20 April 2016

Hairdressers and beauty therapists are being reminded it is illegal for tooth whitening to be carried out within hair or beauty salons, the National Hairdressers’ Federation has said.

The warning follows a recent call by the Local Government Association for “rogue” beauticians who offered tooth whitening to face tougher penalties.

Working with the Cosmetic, Toiletry & Perfumery Association (CTPA), the two bodies have published an updated factsheet for salons explaining the different tooth whitening techniques available to consumers. The factsheet emphasises the fact that, following a High Court ruling in 2013, professional tooth whitening can only be carried out by a registered dentist, dental hygienist, dental therapist or clinical dental technician under the supervision of a dentist.

It has also outlined that, since March last year, salons or individuals that breach these laws can face an unlimited fine, and this is before the cost of any compensation to the victim.

NHBF president Paul Curry said:

“Tooth whitening is popular, especially for people whose teeth have become stained from food, drink or smoking. But salons need to understand that this is not something that can be offered as a regular high street beauty procedure. 

“There are no recognised qualifications or training courses in tooth whitening, outside of dentistry, and so any salon advertising that they offer this as a service – unless it is carried out by a visiting appropriately qualified and supervised dental professional – will not be insured and will probably be breaking the law.”

CTPA director-general Chris Flower added:

“The best advice for hair and beauty salons is to read up on our factsheet, know and understand the law in this area and, if a client asks about tooth whitening, advise them to speak to their dentist.”


Press enquiries: Hilary Hall, NHBF Chief Executive, 01234 834380 (direct line) 

Notes to editors:

For more information about Tooth Whitening, view our Tooth Whitening factsheet. Further reading can also be found via the dental profession-led Tooth Whitening Information Group, at safetoothwhitening.org/about-twig/

The National Hairdressers’ Federation is the biggest salon trade association in the industry. It provides its members with support in legal, trading, personnel and insurance matters. It is also a significant lobbyist, frequently feeding back to government on crucial issues that affect the industry. www.nhf.info 01234 831965 @NHBFederation

The Cosmetic, Toiletry & Perfumery Association (CTPA) is the voice of the cosmetic, toiletry and perfumery industry in the UK, promoting good working practice to ensure that consumers are provided with the very best products. Its membership covers 85% of the UK cosmetics market.
Eleanor O’Connor, communications coordinator, eoconnor@ctpa.org.uk; 
020 7491 8891; www.ctpa.org.uk and www.thefactsabout.co.uk