Cleansing Methods, FAQ and Detection Times for Hair

Discussion in 'Blood, Hair & Saliva Testing' started by Mr.Crowley, Feb 20, 2001.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Secs Secs

    • New Member
    • Since: Dec 21, 2005
    • Posts: 17,338
    For one thing, washing your hair with anything isn't illegal. If a person is denied a job due to a perfectly legal activity (such as washing your hair), then the employer is opening themselves up to a helluva a lot of discrimination lawsuits.

    For another, there is no lab that tests for shampoo. They are looking for illegal drugs. When people fail a drug test for an employer, they are only notified that they have failed, either by the MRO reviewing the test or by the employer. No one will ever tell you that you failed because you have a certain type of shampoo in your hair.

    Why would the laboratory test for shampoo. Psychemedics claims that there is no way that a person can "wash out" THC from their hair. IF that is true, why would they bother wasting time and money on testing for shampoo. They would just test for THC instead.

    There is a lot of misinformation posted here by different people trying to justify why their technique or treatment didn't work. Some you can believe, some you can't.

    I know that Jerry G spent a lot of time about a year ago researching what works and what doesn't work. He had polls going, he got quite extensive in his documentation of the results reported here. IF you have noticed, people still post here claiming that the test can detect THC from 10 years ago in your hair. You and I know that this is impossible, but people still post it here. Most of our time here is spent dispelling misinformation and inuendo.

    I am of the ideal that the more damage you do to your hair, the better the results. Jerry G gets into the open/closed cuticle debate. I just know that those who bleach, dye, straighten, perm or relax their hair, have the best results over washing with harsh shampoos.

    It all depends on your use history and the type of hair you have. Obviously, if your hair is very strong and thick, it will take more effort and treatments to crack the shaft and damage the hair itself to get inside. IF a person has very fine, thin hair, (not the quantity, but the quality of hair), it is easier to damage.

    People are constantly asking whether they should do one more bleach, or one more washing, or if they should use baking soda, etc... I believe - Why not? IF your scalp can take the harsh treatments, then the more you do, the better off you are. If you bleach and dye once and you don't pass the drug test, would you feel later "If only I had done it again, I might have passed"

    If you can do it, and want the job, then do it. No one ever says, "I didn't need that last bleaching, I believe I could have passed without it".
    4 people like this.
  2. Dingleberry Dingleberry

    • Active Member
    • Since: May 22, 2008
    • Posts: 112
    Ok, I think your method is generally very helpful. You are correct in saying acid-based products will close the cuticle of the hair(not good when trying to clean out deep with he hair shaft). This part of the mac-method doesn't make much sense to me. A strong base, however can do some real damage.

    As far as hair types, there are 3 general types of cellular structures that hair has. There are round, oval and flat cells. Round cells are straight, fine hair. Oval cells are wavier thicker hair. Flat cells are essentially African-American or SUPER curly hair types. In general it is easiest to pry apart the round cells from each other than it is to pull apart flat cells(that are structured very jagged and close together). This is where I see a lot of the results coming from.

    This is good, I just will expand on a couple things and make some suggestions. 40 Volume is perfect to bleach to a very VERY light blond(you could call it white). I strongly suggest using a powder bleach, as it does the most damage(there are no moisturizers in it). My favorite brand is Wellite and you can get it at Sallys. For the re-dye I also suggest a low volume developer. If a 10 Volume is used the color should sit for around 40-45 minutes and if a 20 Volume is used it should sit for 25-30. I use Wella Color Charm for re-dye(at Sallys). I use gel color and cream developer. When mixing bleach, it should feel sort of like yogurt when the cream developer and the powder are stirred together. When you apply bleach to your hair it will heat and get close to your scalp, so if you are sensitive from mac treatments or something, try to get it as close as you can and let it do the rest. you will be able to tell quickly what the bleach isn't touching and you can put bleach closer to the scalp if necessary. *Color resistant hair should use a 10 volume developer!*

    An easy test to see if the bleach or the color is finished processing: Use a damp paper towel to rub the bleach or dye off a small piece of hair. If the hair is close to white, the bleach is done. If the hair doesn't appear chalky, the color is finished.

