The International Association of Color Manufacturers, which represents companies that produce hair colorants and other cosmetics, did not respond to a request for comment.

Helm says she hopes manufacturers will improve the testing and labeling of their products to make sure the full range of chemicals they contain is known before they go on the shelves. But Zota thinks tougher regulation and more consumer awareness are called for. “The reality is that all of us use multiple products a day, and that these products should be undergoing a lot of scrutiny for health and safety concerns,” she says.

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