Nov 7, 2011

Patch Testing For Hair Color

Hair Color sensitivities is known to be the third most common allergy after fragrance and preservatives and I am not exactly sure nor an expert on why we are seeing more and more allergies towards hair coloring products today. It has become more apparent to me that bringing back the patch test and making it a mandatory policy in the salons is the safest approach for both client and stylist to do. There could be thousands of reasons why some people have allergies towards hair dyes and some don’t, it is very possible to also suddenly become allergic maybe during times of stress, change of life, diet, medicines, water (plumbing) or simply a product formulation change.

A patch test is a tiny patch of color product which we place onto your skin to test for an allergic reaction. I always dot either behind the ear, nape or in the crook of the elbow. I leave it on for at least 15 minutes and if there is an allergic reaction it generally takes place almost immediately, the area would feel itchy or redden and possibly a bit of swelling might occur. Now having said all this please keep in mind that even if you use non-debilitating non-aggressive products things can change, so let new and long term clients know to ALWAYS mention to you that they are feeling something different on their scalp.

Recently I had a client who has seen me for years and all of a sudden she tells me that she is feeling a bit of burning (this has never happened before) quickly I moved her to a cooler spot in the studio which seemed to subside what she described as burning, she also mentioned that lately she had been experiencing hot flashes and when I touched her shoulder I could not believe the heat that was coming off her, hence people and things change. At the end of her service at the shampoo sink we finished off with a cool water rinse, her hair color was as always the same and no indication of sores on her head, could it have been because I acted fast in cooling her down ? Might be but I do know for next time to take extra care in how to approach this client who is suffering with menopause. I am a firm believer in practising the art of being safe after all we are servicing the general public and with that comes many challenges, let’s eliminate this one by simply doing a quick patch testing.

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