Hairdresser register call by Nia Griffith MP rejected

A woman having her hair cut Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption A Welsh MP wants to see a compulsory registration system similar to those in Australia and America

Calls for hairdressers to be put on a compulsory state register to protect people from "unscrupulous" and "incompetent" traders have been rejected by the UK government.

Llanelli MP Nia Griffith raised the issue in a parliamentary debate on Wednesday.

She said she was "quite shocked" hairdressers do not need any qualifications.

But ministers said a register would cost the industry £75m.

It is currently voluntary to belong to the UK register of qualified hairdressers.

"Of course the majority of hairdressers have appropriate qualifications, work to a high standard and take great care of their customers," the Labour MP argued.

"However, at the moment there is nothing to protect the consumer from the unscrupulous or the incompetent."

But Works and Pensions Minister Mark Harper said the move could not guarantee the quality of hairdressers - and that those who were poor at the job went out of business very quickly.

Top ten things that can go wrong

  • Burns: Improper use of bleaches can burn the scalp
  • Shock: The chemical Phenylenediamine in permanent dye can trigger anaphylactic shock
  • Loss: Too much bleach can cause hair to fall out
  • Breaks: Certain priming fluids used inappropriately can break hair
  • Trauma: Having a bad hair cut can cause trauma and stress
  • Cuts: Dirty scissors or razors can cause infections
  • Dye: Once a hair dye has gone wrong, inexperienced hairdressers will keep on dying the hair which makes it worse
  • Extensions: Bad ones can pull hair out
  • Testing: Patch testing should be done 48 hours before any chemicals are used to test for allergies - most do not
  • Accidents: No formal training is required to be a hairdresser

Source: The Hairdressing Council

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