Hair Dye Allergies

Hair Dye Allergies – Introduction

About 5% of permanent hair dye users develop an allergy, mostly in the form of an allergic contact dermatitis with a redness and itch in the head area. A systemic reaction with an involvement of the whole body skin and other organs, although rare, is possible in severe cases (1).  Understandably dermatitis of the hands affects many hair stylists who are making bare skin contact with these dyes. (2). The main cause implicated in hair dye allergies, whether on the scalp, face, neck, back or hands, is a substance commonly known as PPD. The most common symptoms is an itchy scalp or burning of the scalp within a short period of time after applying the dye. Sometimes symptoms may develop days or weeks after the hair dye treatment.

PPD (4-ParaPhenyleneDiamine, C6H8N2)

PPD is widely available on the market since 1909, and it is still used in over 2 out of 3 of permanent hair dyes (2007). Commercial hair dye products typically come in two bottles -  the one with PPD-based dye (non-oxidized and thus colorless) and the other with oxidizer or developer, usually hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). In the hair dying process, the peroxide is initially used to break down the natural skin and hair pigment known as melanin. Then the PPD is used to replace the hair color. When PPD reacts with peroxide, it becomes partly oxidized and colored – it is this form that it may cause an allergy. Fully oxidized PPD does not cause an allergy, so PPD sensitive persons can safely wear fur coats dyed with PPD (3). PPD can be also found in some dark colored cosmetics and temporary tattoos. In France, Germany and Sweden, PPD was banned as a hair dye because it is believed to have serious toxic effects on and in the human body (4).

Alternative names for PPD: PPDA, Orsin, Rodol, Ursol.

PPD and PPD Related Substances

Other hair dye substances that can cause an allergic reaction includes 6-hydroxyindole, Isatin, p-Methylaminophenol (5). Substances related to PPD that may also cause an allergic reaction include :

  • Azo groups (chemically: R-N=N-R) used in temporary hair dyes, ballpoint pen inks, gasoline and as coloring agent in foods and medication.
  • Local anesthetics benzocaine and procaine.
  • Sulfa drugs.
  • Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) in sun-protective creams.
  • Para-aminosalicylic acid used for treatment of tuberculosis.

Hair dyes producers may use misleading terms and users are always advised to discuss this terminology with a hair styling professional or even a doctor in the event of an allergy. “Hypoallergenic” hair dyes are less likely to cause allergies but an allergic reaction is still possible. “Fragrances free or unscented” only means the product has no odor but this does not necessarily mean that it is devoid of an allergenic properties. A hair dye that is completely “natural” can still trigger an allergic reaction in a sensitive person – it is a matter of individual susceptibility even though majority of the population may not experience any reaction.

Types of Allergies Caused by Hair Dyes

Allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) is an immunologic skin reaction occurring in a genetically predisposed individual. The risk of becoming sensitive rises with coloring frequency (6). At least 10 days after initial use of PPD is required for an individual to develop a specific sensitivity. On the second and subsequent exposures to PPD, an allergic reaction can develop within 6 to 72 hours (delayed hypersensitivity). In this process, the PPD molecules are targeted by certain immune cells (macrophages and lymphocytes) causing the formation of skin granulomas, redness or vesicles. Affected areas – the eyelids, ears, skin at hair line, beard or neck - are usually well demarcated but the irritation may extend beyond the site of contact with a hair dye. Symptoms are itching or burning feeling.

Contact urticaria can develop in minutes to about 1 hour after exposure to a hair dye. PPD triggers the production of IgE antibodies and the release of histamine causing dilatation of the blood vessels in the skin and also makes these vessels more porous. The increased blood flow along with plasma seeping into the tissue spaces of the skin resulting in skin redness and edema (swelling of the eyelids) . Contact Urticaria Syndrome (CUS) with red patches over the entire body, and bronchial asthma with wheezing, sneezing, difficult swallowing and vomiting can appear.

