- September 29, 2021
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HAIRDRESSERS across the UK have warned people who have had Covid to not get their hair dyed for 'months after' being infected in order to avoid nasty burns and rashes.
Experts are currently investigating how coronavirus could be reprogramming and changing our immune system.
This in some cases could mean you become allergic or sensitive to things that never bothered you before.
If you're getting your hair coloured you should get a patch test anyway – but it's usually within six months of your appointment.
The National Hair and Beauty Federation (NHBF) had previously suspected that allergic reactions seen in people getting their hair done following lockdowns had been down to the fact people had gone months without getting their hair coloured.
But many Brits getting their hair done are still experiencing issues with their skin – prompting concerns that those who had previously been infected with Covid might have altered immune systems.
Speaking to The Sun, hair stylist Jason Collier said customers should always have a patch test 48 hours before having their hair coloured.
Jason who is an ambassador for Jerome Russell explained: "If you're someone who suffers from dermatitis and sensitive skin, I would say 3-5 days before to ensure the colour application is safe from any reactions.
"Those who have seen reactions generally do so within 24 hours, so leaving a longer time between your patch test and appointment may help reveal any allergens.
"How our bodies react to anything is always different, so leaving more time before dyeing your hair can help prevent a reaction or further reaction. A change of medicine or a new tattoo can also cause and lead to reactions to hair dye."
He did however say that if you've had Covid, then you shouldn't be put off from visiting your hairdresser.
"Stick to the patch test rules, and if you feel any reaction, let your hairdresser know as soon as possible. If you're worried, you might want to do an allergen test at the doctors to see if you have developed anything new."
Professor of immunology at Imperial College London, Danny Altmann, said that amongst one of the many and bizarre things Covid-19 seems to be able to do is reprogramme and tune up and tune down different parts of the immune response.
One woman, known as Gemma, told the BBC that the reaction she had from the patch test prevented her from having a larger reaction.
She said: "I can't even image what would have happened to me."
Gemma has been using the same dye for around ten years but made sure to have a patch test 48 hours before.
"Thank goodness she (my hairdresser) put that policy in place. I came in, had the patch test and the next day I felt a really sharp burning sensation behind my ear, which progressively got worse to the point where it had taken layers of skin from behind my ear."
Jessica Patching, Founder of Marla Hair said if you have recently suffered from Covid then you should visit the salon prior to your appointment.
She told The Sun: "We have been hearing of more reactions and skin sensitivities with in the industry from hair colouring over recent months. The stories that have come about have been from people that have recently suffered from Covid.
"If you’ve never suffered from skin reactions in the past it’s still super important to have the patch test done as this seems to be affecting lots of people if different ways.
"If you have any adverse reaction or sensitivity weather that be itching, redness or burning I would suggest contacting a medical professional straight away."
The NHBF has launched a number of tools that help protect clients – one of which being a health check questionnaire which your colourist or stylist can give you the day before your appointment.
Hair Expert Nicole Petty at Milk + Blush said there have been recent reports of customers suffering severe allergic reactions, such as rashes and burns, after hair dye application following a positive case.
She said: "Reactions to hair dye can span from mild irritation to severe allergic reactions or even anaphylaxis, which can result in swollen features, breathing difficulties or death in the worst case.
"While those who find themselves with severe reactions need to contact 999 immediately, mild symptoms can be treated by washing the hair and scalp thoroughly to remove excess dye, applying a moisturising product to the affected area or steroid cream (can be purchased over the counter).
"But to avoid the issue happening altogether, hairdressers and their customers need to ensure they are working together by planning a consultation and patch test before the hair dye appointment.
Telogen Effluvium (TE) is when a person temporarily experiences hair loss.
TE occurs when the number of the follices in the scalp changes.
It usually affects the top of the scalp and in most cases the hair line will not recede if someone experiences TE.
Severe cases of TE will spread to the eyebrows and other parts of the body.
Patients are often diagnosed with TE after a serious illness, a large amount of weight loss or a severe fever.
Doctors have said that this usually occurs if a patient has recently experienced a stressful situation.
It was also reported earlier this year that one in four coronavirus sufferers have experienced hair loss.
An online survey was conducted of 1,500 people who have survived Covid.
The results from the Survivor Corp Facebook group found that 27 per cent of people had experienced some form of hair loss.
This could be hair loss of the scalp, or on other parts of the body such as the eyebrows
"By having a consultation before every new colour appointment with a new client or a chat with an existing client, any medical issues, such as a recent positive case of Covid-19, can be discussed and a patch test can be properly carried out to avoid any complications."
She said regardless of whether or not you have been using the dye for years, you should get a patch test.
Nicola told The Sun: "Following a positive case, Covid antibodies have been found to stay present in the system for as long as nine months, affecting the skin's sensitivity, causing these reactions to occur.
"Not only that, there have been reports that consumers have been known to temporarily experience hair loss following a case of Covid due to the stress, compromised nutritional intake and other factors.
"So, consider avoiding dying your hair for at least a month or two after having Covid-19, to give your body and hair a chance to heal and regrow. And if you do need your roots sorting out, visit a professional hairdresser rather than doing it yourself.”
One hairdresser said times have changed when it comes to how salon services are managed and said ingredients also always change when it comes to hair products.
Sarah Brass, director at Taylor Taylor London told The Sun: "We tend to forget that your scalp is EXACTLY the same skin as on our body. So in the same way that your face might react to certain ingredients, your scalp might too.
"As we don't tend to take colour right down to the scalp, the chance of a reaction is quite minimal so colouring is still a super safe process.
"We just need to ensure that we can help those with super sensitive skins to recognise if there are any issues, and we can take appropriate steps going forwards for an alternative."
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