London: Hair Dye at Home – It has been used for so many centuries that it was thought to be harmless. Henna Mehndi, which enhances the color of dark hair, is one of the oldest known cosmetics. But scientists have found that a component, naturally occurring lawsone, is highly toxic.
This research comes shortly after a European Union watchdog said that some hair dyes – linked to bladder cancer and rheumatoid arthritis – were unsafe, and advised concerned consumers to stop using them.
This chemical is the primary source of concern. It is found in dark hair dyes – concentrations of up to six percent are legal – and is easily absorbed through the skin on the scalp and the hands.
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Research has shown that people who use dark colored permanent dyes every four to six weeks have twice the incidence of bladder cancer, which causes 4,900 deaths each year in Britain.