
  3. Shampoo with Folli-Cleanse by High Voltage.
  4. Wait your eight days then the day before the test, again bleach and dye your hair. Shampoo with High Voltage Folli-Cleanse.
  5. On test day make a paste with water and baking soda. Put it in your hair. Leave it in for 5 minutes. Shampoo with Zydot Ultra Clean. There’s a very high likelihood of passing a test after this regimen according to the studies and social media accounts of using this method. After you use a new method, you should use all new combs and brushes to avoid re-contaminating your hair, or at the very least, clean your hair instruments really well. Don’t wear old hats or hair accessories that may be contaminated with drug residues.

The Macujo Method

We are going to describe here how people have used the following method to beat a hair drug test with just 1 day notice. We do not recommend any approach. This particular approach could cause chemical burns on your scalp. We would say the Jerry G. Method has more scientific backing and is safer, since most people have used hair dye before and can consult the package insert for safety precautions. Whereas, with the Macujo Method, there are questionable ingredients, used not as directed by the manufacturer.

Equipment

  1. Warm water
  2. Towel
  3. Sink
  4. Pink Clean and Clear acne wash
  5. Disposable Gloves
  6. Goggles
  7. Pack of liquid Tide detergent or Passion Indulge Papain Shampoo
  8. Pink Clean and Clear acne wash
  9. Shower caps
  10. High Voltage Folli-Cleanse
  11. Ultra Clean by Zydot shampoo
  12. Vinegar
  13. New combs and hair instruments not contaminated by old hair.

Steps

  1. Get the vinegar down inside the roots. This is supposedly to break open the hair cuticle.
  2. Now add in also the Pink Clean and Clear. Leave them both in for 30 minutes. This is gonna break up the oils (acne wash), and break open the cuticle.
  3. Now shampoo with High Voltage Folli-Cleanse. Rinse well. Remember don’t use your old combs and caps, they may be contaminated.
  4. Wash it all out. Then shampoo with Toxin Rid or High Voltage Folli-Cleanse. Rinse thoroughly.
  5. Shampoo with a dab of Tide detergent. Tide has proteases that destroy proteins. You can also substitute Passion Indulge Papain shampoo, it also contains proteases.
  6. Now use your Ultra Clean Shampoo.
  7. Users claim they do this 3 times on test day.

Best detoxifying shampoos to remove drug residues from hair

Here we include a list of the best detox products to buy to remove drug residues from hair with:

  • How to use each
  • Main ingredients
  • pros and cons

 

Zydot Ultra Clean 

Rating: 5 out of 5, A+

  • best detox hair shampoo for thc and other drugs
  • One of the most popular hair detox shampoos
  • Pros: 36 % reduction in THC metabolites, reductions in all drugs tested
  • Cons: has to be used with a method like the Jerry G. Method to be effective

Main ingredients:

  • Triethylamine: According to our sources: “The pKa of protonated triethylamine is 10.75.”[6] This means it is alkaline which may help reduce drug metabolites.
  • stearyl alcohol: this may act like a solvent. They use a solvent to remove drug residues from the hair for testing so it is known that solvents can do this.
  • How to use them: You can use it with the Macujo Method or Jerry G Method

These are the full ingredients:

Sodium laureth sulfate, aloe vera, cocamido-propyl betaine, cocamid DEA, sodium PCA, tetrasodium EDTA, panthenol, citric acid,sodium thiosulfate, methylparaben, DMDMhydantoin, sodium chloride, fragrance, coloringPurifier (tube 2)Aloe vera, propylene glycol, EDTA, potas-sium sorbate,  methylparaben, carbomer-940, triethanolamine, coloring, Conditioner,  Aloe vera, geranium maculatum, comfrey, (tube 3)grapefruit juice, hydrolized animal protein, N-octadecanol, cetyl trimethyl ammoniumbromide, N-hexadecyl alcohol, methyl-paraben, propylparaben, fragrance, coloring)

High voltage Folli-Cleanse detox shampoo,

Rating: 5 out of 5, A+

Pros: In studies it reduced EtG (alcohol metabolite) enough to pass a test (after at least 2.5 hours of soaking the hair in the shampoo)

Cons: It did not reduce FAEE, fatty acid ethyl esters, also used as an alcohol test measurment. This might indicate it will not remove all types of drugs.