    Water stops the bleach process! bleaching wet hair wont work and wetting bleached hair is like pushing a big red stop button. It is best to bleach hair that is a little dirty because scalp buildup protects you from chemical burns. In the case of chemical burns (it seems like people that choose to bleach after a mac treatment are having this problem) Use a good conditioner after your test (my favorite is Redkin All soft which can be left on for ten minutes as a treatment) and wait it out, you'll live and your hair will not fall out, you just might lose a few large chunks of scalp.

    When re-dying bleached hair it will pull a shade darker than you are expecting so plan ahead. Sometimes bleached hair will end up much darker than expected if you aren't careful. A neutral based color is best for achieving a natural color when you re-dye.

    Zydot treatments seem to be affective. They are very strong clarifyers. I think when I used the conditioner on Dingleberry's pits (this is his lady the hair professional) it smelled an awful lot like cholesterol - which coats the hair strand and closes the cuticle but doesn't really deposit in the hair strand.

    It doesn't surprise me that relaxers are a great help, they are extremely damaging and I strongly encourage those considering this to go to a professional. A wrong rinse can mat hair into a huge nest that will be extremely difficult to comb out.

    Did I miss anything?
    15 people like this.
  3. Dingleberry Dingleberry

    • Active Member
    • Since: May 22, 2008
    • Posts: 112
    Ok, so I think I will mention one more thing. For those that feel doing a bleach and redye is out of the question by themselves, going to a cosmetology school for this service is very affordable.
    4 people like this.
  4. keggs keggs

    • New Member
    • Since: Mar 25, 2009
    • Posts: 14
    MUST READ INFO on Jerry G method or Mac method?

    Macujo or Jerry G? some new information.

    I am posting this because I have been researching this for a while. I will not make a recommendation but at the end there is a conclusion made. I am sure the methods are effective for many and not effective for some. But please read and make your choice.


    Hair cuticle, cortex and shafts are easily accessed by an Alkaline. The higher the PH level the more alkaline it will have and the easier penetration there is.


    The Cuticle
    The cuticle is the outer layer of hair. It is not one solid layer, but instead is made of individual scales that lay against one another just like roof tiles. The cuticle of a healthy hair strand will lie flat and protect the inside of the hair shaft against damage, as well as keep moisture in your hair where it belongs. Learning how to keep the cuticle of your hair open is one of the most important things you can do to pass.

    The Cortex
    The cortex is the middle layer of the hair shaft (for many, it is also the innermost layer of hair for those who don't have a medulla). The cortex itself is responsible for approximately 90 percent of your hair's total weight; additionally, the natural color of your hair is determined within the cortex by a pigment known as melanin. The permanent chemical changes that take place in your hair due to permanent haircolor, texturizing, perming, straightening or relaxing take place within the cortex.

    The pH Scale – What It Is and Why It Is Critical
    The pH scale is what we use to determine the acidity or alkalinity of a substance. The scale ranges in value from 0 to 14, with 0 being the most acidic and 14 being the most alkaline:

    [IMG]

    Pure water carries a pH of 7 or “neutral,” so anything below 7 on the scale is considered acidic and anything above 7 is considered alkaline. So why is that critical for hair? Remember when I said learning to open your cuticle is one of the most important things you can do to keep moisture inside your hair shaft. Acidic solutions are what shut the cuticle and keep the hair from damage, while alkaline solutions open the cuticle to let anything invade the cortex. That's why choosing the right products and learning how to use them properly makes all the difference in the health and appearance of your hair.

    Here's an example. Your hair ranges between 4.5 and 5.5 on the pH scale. Technically, that means even the act of putting pure water on your hair is damaging all by itself because water is naturally more alkaline than hair. That's why you hear so much talk about “acid-balanced” shampoos and conditioners, or why rinsing with apple cider vinegar (pH value 3) or lemon juice (pH value 2) can be so effective. Acid-balanced solutions, when used while cleansing your hair, bring your hair back into balance and shut that cuticle back down!

    While the difference between 5 and 7 might not seem like a big deal at first glance, it is important to note the pH scale is what is called a “logarithmic” scale: each change in number means a tenfold change in pH. So, according to the scale, lemon juice at a pH of 2 is actually 10 times more acidic than vinegar at a pH of 3. And that means water is actually 100 times more alkaline than hair. Looked at in that way, it all of a sudden becomes a very big deal indeed. Understanding how pH works and how you can manipulate it to your advantage will help you in keeping your job!


    According to this, we need to have something that has high Alkali substance. Observing the effects on the hair by alkaline and acid you will note the difference of hair structure when using a mild and strong acid or mild and strong alkaline. Under the use a microscope to observe the state of the cuticle layer an alkaline will swell the cuticle layer of the hair, leaving it standing straight out and feeling rough. An acid contracts or closes the cuticle leaving the hair feeling softer and looking shiner. The acid closed the door to the cuticle that can lead to the penetration of the cortex and shaft.

    It is a topical anti-inflammatory and a beta hydroxy acid. It slows down the shedding of skin cells inside your hair follicles, which clog your pores and often lead to acne.

    So far the Macujo method looks like it is completely the opposite of what you want to do if you want to pass a hair test. I will not be the judge because others have passed. But from the research I have done in the past 10 days. Jerry G method of bleach and dye is more effective because it opens up the cuticle, cortex and shaft of the hair and flushes it out with shampoo.

    [Jerry G method of bleach and dye is effective because of the PH level 40 volume dye (loaded with Alkaline) penetrates the hair. Doing it over and over will clean your hair of toxins.]
    6 people like this.
  5. bittermike bittermike

    • New Member
    • Since: Apr 8, 2009
    • Posts: 2
    A chemist's perspective on hair testing

    So, I started browsing around this site when I found out I had to get hair tested for a job at a pharmaceutical company (I passed it on 10 days notice after smoking several times a day every day for four years). I ended up doing an extensive search through the scientific literature on hair testing (thank my university for paying for web access to all those journals) and I just wanted to share what I've found out from reviewing this research and from my chemistry background.

    As far as my qualifications with regard to chemistry: I'm a semester away from my BS from a good school, 3.9gpa, and I'll be going off to get my PhD shortly thereafter, also at a good school. I do some academic research and I'm published (though my research has nothing to do with drug testing or anything like that).

    As you might expect, the chemists and doctors who came up with drug testing also do extensive academic studies on its effectiveness and whether certain types of people or activities might affect the results. I've narrowed the relevant literature down to just a couple papers and results. Here's a summary of what is in there that might be useful to know, with sources parenthetically cited and listed at the bottom. Some it may be repeating other information already available on the site, but oh well.

    1. Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry: don't be afraid of it

    This first bit comes not from the scientific literature but from actual companies and labs that do hair testing. While in all the scientific literature the way THC and THC metabolites are detected in hair is GC/MS or GC/Tandem MS, actual testing companies ONLY use those methods to CONFIRM results.(1) Running GC/MS and GC/MS/MS is an expensive enterprise. What testing companies do is they collect enough of your hair to run a several tests and they first run something called and ELISA test (Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, check Wikipedia for details) and then run GC/MS on anything that tests positive on that. It is much cheaper to do and, at least according to Quest Diagnostics's website, it is a whole order of magnitude less sensitive than GC/MS (only detects 1pg/mg rather than 0.1pg/mg).(1) This means that to pass a hair test, you only need to beat the ELISA test, not the much more sensitive GC/MS.

    2. Bleach: good stuff.

    There's quite a bit of literature about the effects of bleaching one's hair on the results for hair testing. Look for bleaching products that contain hydrogen peroxide, sodium persulfate and ammonium persulfate. The examples in the literature either involve in vitro (in test tube) bleaching of hair or single bleachings in vivo (hair bleached while still attached to a persons head) so we have to extrapolate from the results of single bleachings to the results of many. Bleaching has been found to dramatically reduce cocaine and benzodiazopine concentrations in hair (2) but it has as weaker effect on THC (2, 3). Bleaching and dyeing (after only 1 treatment) reduce THC and THC-COOH concentrations in hair by between 34% and 64% (3). The trouble with this is that the concentrations left over are still detectable, generally speaking. One needs to repeatedly bleach their hair (3 times worked for me) to generate the necessary porosity to get the concentrations down below the threshold of the test.

