The importance of skin testing.
All too often we have clients telling us they don’t need a skin test because ‘I have had one of those, years
ago’ or even in some cases we have clients surprised that we test at all! ‘oh, I’ve never had this done
before’ It would be completely unprofessional of us to not test that you are allergic to our colouring
products. The saying – Better safe than sorry springs to mind. Here are some of the most frequent
asked questions when it comes to skin testing.
Why is skin testing before a colour service so important? –
Firstly, the safety and well being of our clients is our top priority (and of course making sure you love
your hair) As members of The National Hairdressing Federation we see it as our duty to ensure we are
following all guidelines and regulations. Anyone can become allergic or sensitive to colour at any point in
their life and while it is uncommon some reactions can be severe.
How is a skin test carried out? –
A small blob of the colour from the product the stylist is planning to use will placed behind your ear using a
cotton bud. We ask that you try not to disturb this area for 48 hours to ensure a proper result. Avoid
washing the area, going swimming or using lotions during the 48-hour period. It is important that we do not
test you if you already have a rash or irritation on the skin, face or scalp as this can alter the test results.
What does a reaction look like? –
The most common reaction will cause redness, swelling and an itching or burning sensation around the
area of skin where the colour sample has been placed. (Usually behind the ear). A more sever reaction will
cause the swelling to travel around the head, face and sometimes neck. Blistering can occur and in a more
the serious case, a bad reaction can result in anaphylactic shock.
What happens if I react to the test? –
Manufactures advise that you wash the sample of colour off with warm water and seek medical advice if
you feel the reaction is a bad one. You will need to let us know if ANY reaction occurs even if it is a minor
one! We can retest you on either your wrist or inside of the elbow, if a reaction occurs, we will be unable to
carry out your colour service.
Do I need a test every time? –
If you have your hair coloured regularly, by the same salon using the same products your original skin test
will cover you for up a year. However, the use of medication long term or short term, having permanent
makeup, tattooing, the use of henna or even hormonal changes can affect your colouring service so please
let us know should anything in your life style change so we can carry out the test again. If it has been more
than 6 months since your last colouring service a new test should be performed.
We hope this helps you understand in the importance of skin testing, please feel free to ask if you have any
Much Love, The Outshine team.