Hair dying for under sixteens

Protecting Young Clients: Why Hair Colouring for Under Sixteens is a No-Go

Ensuring the safety and well-being of your clients is paramount, especially when it comes to hair colouring. As a responsible salon owner, it’s crucial to be aware of the regulations and guidelines that govern our industry. Here’s everything you need to know about why hair colouring for under sixteens should be strictly off-limits.


Regulations You Can’t Ignore

The Cosmetics Directive mandates that permanent hair colour products must be labelled as not intended for use by anyone under sixteen.  These products contain chemicals that can cause severe, even life-threatening allergic reactions. Compliance isn’t optional – it’s essential for the safety of your clients.

Health and Safety Obligations

As a salon owner, you are required under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 to implement protective measures, conduct thorough risk assessments, and provide training to your team. This includes sharing critical health and safety information about the hazardous substances in your salon. Failing to do so not only endangers your clients but also puts your business at risk of legal repercussions.

Insurance Implications

While your insurance policy might not explicitly state age restrictions, it does demand adherence to manufacturer guidelines. Ignoring these can leave you uninsured and legally exposed. Imagine the repercussions of a claim denied due to non-compliance – it’s a risk not worth taking. Ensuring you follow all guidelines protects both your clients and your business.

Eye-Opening Case Study

In 2017, a BBC Wales study sent a twelve-year-old undercover to book hair colouring appointments. Shockingly, sixteen out of seventeen salons were willing to proceed, with only one salon refusing due to the client’s age. This highlights a significant issue within the industry. It’s not just unacceptable; it’s dangerous. Ensuring your salon doesn’t fall into this category is critical.


Safe Alternatives for Young Clients

For young clients under sixteen, consider recommending safer alternatives like hair chalk. Hair chalk is minimally toxic, washes out easily, and offers a fun, safe option for younger clients. However, we strongly advocate for keeping under-sixteens away from any colour treatments altogether. This not only keeps them safe but also upholds the standards of your salon.

Your Compliance Checklist

Following these guidelines not only ensures you are complying with the law but also safeguards the health and safety of your clients. Here’s a quick compliance checklist:

  1. Label Check: Ensure all permanent hair colour products are labelled as not intended for use by anyone under sixteen.
  2. Training and Awareness: Regularly train your staff on the risks associated with hair colouring products and the importance of adhering to age restrictions.
  3. Risk Assessments: Conduct thorough risk assessments and implement protective measures.
  4. Insurance Review: Review your insurance policy to ensure it covers all necessary compliance measures.
  5. Alternative Recommendations: Offer safe alternatives like hair chalk to young clients and educate parents on the risks of hair colouring for under sixteens.



By staying informed and vigilant, you’re not just protecting your clients – you’re upholding the standards of our industry. Ensuring compliance with regulations, prioritizing health and safety, and offering safe alternatives for young clients are all steps toward a safer, more professional salon environment.

Stay informed and keep your salon safe. For more details, get in touch with our specialist team.