Patch tests

What are patch tests and why do we have to do them? These are questions many of you may wonder when we quiz you over the phone about patch tests and previous treatments you’ve had. That’s because patch tests are super important and without recent, recorded testing within our own salon, we can’t carry out any sort of contact dying or tinting work on you which is disappointing for you and us alike.

Whether for hair dying services, lash and brow tinting services or HD Brows, we’re looking for an allergy or sensitivity to PPD – paraphenylenediamine. This widely used chemical substance is found in most hair and beauty dyes and tints and can also be found in textile dyes, dark coloured cosmetics and printing inks. Reactions to PPD can start with dermatitis symptoms such as mild itching and inflammation around the scalp, forehead, neck, ears and/or eyelids. You may also find that the skin directly exposed to the substance containing PPD becomes red, swollen, blistered, dry, thickened and cracked, often accompanied by a burning or stinging sensation. Symptoms like this will usually appear within 48 hours, although strong irritants may cause your skin to react immediately.

Not pleasant, right? It can, however, be worse if you have a full allergic reaction to PPD. In this instance your scalp and face may become itchy and begin to swell, and symptoms can spread throughout the entire body, so look out for itching, a nettle rash, and generally feeling ill. These symptoms may not develop until hours, or even days, later. A severe allergic reaction can also result in anaphylactic shock.

We’re not telling you this to scare you, because it’s highly unlikely you will possess this intolerance or allergy, but we felt it important you understand why we take patch testing so seriously. Recent press coverage of PPD allergy horror stories stand testament to the importance of checking for any allergies before carrying out full treatments too. We’ll spare you the gory visuals, but a quick Google image search for ‘PPD allergy’ will throw up a whole host of photos.

We patch test according to our manufacturer and product supplier guidelines. Patch testing generally takes no more than a couple of minutes of your time, and does not require an appointment.

For hair colouring services that touch the scalp, and for regular brow and lash tinting services, we will apply a small amount of the relevant dye or product to the crook of your elbow. This must be done a minimum of 48 hours prior to your appointment to allow any irritations to present themselves. Once done, the skin test is valid for 6 months.

For our newly added lash lifting and semi permanent lash extension services a small amount of the perming and fixing solution or glue, depending on the treatment, will be applied to the crook of the elbow, again, a minimum of 48 hours in advance.

HD Brows require a patch test 48 hours prior to EVERY appointment. This comes in the form of a small transfer applied to the crook of the elbow.

Your health and safety is paramount to us providing you with a good service, so please don’t be angry when we have to refuse treatment if you have not come to see us for your patch tests. If you have any questions, please call reception or ask any member of our team when you are visiting the salon who will be more than happy to help.