An increased bladder cancer risk has been suggested among users of hair dyes. We evaluated this association among females in a hospital-based case-control study in Spain (152 female incident cases, 166 female controls). The effect of hair dye use was also evaluated among potentially susceptible subgroups defined by NAT1, NAT2, CYP1A2, GSTM1, GSTT1 and GSTP1 genotypes. Use of any hair dye (OR=0.8, CI 0.5-1.4) or of permanent hair dyes (OR=0.8, CI 0.5-1.5) was not associated with increased risk. Small non-significant increases in risks were observed in a lagged analysis that ignores exposures within ten years of diagnosis (OR=1.3, CI 0.8-2.2). No trend in risk with increasing exposure was seen for duration of use, average use or cumulative use. None of the polymorphisms examined significantly modified the hair dye associated risk. Overall, this study does not support an association between hair dye use and bladder cancer.