Anaphylactic shock is an extremely rare but life threatening condition. Facial swelling, gasping for air, drop blood pressure fall and even death can occur if  immediate medical attention is not forthcoming. In an apparent death from anaphylaxis, it was reported that a 38 year mother died in the United Kingdom in August 2000 shortly after changing her hair dye. She was an asthmatic and firstly developed an allergy with a scalp itch after using her old hair dye for some months. After changing the dye, anaphylactic shock developed and she died within an hour after applying the dye. (7, 8)

Allergy Sensitivity Test

Hair dye users can apply a solution (dye and developer mixed together) behind the ear or on the inner side of the elbow for 48 to 72 hours. If there is no irritation (itching / burning) or rash within this time then test is considered negative and the hair dye may be considered as safe to use. If a rash of a certain size (according to a test scale) develops, this is a sign of allergy.

Dermatologists will use a patch test (9). A patch with a 2% PPD in petrolatum is applied to the upper back and examined after 48 hours. Negative reactions show no skin changes; a positive reaction can vary from a mild rash to prominent blistering or even ulcerations. In the “ready-to-use” T.R.U.E. patch test, 24 possible allergenic substances, including PPD, are tested at once (10).

Treatment of PPD Allergy

In an acute severe hair dye dermatitis caused by PPD, the hair and scalp has to be washed thoroughly with a mild shampoo. A solution of 2% hydrogen peroxide or a compresses with potassium permanganate in a 1:5000 dilution is applied to completely oxidize the PPD. To soften the crust, a wet dressing of olive oil and lime may be used. Always speak to your doctor or dermatologist before undertaking these measures.

The patch test has to be conducted afterwards to determine if an allergy to PPD exists, or there is only a non-allergic contact dermatitis present. In the case of a proven allergic dermatitis, a corticosteroid cream which reduces the allergic immune response and therefore inflammation can be applied.

Currently, there are no permanent hair dyes that can be safely used by PPD allergic individuals (2007).

Hair Dye Allergies Related Images

  • Allergic contact dermatitis of the neck, caused by hair dye
  • Dermatitis behind the ear
  • Allergic contact dermatitis of the hand

Related Articles:

  • Types of Skin Rash – Terms Explained
  • Scalp Itch – Pictures
  • Facial Itch – Pictures
  • Itchy Eyelids
  • Itchy Neck
  • Causes of Itchy Skin
  • Itchy Skin – Diagnosis and Treatment

References:

1. Hair dye allergy symptoms (webmd.com)
2. Allergy in hair-dressers (occderm.asn.au)
3. PPD in fur coats (dermnetnz.org)
4. PPD banned (news-medical.net)
5. Hair dye subsatnces causing allergy (ec.europa.eu)
6. Allergic contact dermatitis (emedicine.com)
7. Anaphylactic shock (bbc.co.uk)
8. Skin patch test (dermnetnz.org)

About Jan Modric (249 Articles)
Health writer
  • Yussef Basheer

    I get very bad itching when I colour beard with normal hair colour( without amonia), please advise any colour that will not cause itching to the skin. Also advise where and how to order it

  • Piet Nirvana

    but your much on my mind, you often get declin. Piet Nirvana.

  • florene heck

    after 20 years of dying my hair to hide grey roots i have become allergic to hair dye. My grey is hard to cover.

    Edit: Hair product brands in comments under this article will not be published.

  • Jan Modric

    To Yussef Basheer: It’s maybe appropriate time to re-consider, if you can maybe accept to not color your beard. Why certain dye causes itching? A skin allergy test (PATCH test) would be needed to determine if you are allergic on some substance contained in the dye.

    To florene heck: Both dyes you’ve mentioned seem to be PPD free, so you should have a skin PATCH test done to see, which substances (may be more than one) cause allergy in your case. Shaving won’t help. Wig doesn’t seem to be appropriate, regarding your sensitive skin.

  • Sohail

    Is there any permanenent hair color which does not cause allergic reactions?
    Pls advise names.

    What is treatment of allergy reaction due to permanent hair color?

    Pls reply.

  • carol

    I had a reaction to hair dye last May – my scalp burned, itched and peeled. Furthermore, I experienced difficulty breathing, and watched my hands and feel curl in. A month later, a rash appeared on the front of both legs. All of these rashes persist to date (December). Is it possible for the reaction to affect other parts of the body from where the dye was applied?

