In the past few years the UK hairdressers heard a lot of the importance of skin testing before all colour applications. Major manufacturers and the federation have asked the colour technicians to skin test 48 hours before every colour application. L’Oreal launched a website www.becoloursafe.com to promote skin testing before colouring services.

I was wondering if there are any regulations for skin testing before perming, smoothing or straightening the services what I offer.

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I’ve checked with most major manufacturers in the UK and they do not recommend skin testing pre perm, smoothing or straightening services. After calling the National Hairdressing Federation they advised that they don’t recommend to carry or don’t carry out a skin test pre perm, pre smoothing or pre straightening appointments, however they strongly advise to contact the manufacturer to clarify their requirements.

Just in case I spoke to my lawyer who said I have to check with my insurers and see their requirements. My insurers do not need me to carry out a skin test prior the services I offer.

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If you a hairstylist I would recommend you to check manufacturers instructions and your insurers requirements regarding the need of carrying out skin testing prior perming, smoothing or straightening services. If you a customer and wish to have a skin test you should freely ask your technician.

IF YOU DECIDE TO CARRY OUT AN ALLERGY TEST, IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT YOU ALWAYS PERFORM AN ALLERGY ALERT TEST 48 HOURS BEFORE EACH USE OF A  PRODUCT, AS AN ALLERGY CAN DEVELOP SUDDENLY, EVEN THOUGH YOU HAVE PREVIOUSLY USED THE SAME PRODUCT OR ANOTHER BRAND.

To carry out the Allergy Alert Test, always follow the instructions supplied with your product.

HOW TO PERFORM THE ALLERGY ALERT TEST:

Remove earrings. Behind the ear and using a cotton bud, apply a small quantity of unmixed product /solution 1 and neutraliser in separate area/ product sufficient to cover an area of 1-2cm² (e.g. the size of a small coin).
Re-apply two or three times allowing it to dry between each application. Carefully reseal the product container and keep it for the application 48 hours later.
Leave for 48 hours without washing, covering or touching.
If during this period you notice any abnormal reactions, such as itching, redness or swelling in or around the test area, DO NOT APPLY THE PRODUCT.

IN CASE OF A REACTION DURING THE APPLICATION such as intense stinging, irritation, rash or burning sensation on the scalp, rinse immediately and discontinue use. If you experience shortness of breath, seek immediate medical attention. Before perming / straightening your hair again, consult a doctor.
IF, DURING THE DAYS FOLLOWING APPLICATION, itching, redness or, spots on the scalp or skin occurs, swelling of the eyes and/or face, blisters or oozing of the scalp and/or skin occurs, it is recommended that you consult a doctor.

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