by: By Jessica Girdwain
Medically reviewed by Ed Zimney, MD
Could your pedicure impart a nasty skin infection? Do weekly manicures raise your skin cancer risk? Are keratin smoothers really safe? The truth about these and other beauty treatments may surprise you.
Stay Salon Safe
- Get a patch test on your skin to ensure you’re not sensitive to the color formula. A good colorist will apply a barrier cream to protect your scalp, reducing the potential for irritation.
- Know the difference between a little itchiness (a common side effect, but not a concern, notes Dr. Taub) and burning. If your scalp feels on fire after color is applied, have your stylist wash it out immediately.
- Permanent color needs to be touched up every four to eight weeks — going more frequently could weaken strands and stress your scalp. To extend your color between appointments, use a shampoo and conditioner designed for color-treated hair, which are pH-balanced to prevent fading.
- If you know you’re sensitive to or just hate ammonia’s strong odor, ask your salon if they carry ammonia-free formulations, like INOA or Rihesse — both from L’Oreal Professionnel — recommends Jet Rhys, owner of Jet Rhys Salon in San Diego, Calif. Organic Color Systems is another good option.
- For the gentlest option, try a glaze. It doesn’t contain ammonia so the color just coats strands. The trade off? It doesn’t last as long: Color slowly starts to wash out in as little as three shampoos.