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Jessica Simpson and Pink Have Dyed Their Daughters’ Hair – Thoughts?

by charlottegw / last updated August 9, 2019

dyeing childrens hair

Jessica Simpson has posted a photo of her seven-year-old daughter with rainbow-dyed locks on Instagram and people have been quick to comment and share their opinion on dyeing children’s hair. We asked Alexis Thurston, founder and VP of Pulp Riot and Hilary Hall, chief executive National Hairdressers Federation to weigh in on the debate.

The back story

The American singer and reality star posted a photo of her daughter, Maxwell, sporting rainbow dip-dyed ends in her long blonde hair. The post received backlash from fans who deemed her act “irresponsible” and potentially harmful to her daughter’s health.

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Inspired by The Descendants #901girl #MAXIDREW

A post shared by Jessica Simpson (@jessicasimpson) on

After seeing the criticism, fellow singer-songwriter and celebrity mum Pink has now giving her own daughter, eight-year-old Willow Sage, mermaid-hued locks in support of Jessica. “I heard people were bummed on Jessica Simpson for letting her seven year old get her hair colored,” she wrote. “So we thought we’d share what we did yesterday.”

Alexis Thurston, founder and VP of Pulp Riot and Butterfly Loft often colour her daughter’s hair using her brand’s semi-permanent colour. “I have two daughters and whenever I’ve put colour in their hair I’ve gone under attack by people just like Jessica. Unfortunately, colouring children’s hair can be polarising for people when they don’t fully understand the concept and / or process.”  

“I think with the proper guidelines and education, kids experimenting with hair is a positive outlet of self expression that’s not permanent.  It’s no different than putting a flash tattoo on your arm, nail polish on nails, or wearing lip gloss. These are all temporary things.”
Alexis affirms that she doesn’t bleach her daughter’s hair and only uses Pulp Riot semi-permanent colours because she knows they’re conditioner based, add lots of shine and contain quinoa for added protein and moisture.
Alexis adds: “Colouring kid’s hair is not a DIY project. It should always be done by a professional stylist using great products that aren’t damaging.”

The facts

For salons, dyeing children’s hair can be a contentious subject. Here’s what you need to know in terms of the legal implications:

It’s advised not to apply dye that contains PPD* to the hair of children under 16. Darker shades of dyes pose a greater risk of an allergic reaction as these colours can contain higher concentrations of PPD.

NHF/NBF chief executive Hilary Hall explains: “Certain chemicals (such as PPD) are commonly found in permanent hair colour and some semi-permanent colours, so it’s important to always check the labels to see if the product includes them. Hair colour containing these chemicals should never be used on anyone under the age of 16.”

“It is a legal requirement for hair dyes containing these chemicals to be labelled ‘not for use on children under 16’. These chemicals are safe for use on most people over the age of 16, but anyone can develop an allergy to them at any time, which is why allergy alert testing is so important for clients over the age of 16.”

Hilary adds, “It’s also important to realise that a salon’s insurance policy will not cover applying hair colour containing these chemicals to children – so there are potential financial risks for your business too. The NHF/NBF provides guidance on when allergy alert tests are needed and how often they need to be done.”

Although there are other alternatives such as natural or vegetable-based hair dyes which don’t contain PPD,  it’s important to always read the ingredients list.

*PPD (paraphenylenediamine or p-phenylenediamine) is most often associated with allergic reactions to hair colorants, but people who are allergic to PPD are very likely to be allergic to similar chemicals such as para-toluenediamine (PTD).

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