A UNIVERSITY of York student said he was threatened with being fired from a supermarket job he desperately needs because his hair was inappropriate.

Max Cole, a genetics student at the University of York, was sent home unpaid from his job at Tesco, when managers took a dislike to his red mohawk hairstyle.

The 20-year-old said he had the same hair style when he worked in the same shop in his home town of Crediton in Devon as a teenager, albeit bleached white.

He said the job is crucial to helping him finance his studies at York but when he styled his hair into a red mohawk, managers told him he could not continue working.

Max said: "Before I could even clock in, I was taken off the shop floor by my line manager and was told I was not allowed to be on the shop floor with my current hair style due to it being inappropriate and was told that I had to go home and would not be paid for the day.

"Feeling as this decision was completely unjust I went to the managers office and requested to see the personnel manager, who I thought would be the one, if anyone, to be on my side, however she took the general opinion of my hair being unacceptable for work, despite me pointing out that several managers have red hair, and other employees have an array of unnatural colours in their hair in several different styles."

After being told his hair was not "business-like or smart", and, he claims, being told to leave the store or lose his job, Max returned home.

Max said he has been allowed to return when he dyed his hair black.

He said: "I was told that I am allowed to keep my black mohawk, but will be fired if I dye it red, which I once again I stated I felt was unfair due to the numerous number of female employees with red hair."

Tesco declined to comment.