    3. UV Light

    There have been some studies of hair exposed to normal sunlight for several weeks in vitro (4). This has been found to degrade the THC and metabolites to levels that are undetectable even by GC/MS. However, these levels were achieved only after several weeks of exposure to sunlight. To replicate these results in a shorter time, one would need a UV light (read: tanning bed). THC's instability under UV light conditions has been well documented elsewhere (its why you're supposed to store you bud in the dark).

    4. Viatmin E (less important)

    There have been some studies (to which I've lost the citations, my bad) wherein THC and THC-COOH were found to be markedly less stable when involved in a polymer matrix with Vitamin E. The study is a bit out of the context of hair, but hair is itself a polymer matrix which will absorb vitamin E if you take pills, so I figured I'd put that in here. You need to already be consuming vitamin E contemporaneously with your smoking, so that its already incorporated into the hair in order for this to be effective at all.

    5. Melanin

    All these studies about hair (2, 3) say (and cite other papers who agree) that drugs of all sorts primarily bind to the melanin in hair. Melanin is the stuff that gives your hair color. This means people with darker hair are at an automatic disadvantage. Between a guy with light hair and a guy with dark hair who smoke the same amount and are otherwise similar, the dark haired guy will have more THC in his hair than the light haired guy. This introduces a bit of a racial bias into hair testing as black people and asian people have way more melanin than most white people. Not much you can do about it, just be aware of it.

    6. Porosity and alkalinity's role in promoting it

    The key to getting drug metabolites out of your hair seems to be making it more porous (2, 3). The trouble is that the metabolites are locked up in this solid matrix of material which is pretty much sealed. Bleach is one way of making your hair more porous (though its primary purpose is to strip out melanin to which metabolites are bound and to react chemically with those metabolites), but there are other ways. This is exactly what chemical hair relaxers do, so use them (but do not use them after bleaching, its supposed to make your hair fall out). Also, many household products (dish soap for washing dishes by hand, some kinds of oven cleaner) have amine-bases in them which will sort of tear up your hair at the molecular level and make it more porous. This would be useful just before bleaching your hair, as it will give the bleach more to react with.

    7. Nuggets of advice I've gleaned from all this research
    a. Use dish soap or some other amine-base containing product that isn't a chemical relaxer (Toxin Wash contains diethanolamine and triethanolamine, which are two examples of amine bases) just before bleaching your hair. This will make the bleaching more effective. Your hair will feel like straw, but it will help.

    b. When you do your bleaching, go to a salon to get it done and do the bleaching with heat. They'll put a little shower cap thing on and put you under one of those little domes that shoots out hot air all over your head. This makes the reaction go faster and make your bleaching do more for you.

    c. If your salon happens to have tanning beds as well, see if you can do one of your bleachings without heat, but with your head under a UV lamp for the duration. Not only is THC unstable in the presence of UV light, but hydrogen peroxide can undergo all sorts of free-radical reactions in the presence of UV light. The combined effects should be substantial.

    Thats pretty much all I've got. See the sources below:

    (1) Hair Testing for a 90-Day Drug Use History: Employer Solutions: Quest Diagnostics

    (2) Curtis, John and Greenberg, Michael(2007)'Screening for drugs of abuse: Hair as an alternative matrix: a review for the medical toxicologist',Clinical Toxicology,46:1,22 — 34

    (3) C. Jurado, P. Kintz, M. Menéndez, M. Repetto (1997) 'Influence of the cosmetic treatment of hair on drug testing',International Journal of Legal Medicine, 110 : 159–163

    (4) Skopp G, Potsch L, Mauden M. Stability of cannabinoids in hair samples exposed to sunlight. Clinical Chemistry (2000); 46(11): 1846-8.
    12 people like this.
  6. elcrep elcrep

    • New Member
    • Since: Mar 16, 2009
    • Posts: 58
    Its fantastic to see someone with real scientific credentials on our side for once. Much respect to you.

