To obtain data on the frequency of sensitization among European hairdressers, the patch test results from 9 centres were evaluated. 8 allergens recommended by the ICDRG and EECDRG in the hairdressing series and PPD from the standard series were used to patch test 809 hairdressers and 104 clients suspected of contact sensitization. Among hairdressers, the mean frequencies of sensitization ranked as follows: GMT 19%, PPD 15%, APS 8%, PTD 8%, ONPPD 4% and PADH 4%. In contrast to GMT in acid permanent waves, the frequency of sensitization to AMT in alkaline permanent waves was only 4%. Frequencies of sensitization to pyrogallol and resorcinol were 0.8% and 0.6%, respectively. The frequencies of sensitization showed marked regional variations, particularly that to GMT, which was highest in Germany (51%), followed by Spain (22%) and London (19%). Clients of hairdressers showed a similar rank order of sensitization frequency, with the exception of APS, which was completely negative in this (small) series.