Did you know that your hair can help to solve a crime?
Hair samples can hold the clues that toxicologists need to investigate crimes involving poisoning or drugs, like drink spiking.
These substances will often be cleared from your blood after a few days, which means that any potential drug evidence is not very useful if it’s not collected quickly.
However, this evidence can be found in your hair for much longer.
Dr Dimitri Gerostamoulos, Head of Forensic Science & Chief Toxicologist at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine, explains:
So what’s the best type of hair to test?
“Undoubtably, head hair. It grows at the most consistent rate from the back of the head, and it’s about a centimetre per month. The back of the head is where we typically take a sample of hair from. We usually take a lock of sample, a pencil thickness of hair, which is about 100 strands or 100mg of hair, and we analyse that”
So if you’re sporting a mullet, you’ve got a great head of hair for a toxicologist to analyse, long after you’ve ingested a substance.
Dr Dimitri Gerostamoulos goes on to explain how no amount of washing can remove this evidence from your hair:
“Once it’s in the hair, it’s in the hair. You can you can try and wash it out. You can use your favourite shampoo. You can try and peroxide your hair. You can try and colour your hair. You can do whatever you like, perm your hair, if you’re able to. The drug will still be in there. It might be there in lesser concentration, but it will still be there.”