Wisteria Avenue

What is a Patch Test?

At Wisteria Avenue Hair Salon, our Abingdon hairdressers undertake a patch test on every client.

A patch test (also known commonly as a skin test) is a test undertaken prior to a hair colour service to determine client safety. This is a necessary step to ensure colour services can take place. 

Patch tests are valid for a period of six months only and are exclusive to each hair salon. For example, if you successfully had hair coloured at another Oxfordshire or Abingdon hairdressers with no reaction, you would still require a further skin test at your next hair salon to determine a safe outcome.

For more information on hair advice, our helpful balayage tips might help. Alternatively, check out our other blog posts for more.

Do I need a Patch Test?

Patch tests aren’t required before every hair colour appointment, though they do expire every six months and require renewal for every new hair salon visited.

In summary, a patch test carried out at one hair salon won’t cover you if you changed hair salon irrespective whether it was carried out within a six month timeframe.

Do I need a Patch Test?

Having a skin test is important for a number a reasons. Few are keen on them prior to a colour appointment; they require an additional visit to the hair salon, not to mention there is very rarely any kind of reaction. It’s a frustration particularly when you know exactly what your reaction will be not to mention what works for you.

That being said, skin tests are absolutely crucial. Yes, they are unlikely to bring about a reaction however they are for your own safety. The skin test also allows (if your Hair Stylist is free) to discuss some options and to pick their brains before an appointment.

If you are ready to book your next hair colour appointment in our Abingdon salon, if this is your first time visiting or if it’s been more than six months from your last skin test then we will need to skin test you!

Frequently Asked Questions

I’ve had hair colour all my life. Why do I need a skin test with you?

Every salon needs to know that, a) you have been skin tested, b) they have record of it, c) you have been tested to their own internal standards with their own colour brand, and d) have adhered to all the legalities.

It’s not so much that a salon doesn’t believe you have had a skin test or a colour applied, the concern for a salon is your health and their reputation. In the event that a skin test hasn’t been undertaken it spells bad news for all parties involved. 99.9% of the time hair colour is fine (we promise!).

In the rare event a hair colour application reacts, you won’t be happy! Your hair salon must always undertake the necessary due diligence that a skin test has been undertaken as a matter of course for your own safety. Standards and practises are really important for all involved.

If I have visited your hair salon before, do I need another skin test? 

If your last appointment fell within a six month period, luckily you’re okay! Unfortunately if your appointment was longer than six months ago then we would need to see you again for a skin test.

No matter how unlikely the event of an unfortunate reaction, skin tests are very important.

I know I won’t react. Do I still need a skin test?

Yes. Whilst rare, a handful of clients’ have been known to react to hair colour. This can be due to a combination of factors namely in the bodies’ chemistry, hormonal changes, pregnancy or medication to name but a few. 

The chance of a reaction remains unlikely however it is important, no matter how anal it may appear on the surface to ensure a skin test is undertaken with some frequency.

I’m having a balayage so I don’t need a skin test. Right?

Wrong! In theory, whilst the bleach nor toner should make contact with your scalp, there is a danger (albeit unlikely) that the colour may come into contact with your scalp when your hair is being wash, or indeed when the toner is applied. For this reason a skin test is still very important.

I have not had a skin test before. Why now?

You should always need a skin test prior to any hair colouring appointment. One skin test will only cover you for that particular hair salon, with that particular hair colour brand. If that hair salon changes their brand of hair colour you will require a new skin test.

If you visit a new hair salon that has used the same hair colour brand, you will still require a skin test. Hypothetically if you visited three different hair salons across three days’, all three using the same hair colour brand you would still require three skin tests.

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