Advertisement

Is hair color safe?

The decision to change your hair color may be a hard one. Some studies have linked hair dyes with a higher risk of certain cancers, while other studies have not found this link. Most hair dyes also don't have to go through safety testing that other cosmetic color additives do before hitting store shelves. Women are often on their own trying to figure out whether hair dyes are safe.

When hair dyes first came out, the main ingredient in coal-tar hair dye caused allergic reactions in some people. Most hair dyes are now made from petroleum sources. But FDA still considers them to be coal-tar dyes. This is because they have some of the same compounds found in these older dyes.

Cosmetic makers have stopped using things known to cause cancer in animals. For example, 4-methoxy-m-phenylenediamine (4MMPD) or 4-methoxy-m-phenylenediamine sulfates (4MMPD sulfate) are no longer used. But chemicals made almost the same way have replaced some of the cancer-causing compounds. Some experts feel that these newer ingredients aren't very different from the things they're replacing.

Experts suggest that you may reduce your risk of cancer by using less hair dye over time. You may also reduce you risk by not dyeing your hair until it starts to gray.

This answer is based on the source information from the National Women's Health Information Center.
Woman Coloring Hair
Coloring your hair can cause damage to your scalp if you're allergic to the dye.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Hair color used to be very detrimental to one's health. Dr. Oz explains how safe hair color is now in this video.



Continue Learning about Hair Coloring

What kind of hair color should I use on gray hair?
YouBeautyYouBeauty
For locks that are about 20 to 25% gray, use a demi- or semi-permanent hair color that’s closest...
More Answers
What's the safest way to color my hair?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
A safe way to color your hair is to find a salon with experienced stylists who are familiar with...
More Answers
Is It Safe to Dye My Hair While I am Pregnant?
Is It Safe to Dye My Hair While I am Pregnant?
Is It Safe to Dye My Hair While Pregnant?
Is It Safe to Dye My Hair While Pregnant?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.