Patch tests and allergies – everything you need to know about running your salon

It may appear like things are going back to normal and it is business as usual for salons and beauty shops. But some things have changed. One important area that was affected is the way that customers respond to hair dye. It may be surprising to hear that the coronavirus itself could have affected this. 

Why do we have patch tests?

It’s been a long time since people have received a treatment in a salon. Many hairdressers have prepared for new customers after reopening their doors by investing in new comfortable chairs, new interior design or tools such as high-quality hairdresser scissors. However, there may be other things that salons need to pay attention to. 

It’s important to be extra careful right now when applying chemicals. Every single client should always be thoroughly tested. 

A customer reacting badly to a product can potentially be traumatizing. Even in less severe cases they could develop a negative opinion of the salon. Not carrying out a patch test may also mean that salons are seen as negligent. Insurances may not cover the business in case of a lawsuit filed by a customer against them, if the necessary patch test wasn’t done before the treatment. 

Should customers who weren’t allergic before the pandemic be tested?

The long period of time away from salons and lack of regular hair treatments may have altered the way that people react to certain chemicals. Customers may be allergic to them now, even if they weren’t before. This seems to especially be the case for people who have had the virus. 

Some salons have reported that their customers who have had the coronavirus experienced allergic reactions to certain chemicals and products. People who have had ‘Long Covid’ have reportedly shown weakness in their immune system, a condition which may last for months. Even after they have managed to get over the virus and are otherwise healthy, they may still react sensitively. While there aren’t any studies that show proof of this, The National Hair and Beauty Federation (NHBF) has appealed to beauty salons to be extra careful when applying treatments, especially when it comes to the chemicals present in hair colour products. 

Unfortunately, patch tests are even more necessary now than before the pandemic. Even though these tests may take some time, it’s important for businesses to apply them and any other safety procedures carefully.