Can you do a DNA test with a hair strand with no root?

The answer is, yes, we can.


It seems that there are many DNA testing companies that state that it is not possible to extract DNA from strands of hair that do not have the root attached.

However, whether or not the root is attached, it is possible to do a DNA test with a strand of hair. In movies or TV shows, oftentimes there are stories where the criminal is identified from hair left behind at the scene of the crime. In reality, it is a fact that hair strands without the root can be used for criminal identification, testing for maternal relatives and other uses.

If no root is attached, paternal tests can`t be done

The DNA that can be extracted from the hair strand is called mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), which can be used for identifying criminals and used in relationship tests of the maternal bloodline. However, normal DNA, which is needed for paternity tests, can only be extracted from the cells of the root.

Other things to note

For hair samples for a DNA test, we ask that our clients remove the hairs themselves and directly insert them into the packaging provided in the DNA Sample Kit. This is because if they collect hairs that have fallen out in the bathroom or on the carpet, there is the possibility that the hairs belong to someone else. If there were hairs that belonged to someone else sent back to us for testing, the test could result in either an `inconclusive` result, or there is the chance that the client would receive results for the wrong person. It is important to take precautions during sample collection to ensure accurate results.

Asides from hair, there are a variety of other sample types that can be used, such as a toothbrush, cigarette butts or a razor. Accuracy is not affected by the type of sample, although test success rate and testing time can be affected.
You can see our What Can be Used as Sample? page for more information.

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