HK’s consumer watchdog found 11 hair dye products containing allergens

Monday, March 15, 2021

Hong Kong’s consumer watchdog has found 11 at-home “natural” hair dyes products sold in the city contained potential allergens.

The Consumer Council tested 26 products sold locally, which labeled themselves as “natural”, “herbal” or “organic”, 11 of them were found to have contained p-Phenylenediamine (PPD), a substance that can cause scalp irritation, swelling and even difficulty breathing in severe cases.

The 11 products include Herbatint’s Permanent Haircolor Gel (1N), Naturtint’s Permanent Hair Color, Tints of Nature’s Simply Healthier Hair Colour Permanent Hair Colour, Khloris’ Sepia Seven Hair Color Cream, Naturigin’s Naturigin Natural Hair Dye - Black 2.0, Richenna’s Vitamin E Hair Dye, LUCIDO-L’s Natural Plant-based Hair Dye, Cosline’s Squid Ink Speedy Color Cream (1N).

Three henna-type products were also found to have contained PPD, including a Hair Dye produced by Herbul, Ling Lee and Melva’s Hair Color Powder with Natural  Nourishing Herbs.

The Council’s test also found six henna-type products’ total aerobic bacterial count exceed the limit, with one of them exceeding the limit by 250 times. 

Meanwhile, Customs said they received referrals from a related organization that three models of suspected unsafe hair dye products were being supplied in the market, and successfully test-purchased two models for safety testing.

The total bacterial counts of the two models of hair dye products - Radico’s 100% Organic Hair Colour and BeNature’s Organic Premium Henna exceeded respectively the maximum permitted limit by about 3.4 and 51 times, whereas their mould and yeast counts had exceeded the maximum permitted limit by about 369 and 429 times, in contravention of the Consumer Goods Safety Ordinance.

Customs officers later conducted an operation and seized a total of 22 pieces of the two models of suspected unsafe hair dye products from a retailer shop in Causeway Bay and from three branches of another retailer in Quarry Bay, Yau Tong and Tseung Kwan O.

Customs reminds members of the public to pay extra care with regards to safety when using such products as prolonged contact with skin or use on damaged scalps may pose potential hazards of skin allergies and inflammation.