Dye shampoos take root despite health risks

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Dye shampoos take root despite health risks

Moda Moda's Pro-Change Black shampoos are sold at a discount mart in Seoul on July 4. [NEWS1]

Moda Moda's Pro-Change Black shampoos are sold at a discount mart in Seoul on July 4. [NEWS1]

Manufacturers of all sizes are jumping on the hair-dye shampoo bandwagon, mesmerized by Moda Moda’s success and undeterred by a toxicity scare.
Moda Moda’s Pro-Change Black shampoo is wildly popular despite being almost banned because of its use of 1,2,4-trihydroxy benzene (THB), which is prohibited in hair and eyelash products in the European Union and Asean countries.
The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety threatened a ban on it last December but then gave it a grace period until next April. The ministry plans to conduct examinations of its own on the toxicity of the substance.
Pro-Change Black does not contain oxidizers or hair dye intermediates, like most coloring products.
Moda Moda claims it's the world's first hair dyeing shampoo using the "browning reaction" caused by polyphenol. It says it's completely free of allergy-inducing coloring agents such as p-phenylenediamine (PPD) or 2,5-diaminetoluene.
Polyphenols, which are natural antioxidants, convert to melanin when exposed to oxygen it says, getting rid of the gray.
Sales of Pro-Change Black exceeded 60 billion won ($45 million) in the year after it was released.  
Other domestic cosmetics companies are releasing their own miracle shampoos.
Amorepacific's Ryo Black Double Effector Shampoo [AMOREPACIFIC]

Amorepacific's Ryo Black Double Effector Shampoo [AMOREPACIFIC]

Amorepacific started selling its Ryo Black Double Effector Shampoo in April, saying it doesn't contain the controversial 1,2,4-THB and instead uses extracts from black ginseng, black soybeans and kudzu root. The product does not include oxidizers but does have temporary hair dye intermediates.
More than 150,000 bottles of the product were sold in the first 50 days, according to the company.
Lg H&H's ReEn Dyed White Hair Cover Shampoo and Treatment [LG H&H]

Lg H&H's ReEn Dyed White Hair Cover Shampoo and Treatment [LG H&H]

LG H&H introduced ReEn Dyed White Hair Cover Shampoo and Treatment in May, and in that month and June, it captured the largest market share in the shampoo and conditioner category, according to a survey by Nielsen Korea.
In its first 45 days, sales exceeded 10 billion won ($7.45 million), the company said. LG H&H's shampoo also does not include oxidizers. 
In June, the company released a similar product called Dr. Groot Black Recover, a hair dye shampoo in its popular hair loss shampoo line, Dr. Groot.  
Mid-sized and small companies and pharmaceutical companies are also joining in.
Ildong Pharmaceutical released Probiotic Color Pigment Shampoo last December.  
Dr.Forhair unveiled its hair dye shampoo Folligen Black on Aug. 25.  
According to global market tracker Statista, the global hair dye market is expected to grow over 45 percent from 2019’s $29 billion to $42 billion in 2023.  
“Hair dyeing shampoos are mostly purchased by people in their 50s to 70s, who are considered the so-called active silver market,” said Lee Eun-hee, a consumer science professor at Inha University.
“This particular age group is relatively interested in investing in their looks and has the income to do so.
“From the consumer’s perspective, purchasing a hair dyeing shampoo is an economically rational choice.”
Hair dye shampoos may be a way to save both time and money compared to going to a hair salon. The average price for a dye job at hair salons in Korea was 60,730 won in July 2018, according to the Korean Woman’s Federation for Consumers’ data. A bottle of hair coloring shampoo costs around 30,000 won.  
Despite the rapid expansion of the market and excitement over a more natural way to dye hair, some say these products are not as miraculous as they may claim.
“I am not sure if the shampoo actually made my hair darker,” said a 60-year-old woman living in Bucheon, Gyeonggi who recently bought a hair dye shampoo produced by a large cosmetics company.
“Instead, my hair became very dry after using the shampoo. I think I’d rather use hair coloring products instead of shampoo in the future.”
The effects are supposed to be seen after four weeks of use, although they may differ depending on a person's hair type and conditions, according to shampoo makers.  
The safety issue has not gone away. 
“Hair dye shampoo companies should clearly mention what ingredients they are using,” said Lee Duck-hwan, a chemistry professor at Sogang University.
“If it is in a shampoo form [where consumers use the product on a daily basis], we cannot say that a product is entirely safe.”
“Side effects may be inevitable," said Inha University's Lee Eun-hee. "Companies should alert consumers more clearly and actively on what side effects they may encounter from using the product."

BY CHO JUNG-WOO [cho.jungwoo1@joongang.co.kr]
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