What Is It?

Hydroxybenzomorpholine is a pink-mauve powder. Hydroxybenzomorpholine is used in the formulation of permanent hair dyes, colors and tints.

Why Is It Used?

Hydroxybenzomorpholine helps to impart a color to hair. The exact color obtained will depend on the other ingredients that are used in the preparation and the starting color of the hair.

Scientific Facts

Hydroxybenzomorpholine is used in permanent hair coloring systems where color is produced inside the hair fiber. This is accomplished through careful formulation of the product so that the ingredients interact in a highly controlled process.

Safety Information

The safety of Hydroxybenzomorpholine has been assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel. The CIR Expert Panel evaluated the scientific data and concluded that Hydroxybenzomorpholine was safe as a hair dye ingredient. In 2007, as part of the scheduled re-evaluation of ingredients, the CIR Expert Panel considered available new data on Hydroxybenzomorpholine and reaffirmed the above conclusion.

CIR Safety Review:

Hydroxybenzomorpholine was considered to be practically nonirritating to the eye, and produced only slight skin irritation. Hydroxybenzomorpholine was neither a sensitizer nor a photoallergen. Hydroxybenzomorpholine was not mutagenic in either a bacterial assay or in the micronucleus test. Based on the structure of Hydroxybenzomorpholine, the CIR Expert Panel noted that nitrosamine compounds may be an impurity, and that this ingredient should not be used in the presence of nitrosating agents.

More information about nitrosamines.

More information about the safety of hair dyes.

Hydroxybenzomorpholine and its salts are listed in the Cosmetics Directive of the European Union (see Annex III) and may be used as oxidizing coloring agents for hair dyeing at a maximum concentration of 1% when mixed with hydrogen peroxide. Products containing this ingredient must be labeled as indicated in Annex III.

Link to the EU Cosmetic Regulation: http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/consumers/product_labelling_and_packaging/co0013_en.htm

More Scientific Information

Hair dyeing formulations belong to three categories – temporary, semi-permanent and permanent coloring of hair. The permanent hair dyeing formulations are often referred to as oxidative hair dyes which are generally marketed as two-component products. One component contains the compounds (precursors) that become the colorants and the other component is a stabilized solution of hydrogen peroxide. The two components are mixed immediately prior to use. The precursors and peroxide diffuse into the hair shaft, where color formation takes place after the ingredients combine to produce the coloring mixture. The precursors are oxidized by the hydrogen peroxide to form the colorant molecules. These molecules are too large to escape from the hair structure. The hydrogen peroxide in the oxidative hair dye product also serves as bleaching agent for the natural pigment of the hair. The color that is formed depends on the precursors and direct dyes present in the dyeing solution, pH of the dyeing solution and the time of contact of the dyeing solution with the hair. Hydroxybenzomorpholine is a heterocyclic compound. In cosmetics and personal care products, Hydroxybenzomorpholine functions as a hair colorant.


The FDA’s factsheet on Hair Dye Products http://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/ProductandIngredientSafety/ProductInformati…

Search the FDA Code of Federal Regulations http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/cfrsearch.cfm

The European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Products (SCCP) opinion on Hydroxybenzomorpholine http://ec.europa.eu/health/ph_risk/committees/04_sccp/docs/sccp_o_066.pdf

EU Cosmetic Ingredients Inventory http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/cosmetics/cosing/