New professional skin-testing protocol

A new, harmonised professional skin-testing protocol is announced by industry bodies and associations. Respected organisations in hairdressing collaborate to successfully combine the changes announced by Cosmetics Europe in early 2023 regarding existing beauty industry best practices. The new protocol defines a benchmark that all hair professionals, insurers, and hair colour brands can now meet to confidently support and promote the safe use of professional hair colour services in the UK.  

New professional skin-testing protocol

The new protocol: Three new systems for professional allergy alert testing… 

  1. The Allergy Alert Test (AAT) – Instructions designed by manufacturers and printed on packaging and instructions for use 
  1. Protocols are designed for professional use only and conducted by a hair professional. Hair colour brand protocols apply to their products only, whereas some hair industry, trade organisations, and insurers protocols can be used with any colour brand.  
  1. Universal allergy-screening tests are licensed as medicines for consumers to use at home to screen for the most common hair colour allergen (PPD). These products are available to buy online or via approved stockists and may only need to be used once.  

Interestingly, the new protocol doesn’t recommend the colourants from the original manufacturer’s packaging be shared with clients for the purposes of an at-home test. This actually goes against industry best practices and may invalidate insurance cover. Note-worthy!  

It’s hoped that the clarity from these new guidelines will help consumers make an informed choice for their next colour service and avoid those salons or individuals not meeting the minimum standards expected. 

Let’s hear from Gareth Penn, Registrar, Hair & Barber Council:  

“The new harmonised professional-testing protocol is fantastic news for the hairdressing industry. Having three options that have been thoroughly researched and examined by our industry leaders makes it simpler to understand and easier for us to communicate to the public. This is something that the sector has needed guidance on for a long time, and I praise the organisations and individuals who have joined forces for the greater good of the industry.” 

We agree!

Next, we hear from Caroline Larissey, Chief Executive at the National Hair and Beauty Federation (NHBF):  

“Allergy alert tests are vital to protect clients and guard against potentially expensive legal action if something goes wrong. This is a huge step in the right direction, these collaborative guidelines will help raise standards and support clients make an informed choice.” 

We look forward to seeing how these practices help regulate our industry… Thank you to the organisations involved: Good Salon Guide, Salon Employers Association, The Barber Council, The Fellowship for British Hairdressing, The Freelance Hairdressers’ Association, The Hair Council, The Men’s Hairdressing Federation, and The NHBF. 

Looking for some more colour inspiration? Here you go: INSPIRATION


At Colour World UK we believe in colourists being equally important as hairdressers to the success of a salon business! Clients deserve excellent colour services, embracing the importance of a great colour consultation through to end result. We salute manufacturers and brands offering great product innovation which enables colour technicians to explore their creativity and offer a bespoke colour to every client. We offer colourconversation and inspiration for you to browse, and respect colour-focused education and events from what’s on and where to our own Colour World UK event which supports our industry and promises to do our best to bring you news and information to help you succeed.