  • sarah

    I normally dye my hair by just getting full highlights and had never fully died my head until 3 weeks ago. After doing so my whole head went numb and started to swell. I got a severe reaction and my eyes were swollen shut. I ended up in the hospital and now am stuck wondering if there are any alternatives to fix my hair. I HAVE never had a problem with getting lowlights and fullhilights and am scared to try them now just incase i somehow recently developped this allergy? HELP

  • Nikki :D

    I took an allergic reaction to my permanent hairdye two days ago.
    I got a slight rash the first day but i woke up at six in the morning with a very itchy sculp.
    i washed my hair to make sure all chemicals were removed. After i went to the doctor nd he gave me a cream to reduce the itching and rash, now it is starting to clear up.
    I got told i was lucky it didnt get to my face, so i got quite a fright.

    can i every dye my hair again ?

  • kirsty

    iwant ma hair do 4 ma 18 n 1 cant fine a hair dye want wont make me come out in a rash

  • patticraft

    I also had hives from using perm hair dye with PPD. I stiopped using that dye, used natural henna for 3 months, it didn’t really cover the grey. My hives went away. Good luck.

  • noah

    I am allergic to hair dyes may be PPD and Iam trying hard to find for the ideal one . I have tested so many but left in depair.

    Please can you suggest me the right one or the solution for the problem. Thank you for your assistance.

  • Jan Modric

    To Sohail: I don’t know if any permanent hair dye without PPD exists. Treatment of allergy is
    1. wash the head as described in article
    2. antihistamine drugs to ease mild symptoms as itching;
    3. intravenous drugs in emergency room, when difficult breathing or severe face swelling appear.

    To Nikki. Hair dye allergy means that your body phisically refuses particular substance. There’s no treatment which would permanently heal allergy, only treatment of symptoms is possible. I have increasing grey hair from the elementary school, as my mother. She actually stopped to use any hair dye after 20 years or more.

    At noah: dermatologist may perform a patch test (described in article) to see which dyes you are allergic to.

  • Jan Modric

    To carol: Symptoms of hair-dye allergies may appear in distant part of the body: rash on the legs, difficult breathing, diarrhea etc are possible. This occurs in more severe cases in sensitive people, and it is due to release of histamine, triggered by PPD. Allergy is permanent or long lasting and it can be triggerd by tinny amounts of PPD.

  • Karen

    I have been coloring my hair with permanent hair dye for almost 20 years with no problems. Recently I switched to a new brand and color, which seemed to work fine for me for several months. However a few days ago, after coloring my hair I developed an itchy rash, hives on my neck, and swelling around my face. I had to see my doctor for a steroid shot. I’m guessing I’ve developed an allergy to PPD. I’m afraid I’ll never be able to color my hair again! I have medium brown hair, but prefer keeping it blonde. I am getting more gray now that I’m getting older and want to be able to cover it. If I switch back to my old brand of hair color that I used for years, will I likely be okay? That brand never bothered me at all and the creme color always appeared to be a pale lavender color. My new brand was a dark purple color when wet. I’ve heard that darker color cremes can cause more problems. Or will I always have a reaction to any hair color that I use now? Please help! I’m so worried I’ll never be able to to color and lighten my hair again! Thank you!

  • Jan Modric

    To Karen:
    First, you have to know for sure, if you are allergic to PPD or to some other component of the hair dye. A skin test made by allergologist is needed to findd out this. If it is allergy to PPD, you’ll be allergic on any PPD dye.

  • gogo548

    I’m finding that there are more and more of us out there developing this allergy. I ended up in Urgent Care back in Dec ’06. I’m trying to help others unite and maybe find an answer or at least come up with different options. I have come to the conclusion that if my body goes this far to reject something, it’s obviously bad for me and maybe I should listen. Just because they have yet to find out if it contributes to cancer, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t.

  • Elyse

    I have been dying my hair for 49 years. I use to have an exceptionally full head of hair. Last year I switch my hair color… Every time I colored it my scalp was pink. 8 months ago my hair started to thin considerably. I went to a dermatologist and she said to get a hair color without peroxide , amonia, root penetrator(resorsenol? )My colorist recommended a semi permanent Wella brand that did not have these chemicals in it. I have had a biopsy on my scalp which indicates the foliciles are normal but have received a shock of some sort. I am still loosing hair, but my doctor says she sees new hair growing back. I do not see it. What do you suggest?

    Edit: Hair product brands in comments under this article will not be published.

