During the summer holiday months, we see many new or irregular colour clients. Some clients may face some skin discomfort during their colour service or an allergic reaction. It is important to understand why this occurs.

I previously wrote about the main causes of allergies and the responsibility of the stylist to test for this. If you haven’t read the article yet, please do so.

It is wise to err on the side of caution and I urge you to conduct an allergy alert test on new and irregular colour clients. It may seem tiresome, but it can prevent an unpleasant situation in the salon. Remember that an allergy has little to do with the product you are using and more to do with the client’s own immune system.

Discomfort can also occur during the lightening process. Clients may experience low levels of discomfort which present as a tingling sensation or a sense of itchiness. This discomfort is caused by the peroxide reacting with the client’s scalp functions. Kinetic energy, created by an object in motion, occurs when the peroxide molecules interfere with the scalp’s acid mantle, a natural protective layer, to cause an itchy sensation.

To protect the scalp from irritation:

  1. Do not shampoo the hair on the same day a colour is applied
  2. Ensure that the scalp is intact before applying colour
  3. If possible, use a lower volume of peroxide for an on-scalp application, especially with products such as Blonder
  4. Do not use heat to accelerate the development process
  5. Use the correct brand of developer, e.g. Koleston Perfect and Illumina Color are designed to be used with Welloxon Perfect and not with generic peroxides
  6. When removing the colour, emulsify properly with water before shampooing
  7. Be gentle when shampooing and always apply a post colour treatment such as Wella Professionals or System Professional.
  8. Ensure that the scalp is treated