How Long Does Alcohol Stay In Your Hair?

Medically Reviewed by Johnelle Smith, M.D. on April 30, 2021

Alcohol can remain in hair for long after the side effects of alcohol have worn off. Hair alcohol testing can detect alcohol use for anywhere from 90 to 120 days after your last drink, depending on a variety of factors.

How Long Can Alcohol Be Detected In Your Hair?

Hair testing can detect alcohol use regardless of whether you cut, dye, or style your hair.

Strands of hair submitted for testing can come from the top of the head or another area of the body, such as the armpit.

Detecting Alcohol In Hair

Alcohol can remain detectable in the hair for 90 to 120 days, on average. Due to this long detection window, hair testing can be useful for detecting repeated alcohol use.

What Factors Can Affect How Long Alcohol Stays In Hair?

Not everyone absorbs or metabolizes alcohol at the same rate. The amount of time alcohol stays in the hair can vary based on a variety of factors.

These factors can include:

  • age
  • how much alcohol is consumed
  • history of alcohol abuse and dependence
  • overall health status
  • liver and kidney function

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Older people, people with a higher body fat percentage, and people who have impaired liver function may absorb and metabolize alcohol more slowly. This can result in a longer detection window.

Finding Treatment For Alcohol Abuse And Addiction

If you need help to stop drinking, an alcohol detox program may be able to help. After that, a formal treatment program for alcohol abuse may be recommended, depending on your needs.

If you or a loved one is struggling to get sober, call our helpline today to find an alcohol treatment program that’s right for you.

This page does not provide medical advice. See more

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Medically Reviewed by
Johnelle Smith, M.D. on April 30, 2021
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