  • michaelp

    It seems incredible that no one has come out with a hair dye that doesn’t fry people’s skin. To paraphrase an old cliche, we can send a man to the moon but can’t come up with a hair dye that doesn’t burn the hell out of people? Surely someone must be working on this. There are probably millions of dollars to be made by such a product, and the makers of stuff like Just For Men must be aware of that. It’s sort of mind-boggling. I have gray facial hair and no gray on my head, and it looks bizzare; the only thing that looks worse is when I’m clean shaven. I wouldn’t pay an exhorbitant price for a product that doesn’t burn, but I’d certainly buy a reasonably priced one if it was out there.

  • modric

    @ gogo548: Agree, our body sometimes knows better what is good for us, as we do.

    @michaelp: They have also not found a medicine for common cold…

  • Dj_Star

    About a year ago I dyed my hair black and had a rash all over my body and a fried scalp. It was painful and took months to clear up. I learned through research that it was likely an allergic reacion to PPD. In my teens when I dyed my hair blonde and I never had any problems. Can I still do streaking if the color doesn’t touch my scalp, or am I permanently (or long term) sensitized to any amount of hair color? I never had an allergy test because that involves applying chemicals to the skin. Are there any permanent hair colors that don’t contain PPD? Your advice is greatly appreciated, Joanna.

  • Rashy

    After many years of coloring my hair, I started to get an allergic reaction to hair dye. While waiting in the salon after color was applied I could feel a burning sensation on my scalp. After being shampooed, cut and dried, I felt o.k. Hours later, the skin behind my ears and on the edges of my scalp began to develop chemical burns. The skin eroded and left raw patches which stuck to my hair. I applied Vaseline, which did nothing. After about two weeks, everything healed. I started bringing my own color which was labeled all natural. Same results. Any suggestions, other than going gray?

    Thanks for any info on this.

    Edit: Hair product brands in comments under this article will not be published.

  • modric

    @Dj_Star: You touch the hair with your hand skin or other ways, so PPD-containing hair dyes are not for you – permanently.

    For more, search.

  • Sandee

    A few years ago, I developed a hair color allergy that put me in the hospital for a day. Anywhere the color came in contact with developed painful, open, weeping sores. My eye lids swelled. I had to have several injections in the ER and a full course of steroids at home. Awful, awful!

  • kellygirl

    I know a bit about dye allergies…To date, I haven ‘t found an alternative to hair dye, besides henna.

    The allergic person can develop an allergy to hair dye all of a sudden: I’ve dyed my hair for 15 years, and it happened suddenly. I’ve also learned that if the person assumes it’s a fluke, and tries it again a few weeks, months or even a year later, he or she will react worse that time than the first reaction, and will probably develop other allergies as well. for example. i’m now allergic to perfume, some foods, and many cosmetics as well as hair dye. it’s tempting to try again, to just see if the hair dye might work, or if my body will just “take it” but the reactions get worse. I’ve been to the er twice, and it’s likely that if i tried it again, i’d to into shock and die.

  • anneliza

    I stopped dyeing my hair four years ago, because I had a breakout of rash on the scalp, and my face was bright red. I had to make my own soap to make sure there were no chemicals or additives, and used only that, and olive oil to moisturize, and then it cleared up. I didn’t think it was really the hair dye, and two months ago I again used a TEMPORARY dye (no PPD), and two days later, it flared up again! The whole back of my head is crusted, weeping, itchy, hot. Now it is spreading down my neck along my collar bone. Miserable! I tried Apple Cider Vinegar (leave on for 1 hour), and it seems to be helping, and coconut oil to moisturize. It is no longer weeping, and doesn’t itch so much, after just one day. But I will never color my hair again, I will go gray gracefully. It’s not worth it.

  • aladon

    I’ve got the answer!!!!!! The reason you develope the rash is because of sweat against the hair color. Take some medicated powder and dust it through your hair unto the scalp when you sleep.
    This will greatly reduce the rash!!!!!!!
    Same for your beard— Your welcome

  • Deborah

    After 20+ years of dyeing and highlighting I seem to have developed a severe allergic reaction to the dye. I also have had lupus for years and the allergic reaction now seems to attack any weak area on my body that was affected by the lupus. At first I was dubious that it was the dye and postponed coloring my hair for a long time. I tried it again this past week and there is no doubt….head feels like it is on fire and itchy. Blisters on my neck and around my ears and hairline leaving crusty and weeping sores. I guess hair coloring is out of the question now?? I have been taking Benadryl and soaking my head with a salicylic acid/zinc shampoo. Anyone have any other suggestions? Thank you!

