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To Sam

Hair colour

just a small thing i was wondering about, nothing big. i have been wanting to dye my hair pink, im 16. but mum says i can when i have left school. the school don't mind if you dye your hair wacky colours. do i have the right to dye my hair whatever colour i would like, or do i respect my mum's wishes because i am under 18 and still in her care. not too bothered about when i do it really, was just wondering. thanks :) x
Ask Sam

Sam

Hello there,

Thanks for your letter. It sounds like really want to dye your hair but you’re worried how this could affect your relationship with your mum.  

Although there’s no minimum age when you're allowed to dye your hair. But it sounds like you are living with mum and that she’s got parental responsibility for you - that means that she still gets to have a say in what she thinks you should and shouldn’t be doing, even if that feels unfair sometimes.

It's also worth remembering, there’s always a slight risk of an allergic reaction with the chemicals in hair dye, so it’s a good idea to have some adult supervision if you’re dying your hair at home. If you went to have your hair dyed at a hairdressers’ salon, they might ask for written parental consent because you’re under 18.

Perhaps you can talk with your mum about what’s particularly worrying her about you dying your hair? If she’s concerned what your school thinks, maybe you can get a teacher or another staff member in school to talk with your mum. Or you could see if your school has a written policy about dying your hair?

You’ve said that you’re not too bothered when you dye your hair. If mum is still really against you doing it before you’re 18, you’ve got to decide whether going ahead and doing it anyway is worth the possible consequences. You will know best how that is likely to affect your relationship with your mum, so only you can decide what seems like the right thing to do. If it would help to talk your options through in confidence, remember you can always call a ChildLine counsellor on 0800 1111, or you can log in for a 1-2-1 chat. You might also like to ask for other young people’s suggestions by posting a message on the message boards.

Take care,

Sam

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