The Importance of a Skin Test

We know it can feel like a hassle to come into the salon 48 hours before your appointment for a skin test. However, this small step is vitally important in protecting your health. Although rare, allergic reactions to chemicals in hair dye can happen. We have seen evidence that people are developing new allergies in recent years. Even if you have been dying your hair for years you could still be affected. While some minor reactions just cause irritation, more severe allergic responses can lead to swelling, inflammation and anaphylaxis. In some extreme cases, people have even lost their lives as a result.

Russell Eaton Salons are committed to putting the safety of our clients first. The danger from hair dye can be completely eliminated by our simple colour sensitivity test, trialling the product on your skin 48 hours prior to any hair colour service. Unfortunately we will not perform a colour service if we have any doubts about the result of your skin test. Whilst the risk of an allergic reaction is small and very rare, we want to completely eradicate the threat.

Our expert colourists are thoroughly trained to apply colour products safely and always respect the manufacturers instructions. If you have any concerns regarding a colour sensitivity test please let us know and we will do our best to assist you. We carry a number of the most current advances in colour technologies, including PPD and ammonia-free products. If you have any questions or concerns, please ask your stylist for more information. Please be aware that there is a difference between sensitivity and an allergic reaction to PPD or other hair dye ingredients.


Sensitivity may cause contact dermatitis symptoms, such as;

  • Burning and stinging
  • Red and dry skin
  • Inflamed skin 

Allergic reaction

If you’re allergic to hair dye, your symptoms can range from mild to serious. If you’re allergic to PPD, your scalp and face may feel itchy and start to swell. PPD may also trigger symptoms throughout your body, such as itching, a nettle rash and generally feeling ill. These symptoms may not develop until hours, or even days, later.

A severe allergic reaction that develops within minutes is called anaphylaxis, or “anaphylactic shock”. Signs of anaphylaxis include:

  • itchy skin or a raised, red skin rash 
  • swollen eyes, lips, hands and feet – the eyelids can swell so much that the eyes close 
  • feeling lightheaded or faint 
  • swelling of the mouth, throat or tongue, which can cause breathing and swallowing difficulties 
  • wheezing 
  • tummy pain, nausea and vomiting 
  • collapsing and becoming unconscious

For any more information please visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/hair-dye-reactions/