Whilst there is no law against under 16’s having colour in their hair, there is perhaps a moral judgement to be made.
Only recently, the BBC carried out an undercover operation in Wales, where a 12 year old girl went into a few salons and asked for an appointment for hair colour. It was discovered that – only one salon questioned the girl’s age and refused to carry out the colour and not one salon offered allergy testing.
Allergy testing should be carried out at least 48 hours before a colour service, particularly if it’s a new client or you want a change of colour. The active ingredient in hair colour is PPD whilst safe to use if no allergy is present, can be at best a scalp irritant, at worst can lead to a full-blown allergy and in extremely rare circumstances can cause death.
If hair colouring is started at a young age – whether its allergy tested or not – the build-up of PPD is more likely to cause an allergy later.
Temporary henna tattoos have the same active ingredient which is why we will never carry out a colour on the hair within a year of a temporary or permanent tattoo as the PPD is likely to build up on the skin.
Some manufacturers have included a warning on their packaging against hair colouring on under 16’s. It is thought that all professional hair colour packaging will have it by 2019.
If the warnings are ignored – at this stage until the law is changed, it is not yet illegal – and there was an allergic reaction, salons would not be covered by the manufacturer’s duty of care.
Which is why you should never be offended when a salon asks for I.D. where age is an important factor. Even in cases where parental consent is given prior to service.
There are many other options for changing the colour of your hair temporarily without the use of permanent colour in the form of sprays, mousses and comb-in varieties. These can be home care ranges or in-salon. A basic rule of thumb is that a hair colour is semi-permanent if it is used on its own without anything added to it before applying. If it has to be mixed with another ingredient, it could be permanent and may cause allergies.
We would always recommend paying a visit to a trusted professional first to discuss fully.