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  1. Resources for Consumers on Cosmetics

Cosmetics Safety Q&A: Hair Dyes

FAQs Main Page

What precautions should you take if you dye your hair?

People who dye their hair should follow these safety precautions:

  • Follow the directions in the package. Pay attention to all "Caution" and "Warning" statements.

  • Do a patch test before using dye on your hair. Here's how: Rub a tiny bit of the dye on the inside of your elbow or behind your ear. Leave it there for two days. If you get a rash, don't use the dye on your hair. You should do the test each time you dye your hair. (Salons should also do the patch test before dyeing your hair.)

  • Never dye your eyebrows or eyelashes. This can hurt your eyes. You might even go blind. FDA does not allow using hair dyes on eyelashes and eyebrows.

  • Keep hair dyes out of the reach of children.

  • Don't leave the dye on longer than the directions say you should.

  • Rinse your scalp well with water after dyeing.

  • Wear gloves when you apply the hair dye.

  • Never mix different hair dye products. This can hurt your hair and scalp. 

For more information on hair dyes, relaxers, and other hair products, see Hair Products.

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