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Is Patch Testing a Legal Requirement?

Patch testing is a legal requirement in the U.K everyone who works in the beauty industry has a duty of care to ensure that clients are kept safe and protected from injury. The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 clearly mandates this and all beauty business owners, managers, and professionals must adhere to the law.

Patch testing for hair colour is a legal requirement under Section 3 of The Health and Safety at work Act and failure to patch test has led to prosecutions and fines. Also, the Sales of Goods and Services Act 1982 clearly states that customers and clients must be kept safe and protected from situations that put them at risk of injury.

Patch Testing and Negligence Claims

Beauty Industry Negligence Claims are scarily on the rise, offering to support clients in gaining compensation with No Win No Fee solicitors. In 2018 Lauren Grubb was awarded £7,250 in damages for a 2014 incident. Lauren had a brown tint and Blush Hair and Beauty in Shettleston Glasgow without carrying out a patch test prior to her appointment. Five days later she was hospitalised after her skin turned red and blotchy. She was first given antihistamines and then steroid cream and antibiotics, she experienced peeling and weeping around her eyebrows as well as hair loss. She successfully sued both salon owner and therapist who carried out the treatment.

“Beauty establishments that fail to protect customers/clients while in their care by not adhering to the regulations could be held responsible should a client be injured. Business owners, beauty technicians and other professionals could be found “guilty” of negligence and could be required to pay compensation”.


Beauty technicians/professionals are required by law to receive the correct amount of training before carrying out any treatments on clients. You are very likely to get sued as a professional if you are not fully trained and adhering to the latest standards. If a client suffers an injury, experiences psychological stress, they would have a strong case to file a compensation claim based on negligence.

What could lead to claims or prosecution?

Not Carrying Out A Patch Test

If a salon or beauty therapist fails to carry out the mandatory patch test ideally 48 hours before your skin comes into contact with a potentially harmful chemical during the actual procedure.

Defective products

If a client sustains an injury due to a defective product, manufacturers may be held solely responsible for the injury, but in certain cases, a beauty salon or retailer who sold the product may be held partly responsible. It's important to know the products you are using, that they are in date and safe to use.

How good to glo can help

We're the Uk’s first patch testing software and industry accredited training to keep you legal, safe, legal and compliant. We've worked with beauty industry specialists and our in house chemist Dr Mike Stevenson to innovate digital compliance tools such as the U.Ks first patch test App and online training portal, accredited by ABT Insurance. Our training is aligned with what insurers stipulate is best practice, through our training you can keep up-to-date on your legal responsibilities as well as the science behind the chemicals, we use and why they cause allergic reactions.

Our good to glo App

Our App has been designed for clients to store all their patch tests in one place. The App means that clients can find salons aligned with good to glo’s standards and training. You can download the App HERE.

Each time you receive a patch test it will be stored in the App, clients will have their own patch-test passport, so they know they are safe to have treatments and when to re-do a patch test. Who wants paper records cluttering up your business Plus is better for GDPR and the environment.

Our Mission

We know patch testing is not the most fulfilling part of our work but we know all salons and beauticians truly care about the wellbeing of their clients. We want to build a community of forward thinking professionals who are ready to raise standards in the beauty industry. You can join our community by following us on social media, booking a 1-2-1 demo with our CEO Ruth, take part in one of our Beauty Standard Forum events.


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