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A recent article has claimed that hair colorants are not sufficiently labeled, and as a result could be dangerous to use. CTPA realized this could be a cause for concern for the millions of people who safely color their hair every year.


Hair colorants are strictly regulated at a European level to ensure consumer safety. It is a legal requirement that every cosmetic product undergoes an individual safety assessment. The safety assessment will cover the product itself and all of the ingredients, how the product will be used, by whom and how often – whether the product is for home-use or for use in the salon. The labels will also be reviewed to ensure they contain sufficient information for the safe use of the product.


The European Commission’s independent expert scientific committee (the SCCS) advises the Commission on scientific matters and the safety of cosmetic ingredients. It is the role of the European Commission to then set any legislation, taking the comments of the SCCS into account. The SCCS first looked at the potential for some hair dyes to cause sensitization in 2006 and updated its review in February this year. The potential for any substance to cause an allergy (such as some hair dyes or food such as nuts) is an inherent hazard. The strict European cosmetics legislation is based on managing the risk of these possible properties, so that the product does not cause harm. In the case of hair dyes, the Commission has implemented significant risk-management measures (such as maximum concentrations of use, more detailed allergy warning labeling and instructions for use) to ensure the hair colorant is safe when used as directed. Industry goes further than the legal requirements by also recommending that an Allergy Alert Test be carried out 48 hours before each hair coloring.


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