Blonde, brunette or auburn. No matter what your shade is, if you've dyed your hair you've likely asked yourself, 'Is this good for my hair? Are these chemicals good for me?'

Over the years hair colourants have had a bad rap. Questions over the chemicals and ingredients used to change your hair colour or cover the pesky greys have left many wanting other answers to change. Some even blame hair dyes for a range of health effects, from allergies to cancer.

Arn't the full of chemicals that shouldn't be used?

The truth however is, that here in Australia all colourants are regulated for Australian standards. The National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) regulates the chemicals used in order of the protection of human health and the environment. Ingredients used in hair colourants, such as PPD (paraphenylenediamine) are regulated and products containing these ingredients must provide specific warnings on the label. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has strong powers to remove products which have not undergone these precautions.

Can't hair colourants cause allergic reactions?

So if the ingredients used are under strick regulations, what about the thought that some hair colourants can cause allergic reactions. Some people will experience a red, sore rash from the chemicals used in certain hair colourants. The truth here is that an allergic reaction to specific an ingredient used rather than a hair colour brand it's self. Certain hair colourant ingredients can cause allergic reaction in different people, just as allergic reactions occur to a whole range of other things including foods, pollen and insect bites.

Due to the chance of allergy, hair colorant products carry warnings and recommend that a skin allergy test be done 48-hours before use. All hair colorants packets will have a full list of the ingredients used.

So the bottom line is that hair dyes are safe.

Hair colorants have been extensively studied for potential adverse health effects. Only products that are safe for human use are allowed in the Australian consumer marketplace.

Always use according to the manufacturer’s instructions and in any event of an allergic reaction, preform patch-testing to help identify which ingredient led to the reaction, and which must be avoided in the future.

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