EU publishes new directive on final batch of hair dye substances

By Michelle YEOMANS

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: European union, Cosmetics directive

EU publishes new directive on final batch of hair dye substances
In an effort to ensure that hair dyes contain only the safest of substances, the European Commission has adopted a Directive that restricts the use of an additional 24 substances.

In 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, focusing primarily on their potentially toxic proprieties.

Since then, on the assessment of the SCCS, the Commission has banned 180 substances and restricted the use of another 52. With this, the latest adoption of the Directive, the restricted use extends to 24 additional substances. For the full list, please click here​.


Hair dye products are divided into three categories – temporary, semi-permanent and permanent which are regulated by the 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").

State of hair care market

In Europe more than 60 per cent of women and 5-10 of men colour their hair with a mean frequency of use by 6-8 times per year.

As it currently stands, a final batch of 45 substances is yet to be assessed by the SCCS. Upon receipt of the individual opinions regarding their safety, the EC will propose appropriate regulatory measures, such as a restricted authorisation or a ban of these substances.

Other recent Directives

Last week the SCCS identified potential fragrance allergenic ingredients and suggested concentration limits for some of them to protect consumers.

In 1999, the Committee initially identified 26 fragrance allergens whereby measures were introduced in the Cosmetics Directive 76/768/EEC that require manufacturers to list ingredients individually on the label of cosmetic products when they are present in the product above certain low concentrations.

Since then, much more information on fragrance allergens has become available, which prompted the European Commission to review the current knowledge and to check whether the list of fragrance allergens relevant for consumers needed to be modified.

Thus the SCCS published its opinion, identifying 26 ingredients already outlined by the SCCNFP, an additional 30 individual chemicals and 26 natural extracts.

For a full review of this opinion please click here​.










Related topics: Regulation & Safety, Hair Care

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