Hair Dye Allergy

It has become a routine for many people to depend on hair dye to conceal white hair. Using hair dye helps in boosting your self esteem adding good looks to your face. Hair dye is no more a cosmetic product since it has become a regular item for many. In this article you will get to know how far using hair dye is safe and whether it can cause allergy.


Para phenylenediamine is the major ingredient used in many hair dyes. It is the powerful chemical used for darkening the hair which is largely used for covering grey hair. Actually PPD is approved as a safe cosmetic product as per the cosmetic regulations act. Some companies use PTD Para toluenediamine in hair dye which can cause allergic reaction. Again the same product can be harmless for some and not for others.

Symptoms Of Hair Dye Allergy :

Hair dye can cause mild allergy and irritation at the areas that have been exposed. Slight irritation and inflammation of skin resembling dermatitis can occur in the scalp. Contact dermatitis can occur on the chest and shoulder region also. In moderate cases it can cause reddening of skin in your scalp. In addition it can cause irritation and swelling of eyes and face if you have spilled it on your face while applying hair dye. Some people would have additional symptoms of closing the eyelids and swelling of face.

Often the symptoms are only mild and will get resolved in few minutes. Initial allergy and irritation would be there for some people while using hair dye for the first time. If you are worried you can always test it before using. Patch testing can be done on selected spot to check if particular hair dye is causing allergy. You can consult your GP or dermatologist to identify the right hair dye. However if you have developed allergy once you should avoid using any other brands also since most of them uses the same chemical.

Hair Dye Allergy

Diagnosis :

It is easy to detect hair dye allergy since the symptoms of irritation and itching would start only after applying hair dye. Allergy test can be done to verify if you are developing allergic reaction due to hair dye. If you are allergic to PPD containing hair dye you are likely to have the same reaction by using other substances like tattoos that contain PPD.

PPD Usage :

American Contact Dermatitis Society has declared para phenylenediamine as an allergen. PPD is often used in textile industry and many other cosmetics in addition to its usage in printing and photography. Actually PPD does not have any color on its own but when it gets oxidized it can give color to your hair. Some people may develop allergy when PPD gets oxidized.

Hair Dye Allergy

Treatment :

No medical treatment is needed to resolve allergic reaction caused by PPD hair dye. You need to wash the hair thoroughly with soap or mild shampoo to remove any leftover dye content immediately. Hydrogen peroxide solution is effective in treating hair dye allergy. This compound has the capacity of oxidizing the PPD totally thus preventing any further reaction. You can apply wet compression on the scalp to soften the area. Over the counter creams that contain corticosteroid can also be applied to get relief from itching. You can consult your GP if irritation and itching continues on other parts of the body. Your doctor may prescribe suitable antihistamines to manage itching.

Tips For Prevention :

  • Once you know that you are allergic to hair dye you should not try other branded products since it may also contain PPD.
  • Avoid using any type of hair dyes and while going to salon you should inform hairdresser about the allergy.
  • In some parlous they provide vegetable hair dyes but they may not give you the expected outcome.
  • Always use gloves while using hair dye since it may not harm your fingers.
  • Follow the instructions given in the bottle and do not leave the dye in your hair more than recommended time.
  • Wash the hair thoroughly after using hair dye.
  • Make sure that you are doing patch test before using the hair dye to prevent any allergic reaction.

Safety :

Now it is a matter of growing concern for many people whether hair dye is totally safe. No concrete evidence is available that hair dyes can cause cancer or they are unsafe. As long as it does not cause any allergy you can continue using the same brand.

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