  • Important ingredients: A fairly rare paper by a graduate student of Ghent University at the time it was published states, “The alkaline triethylamine seemed to be primarily responsible for the substantial reduction in the EtG concentration in hair whereas the acidity of citric acid reduced the recovery of EtG within the sample preparation and experimental setup and thus disabled an accurate quantification of EtG. (Bekaert)”[7] This means it is expected a highly alkaline substance may reduce drug metabolites. This is also why baking soda is used in the Jerry G. Method.

Main ingredient:

“TEOA or triethanolamine is a fairly strong base: a 1% solution has a pH of approximately 10.”[8]

Old style Aloe Rid and Nexxus Aloe Rid: 4 out of 5, B

  • Very well known.

Someone’s marketing savvy made this shampoo very popular. It’s now sold for as much as $235 for a bottle. It was originally made by Nexxus as a shampoo that could detox heavy metals from your hair. Drug users started using it in various schemes to defeat hair drug tests such as the Macujo Method. Nexxus however, discontinued the product for unknown reasons. This caused people to sell bottles online for as much as $ 300 for one 5 ounce application. Now it’s made by testclear.com and sells for somewhere around $ 200 to $ 235. It has no studies to back up it’s ability to remove drug toxins from the hair unlike the first two shampoos.

Ingredients:

FD&C Yellow #5 FD&C Blue #1, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Hydrolyzed Wheat Proteins, Hydroxypropyl Guar, Isopropyl Myristate, Methylisothiazolinone, Octinoxate, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Polyglyceryl-3 Distearate,Polysorbate-20, Propylene Glycol, Serenoa Serrulata (Saw Palmetto) Extract, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Metabisulfite, Thioctic (a-Liproic) Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E) Aloe Barbadensis Leave (Aloe Vera Gel) Juice,  Aqua (Deionized Water), arfum (Fragrance), Biotin, Ceramide-III, Cocamide DEA, Cocamide MEA, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, di-Panthenol, Disodium EDTA, Disodium Oleamido MEA SulfoSuccinate

Main ingredients: Some have said the main ingredient that detoxifies hair is EDTA which chelates metals. Others have said it is propylene glycol which can work as a solvent. Detoxers use this shampoo with either of the methods discussed above. It may make some sense to let hair sit in the shampoo for a period of time.

Pro: contains propylene glycol which may act as a solvent to dissolve drug molecules.

Con: It’s staggeringly overpriced. It’s just shampoo.

Omni cleansing shampoo

Rating: 4.5 out of 5, A

INGREDIENTS: Aluminum Lake.Blue No.1, Cocamidepropyl Betaime, ED&C Yelllow No. 5, and Fragrance, Lauamide DEA, Methyl Paraben, Purified Water, Sodium Chloride,Sulfanate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Trienthanolamine

This shampoo may work by using triethanolamine as a strong base.

Pro: It is widely available and at $ 20, not overly expensive.

Cons: We have not found studies testing its effectiveness.

All Clear Detox Shampoo, not yet rated

Pros: This shampoo may work via masking unlike the other shampoos. You have to work it into the

hair over 3 minutes with the entire bottle. Rinse it out then use the Purifying gel in your hair for 15

minutes.  Rinse it out again but you can leave some behind if desired. This will supposedly mask

drug metabolites in hair for 5 hours after use so be sure to time it correctly.

Cons: No science we have discovered suggests this will work.

Social media reviews

Omni Shampoo to pass hair follicle drug test

[9]

It received a 5 star rating from about 41 % of reviewers.

