Skin Testing

Testing Before Hair Colour Services At The Cutting Studio Salon In Buckinghamshire

The Cutting Studio is the best hair salon in Hazlemere,Over the past year, hairdressing salons have been closed more than they have been open, but that does not mean that the industry has been asleep. There have been significant changes in directives around hair colouring which have come from Government, insurance companies and industry bodies. It has impacted the tests we conduct before a colour service and here we want to explain not just the what, but the why.

For over the last decade The Cutting Studio have skin tested every client, for hair colour allergies with the tattoo type Colourstart skin test. Enter the first change that has occurred.

The Government regulator – MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) most recently in the news for their work approving the Covid Vaccines safe for use have approved the Colourstart test as a medicine. This has led to changes in the way it looks, is administered, sold and information monitored and stored. Colourstart is supported by a ‘passport’ system that monitors and stores the information of individuals using Colourstart as a skin testing method.

The MHRA has mandated that once a test has been carried out and a positive/green/go ahead result has been recorded, future colour service tests should comprise of a screening questionnaire to assess whether another test is necessary. More often than not, it will be safe to proceed to colour service without another test. A new test is only needed if something has changed. This is because one of the identified allergy triggers is exposure over time, therefore the MHRA do not want to see consumers exposed unnecessarily. They believe when it comes to testing – less is best.

This brings us to our next change, our industry body, NHBF (National Hair and Beauty Federation) have listened to the MHRA and decided that we should use a similar screening method for skin testing with an AAT (Allergy Alert Test – blob on the arm or behind the ear). So they have worked with the insurance industry on a protocol that means we have to test once every 6 months and screen in between these times.

The Cutting Studio were already screening with questions for safety, so we have only had to implement a change to questions. If this all seems a little complicated, do not worry, Our stylists have been well trained in how best to keep you safe whilst having your hair coloured. Should you have any questions we will be happy to put your mind at rest.

How Do I Use Colourstart?

Skin Testing & Screening For Sensitivity & Reactions

We use testing and screening to check suitability for the colouring products we provide. You may choose either;

A) Colourstart Passport (MHRA APPROVED METHOD)

Please register on the Colourstart website by clicking here and create your passport. Answer the screening questions, buy and apply your Colourstart Patch following instructions in the video below. Upload your results to your online passport. Share your results with The Cutting Studio– (we are registered with Colourstart). Once you have created your passport and completed your first test, subsequent colour treatments require you to answer the screening questions – testing with a Colourstart test may not be necessary unless something changes. Your Colourstart Passport will confidentially store your records.

B) AAT (Allergy Alert Test)

For your first AAT with The Cutting Studio or if it is 6 months since your last AAT; Make an appointment to attend the salon at least 48 hours before your appointment. We will apply a small amount of colour formula to the inside of your elbow, or behind the ear.

Leave in covered for a minimum of 45 minutes, and then wipe it off, and monitor for 48 hours, should you experience any signs of irritation, reddening, swelling, inflammation or itching please contact us. If you develop symptoms that make you unwell please contact a medical professional. When you attend the salon we will observe the test site and ask you to complete a questionnaire. Subsequent colour services may not require an AAT test subject to screening questions.

We advise you to speak to your stylist about what is best for you. All our stylists have been trained to test and screen for suitability for colour services. We have vast experience in safe colouring – you can be sure we only use the best products and invest in the most up to date practices. We take your safety and our work seriously. When you visit The Cutting Studio, you can have peace of mind that we are taking the best care of you and your hair. We thank you for your co-operation in our preliminary procedures before your service with us.

Useful Links

Full instructions on how to use the Colourstart skin testing plaster can be found here

You can download the patient information guide here.

You can purchase this from the salon or online here.   

To create and register your colourstart passport click here.

Signing up and ongoing screening on the passport is free. The Colourstart test is £15. You can buy it from The Cutting Studio, or from #salonlove by clicking on the link here. To support this convenient method of testing, when you buy a Colourstart test we will take £5 OFF your next three colour services. Please speak to us to activate this.
Colourstart has been registered and approved by the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) – subsequently, we have to follow the guidelines as set out by the regulations. The test is different from the transfer test. It is supported by the Colourstart Passport. Your details are securely and confidentially held on your passport. Once you have tested with the new Colourstart, subsequent colour services only require screening on your passport which could be just a couple of minutes. Potentially you could make an appointment and get your hair coloured on the same day.
You are in control of your passport and therefor your testing and screening. It is confidential, we only get to see your result if you choose to share it with us. You can use your Colourstart passport for screening for any colour services in any salon. For example, if you have an eyebrow colouring service you can use the same test. If you are travelling and you need to use a different salon, you can share your passport result with any salon. You can get your service done with little notice, you do not have to wait 48 hours for a skin test.
If you are pregnant or have active dermatitis you cannot test with Colourstart. You should speak to your stylist about an AAT (Allergy Alert Test) in the salon.
You will need an AAT appointment at least 48 hours before your colour appointment. It only takes 10 minutes in the salon and is a free test.
Reactions to hair colour can be serious and even life threatening. There are strict guidelines from manufacturers, insurers, industry bodies and the MHRA around using hair colour. We endeavour to give you peace of mind so that you can safely enjoy your visits to the salon.
We use screening to monitor the need for testing you before your service. If nothing has changed since your last test and we have a valid record (typically within the last 6 months) it will be OK to proceed with your service.
One of the triggers for sensitivity and reactions to hair colour is exposure over time, therefore it is important we keep monitoring for your safety. The Cutting Studio are committed to your safety and use only the best products and methods for hair colouring.
To register & activate your colourstart passport simply follow this link