Hair Colorants: FSA Eligibility
What are hair colorants?
Hair colorants are products used in the practice of hair coloring. Hair coloring is a very common cosmetic procedure that can be performed at home or in a colorist's salon to change the color of hair. Natural and unnatural colors are both possible, however, hair colorants and expenses associated with coloring hair are considered cosmetic in nature and therefore are ineligible for reimbursement with any consumer-directed healthcare account.
Hair colorants are historically obtained from plants but modern hair colorants are chemically derived from a variety of synthetic sources. Natural sources for hair colorants include ochre, henna, indigo, cassia obavata, senna, turmeric, and more. The first synthetic hair dye was created in 1907.
Modern techniques for using hair colorants include off-scalp applications such as highlighting, lowlighting, streaking, foiling, and balayage. On-scalp applications of hair colorants include root touch-ups, all-over coloring, and block coloring (TheAtlantic.com).
Hair colorants are also defined by their permanency. Permanent hair colorants usually contain ammonia and other chemicals to open cuticle layers and permanently change the hair color. Demi-permanent hair colorants use chemicals other than ammonia, and are known for being less harsh on the hair. Semi-permanent hair colorants partially penetrate the hair shaft and last for several washes. Temporary hair colorants come in a variety of forms including rinses, shampoos , gels, sprays and foams. Temporary hair colorants are for short-term use, and are often associated with costumes or holidays (HuffPost Lifestyle).
There are different health regulations for hair colorants across the United States and the world. The European Union is known for stringent regulations regarding many of the chemicals commonly found in certain types of hair colorants.