Precursors of oxidative hair dyes in hair colouring formulations

Analytical chemical control of chemical substances
and chemical preparations

The EU Cosmetic Directive regulates the contents of precursors of
oxidative hair dyes and colorants in hair care formulations. In the
present study, 18 hair colouring formulations and 4 henna products
were analysed for the content of 19 precursors of hair dyes to check
their compliance with the Cosmetic Directive. The henna products
were also analysed for the content of Lawsone. Furthermore, the
henna products and two single-component hair dyeing formulations
were analysed for the contents of some permitted orange, red and
yellow colorants.

Toluene-2,5-diamine was present in 16/18 of hair colouring formulations,
resorcinol in 15/18 products, 2-methylresorcinol in 6/18 products,
4-chlororesorcinol in 4/18 products, 2,7-naphthalenediol in
3/18 products, 4-aminophenol in 6/18 products, and 2-aminophenol
was present in 1/18 of the products. Three of the hair colouring formulations
were found to contain 3-aminophenol and one of the products
contained 2-amino-3-hydroxypyridine. However, the identification
and determination of 3-aminophenol and 2-amino-3-
hydroxypyridine in five of the products labelled for the contents of
these substances could not be performed, because of the overlap of
the chromatographic peaks of these two compounds, when analysed
by the HPLC method used in the present study. All four henna products
and the two single-component hair colouring formulations did
not contain any of the target precursors of hair dyes or target colorants.
Only one of the four henna products contained Lawsone. 1,4-
phenylenediamine was not present in any of the investigated products.

The contents of precursors of hair dyes in the investigated products
were in compliance with the Cosmetic Directive.
Present work has been performed as technical support to the Danish
Environmental Protection Agency.