If you are sensitive or allergic to any products our suggestion is to do a "patch" test first with any new products that come into contact with your skin. "Hypoallergenic" on the bottle really means nothing, as it should read "hypo allergenic to what"? Every one of us is different so what is normal to one person can cause a violent reaction in another.
A patch test is exactly what its' name suggests, a tiny portion or patch of a product is placed onto your skin to test for an allergic reaction. If you tend to be sensitive to any products at all it is advisable to get your hairdresser to perform a patch test 48 hours before you have a colour.
The test is performed using a small portion of the product, which is dotted onto the skin either behind the ear or in the crook of your elbow. It is then covered, if need be, for 30 min then any excess can be removed. If you are allergic the reaction generally takes place almost immediately. The area would feel itchy and would redden, even swell a little. If any or all of these symptoms are experienced it would not be possible to use that product on your skin.
Your hairdresser may however be able to use a different manufacturer's product or there are methods of colouring, that don't involve the product touching the skin, with which it maybe possible to colour your hair, if your reaction is only mild.
To test yourself:
- Place a small drop of the new product in the crook of your elbow.
- Cover it with a sticky plaster so that it is not wiped away too quickly (give it about 1/2 an hour).
- Remove the plaster and monitor the spot for 48 hours.
- If you see any redness or experience itchiness you are allergic to some of the ingredients in this product. Discontinue its use and try another product.
It is possible to suddenly become allergic to a substance (during times of stress or pregnancy) or for your allergy to disappear. So it is a good idea to have a patch test every time you have a colour, the main cause of allergic reactions. This is far from practical for most of us with our busy schedules though and reactions are very rare. So when feeling low or having noticed your skin to be sensitive in general, make the effort. The rest of the time, it's useful to monitor the reaction you are feeling and tell your hairdresser immediately you notice something different from normal.
Note; colour applied directly to the scalp does itch a little, especially, if your hair has been freshly shampooed. It should not, however, feel like it is burning or that the itching is so intense you can't stand it. A reaction can be very server and should not be dismissed. Hairdressers are trained to remove the product causing the problem immediately. You should then visit your doctor who will be able to prescribe an antihistamine to prevent it getting any worse and suggest further action if needed.
Visitors to this page also went to:
The Quick guide to salon colour services
Finding the colouring method to suit your needs:
Permanent (Colour that grows out)
Semi permanent (Colour that slowly fades out)
Temporary (Colour that washes out in one or two shampoos)
All Over Bleach (If you want to be really blonde)
Highlights (Streaks of lighter colour)
Lowlites (Streaks of darker colour)
Free hand Colouring (Special Techniques)
Panel Colouring (Special Techniques)
The Re-growth Look (Special Techniques)
Alternative Colouring Methods:
Colouring using Henna or Plant based products.
How do I choose a colour to suit me?
Thinking about Highlights? Check here first!.
Changing Your Hair Colour
'Deeper, Richer, Warmer' colours for your hair
Blonde, Blonde and more Blonde
Caring for Coloured Hair
All you need to know about Allergies to Hair Dye and Henna
Colour and the rumours about links to carcinogens
Other pages not related to colour that were visited are:
Blow dry and styling
Hair cuts to suit your face
Hair style gallery of looks
Your hair - dealing with particular hair types and their needs
Permanent hair straightening