Colouring on Under 16s

Colouring on Under 16s

Following a recent programme on the BBC, we have had a few enquiries regarding hair colouring on under 16s. If you have any queries on this matter, we hope this fact sheet will help clear up any grey areas for you.

Hair colour can cause severe allergic reactions and an EU Directive states that there are potentially serious risks particularly with two of the ingredients.

The EU are worried about adverse reactions to several permanent hair colour ingredients and want manufacturers to put stronger warnings on their products to inform consumers of the possible adverse effects of hair colouring such as ‘This product is not intended for use on persons under the age of 16’ and eventually to reduce the amount of  these ingredients.

An EU spokesman said:

In practice, it does not mean that these products are forbidden for use on persons younger than 16. However if consumers start using hair dyes at such a young age there is a high probability they may develop allergies to these products.

Habia is advising educational establishments (including salons who provide education) to restrict training and use of tint products to under 16s.

So although there is nothing currently in law to prevent you performing a colour service to under 16 year olds, due to the risks of allergic reactions, insurers are unlikely to cover you for performing a colour service on an under 16 year old. The advice seems simple – even if you have parental consent, you shouldn’t use hair colour on any young person under the age of 16.

Also, remember that temporary ‘black henna’ tattoos may increase a client’s risk of allergy and no one should colour their hair if:

  • They have a rash on their face or sensitive, irritated and damaged scalp
  • They have ever experienced any reaction to colouring in their life
  • They have experienced a reaction to temporary ‘black henna’ tattoos in the past

For more information on skin and scalp testing see here

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