Should You Let Your Child Dye Their Hair? If so, What Age?

girl with pink green hair dyed

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My mother was a hairstylist who loved to practice on me. She started dyeing my hair when I was 13.

I went from blonde to brown to red to pink and back to blonde again before I was out of middle school. It was fun, but was it right?

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What Age Should You Let Your Child Dye Their Hair?

According to experts, it’s best to stay away from hair dye until a child reaches their late teens. The harmful chemicals can cause long-lasting damage to a child’s fine hair. There are numerous alternatives like hair chalk, clip-ins, and temporary hair dyes that are better choices.

Why You Shouldn’t Dye Your Young Child’s Hair

teenager with pink green yellow hair dyed

Most kids who ask to dye their hair are looking for fantasy colors like neon green and bright magenta.

They aren’t trying to change their appearance with natural hair color. They are trying to make a statement. There is a way to let them express their individuality while still keeping their hair healthy.

Too Young for Hair Dye

Dyeing hair changes the chemical structure of the strands. Children who are still growing and changing can experience irreparable damage to their hair if they use harsh dyes meant for older people. They can suffer from thinning hair and breakage that could take years to recover.

Permanent dyes penetrate the hair shaft, which can be disastrous for fine hair. In addition, young skin is much more sensitive than older skin. Children may develop allergic reactions to the dye. It’s better and healthier to avoid permanent dye while a child is young.

Temporary Alternatives

The good news for expressive children is that there are a lot of alternatives to permanent hair dye. Some experts say that temporary hair dye is the way to go.

Semi-permanent hair dye coats the hair. It does not enter into the hair’s chemical structure. It fades after a few washes, which lets children change their hair color often if they wish.

Lime Crime Unicorn Hair Semi-Permanent Hair Dye
A good bran with high a 4.5/5 star rating. There's a lot of color options to pick from.

Hair chalk, hair mascara and hair dye wax are all good alternatives to permanent hair dye. These washable options let kids play with fun colors without long-lasting harm. I have also had great luck with color depositing conditioner.

Hair Chalk
These are easy to dye, easy to clean, long-lasting and non-toxic.

What about those people who prefer no chemicals at all? My daughter is completely against dying her hair in any way, but she still wants to have fun. We bought these clip in hair extensions that add a pop of color with no fuss.

EuTengHao 36 Packs Colored Clip in Hair Extensions
36 colorful hair extensions for daily dress up, parties, festivals or any other occasion.

Which Will You Choose?

Your child can suffer from serious damage to their follicles if they use permanent hair dye. Luckily, there are plenty of fun, safe options available.

Will you let your child dye their hair? Why or why not? Share with us in the comments!

Have You Read This Yet?

Frequently Asked Questions

No dye products should be used on kids until their late teens. Hair dyes contain chemicals that can cause severe and, at times, life-threatening reactions.

Bleach should be avoided, but if you’re going to use it, it shouldn’t be used on kids until their late teens or whatever the manufactures age limit minimum says. Bleach can be damaging to the skin and the immature hair of kids.

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