    Just to synthesize what you said, the key ways of removing nasties from hair are bleaching chemicals, UV light, and things that make the hair more porous(?)
    I wasn't aware that washing up liquids did this. People have talked about high pH substances contributing to opening the hair cuticle (I think Jerry G suggests a sodium bicarbonate solution).

    From a scientific perspective, what could you say about propylene glycol and/or products like Zydot which contain high concentrations of PG?

    Once again, its great to have a chemist's opinions on these subjects. So often, detox product companies bamboozle us with spurious and contrived pieces of science, simply to make us part with our cash, rather than educating us.
  7. hades65 hades65

    • New Member
    • Since: Jan 7, 2010
    • Posts: 12
    3 posts merged

    Hades65 method of reducing Cannabinoids from hair (if I could be so bold)
    Buy some 100% Propylene glycol from a shopping search engine from google, yahoo or similar. A pint can be obtained for about $6. Apply in shower over all hair where you think you could be tested. Rinse and repeat many times. The extraction is probably minimal so repeated application and rinses 25-100+ times improves the results. Time to allow it to penetrate hair cells is unknown by me. Hot water as well as warmed propylene glycol will increase its penetration.

    Understanding the cannabinoid reducing process:
    Propylene glycol is a solvent and can be used for making of THC tincture as well as the active ingredient in many extraction shampoos. The difficulty with Carboxy-THC extraction is due to it being deep within your hair that is surrounded by numerous hair cells. Penetration of the solvent happens through diffusion. Diffusion is the resulting net transport of molecules from a region of higher concentration to one of lower concentration. Using 100% Propylene glycol increases the effectiveness of the diffusion process by increasing what little bit may penetrate and come in contact with Carboxy-THC. The solvent binds with the Carboxy-THC within the hair and then is washed out.

    What needs to be further studied:
    1. How quickly Propylene glycol diffuses across the cell membrane of hair and how long should it be soaked before rinsing? There is a double edge sword here. Allowing it to soak more will increase the time of the process thereby reducing the applications & rinsing you are willing to put up with. A mix of a few prolonged soaks along with many quick soaks & rinses could be the best approach until more is known.
    2. What percentage Carboxy-THC is washed out? Washing out something as minor as (for example 0.5%) on each rinse could make this a very time consuming process as well as a big chance of failure if not enough rinses were done.
    3. Do better solvents exist for extraction? Propylene glycol is virtually a non-toxic extractor and having another solvent that diffuses better or binds with Carboxy-THC better might not be as good if you can't apply it as long & frequent due to toxicity.

    Propylene glycol - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Zydots purifier third ingredient after water & aloe is propylene glycol. The instructions say:

    Apply ALL of purifier massaging into scalp and hair
    Distribute evenly and comb through hair
    Leave on 6 minutes
    Rinse well with luke warm water

    So 1 pint of propylene glycol for $6 could give you 25+ equal applications of Zydot which costs $25 or more.

    I would think if Zydot sort of works, then 25 applications of Zydot would be guaranteed. But only time will tell.

    Hades method improved.
    Obtain a pint or so of Propylene Glycol from a respected dealer.
    Heat up 1 application to where it is tolerable for a hot glycol treatment to your scalp and hair.
    With a dry head & body.
    Apply the Propylene Glycol massaging into scalp, hair and other areas that are test worthy.
    Distribute evenly and comb through hair
    Leave on 6 minutes
    Rinse well with luke warm water

    Let dry and repeat till your anxiety goes away :) I would think 5-10 wet to dry applications would remove enough from anyones hair. Just a guess though.
    Can also do while wet but I would guess you are increasing the absorbtion by applying it to dry hair. I believe it's increasing absorbtion through osmosis rather than just diffusion :)
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page