Hair contains nuclear DNA at the root of each strand and mitochondrial DNA at the shaft. Nuclear DNA is useful for paternity testing while mitochondrial DNA is required for maternal lineage test. To ensure that your samples provide a sufficient yield of good quality DNA, you need to collect hair for DNA testing as follows:

1. Wash the hair to remove hair products.

2. Leave the hair to dry.

3. Pluck or pull out hair from the back of the scalp, by the neck or from the pubic area (hair close to the skin or scalp). Do not cut it using scissors or razor.

4. You need to pluck 6-8 strands, each containing the follicle or root.

5. Hair should be freshly plucked for better results

6. Place the hair sample that contains the follicle or root in a zip lock bag.

7. Label accordingly with the name of the participant,date of collection, date of birth, and relationship (e.g. child, alleged father, mother, sibling, uncle, aunt, or grandparent).

8. Ensure the sample is stored at room temperature and send the labeled sample to the laboratory.

Points to Note:

1. Hair samples allow for long term storage when kept in dry conditions.

2. Hair sampling is less invasive.

3. The amount of DNA extracted is much lower as compared to blood or cheek swabs.

4. Cannot be used in a court of law if the samples were home collected.

5. Slight pain during sample acquisition (plucking).

DNA Testing Process

Acceptable DNA Samples


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