When it comes to colouring hair, preparation is key. Whether we have a new client in the salon, or one of our regulars coming back, it is essential your hair dresser always checks before hand that a patch test has been done, and if not, get it booked in. If you’ve had a tattoo or any permanent make up since your last hair colour you will need to be skin tested beefier your next colour.
Why is patch testing so important?
Hair colours contain ingredients that can sometimes irritate the skin. The most common is a chemical called Paraphenylenediamine (PPD) which is found in many permanent and semi-perm hair eyes. PPD is known to irritate the skin so it’s important to carry out a patch test first before adding it straight to your hair.
How to do a patch test
If you are a new client, we always ask for a patch test to be carried out at least 48 hours before your scheduled appointment. Regular clients can have more flexibility but your hair colourist will let you know when you are due for another one.
The patch test involves putting a small amount of dye behind your ear or on your inner elbow and leaving it to dry. If you develop any irritation or feel unwell after the dye has been added, we will strongly advise against getting a colour added and will look at other options with you instead.
What types of reaction am I likely to get?
Common reactions to PPD usually result in skin irritations on the neck, scalp, ears and forehead or swelling to the face or eyelids. More severe reactions have been recorded such as anaphylactic shock, or death. While these sound scary, they are also extremely rare, but it’s important to know why you should have a patch test and why it should be kept up to date by your hair dresser. We have a duty of care to all of our clients and so this is an essential part of our job.
Reactions usually occur within 48 hours, although some may occur immediately. If you are having mild symptoms, the best thing to do is wash your hair and scalp thoroughly with a mild shampoo to remove the dye.
If you get more severe symptoms, such as itchy skin, swelling, nausea or vomiting, ring 999 immediately.
After patch testing
Providing there have been no reactions to your patch test, you can turn up for your appointment as booked. Your hairdresser will ask you more questions before proceeding with the colour, but this is very common. We have a responsibility to check you have had no reactions and all is ok before continuing.
Talk to us
If anything mentioned in this blog concerns you, please talk to us. We're not intending to scare, but want to highlight something important. We are happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have so pop in and see us or give us a call on 01604 756685.