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Consumers (03-08-2012)

Consumer safety – EU Cosmetics Directive makes hair dyes safer

With an estimated 60% of women colouring their hair, sales of hair dye products in the EU are rising steadily. The EU Cosmetics Directive aims to ensure that such products contain only safe substances. Therefore, on basis of the latest scientific advancements, the European Commission today adopted a Directive on Hair Dyes that restricts the use of an additional 24 substances in hair dyes.

In April 2003, the Commission and Member States agreed, within the framework of the Cosmetics Directive, to an overall strategy to assess and regulate all hair dyes. As a result, the cosmetics industry was asked to substantiate the safety of all substances used in hair dyes with updated data, focussing primarily on their potentially toxic proprieties.

Since then, based on the assessment by the EU Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS), the Commission has banned the use in hair dyes of 180 substances and has restricted the use of another 52. With today's adoption of the Directive on hair dyes, the restricted use extends to 24 additional substances. All of them are listed in the annexes of the EU Cosmetics Directive.

A last batch of 45 substances remains for assessment by the SCCS. Upon receipt of the individual opinions regarding their safety, the Commission will propose appropriate regulatory measures, such as a restricted authorisation or a ban of these substances.

For further information, see the Directive on Hair Dyes in: