A Scottish hairdressing brand has become one of the first in the UK to offer clients an advanced screening system to test for hair dye allergies.

Rainbow Room International has added the Colourstart skin testing method to all its salons as an alternative to the "outdated and inconvenient" patch tests, which clients are required to repeat every few months.

Colourstart is the only clinically proven method of screening for potential allergy to PPD (paraphenylenediamine) the chemical that causes a reaction in hair dye - that is licensed by the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

PPD allergies have the potential to affect 1.5% of the population.

Clients will be asked if they would like to move onto the new screening system, which records the results on a passport app.The Herald: The system cuts out the need for repeat patch testsThe system cuts out the need for repeat patch tests (Image: Rainbow Room)

After the test has been completed and if no reaction has been caused, clients are able to log in to the app prior to each appointment and answer a few screening questions before showing green ‘OK to colour’ allowing them to have their hair coloured repeatedly. The system does carry a fee for clients.

A new test is only required in exceptional circumstances, such as having had a black henna tattoo.

Wil Fleeson, Director of the Buchanan Street salon, said: "This is something we have been researching and have had in the pipeline for some time and as colour experts, and always being ahead of the game in regards to colour and new innovations, it was essential for us to move on to this new system.

"We are also keeping our current skin testing system too, as we appreciate there will be clients who do not want to move from the current system.

"For these clients, no changes will be made – we always want to ensure we have the best/numerous options to suit our clients."

Linda Stewart, Co-Founder of Rainbow Room International, added:  “There are so many benefits to us now having launched Colourstart across our Rainbow Room International salons.

"It’s straightforward to use and it cuts out salon visits to have a skin test. It also gives us complete creative freedom on the day of the clients’ visit because if they’ve tested and had the ‘ok to colour’ result, then we are 100% sure they will not have an allergy and can use any colour in any way. “