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Tips From Schwarzkopf on How to Do a Patch Test Properly

Why It's Really, Really, REALLY Important to Do a Patch Test

Tell me, do you do a patch test when you colour your hair? Every time? This week, reports hit that a British woman nearly died while colouring her hair at home, so I think it's about time that we all solemnly swear to patch test every single time we dye or hair, don't you? I spoke with Schwarzkopf's National Technical Educator Grant Withnell to get his advice on the tests we should do every time we colour.

According to Grant, "Allergic reactions can develop over time which is why it's so important to perform an allergy test EVERY TIME you colour your hair." He also highlighted that tattoos may increase the risk of an allergic reaction, so it's especially important for those with tatts to do the test.

TIP #1: Grant recommends doing the patch test (aka skin sensitivity test) "on the area directly behind the ear, or on the inside of the elbow."

Keep reading . . .TIP #2: "You should use the colour creme only; you do not need to use the developer," says Grant. He advises that you apply a thin 1cm x 1cm patch with a tissue or cotton bud. "You need to leave the product on the skin uncovered for 45 minutes and then rinse off."

TIP #3: "If you have an adverse reaction — such as redness, itching or swelling — within 48 hours of testing DO NOT USE the product. If you get a reaction while the colour creme is on, remove it immediately."

This is to test the possible chance of an allergic reaction to the dye, it does not give any indication of the end result. If you want to see what colour your hair will go, you'll need to do a strand test. Take a small section of hair (about the size of a finger); mix one teaspoon of developer with one teaspoon of colour creme (do not use metal bowls or spoons); apply the colour mixture and leave for up to 30 minutes; rinse and dry to preview the colour result.

Image Source: Getty
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