Consider patch testing protocol before re-opening

Aurore Caboche Henkel

When the potential reopening date of 4th July at the earliest rolls around for UK hair salons, the majority of you won’t have seen your clients for more than three months. Given the legal and health implications of failing to skin test clients correctly, and as part of their plans to get back to business, Schwarzkopf Professional is asking salons to consider their patch testing protocol.

In the UK, patch testing for professional use hair colour applied in-salon is a legal requirement under Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act where such a test is required/recommended before use, breach of which can lead to prosecution and fines. Generally, hair salons administer patch tests for their clients every few months, and also when a new colour product is being used for the first time.

Kay Brady, National PPS Manager UK & IRE for Schwarzkopf Professional, said “All reputable salons know and understand the importance of providing a robust patch test policy, and so I’m sure it is something they have been thinking about as they plan to potentially reopen in a few weeks. Some clients may have experimented with home dyes. A patch test will be required to ensure that the client can still tolerate their in-salon colour, and an incompatibility test should be performed to ensure that the box colour on their hair won’t react to in-salon colouring products.”

How to incorporate patch testing into re-opening plans

Schwarzkopf Professional believes there are ways that salons can incorporate patch testing into their reopening plans while also adhering to government guidelines around hygiene and social distancing.

  • Patch Test Power Hour

Salons could provide a period of time, either early in the morning or later in the evening when clients can form a socially distanced queue to receive their patch test either outside the salon or just inside, one at a time.

  • Pre-opening Skin Test Slots

You may find it beneficial to offer one to one skin tests, by appointment only, for all clients that need a patch test before the appointment schedule begins on or after the 4th July.


Salons could also look to offer semi-permanent colour options such as Schwarzkopf Professional’s Chroma ID, which doesn’t require a patch test. As the brand’s first 100% customisable, semi-permanent mix and tone colour system with integrated Bonding Technology, Chroma ID is suitable for neutralising brassy tones, refreshing or enhancing coloured or virgin hair, correcting colour results and creating both pastel and bold expressive colour looks.

“The health and protection of customers and employees is paramount. Any patch test process, at this time, should be rolled out in the safest way possible” adds Kay.

Salons looking for guidance and support around re-opening after lockdown, can visit

For all kind of information regarding new guidelines, mental support and preparation plans click HERE.

For more news from Henkel, click HERE.



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