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Why do I need a Patch Test?

Lash and brow tinting are a fantastic way to add definition and shape to your face but we want to colour you safe as well as happy, which is why I am so hot on ensuring my clients have regular allergy alert tests.

Are allergy alert tests really necessary?

The answer to that is a great big yes. Allergic reactions to hair tinting and colour products can range from mildly irritating to life-threatening and everything in-between. You just don’t want to go there, so always, always ensure you have regular allergy alert tests if you tint your lashes and eyebrows or colour your head or body hair.

This still applies even if you have been using the same product for years with no problems. Allergies can develop over time so it’s vital to remain vigilant. This is why regular allergy alert testing is essential.

After the Covid pandemic all insurance made it compulsory to re patch test everyone, one because it had been so long since you'd had treatments but also because the virus and booster vaccinations could have had an impact on your immune response. Most of my clients have heard my story where I went to train in Brow Sculpting and naively left the patch test to the last minute thinking "oh I've always been fine, I won't have a reaction!" more fool me as I did react and then caused havoc for my training course not being able to receive the treatment!

What causes allergies to colouring products?

Allergies occur when our immune systems react to substances that are normally harmless. The effects are usually mild but can also be extremely serious.

A few people are allergic to the ingredients found in tinting and hair colour products, particularly PPD (paraphenylenediamine).

How often should a test be done?

The tests are free, quick and easy. The only annoyance is having to make a visit which will only last 5minutes. I will always do an allergy alert test if you’re new to the salon – even if you’ve recently had a test at another salon (yet one of the excuses used by many clients)

I’ll also need to do a test if:

  • You have recently had any type of permanent or temporary skin tattoo (see more on temporary black henna tattoos below).

  • You’ve had a reaction to any products you’ve used since your last visit.

  • We’re using a different product or brand on you.

  • Your medical history has changed and/or you are taking new medications

  • You have not had a treatment for over 6 months

Otherwise, I’ll keep tabs so you don’t have to worry and will let you know when your next test needs to be done. Allergy alert tests normally have to be done 48 hours before your appointment.

If I am bringing in a new brand I will usually start patch testing for it at your previous appointment so save an extra journey to the salon.

Black henna tattoos and allergic reactions

When you come to the salon for lash or brow tints, it’s crucial you let us know if you’ve had a black henna tattoo since your last visit. This is because black henna can contain very high levels of PPD and may make you allergic to tinting and colour products – even if you have never had a reaction before.

Using tinting kits at home

Again, Covid saw a huge rise in people performing tinting at home (don't get me started on the latest At Home Lash Lifting Kits sweeping the market - Just Don't!!!) It’s not just when you visit the salon that you need to test. It’s vital to follow the instructions on brow and lash tinting kits or hair colour if you’re using these at home.

You MUST carry out the allergy alert test as directed on the packet before using the product. Don’t assume you’ll be OK because you ‘never’ have an allergic reaction to anything. There’s always a first time and it’s just not worth risking your health or sight for that matter!

Book a consultation

Come in for expert advice on brow and lash tints and I’ll do a free allergy past test while you’re here (it’s really quick and simple) so you’re ready for your appointment.

And of course, if you have any questions or concerns please do call or message and I’ll put your mind at rest.

Happy Tinting

Maddie x


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