The Importance of Skin Testing Before a Hair Colour

Importance of skin testing

Why do I need to have a skin test? I have been colouring my hair for years!

This is a common statement that we as hair care professionals hear all the time from many new colour clients. If you are reading this blog you may be guilty of actually saying this yourself.


Why do we skin test?

Skin testing follows the manufacturer’s guidelines put in place for the usage of their hair products. It is a legal requirement that is put in place for the safety of all clients having a hair colour service, under Section 3 of the Health & Safety at Work Act.

Failure to patch test has led to many avoidable prosecution and fines in the past within the industry. So not only are hair salons putting their clients at risks but by not complying with this law they are also putting their business at risk.

We need to perform a skin test every time we have a new client. We also need to give skin tests if our clients want to use a different hair colour even within the same brand.


Prevention is better than a cure…

As a hair salon, to not give your client a skin test is negligence. All hair salons have a duty of care to all of their clients and this is one of them. Personally, if a hair salon said that they will colour my hair without following these basic procedures that will affect my wellbeing. I will not have confidence in them. I think it is wiser to sacrifice 48hrs waiting time for a skin test then months of recovery from a severe allergic reaction.

Allergic reactions to chemicals in hair dye can result in burning and scarring to the face and scalp, hair loss and even baldness in extreme cases. Allergies can easily be developed by repeat exposure, which means you can develop an allergy to hair colour at any time. Prevention is truly better than a cure…


Our body changes

I am absolutely mad about nuts! I used to eat them every day without fail. One day I could no longer eat them after a really bad reaction. After 2 years and many visits to the dermatologists. I am still unable to introduce them back into my diet without a horrible reaction. Nuts are just something that I will no longer have the privilege to enjoy. This is just an example of how an allergy or intolerance can develop from doing something repeatedly, or simply because of the natural changes within our body.


Skin testing applies to all

Skin testing applies to permanent hair dye, organic natural hair dye or ammonia-free hair dye. Many believe that it is the ammonia that they have an allergic reaction too and that is actually false. You are more likely to have an allergic reaction to the pigments that are within the hair dye, in particular, a chemical called PPD (paraphenylenediamine), this ingredient is proven to cause allergic reactions in hypersensitive individuals, it is a known irritant and allergen. Hair dyes containing PPD are still safe to use. Providing that manufacturer’s safety instructions are followed.


At Cognito Hair we value our clients, their health and well being is important to us. Therefore, we believe that we have a duty of care towards all our customers. This is why will always perform skin testing at least 48hrs prior to their hair colour appointment. We also offer ammonia-free hair colour options for those who simply don’t want to use ammonia because of the smell (as some feel it can be quite pungent) or for those who for various reason desire to move away from using ammonia.

Come and see us at the hair salon for a complimentary consultation. Our hair colour experts will guide you into healthier coloured hair, and healthier scalp… until next time…


19th March 2019, By Shareefa


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