These requirements apply to Coversure Salonsure insurance policies underwritten by Covea, taken out or renewed after 1 January 2021. If you have insurance with a different provider, always make sure you are covered.


You must carry out an allergy alert test on existing clients every six months (previously, this was every 12 months).


You must always carry out an allergy alert test if you change:

  • The product/brand.
  • The manufacturer.


Written records


You must keep a written record of every test for at least six years. Each written record must be signed by the client. 



48-hour rule


Allergy alert tests must be carried out no less than 48 hours before the treatment or service. The maximum amount of time allowed between an allergy alert test and the treatment or service will vary depending on the product manufacturer’s instructions and protocols which must always be followed.





Allergy alert tests and colour treatments must not be carried out on under-16s.


All the information you need for doing allergy alert tests is in our NHBF consultation, allergy alert and industry tests toolkitfor hair salons and barbershops which is free to NHBF Members (£4.50 P&P).



I am using a number of different colouring products/brands on my client’s hair. What tests must I complete? 


You must complete an allergy alert test for each different product/brand you are going to use.


Multiple allergy alert tests can be completed at the same time, but you must ensure:

  • The allergy alert tests do not overlap.
  • You keep an accurate record on the client’s consultation and industry tests record card of where each product/brand was applied. 

It is best practice to:

  • Divide and mark up the area to be tested.
  • Number the areas (according to how many products/brands will be used)
  • Apply the product to the numbered area using a cotton bud or similar as detailed in the manufacturer’s protocols and/or instructions.
  • Record the test and products/brands used on your client’s consultation and industry tests record card immediately. 

We recommend you also complete other relevant industry tests as set out in our NHBF consultation, allergy alert and industry tests toolkit. 



I'm going to use a different shade of colour on my cient. Must I do another allergy alert test? 


If you are changing only the shade, but not the product/brand, you do not need to do another allergy alert test.


When doing an allergy alert test, the NHBF highly recommends that you apply the shade that will be the final colour. If you are not sure of the exact colour required we suggest you use the darkest shade (black) as this will have the highest level of PPD. 



Colourstart’s allergy alert testing system for client use at home is now backed by Coversure insurance policies. For more information email or call 0330 3905 888.



Find out more about allergy alert testing.


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