2 April 2020

Should I sell/supply professional hair colour products to my clients for home use?

No. These products should be marked ‘for professional use only’ and salons/barbershops should never offer them for resale or supply them to clients.

If you do, you could be held liable for anything that goes wrong when the client uses the product as you won’t have assessed the client’s hair or completed any tests, including any required allergy alert tests. In addition, the client may not mix the product correctly, time it correctly, remove it thoroughly or apply the required conditioners. 

Also: It is very difficult for clients to successfully apply re-touching products at home. Clients tend to apply it to the whole hair which leads to patchy, over-processed results and sometimes a colour reaction such as a green tinge. Again, you could be held liable for anything that goes wrong.

If something goes wrong, and you are held liable, your insurance won't cover you for any claim made by the client. Your reputation could also be damaged.

Should I sell/supply colour shampoos to help clients maintain their colour?

No. Colour shampoos should only be sold to clients if the client has visited the salon/barbershop and the shampoo has been matched to the client’s current hair colour. This is not possible at the moment, so colour shampoos should not be sold or supplied to clients.

It’s good practice to advise clients against buying colour shampoos from other retailers as it can be very difficult to match the hair colour and may lead to a colour correction service being required (not possible during the current closure).

What about clients who contact you about purchasing other retail colour products?

We would advise you to caution any client who contacts you if they are thinking about using other colour retail products while you are closed. Advise clients to wait until the salon is back open to avoid the possibility of an expensive colour correction service being required or potential damage to the hair.

We would always advise members of the public who are thinking of colouring their hair to follow the manufacturer’s instructions including doing a skin test (patch test) and completing a strand test before application. 

Caution: some over-the-counter retail products, such as hair colour restorers, leave behind a chemical residue of metallic salts that can cause hair to turn green, steam or break off when combined with other colouring products. A hair professional would complete an incompatibility test before a service to check for this.


As previously mentioned, we are hearing that some clients are offering substantial amounts of money for home appointments. Our strong advice is to say no. We need to work together to stop the spread of this virus and visiting a client in their home is against strict government guidelines. In addition, your insurance would probably not cover you if you normally work in a salon or barbershop.  

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