The European Commission’s (EC’s) Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) has approved the use of henna—a natural material derived from dried and powdered leaves of the plant lawsonia inermis—as a cosmetic hair dye.  

Noting that its assessment was based on specific batches of henna that contained a maximum lawsone content of 1.4 percent, SCCS stated that, when formulated and applied as indicated under functions and uses (100g Henna powder mixed with 300ml of boiling water), henna is safe for consumers. Henna extracts with different compositions and the use of henna as a bodypaint were not assessed.  

SCCS also assessed the use of 2-chloro-p-phenylenediamine in hair dye formulations for eyebrows and eyelashes and determined that, due to the lack of a proper in vivo test for gene mutation induction, the agency cannot establish its genotoxic potential and therefore it is not considered safe for consumer use.