Hair dyes in Singapore do not contain excessive skin sensitisers: Case

A test commissioned by the Consumers Association of Singapore has found that hair dyes sold here do not contain excessive skin sensitisers.
A test commissioned by the Consumers Association of Singapore has found that hair dyes sold here do not contain excessive skin sensitisers.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Hair dyes sold in Singapore do not contain excessive skin sensitisers, according to a test commissioned by the Consumers Association of Singapore (Case).

Earlier in 2016, Case purchased 20 popular hair dyes and tested them for several skin sensitisers: p-Phenylenediamine (PPD), Toluene-2,5-diamine (PTD), m-Aminophenol (Map) and Resorcinol, it said in a media release on Thursday (Sept 29).

The chemicals may be used in popular hair dyes to achieve permanent colour change, but also carry the risk of triggering allergic reactions in people with sensitive skin. Possible reactions, which may occur up to two days after treatment, include allergic dermatitis, blisters and rashes on the scalp and face.

Despite the risks, some hair dyes in other Asian markets were found to contain high levels of skin sensitisers, prompting Case to investigate the matter.

In Singapore, levels of skin sensitisers in hair dyes must remain under the limits set by the Asean Cosmetic Directive.

Levels of PPD must not exceed 2 per cent, while PTD levels must be under 4 per cent. The amounts of Map and Resorcinol should be under 1.2 per cent and 1.25 per cent respectively. All 20 samples tested by Case, which encompassed a variety of colours, brands and countries of manufacture, were found to be within the safety limits.

Still, Case advises consumers using hair dyes to follow the manufacturer's usage directions carefully and minimise skin contact with the dyes by using protective gloves and applying Vaseline to their ears, hairline and neck before dyeing their hair.