For Consumers

Hair Dye and Hair Relaxers

woman mixing hair dye in a bowl

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Hair dye is used to color your hair. Hair relaxers are used to make your hair straight. Both hair dye and hair relaxers can hurt your skin, hair, and eyes, especially if you are not careful. Some of these problems can be prevented. Get the facts before using hair dyes and hair relaxers.

Tips to Keep You Safe

  • Follow all directions in the package.

  • Do a patch test on your skin before using dye on your hair. Rub a small amount of dye on your skin. Let it dry for 48 hours. If you get a rash, do not use the dye on your hair.

  • Wear gloves when applying hair dye or relaxers.

  • Do not dye your eyebrows or eyelashes. This can hurt your eyes. You might even go blind.

  • Do not leave the product on longer than the directions say you should.

  • Rinse your scalp well with water after using hair dye or relaxers.

  • Keep hair dyes and relaxers out the reach of children.  


Report Problems

Most hair dyes do not need to be tested or approved by FDA before they are sold. FDA does monitor the safety of hair dyes and relaxers. Tell FDA if you have itchy or raw skin, scabs, hair loss or other problems after using these products.

If you have a bad reaction to hair dyes and relaxers, you should:

  • Stop using the product.

  • Call your healthcare provider to find out how to take care of the problem.

  • Report problems to FDA at:  or 1-800-332-1088.

Page Last Updated: 01/19/2018
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