The Truth about Skin Tests and COVID Vaccinations

Hair color application natural

We are aware there are some concerns with having a skin test or hair colour with COVID and the vaccine.

The National Hair Federation has confirmed they are not aware of any scientific evidence that supports the following rumours or concerns.

  • A colour treatment or allergy alert test will have an effect on the COVID vaccine.
  • The covid vaccine will have an effect on a colour treatment or allergy alert test.
  • A set amount of time needs to pass between having a hair colour/allergy alert test and a vaccination.
  • Clients are more likely to have an allergic reaction if they have had a covid vaccine.

However, we know that despite the lack of scientific evidence, these rumours continue to circulate. 

Sheen Hairdressing wants to assure you there is NO scientific evidence to support these rumours. We can confirm the following: 

  • Some manufacturers have provided specific covid-related guidance and this should always be followed. We have contacted our manufacturers, and as always, previous, current and post COVID situations, we will always follow the manufacturer recommendations when skin testing or colouring your hair. The Health and Safety and Wellbeing is our priority, and we want to assure you we continue to follow their advice and minimise any risk when it comes to colouring your hair.
  • Some clients may be more nervous about having treatments or services close to the time of their vaccination, so they may wish to postpone their appointment. Clients who feel unwell after the vaccination should postpone their appointment until they are better. Please let us know if you want to postpone your appointment for any reason or feel unwell and we will accommodate you at another date and time.
  • We will always carry out allergy alert and industry tests following manufacturer’s instructions and protocols before a client’s first service following lockdown.
  • Allergy alert tests must be carried out at least 48 hours before the client’s appointment for the service.

Why are allergy alert tests necessary?

All new clients to Sheen or a colour service must have a full consultation, scalp and analysis, scalp, hair tests and an allergy alert test at least 48 hours before their colour appointment.

Returning clients will need an allergy alert test if, for example:

  • You have not had an allergy alert test or colour service for six months.
  • You have had a tattoo or black henna tattoo.
  • You have changed your colour brand or product.
  • You have any reason to believe your auto immune system may have been affected or low : for example, feeling unwell, prescribed medication, surgery/treatment, extreme stress,     

We are required to keep a written record of every test for at least six years. Each written record must be signed by both the stylist and client. 

Most people experience no problems when they have their hair coloured.  However, some people are allergic to hair dye, while others may develop an allergy gradually over time. It’s important to test on the manufacturers recommendations.

‘Black henna’ temporary tattoos

You must tell us if you have had a ‘black henna’ tattoo since their last allergy test or hair colour. If they have, you must carry out an allergy alert test before colouring their hair. This is because black henna often contains illegally high levels of the chemical PPD (paraphenylenediamine).

PPD is used in hair dye, but the maximum levels are controlled by law in this country. Black henna often contains very high levels of PPD. This means that people who have these temporary tattoos can become very sensitive to PPD in hair colour – even one that they have used safely many times before.

You may not realise this and that’s why it’s so important to carry out an allergy alert test before colouring your hair if they have had a black henna tattoo at any time.

What to do if you have a reaction

It is extremely rare you have a reactionto the allergy alert test, and in most cases, symptoms are mild.  Please tell us ASAP and we advise accordingly and will not colour your hair. Reactions include reddening, itching, swelling or a burning sensation. If this happens, you will need to get medical advice.

Even if the allergy alert test is OK, your client may still develop a reaction during the hair colouring process. Get immediate medical help if you become dizzy, faint or finds it difficult to breathe.

Please note we do not apply hair colour or highlights that contain PPD or similar ingredients to anyone under the age of 16 or carry out an allergy alert test on anyone under the age of 16. Hair colorants carry warnings that they are not intended for use on under-16s. However, we may have an alternative recommendation for temporary results.  

If you have any questions or concerns when colouring your hair, please do not hesitate to speak with your stylist or call 0208 940 6464.


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