Can a DNA test be done with a strand of hair?

AABB accredited DNA testing lab- Our lab has more accreditation than any other lab in the USA When a DNA testing participant is unwilling to participate or is unable to provide a mouth swab for their DAN test, the question:” Can a DNA test be done with a strand of hair”?  The simple answer is yes!  Let’s investigate the science behind using hair samples for relational tests, as well as its applications, limitations, and how the new type of forensic sample is revolutionizing relational DNA testing. Hair samples can be used for a variety of relational DNA tests such as paternity testing, sibling DNA testing, grandparent DNA testing, avuncular DNA testing, or any other relational DNA test.

The Science Behind Hair DNA Testing

DNA testing through a strand of hair is not just a plot device in science fiction but a reality backed by robust scientific principles. The key to a successful DNA test from hair lies in the root. A hair follicle at the root contains cellular material rich in DNA. When a hair is plucked, and the root is intact, it can serve as a viable source for DNA analysis. This process, however, hinges on the presence of the root - hair shafts alone, without the root, typically do not contain sufficient DNA for testing.

Things to consider when doing a DNA test using hair.

When you perform a relational DNA test using hair samples, there are a few things you should consider ensuring the process is smooth and the results are conclusive:

  • The Hair must have a viable root still attached: Only hair with a viable root still attached contains enough DNA for testing. This It is also crucial that the root ball not be smashed and remains intact.
  • Choose a Reputable Testing Service: Companies like PaternityUSA offer specialized services, including hair DNA testing, ensuring privacy and accuracy.
  • Understand the Results: The hair sample will completely replace the need for a mouth swab. So, if you used a hair sample in a sibling DNA test can reveal full siblings, half-siblings, or no biological relation. This holds true with any other type of relational DNA test; in that you will receive 99.999% accurate results.

 Ethical Considerations

As technology advances, the potential for DNA testing with hair or other forensic sources continues to expand. Relational DNA testing with hair will be able to offer more insights in many fields such as predictive DNA medicine, genealogy research, and personal relational identity.

With great power however comes great responsibility. It's important to consider the ethical implications of forensic DNA testing such as client privacy, participant's consent, and of-coarse like with any technology the potential for misuse.  DNA testing laboratories must navigate these ethical waters carefully as this technology progresses to ensure the ethical use of this powerful tool.

Final Thoughts

So, if you need a DNA test, and one of the participants is unable to provide a mouth swab, the DNA test can be done with a strand of hair A hair sample with the root attached can unlock many of your relational family secretes like; " Is he the father?", " Is that my long-lost brother or sister? ", or " Is that my grandchild? ". Relational DNA testing can answer many of the family secretes in your relentless pursuit of knowledge.  In the end, it's not just about the strands of hair but the stories they tell and the connections they forge, revealing the intricate tapestry of humanity one follicle at a time. PaternityUSA can help you and your family discover the truth about your family relationship in a discrete clandestine manner by using hair with follicle, fingernails/toenails, ear wax, and/or even a toothbrush., provides answers you can trust at prices you can afford.

Speak directly with a Case Manager at 877-786-9543.


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