According to a notification document sent to the World Trade Organization (WTO), the EU is planning to restrict 22 more hair dye ingredients by adding them to the Annex III of the Cosmetics Regulation.
Annex III will also be amended to include 10 hair dye substances and hydrogen peroxide authorized for use in products intended for coloring eyelashes under strict use conditions and obligatory warnings, such as 'for professional use only'.
Some of those substances include 1,4-benzenediamine, 2-methyl, 2,5-diaminotoluene sulphate and 1,3-benzenediol, among others.
This news comes just months after the Scientific Committee for Consumer Safety opened opinions on dichloromethane, 1,2,4-trihydroxybenzene; 5-amino-6-chloro-o-cresol; 2,2' methylenebis-4-aminophenol HCl, 4-amino, and Basic Brown 16.
All of which except for dichloromethane act as a solvent for active ingredients and as a propellant in hair spray formulations.
According to these latest amendments, the presence of benzyl alcohol will have to be indicated in the list of a cosmetics product's ingredients when its concentration exceeds 0.001 per cent in leave-on products and 0.01 per cent in rinse-off products.
For purposes other than inhibiting the development of microorganisms in the product, the SCCS says the purpose has to be apparent from the presentation of the product.
(b) Fragrance/ aromatic compositions/their raw materials
(b) The presence of the substance must be indicated in the list of ingredients referred to in Article 19(1)(g) when its concentration exceeds: -- 0,001 per cent in leave-on products -- 0,01 per cent in rinse-off products.
Investigation and investment in hair dye segment
Hair dyes and their ingredients have been a topical issue of late for the industry and while the EC is investigating whether certain ingredients require tighter regulation, research is also being invested in the area to find safer alternatives.
Recently, a scientific discovery found that golden hair could become a permanent hair dye option on finding the first synthesis of gold nanoparticles inside human hairs.
The study conducted by French scientist, Dr Philippe Walter and his team,found that hair could synthesize gold nanoparticles into the hair cuticle. Walter noted that after the hair was exposed to a solution of a gold compound, it was synthesized into the hair, which is a normal process for a hair dye.
The stumbling blocks are still in that the dye changed colour once in the hair, and a lot of testing would have to be done to ensure product safety. However, this first synthesis of nanoparticles into human hair could open the door to further development in hair care and other applications.