Paternity and Maternity Testing with Hair Samples

The standard — and preferred — way we collect DNA samples for testing is a buccal swab. It looks like a long Q-Tip and you scrub it lightly on the inside of your cheek to collect saliva and cheek cells. Then it gets put in a sterile tube and we examine the DNA. This method is safe, painless, and very effective.

But sometimes you can’t test someone using the buccal swab technique. Maybe the person is unavailable, not willing to take the test, or even deceased. One question we get asked is: Can you perform a DNA test on other things, like hair?

Our answer is YES! (Most of the Time)

Testing with Hair Samples

What’s “Most of the Time” mean? Well hair testing comes with some important caveats. If you are doing a Paternity test (the hair came from the father) the hair has to be FROM THE ROOT. This means that cut hair from the barbershop will not work.

If you are doing a Maternity test (the hair came from the mother), we CAN perform this test on any kind of hair, including cut hair. But hair with the root still attached will provide a more conclusive and accurate result.

So where do you get hair with the root still attached? The person’s hairbrush. Instead of pulling hairs out of the brush, we’ll probably recommend you send us the entire brush. One other complication that can arise is if it was a shared hairbrush — which means multiple people’s hair is on it. Determining which hair strands likely belonged to the person you want to test will be very difficult, especially if the person sharing it had similar colored hair.

Other Testing Options

Hair samples aren’t the only “non-standard” thing we can run tests on. Other samples that can be used include blood, finger nails, toe nails, and more. If you’re not sure which sample will be the best for you, just give us a call at 866.232.7660.

One other very important thing to note: If the person is alive and unaware that a DNA Test has been ran using their hair or other samples, the results are called “non-legal”, which means a court cannot use them as evidence. For the results to be legally binding, the person must sign a form that gives his permission to conduct the test. However, whether or not they give permission doesn’t change the accuracy of the test, so you can still use the knowledge gleaned from the test results.

DNA Paternity Testing Centers are one of the largest networks of accredited DNA testing labs in the United States. We offer testing in every state except New York. Also, we are the most affordable provider of court admissible DNA testing.

Our staff is not only understanding and considerate, but knowledgeable as well. From the moment you contact us, you can expect to deal with a professional, well-trained DNA Specialist who will be with you throughout the entire process.

We understand there are many options when it comes to paternity/relationship testing, but we are confident you will find no other that will compare to the service we provide. Place your trust in us. We will provide the best service, with the most accurate results, at a price you can afford. Satisfaction guaranteed.


  • Natasha Morrow says:

    Hello. I am wanting to do a paternity test for my knowledge only. I have hair samples that were taken from the roots. I know this wont stand up in court and would be prepared to do another test if need be but for now just would like the peace of mind of knowing.

  • Londa Hollis says:

    You say a paternity test can be done. With hair with the root still attactch. Does the childs hair have to be attached to the root also or will cut hair work for this

    • nate says:

      It has to be hair with the root still attached. The root part is where the DNA is. Cut hair from the barbershop will not work. Feel free to give us a call at 866.944.9546 and we can discuss the details.

  • Brandi says:

    What do I need to do to send you all the hair? How many strands would you need?

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