15th March 2021 – (Hong Kong) The Consumer Council announced today (15th) that 60% of hair dye samples contained allergens or heavy metal content. Lead was found in all herbal henna hair dye powders. The pure black lead content of Herbul sea spirit grass dyed hair was 3.1. The highest PPD (Paraphenylenediamine) content was found to be 8.3%. In addition, TS natural extract hair dye cream contains 0.02% of the forbidden drug MPD, which can cause permanent mutations in genes and is now being referred to the Department of Health for follow-up. The Consumer Council will test 26 types of hair dyes on the market that claim to be “natural”, “herbal”, “plant”, or “organic”, including 7 colouring conditioners and 13 permanent hair colouring with oxidation dyes and 6 herbal henna hair dyes. The price ranges from HK$18 to HK$450. The testing items cover 8 common hair dye allergens, ammonia, heavy metal content, pH, etc., and the microbiological content of the herbal henna samples are tested. The label information of each sample was also inspected.
It was found that all permanent hair dyes containing oxidative dyes and 3 herbal henna hair dyes contained allergens. Among them, TS natural extract hair dye cream contained 0.02% of the banned drug MPD, which is one of the carcinogens in the poison list of Hong Kong law. This ingredient is a substance that can cause permanent mutations in genes. It has been listed as a banned ingredient not to be used in cosmetics (including hair dyeing products) by the European Union and the Mainland. The Consumer Council has sent it to the Department of Health for follow-up. Hazardous allergens were detected in 16 samples, half of which (8) even detected 3 to 4 allergens. Among them, phenylenediamine (PPD) contained the highest content, ranging from 0.29% to 8.3%. Herbul sea spirit grass dyed pure black hair is the most serious, with a PPD content of 8.3%, followed by Melva’s Hair Color Powder with Natural Nourishing Herbs, with a PPD content of 4.2%. PPD is common in hair dyes containing oxidation dyes and can be mixed with other chemicals to become brightly coloured dyes.
According to EU and Mainland regulations, PPD can only be used in hair dyes containing oxidation dyes, and cannot exceed 2% when applied to the hair. In addition, there are also 1 dyed hair conditioner and 4 permanent hair dyes containing oxidation dyes, and Ammonia was detected in the range of 0.1% to 0.45%. In addition, there are many hair dyes extracted from natural pigments, including Henna and Indigo.
However, in the 6 herbal Henna hair dyes, all samples were found to have lead, among which, Herbul Sea, India and Indigo dyes pure black hair aree the most serious, with a lead content of 3.1, followed by Melva’s Hair Colour Powder with Natural Nourishing Herbs, which has a lead content of 0.4 to 0.6, and one with 0.043 mercury. In addition, the total number of colonies in all samples exceeded the mainland’s requirement of less than 1,000 colonies per gram. Among them, BeNature’s BeNature organic herbal powder contains 250,000 bacteria, which is 249 times higher than the standard. The Consumer Council recommends that when purchasing and using hair dyes, customers should pay attention to the ingredient list on the product packaging. If anyone has ever caused allergic reactions due to hair dyeing, hhe/she should avoid using products containing the same allergenic substances. Before dyeing one’s hair, one should follow the product instructions for skin treatment to reduce the health risks that may be caused by hair dyeing.