Hair dye allergies are increasing according to the Managing Director of Trichocare, specialists in trichology and education in the diagnosis and treatment of hair and scalp problems.

“Some chemicals in hair dye are regarded as strong sensitisers. In other words the more you are exposed to them, the more likely you are of developing an allergy.”

Increased exposure leads to increased allergy (British Medical Journal Feb 2007.)

So, does your hairdresser patch test you each time you have your colour done? The answer is most probably no, despite industry guidelines currently stating that a patch test must be carried out each and every time on each and every client 48 hours prior to each permanent hair colour application.

Although no test will ever be 100% reliable, taking a patch test balances your exposure (and the salons) to hazard and risk. The worst decision a salon can make is not to patch test at all, leaving themselves wide open for a claim against them should you react badly to the colour.

Is it a legal requirement? Yes. Hair salons have an obligation to patch test their customers under Section 3 of the Health & Safety at Work Act. Failure to patch test has led to prosecution and fines in the past. This applies to those colours described as ‘organic’ too, as they may be free from ammonia, but still contain other chemicals that could cause a reaction.

Don’t worry if you signed a disclaimer at the salon as their liability is not removed by this. It’s not worth the paper it’s written on.

If you have had a reaction to colour that has caused pain and hair loss and your stylist did not carry out a patch test, call us today and we will talk you through your options. You may be able to make a claim for compensation.


Call us on 0161 833 0044 or email your enquiry to us:

Marie Neilson :             Robin Torr :

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