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Skin Testing Policy and Procedure

Gfc  Hairdressing  has a skin testing procedure in place to protect our clients from adverse reactions to the chemicals and ingredients in hair colour.

We have two options for you to choose from:

1. A FREE AAT (Allergy Alert Test) in the salon only

It is required 48 hours before your hair colour appointment and is done by placing a small amount of mixed colour to your arm (only covered with a tissue when you have put your coat on) and left on for 24 hours being careful not to wipe off. Ensure there is no redness or swelling indicating an allergic reaction to the ingredients in hair dye/colour. All this is in accordance with our insurance and manufacturer instructions and is subject to change. You do need an appointment for our skin test and needs to be 48 hours before your colour service. Should you experience any discomfort, tingling or reaction, clean the skin gently with warm water & inform us as soon as possible.


2. COLOURSTART  PASSPORT – which we are very excited about and is available to purchase on our website. You will need this if you can not visit the salon 48 hrs before.

The reason you need to have a skin test at least 48 hours before your colour application is because
in particular circumstances you might have developed a reaction that can take at least 48 hours to develop.

Reactions and skin complaints from hair colorant are rare, but as a salon our duty of care is to protect you prior to any colour application you wish to have with us. There has been an increase in reactions in recent years and many people develop hypersensitivity or allergies to things they never had a problem with before. The same is true for hair colour – you can develop a reaction at any time in your life. Certain medications can make some individuals react to hair colour others may suppress reactions. 

Colourstart is a clean and convenient way to screen for para phenylenediamine (PPD), found in most hair colours.

Colourstart can be used instead of the AAT used in the salon, to test for allergy to PPD.


How it works

It works by exposing the skin to a very small, controlled  amount of PPD, far less than is contained in hair colour.
Colourstart should only be used by those aged 16 or over. Hair colourants are not intended for use by anyone under 16 years of age.








The instructions relate to the use of the patch on the upper arm.

Select a clean, dry, intact area of skin to apply the patch. The patch should be applied only to healthy skin that is free of acne, scars, dermatitis or any other condition that may interfere with the test results. Avoid placing the patch on areas of the skin where creams or emollients have been applied as these may affect how the patch sticks to the skin.



Download the Colourstart passport app using this link…

Once downloaded – join up


When you have received your Colourstart skin test, download the patient information leaflet and follow the instructions…

Colourstart consists of an adhesive patch that contains two small, separate squares. One square contains a small amount of PPD (this is the positive ‘+’ part), the other contains no PPD (this is the negative ‘-‘ part) and is used for comparison only.

The patch is applied to an easily visible part of the arm at least 5 days before an appointment for hair colour. The patch is left on for at least 48 hours (2 days) and then removed. 48 hrs (2 days) later, the arm can be inspected for any sign of a reaction.

If there is any sign of redness, itching or inflammation on the site of the patch, this is an indication that you may be allergic to PPD.


Once you have applied your skin testing patch upload the details onto the Colour Passport App. 

You will need the SERIAL NUMBER from the packet…

You will just need to answer a few questions.

*Make sure you insert Gfc hairdressing  as your salon of choice… and then that’s it…

Every time you need to come for a colour just go into the app and fill in the form to see whether Colour Passport requires you to perform a new test. If not great we will be able to see their recommendation and we can book you in. If it tells you to retest, you will be required to purchase a new test.

A list of reasons why you might have to retest are included on the passport site once you sign up.

We encourage all clients to read all information when signing up for Colourstart Colour Passport…

If you have any issues applying the test or uploading your date please call Colourstart directly on


Colourstart patches can be purchased on our website for £10.


Buy your Colourstart Passport here

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Always apply the self-adhesive patch at least 5 days before any colouring process. This is because PPD sensitivity sometimes causes reactions which may not appear until 4 to 5 days after application Always use this medicine exactly as described in the leaflet.


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