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Northern Ireland hairdresser's warning after 'increase' in 'new allergic reactions' to hair dye – Belfast Live

Experts are investigating whether the new reactions could be linked to Covid
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A hairdresser from Northern Ireland has issued a warning after he noticed an 'increase' in clients having 'new allergic reactions' to hair dye.
Colour Specialist Timothy David who owns a studio in West London said he has "definitely noticed an increase of allergies to patch tests" with clients he has being using the same colours on for years and who have also had coronavirus.
Experts are currently investigating whether new reactions could be linked to Covid.
Speaking on BBC 's 5 Live, he said: "It's just shocking… It's a red lump, it usually appears as a swollen red lump behind the ear or on the arm, itching, redness.
"I used to colour my hair every four weeks… and I had just had Covid in December and wanted to change my colour just before going back into the salon again.
"I put the colour on my scalp as normal and noticed this burning, itchiness, feeling just generally unwell and took it off straight away, knew it was an allergy and I was shocked myself, I couldn't believe it.
"Then I heard about the increase of people having allergies after Covid, but I do make it compulsory that every client for colour has to have a patch test.
"Even people who have waited over six weeks for the return of their colour, I make sure that they come for a patch test just beforehand."
The Belfast man is urging other salons not to take a risk and to make sure they patch test their clients 48 hours before.
He added: "By law anyway we do have to patch test every client before using any chemical and it should be taken as compulsory."
Also speaking on the show was Gemma Mitchell from Oswestry who got a burn from a hair dye patch test after having Covid earlier in the year.
She told the show: "It was pretty frightening to be honest. I had Covid back in January, it wasn't a very nice time but I recovered a few months later.
"The salons opened once again and my hairdresser that I've been going to for over ten years, she put a policy in place whereby you had to have, it was compulsory for you to have a patch test 48 hours prior to you having a colour.
"I had never reacted to a patch test before so I went along and I didn't in a million years think that I would have the reaction that I did.
"The follow day behind my ear started to become very red, very itchy, very quickly and it soon transpired that it removed layers and layers of skin from behind my ear.
"Very, very painful but very scary… was it going to get worse?"
She added: "Heaven forbid if she hadn't made it compulsory for me to have that patch test, what could have happened to me?"
Scientists at Imperial College London are now researching how the disease could be reprogramming our immune system, according to the BBC
The NHBF is the UK’s largest trade association for hairdressing, barbering and beauty salon owners which told businesses: "You will need to be extra vigilant when clients request hair colour services once your salon or barbershop is up and running again after lockdown.
"This also applies to beauty salons offering services such as eyebrow and eyelash tinting.
"Make sure you and your staff understand that extra allergy alert tests may need to be carried out before going ahead with appointments."
It added: "It’s important to carry out a post-lockdown consultation with your client. Even if your client has had an allergy alert test in the past six months, they will need to have another one if they have been using any hair colour products at home during lockdown."
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