Walk down any high street in Britain and you’ll see every natural hair colour you can imagine, plus a few for which Mother Nature may not be responsible. But there’s one thing every responsible salon must do before adding colour to your hair: Allergy Alert Testing.

A Wealth of Colours

Colouring your hair can be a great way to refresh your look and give your hair a new lease of life. Not everyone loves their natural hair colour and even if you do, you may fancy a change now and again. With so many lovely shades and colouring techniques on offer it may seem hard to choose, with rich browns, golden blonde, or even pale pink on offer. Once you’ve browsed the full range available at the Cutting Garden (with the help of one of our stylists of course) you will be sure to find a hair colour that you love.

Allergy Alert Testing

But before you’ve even made the decision to colour your hair it is very important to have an Allergy Alert test done first. This simple skin test can show us whether you are likely to have an allergic reaction to the ingredients in hair dye. Although adverse reactions are very unusual, it is always better to be safe than sorry and at The Cutting Garden we always conduct a proper Allergy Aware test before applying hair dye.

Paraphenylenediamene …er PPD

Some people have an allergy to some of the chemicals used in hair dye: paraphenylenediamine or p-phenylenediamine (commonly known as PPD) which is used in permanent hair colours and is also used in eyelash and eyebrow colouring, particularly the darker shades. PPD is used in these colourants because it is the very best way to achieve permanent hair colour. In fact it is the only method for colouring grey hair. It is also possible to develop an allergy over time, so even if you have coloured your hair before without any problems, it is vital to have the Allergy Alert test carried out.

Putting You First

At the Cutting Garden we are passionate about helping our customers have the best possible experience, so we always make sure that the Allergy Alert test is done before we colour any clients’ hair. The test must be carried out at least 48 hours before your hair is coloured, so be aware of this when booking. Your stylist will record the results on a special record card, which will be kept for two years. At the Cutting Garden we like to give you the test every six months, to be absolutely certain that all will go well when your hair is coloured. So, if you are planning to have your hair coloured, allow enough time for the Allergy Alert test, unless we’ve done one within the last six months.

Do You Have Allergies?

If you take medication for allergies (such as hayfever) then you may be slightly more likely to develop an allergy to the hair colourant and so this is one of the questions that your stylist will ask you. If you have a temporary tattoo then it is possible that it could contain PPD, and so you will also be asked whether you have any of these. If you do have allergies, a temporary tattoo, or a permanent tattoo it is not a problem, as long as you have the Allergy Alert test done and do not experience an adverse reaction to it.

Peace of Mind

Even if you have had a test done in another hair salon, The Cutting Garden likes to carry out our own test to make sure that our colours will be fine for you. The test is carried out near to the back of your ear because this is close to the scalp and makes for a more accurate test. If your skin reacts to the test by becoming red or developing a small amount of swelling, then it would not be advisable to use that hair colourant on your hair.

Because only a very small area of skin is tested, if you do have an allergic reaction then it should not be too visible or unpleasant for you. The test only takes a few minutes and you can leave straight away afterwards, so it won’t take up much of your time. Once the test has been done, you and your stylist will have the peace of mind of knowing that you won’t have a bad reaction to your hair colour. We’ll both know that all you’ll have to look forward to is having great hair.

The Cutting Garden is leading the drive to make it normal practice for every salon in Plymouth.

“We see Allergy Alert Testing as part of our commitment to taking care of our customers,” says salon manager, Hayley Palmer. “Proper skin testing should be considered an essential part of the hair colouring process by every professional hair salon”.

Never Say Dye

If you happen to be one of the small number of people who does have an allergic reaction to the hair colourant, don’t despair. We have other options available to you such as the So Pure colours which are made solely from natural active ingredients. The So Pure colours are free from parabens, sulphates and ammonia so are safe for those who suffer from allergies.

If you live outside of Plymouth, and are unable to come in before your colouring appointment for an Allergy Alert test, we can even post a test to your home address for you to apply there. Just call The Cutting Garden on 01752 223233 and ask us to book a hair colour skin test.

Look Amazing

So next time you want to have your hair coloured, remember to allow just a little extra time for an Allergy Aware test a few days before your appointment. You’ll be glad you did. For only a small amount of extra effort, you can be confident that your hair colouring will go smoothly and that you will walk out of The Cutting Garden feeling and looking amazing.


Book an Allergy Alert Test

Book your next test right now.

Call us on 01752 223233 or book your appointment online.