A guide to patch testing for hair and beauty

21 December 2021

The last thing you want is for any clients to have an allergic reaction to any products you use on them, to avoid this it is vital that you have a patch testing routine in place.

There have been reports of clients gaining allergies after having COVID-19 or even having their COVID-19 vaccination, so it is important to complete extra tests when you are aware that your client has had the virus or their vaccine, even if it is outside of their patch testing routine window.

If you do not carry out a patch test and you have a client that has a reaction, you could be fined heavily.

Why should I patch test my clients?

It is a legal requirement under Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act to patch test a client before a hair colour service. For beauty clients it is important to patch test before certain beauty treatments. If you do not complete these tests your insurance could be invalidated and leave you open to damages and fines.

How often should I be completing patch tests on my hair clients?

There have been reports of many clients having an allergic reaction to colour after having COVID-19 so we would recommended testing all clients 48 hours before a colour service. Please check with colour manufacturers and your insurance for specific guidelines. Even if a colour is PPD free you still need to patch test these clients.

How often should I be completing patch tests on my beauty clients?

BABTAC recommends patch testing clients before any of the following treatments;

  • Eyelash tint
  • Eyebrow tint
  • Lash extensions
  • Eyelash perming
  • Spray tanning
  • Laser and IPL treatments
  • Semi-permanent make-up
  • Some chemical peel treatments

The patch test is recommended to be carried out at least 24 hours before the treatment or 48 hours if you client has special circumstances such as illnesses. 

It is also recommended that you carry out a patch test if you client has had a medical history change, the product you are using has changed, if it has been 6-12 months since their last treatment or if the product manufacturer recommends carrying out a patch test more frequently.

If you would like to set up patch testing reminders within SalonIQ please email us on help@saloniq.com and we can get these set up for you.

We hope this guide has been helpful, for specific advice and guidelines please contact your product manufacturer or your insurance provider.

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