Patch Tests, Do they Really Matter?

Patch Tests, Do they Really Matter?

Hello and welcome to Salon Saviour! (Welcome back if you are already one of my angels 😉 )

So today I wanted to delve into patch tests and how important they really are.

In answer to my question in the title ‘Do they really matter?’


Now I know some of you may disagree with me on this one, and it is only my humble opinion. But I hope to convince you of the value of their significance within the salon throughout this article!

I cannot reiterate this strongly enough! They are what determines us as professional figures within this industry. People pay for our competence in this area and if we are willing to just ‘wing it’ this sadly doesn’t say much for our professional integrity. Not to mention the damage we could do by not adhering to these rules.

Here are the fundamentals as to why we ALWAYS need to do patch tests and how doing so will help your salon succeed:

  • Most importantly, they determine whether or not the colour system used in your salon is compatible with your customers skin and hair.

Some people are allergic to the chemical paraphenylenediamine (PPD) contained in many permanent and semi permanent hair dyes, which is a known irritant and allergen. It’s this that is usually the culprit of most reactions to hair dye. (But you remember all this right?! From your days at college?! Just testing!! 🙂 )

I don’t need to tell you about the horrors that could arise from not following this simple procedure.

  • You will not be insured if the inevitable does happen as a result of not complying.

From a health and safety stand-point, if you have not acted in accordance with the instructions on the hair dye. Your insurance will not pay out!!

Not only will you have an upset client on your hands, your day is about to get a whole lot worse when your policy is invalidated because of a foolish mistake.

  • Clients are much more salon savvy these days.

The internet is such an accessible tool in recent years, this coincides with people being more in the know about a broader range of topics.

In my salon we have even had people inquire about patch tests and if they need to have one or not? This alone exhibits that we really must follow these procedures to the letter.

We have all seen the growing number of accident and injury adverts on television and the trend to expose any minor misdemeanor at work.

Don’t take the risk or let it be you or your salon in jeopardy.

  • This is what set us apart from DIY jobs at home.

One of the reasons people choose to visit a salon instead of doing it themselves at home, is that we are the authority in this area. And they usually value our proficiency as hairdressers.

I appreciate that the box colours from the shelf DO state that a patch and strand test are a prerequisite of dying the hair. But being honest, how many people actually do this?

The answer I imagine, is very few.

So in summary:

Do it for all us hairdressers out there, stand up and be accountable!! It only takes minutes to do a simple patch test, yet it speaks volumes about our customer care and builds trust with clients which is what we strive for!

Can I get an Amen?!

I really value your feedback and would love to hear your thoughts on this post, or any others! Hit me up!

Do you employ a patch test policy? If not, how do you administer these rules within your salon?










I am a hairstylist based in the UK. There is nothing I love more than to be cutting, colouring and ultimately making my clients feel amazing after their visit to the salon.

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