Monday, August 6, 2012European Commission

A European Directive for safer hair dyes

©Thinkstock/L'Observatoire des Cosmétiques

In April 2003, an exhaustive reevaluation of all the colourants used in hair dyes in Europe has been launched. At stake: to improve the safety level for consumers through the writing of a new regulation, to lower both the toxic and allergic risks, frequent for this kind of ingredients. A new step in this process, with the vote of a new Directive, which regulates 24 new substances.

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With an estimated 60% of women and 5-10 % of men colouring their hair, sales of hair dye products in the Europe are rising steadily.
In fact, these products, especially the permanent haircolour (perms), are suspected, at least some of them, to increase the number of bladder cancer, or, for others, to cause grave allergic reactions.

That is why a reevaluation survey of all the hair colourants has been launched, after a request by the European Commission, by the Scientific Committee for the Consumer Safety (SCCS) for the last ten years.
Up to now, 180 substances have been banned, and 52 more come with restrictions for use: maximum concentrations have been set; specific conditions for use have been defined.

Currently, 26 new substances are added to this list and are now regulated, thanks to this Directive 2012/21.
Note: Resorcinol has a lower allowed concentration; HC Red No 16 is banned…

The text has just been approved and will be implemented throughout Europe on 1 September 2013. Until then, it may be a good idea to check the list of ingredients of the colourants used at home, and to ask one’s hairdresser to do the same in the hairdressing salon.

This …

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