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Hair dye products

Hair dye products are cosmetic products regulated by Council Directive 76/768/EEC of 27 July 1976 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to cosmetic products ("Cosmetics Directive 76/768/EEC").

Hair dye products can be divided into three categories according their colour-fastness:

  • temporary hair dyes,
  • semi-permanent hair dyes,
  • permanent hair dyes.

The first two categories are non-oxidative (non-permanent) hair dyes and are used for temporary colour changes.

The group of permanent hair dyes comprises oxidative hair dyes and represents 70-80% of the colouring products market in Europe. The colouring is resistant to almost any number of shampooing and grows out over time. The colours are produced directly on and in the hair from colourless precursors (developer and coupler) through chemical reaction in the presence of hydrogen peroxide as oxidising agent. This results in the hair being coloured right through and the colour is resistant to shampooing. The permanent hair dyes can not only cover 100% white hair but can also lighten or darken hair. They need to be reapplied only to cover grow-ups and refresh tips.

In Europe more than 60% of women and 5-10% of men colour their hair with a mean frequency of use by 6-8 times per year. The average age of majority of hair colour users is 30-60 years.

The hair dye market in the EU was € 2.6 billion in 2004, i.e. some 8% of the value of output of the cosmetics industry in Europe.

Last update: 03/08/2012 | Top