Clear Choice Hair Follicle Shampoo, unrated by us

Ingredients (shampoo): Methylisothiazolinone, Methychoroisothiazolinone, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Cocamide MEA, Citric Acid, Blue #1, Water, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Chloride, Purifier, Water, Vitamin E, Triethanolamine, Tetrasodium EDTA, Propylene Glycol USP, Potassium Sorbate, Methyl Paraben, FD&C Red Dye #40, Carbomer940

Active ingredients: Propylene glycol is a solvent that may help dissolve drug residues. Triethanolamine may work as a strong base to neutralize drug residues. EDTA is a metal chealator included in most shampoos which may remove some unwanted substances from the hair.

Pros: It has 3 ingredients said to help detoxify hair.

Cons: We have not found studies on this shampoo.

Instructions:

  1. Wet hair, work the entire bottle into your hair over 5 minutes.
  2. Rinse your hair.
  3. Work in the purifier and leave in for 15 minutes.
  4. Rinse it out and towel dry.

[10]

Magnum Detox Purifying shampoo does not appear to get good ratings, nor is there a lot of information about it online.

The average rater did not have faith in this product.

 Stat detox shampoo, unrated by us

It contains one solvent, phenoxyethanol. A solvent may dissolve drug residues. It contains EDTA, a metal chealator.

Ratings are subpar, but it is at least a relatively inexpensive shampoo.

Dr. Greens Wash Away Shampoo, rating unavailable

Dr. Greens is another shampoo which may aim to mask or flush out drug residues. Instructions require you apply all the way to your roots over 10 minutes. You then leave it in under a shower cap for 30 minutes more. Rinse it out and it claims to be effective for up to 8 hours.

Conclusion

The best option for testing clean for weed and drugs of abuse is to use Ultra Clean by Zydot and High Voltage Folli-Cleanse with the Jerry G Bleach and Dye method. These are all scientifically proven to reduce drug metabolites in the hair. If one is African-American or have dark pigmented hair, a perm has been shown to work as well. Good luck and stay safe.

References

[1] “Technique Improves Use of Hair for Drug Tests | The Scientist ….” 15 May. 2019, https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/technique-improves-use-of-hair-for-drug-tests-65875. Accessed 28 Aug. 2020.

[2] “Kratom Drug Testing in Hair and Nail – Exclusively at USDTL ….” 3 Aug. 2020, https://www.usdtl.com/about/press-releases/kratom-drug-testing-in-hair-and-nail-exclusively-at-usdtl. Accessed 27 Oct. 2020.

[3] “Effect of the shampoo Ultra Clean on drug concentrations in ….” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10741485/. Accessed 28 Aug. 2020.

[4] “Influence of the cosmetic treatment of hair on drug testing.” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9228567/. Accessed 28 Aug. 2020.

[5] “Detox shampoos for EtG and FAEE in hair – Results from in ….” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30659779/. Accessed 28 Aug. 2020.

[6] “Triethylamine – Wikipedia.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triethylamine. Accessed 28 Aug. 2020.

[7] “DETOX SHAMPOOS FOR ETHYL GLUCURONIDE IN HAIR ….” https://www.readkong.com/page/detox-shampoos-for-ethyl-glucuronide-in-hair-more-than-8522309. Accessed 28 Aug. 2020.

[8] “Ethanolamine – Wikipedia.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethanolamine. Accessed 28 Aug. 2020.

[9] “All Clear Hair Purifying @ Cleansing System – Amazon.com.” https://www.amazon.com/All-Clear-Purifying-Cleansing-System/product-reviews/B00WVQ4228?reviewerType=all_reviews. Accessed 28 Aug. 2020.

[10] “Magnum Detox Hair Purifying Shampoo : Beauty – Amazon.com.” https://www.amazon.com/Magnum-Detox-Hair-Purifying-Shampoo/dp/B00WXF888Q. Accessed 28 Aug. 2020.

Family Medicine for America's Health