Retreat hairdressing follow a Colour Responsible Policy for the safety and peace of mind of our clients. We appreciate that many of our clients have been colouring their hair for many years, however the recent increase in the amount of people experiencing reaction/sensitivity to our hair colour and the severity of some of these reactions have lead us to adopt this responsible policy.

For the last 6 years at RE:TREAT we have skin tested every client for hair colour allergies with the tattoo type colourstart skin test. These are now not recognised as a valid skin testing method.

Enter the first change that has occurred. The Government regulator – MHRA(Medicines and Healthcare products regulatory Agency) has approved the NEW colourstart patch test as a medicine. This has led to changes in the it looks, is used, sold and how your information is stored.

Next change, our industry body, NHBF (national Hairdressing and Beauty Federation) have listen to the MHRA and decided that we should use a similar screening method for skin testing with a AAT (Allergy Alert Test – blob on the arm). So they have worked with the insurance industry on a protocol which means we have to test at least once every 6 months and screen (ask set questions) in between these times.

What test is the right one for me? and other things I might need to know.

A Colourstart Passport has an initial cost of £15. You can take your passport to any other businesses that use Colourstart as a recognised skin testing method. Having a Colourstart passport means you and your stylist can change your colour range, shade, depth and tone on any appointment without having to do a new skintest. You do this patch test at home at least 6 days befire your colour appointment. If your answers to the screening questions do not change and you keep up to dated with your screening questions it is likely that you will never have to patch test or skin test again. To set up an account with Colourstart go to then go to passport. Set up and account and tick the box “share with hair professional”. Once you have passed your screening questions go to to purchase your Colourstart patch test. Once it has arrived in the post you follow the instructions.

AAT. An AAT must be done in the salon at least 48 hours before your colour appointment. If you and your stylist wish to change the product range, depth, tone or shade of your hair colour you will require a new skin test with the exact products that are to be used. An AAT will need to be redone at least every 6 months. Arrange a skin test appointment with the salon.