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17 Responses

  1. Salsadancer

    If the FDA does not have jurisdiction to take action against cold-tar, then who does? I don’t understand this part.

    • Irina Webb

      Thank you for your question! 🙂 I know I was in shock and disbelief too when I first found out. That’s the scariest part – nobody regulates coal-tar dyes. The FDA encourages us to become educated consumers. How do you feel? ~Irina

  2. concernedaboutmyhair

    It is indeed shocking to see that for so long we have been in the dark about these kinds of products and the danger they pose to our health.

    What do you think would need to happen in order for mandatory FDA regulation of these products?

    How difficult would that be given the fact that so many people really want to maintain the denial when it comes to the use and production of products that make them look younger?

    • Irina Webb

      I think regulatory change is extremely difficult. But I whole-heartedly believe in the power of voting with our hard-earned dollars. I have seen that powers at work in baby wipes industry. When I started speaking about baby wipes back in 2013, many had formaldehyde and MI/MIC, really bad allergens, in them. Today the baby wipes market is a lot safer. The hair color industry is far behind. We have to start by asking them to disclose ingredients and voice our concerns with them. They will listen eventually. I truly believe that. ~Irina

  3. concernedaboutmyhealth

    I have had the “on again off again” sensitivity to the same dyes and do not know why it produces the sensitivity one time and not the next. It also happens only on certain areas of the scalp. I can feel the sting instantly, when it is going to happen and try to remove it immediately but some hairdressers ( in the beginning when I didn’t understand, didn’t want to be bothered and encouraged keeping it on there to see if it stopped. By that time, if it didn’t stop, it meant 1 week of itching hell. Other hairdressers use “Sweet and Low” as they say the aspartame cuts the itch. Now Sally’s has a product to stop the itching but the truth, as I understand it, none of the products that stop the itch, actually stop the damage. They only suppress the sting. My extreme discomfort, itchiness, etc., has been the impetus for seeking something that will cover the gray suitably without damage and it is disturbing to see how little is available that is usable with any kind of confidence.

    I have noticed less problem with the scalp if I stay with light colors, i.e., the blonde ranges. I am told that is because there is less of the PPD or one of its replacement companions (TPD,etc.), in the lighter dyes. Is that true and to what degree is there less? It does itch less or not at all but from what you’re saying here, the itching is a separate issue… just one that makes the process less tolerable. Isn’t it true though that damage can occur whether there is itching or not, because of the toxic effect of coal tar dye itself? When Jackie Kennedy died, there was a lot written about the impact of her hair dye as responsible? If the FDA is saying beware… why are they being so inactive in removing products they themselves consider so dangerous or even potentially lethal? Lobbies?

  4. Elaine

    I had no idea that hair color was so unsafe. I knew it wasn’t good for us but not how bad it really was. I remember a scare a few years ago that it caused cancer but this was quickly said to be untrue. Unfortunately it’s all about making money not about keeping the consumer safe. Thanks Irina for all your research.

  5. Loriann Deangelis

    Irina, I sent you an email on your blog about my experience with Organic Colouring Systems and Tints of Nature Nightmare. I gave you the wrong email address. I would like you to share and comment because this needs to be addressed. It’s been the worst year of my life, one trip to the health food store. Just making sure you have the correct email.

  6. lisa

    Irina, Have you ever analyzed any of the semi-permanent boxed drugstore hair color? Thanks, Lisa

  7. Lisa

    Redken Color Gels Permanent Conditioning Hair Color has a 1 on ewg. Has anyone tried it? Irina, do you know about it?

  8. Kendra

    I was shocked to read about the lack of regulations on coal tar dyes. It was also really helpful to read the differences of the types of hair dyes and how they work on the hair. Thank you!

  9. Belinda

    I had no idea that the FDA’s ability to take action against coal-tar hair dyes associated with safety concerns is limited by law. This makes no sense. I think we all need to become more educated about the risks of hair dyes. I have had a reaction to Elumen, which has resulted in intense itching, initially just my scalp, but then spreading further down my body (now up to the tops of my legs, but excluding my arms.) After reading the first lesson in Irina’s email course, I began looking for semi rather than demi hair colours. I was disappointed to find that all the colours available in my local pharmacy (Boots the Chemist) were, in fact, demi permanent, (up to 24 washes) although the shelf label said semi. I’m now looking into Daniel Field water formula hair colour. I’d like to try Hairprint, but not sure, as I’m 53 and no idea if I’m already 50% grey!
    Belinda (UK)

  10. Belinda

    It was helpful to learn the difference between sensetizers and irritants. Thank you.

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