Salon Owners

It’s Allergy Awareness Week 2024. Within the salon industry, this week holds particular significance as we shine a spotlight on the crucial importance of patch testing in preventing allergic reactions to hair and beauty products.


Allergic reactions can range from mild discomfort to severe and life-threatening, underscoring the critical need for proactive measures to safeguard both clients and salon professionals.

From understanding delayed reactions to navigating the complexities of insurance coverage, we’re committed to equipping salon owners with the knowledge and resources they need to prioritise safety and client care.


1: Reactions to hair colour aren’t always immediate

Even if you don’t see a reaction right away, it could still happen. That’s because of something called a ‘Type IV’ hypersensitivity reaction. Unlike instant reactions triggered by antibodies, this type can take 4 days or more to show up. It’s all about certain cells in your body, called T cells, taking their time to activate and kickstart the allergic response.

2: Even if a client has been having the same colour for years, a reaction can happen at any time

Repeated exposure to certain chemicals in hair dye can sensitise the body’s immune system over time. This means that even if a client has used the same colour for years without any issues, they could still develop an allergic reaction later on. That’s why ongoing vigilance and proper patch testing is crucial, no matter how long someone has been using a particular hair colour.

3: Often, there is no consistency amongst insurers

Some only insure manufacturers instructions and others offer far more comprehensive options. That’s where we come in. Patch testing is a significant part of our policy wording, as we aim to tackle key industry issues for salons. Our patch testing protocol is bespoke and has been written alongside the Hair & Barber Council, supporting salons who’s colourhouse has no protocol.

One of our four core options available include Colourstart. A third-party patch testing system that takes the burden of testing away from the salon and allows the consumer to self-certify their suitability for a colour treatment. This is then followed by consultation questions ahead of each treatment and potentially no need to patch test again.


In conclusion, Allergy Awareness Week serves as a valuable reminder of the importance of patch testing in the salon industry. By understanding the intricacies of allergic reactions, remaining vigilant, and utilising proper protocols, salon owners can ensure the safety and well-being of their clients.