Inside Story: How the good to glo™ patch testing app was born
Ruth Sullivan, CEO of patch testing app good to glo™, shares how she created this innovative piece of beauty industry tech to ensure you stay compliant and legal.
good to glo™ is a new industry app designed to help salons and therapists more effectively record patch and strand test results and comply with insurance requirements, and for consumers to prove their patch testing status.
Why is patch testing important?
Patch testing before certain treatments is imperative, not only to ensure the safety of your clients but also to guarantee that you meet the requirements of your professional insurance policy. Treatments that require patch testing include those that involve the tinting of any hair, be that the on the head, eyelashes, brows etc, in line with product manufacturer's guidelines.
If a client has an allergic reaction to a product that has been applied to them, the results can be catastrophic. However, by patch testing ahead of treatment and ensuring your client has no reaction, you can be confident in going ahead with a full application.
However, how do you legally audit and record the results of a patch or strand test? In fact, do you know best practice for performing a patch or strand test in the first place? This is why Ruth Sullivan developed good to glo™. Here she shares her story…
“I ran into the hurdle that is all things patch testing while getting my regular eyebrow treatment. I worked across cities but stayed loyal to Superdrug when getting my brows threaded and touched up whilst on the go, there is a Superdrug everywhere right? What I couldn't understand was why my patch test in Doncaster couldn't be used when I visited the Superdrug in Bradford. Same company, same tint, same compliance? Every time I went for a treatment anywhere, I would notice they would give me a piece of card or a number to remember, some would ask consultation questions, some salons not, some would record it, some wouldn't.
“All my friends seemed to be in this industry and when asking them I realised this was a universal problem: ‘the pesky patch test'. Surely there was a better, more refined streamlined way that was used by everyone?
“If only I knew a scientist that could head up research on allergens and chemicals?
“One cold miserable morning in the school playground, I approached one of the Dads, Dr Mike Stephenson.
“Mike, can we chat PPD (Paraphenylenediamine), I've heard you have a science background?' ‘Sure, I think my PhD from Cambridge in Chemistry might help,” he replied!
“After years of in-depth research, Mike and I found that patch testing was all over the place and there wasn't a common best practice to follow or a singular solution…if only it was that simple?
“Turns out it is, it only took three years preparation, befriending a software whizz, many sleepless nights to create our perfect portal and classy client app that legally stores all of the necessary patch testing information.”
Following the involvement of Dr Mike Stephenson PhD (Chemistry), good to glo's Chief Scientific Officer, the company developed an Online Training Programme educating beauty professionals around the allergens and chemicals used in some products. “Some treatments need to use hazardous chemicals,” Mike (pictured right) explains. “The manufacturer's will make their products as safe as possible but cannot remove all risks to health. It is up to the technician to make sure they follow the manufacturer's instructions and keep their clients safe.”
Training modules include How to stay compliant and protect the health of your staff and your clients; The structure of the hair and skin; Hazardous chemicals and allergic reactions; Safe usage of hair dyes and tint products; Safe eye treatments; and Safe hair treatments. To be an approved good to glo™ user, you must complete at least two modules of the science and compliance training within four weeks of joining.
From a consumer perspective, the good to glo™ app enables your clients to store their patch testing status securely and, unlike Ruth when she first experienced frustration at having to undergo a fresh patch test for the same treatment at a different salon, they can simply show their status via the good to glo™ app.
In addition, clients can feel confident that their therapist has undergone up to date training with good to glo™ and understand the chemicals they are applying to their hair and skin.
It should be noted that a patch test should be carried out for every different tinting product used, in line with manufacturer's guidelines, and that different salons will potentially use different products.
Find out more on the good to glo™ website.
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