Hair Paternity Test

Paternity testing is reliable and from a scientific perspective, the only secure way of establishing the paternity of a child. One can opt for a saliva paternity test or perhaps a hair paternity test amongst the many DNA samples possible. Most DNA testing companies tend to push for a saliva DNA sample simply because of the ease of sample collection and because of the consistently high results it offers.

Some Basic information about Hair

Hair is composed of a protein known as Keratin. The structure of the hair is composed of three layers as follows:

  • The cortex
  • Cuticle
  • Medulla

The color of hair is due to certain pigments including melanin. The absence of pigment makes hair white. What you may have noticed if the structure of the actual hair does not contain any cells. First of all, you should be aware that nucleated DNA, the DNA necessary for a paternity DNA test is found in the root of the hair and not in the shaft. And thus, none of the above layers contain the DNA required for a paternity test.

What exactly is Required for a Hair Paternity Test?

If you wish to have a hair paternity DNA test you will have to make sure that the hair root is still attached to the hair as the shaft of the hair alone will not do. You will need to closely examine the hair to make sure there actually is the root as it may not always be clear. We lose around 100 hairs every day just from our scalp; however, we do not shed them with the root. Chances are hairs on a brush or in the shower will not have any roots either and thus, may not likely conclude your test (unless perhaps, hairs may have been plucked through aggressive brushing). Moreover, it is recommended that you have a number of hairs available; most companies will recommend a minimum of 6. Once you have collected them you may then place them in a dry plastic bag and these may be stored for a considerable length of time.

A paternity test using hair done with the right hairs is not the best possible paternity test you can do. On average, the success rate is around 60% which means that the chances of extracting enough DNA for the test to be concluded are not exactly very high. However, if this is the only DNA sample you have then of course, on goes ahead with testing. Always seek the advice of the DNA testing company you choose before going ahead with your hair paternity test.  They may be able to suggest better alternatives.