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Consumers must also be vigilant to ensure hair care safety

By Andrew MCDOUGALL , 08-Jan-2013

As the Colour with Confidence campaign in the UK gets into full swing, hair stylists are urging caution on consumers’ side too, stressing the importance of allergy tests when using hair products.

President of the National Hairdressers’ Federation (NHF) and hair stylist, Mark Coray, has joined forces with the Cosmetics, Toiletry and Perfumery Association and stated that Allergy Alert Tests are a must for consumers before colouring hair.

Coray is fronting the new CTPA Colour With Confidence campaign, which seeks to encourage people to perform an Allergy Alert Test every time they colour their hair.

Ensure safety

Whilst it is the responsibility of manufacturers to ensure product safety, the stringent testing in place means that any product getting to market will have passed numerous strict tests; however the trade association states that consumer understanding of allergies may need to be heightened.

A YouGov survey carried out before the holiday season showed that 13.7 million women in the UK planned to colour their hair for the party season, but more than three quarters admitted they wouldn’t carry out an Allergy Alert Test beforehand, and so have no way of knowing if they could face an unexpected reaction to the hair colorant they use.

CTPA says that limited understanding of how allergy works could be driving this lack of preparedness.

According to the research: half of women say that the reason they do not carry out the Allergy Alert Test is because they have ‘coloured their hair lots of times, and never had a problem.’

Every case is different

Coray explains however, that past experiences are no indication of future results: “Many people don’t know that allergies build-up over time, so they don’t realise how important it is to carry out an Allergy Alert Test every time they colour their hair, 48 hours in advance, even if they have used a product before. It’s the best way to guard against an unexpected reaction.”

It is advised that a small amount of product is applied to the skin 48 hours before, in order to fully assess the body’s reaction: only a day before, which seems to be the norm, is not fully indicative.

“The test can be inconvenient but we are constrained by biology; the body’s biological mechanism can take that long for any potential reactions to appear – if you cut corners, you risk missing a reaction,” says Coray.

The Colour With Confidence campaign is a unique collaboration between the CTPA, which represents the UK’s leading hair and beauty brands, the NHF, which represents UK salon owners, and hair colorant manufacturers.

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