Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Patched Up!

Why you should ask for one before colouring your hair

hair-dyingA fellow hair devotee Mallika walked into a reputed salon to get her hair coloured. The stylist helped her choose a colour, coloured her hair, rinsed it and let her go – business as usual. But a few minutes later Mallika had an allergic reaction and had to be admitted to the hospital with acute dermatitis. Her face went all red and splotchy and swelled up!

DAB_1780We spoke to skin expert Dr. Jamuna Pai and asked her about this. “Contact dermatitis is the most common skin problem seen with hair dyes,” she says, “Symptoms could be itching, redness associated with rash. Common areas which are affected are forehead, eyes, ears and even fingers.” The culprit is Paraphenylenediamine (PPD), which is found in most hair colouring products. PPD needs oxygen to become coloured which is why dyes which have PPD usually come in two bottles: one has the dye and the other has the developer or oxidizer. This partially oxidised state is what causes an allergic reaction in some clients.

A patch test, as Dr. Pai advises, is the easiest way to check if your clients’ skin is hypersensitive. A small amount of the hair dye (after mixing it with the developer) is applied behind the ear, on the neck or the inner bend of the elbow and left open for two days (48 hours). If there is no reaction, the hair dye can be safely used.

So why don’t colourists tell about this???!! Well colourists don’t want to send clients home and ask them to return later and customers find it inconvenient. But Trichocare, a UK-based company has hit on a solution. Their signature product Colourstart is a unique patch test that salons can mail out and save clients the extra trip. Clients can use the test at home 48 hours before coming into the salon for colouring.


Whether its Colourstart or regular patch tests, there’s no denying that they are absolutely necessary to prevent an ordinary colouring appointment from turning into a horrifying ordeal. Remember that next time you decide to colour your hair!!

- The DIVO Team

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