  • catherine

    i have been dying my hair for 30 years or more and have had a terrible skin rash for 12 years or so…i now think it is hair dye…but it took getting all the gluten out of my body to realize it…mine is on my face so someone said that is terrible please tel me what to do…peroxide does help but it is blistering all over my nose and cheek now and i so use peroxide and its helping
    i am low income with no subsidy or insurance and will not go to a doctor
    or emergency room altho its very bad
    and i need to know what to do
    please help

  • modric

    @catherine Hair dyes with PPD obviously aren’t for you. Stop using them, symptoms should go away after some time. Carefully clean your face, do not touch it much to prevent infection.

  • wolfgangsmom

    update- I did a few more patch tests yesterday. The first three tests were blond and I need brown. The tests I did yesterday were brown. Anyway, I reacted badly to all of yesterdays. Swollen, itchy, soon to be weeping and the rest. I tried 2% hydrogen peroxide on the wounds for the first time today. I read that it will oxidize the PPD and stop the reaction from getting worse. (also took a Benedril and will do this every 4 hours). I will write back when i know more.

    Edit: Hair product brands in comments under this article will not be published.

  • wolfgangsmom

    Sadly, I reacted to all tests near my hair line on my neck. I am sorry I was so excited that I reported here too early after the tests on my arms we fine. I guess I will go back to foiling and live with the smaller reactions. Once I heal (my neck is a mess right now) I will test the blond again on my neck just eliminate all possible good results.On a lighter note, I did get a perscription for 2.5% steroid cream and that seems to help a little with the itching.

    Edit: Hair product brands in comments under this article will not be published.

  • Truthhurts

    I colored my hair today and had a terrible reaction. When I was in highschool I would color my hair and nothing would happen. I colored my hair about 7 years ago and had a terrible reaction ) eyes closed, head swole up terribly), then about 5 months ago I colored my hair at home and had an even worse reaction. I didn;t think it was the dye and I tried again at the salon. Needless to say I an suffereing from weeping swelling and soine itching. Honestly it’s not as bad as the first or second time. I wiped my scalp with peroxide and have been using olive oil to keep it from getting too stiff. I WILL NEVER try it again. I just pray I make it through this one. It really isn;t worth it.

  • pgarrison

    My name is Patricia and I started coloring my hair about twenty some odd years ago no problems,now the last three years I’ve developed allergies to any hair colors I use the last time I colored my hair about six months ago,I had to go to the dr. my eyes swelled one eye swelled shut I had large knots all over my head that was infected and swollens and I was very weak. I could’nt go to work,I looked like a monster. what can I do? I don’t like gray hair.help me please.

  • modric

    I don’t think that some permanent color dye without PPD currently exists. I’m a man, and had my first grey hair in the elementary school!

    What will happen, if you show people your grey hair? What exactly will happen?

  • debs

    I am a prior hairdresser who developed a bad allergy to the color in the way of cracked, rashy, blistered hands…I have always been tolerable of lowlights on my hair, but recently had full color applied to my hair and the next day started to have itching and burning, then redness, then swelling and blistering, scalp and hairline, ears and neck…after ten days of prednisone, it disipated. I tried another brand a few months later and within minutes of it being on my scalp, I started to feel it burning, numbness, swelling, and my heart rate was off (nerves or reaction?) se rinsed it within 5 minutes of aplication but stll blistered and swollen…another ten days of prednisone and I have sworn it off and will have to grow old gracefully…highlights are fine, as bleach does not contain PPD, but you can only do a few before you end up too blonde and need lowlights…so I do it sparingly for a little brightness and texture…ugh…those of us with this issue will just have to accept our natural beauty I suppose!!! Whaaa!!!

    Edit: Hair product brands in comments under this article will not be published.

  • Laura

    unfortunately it took me 6 months to figure out that the rash i was suffering from was caused by hair dye.

    After having highlights for many years (without any problems) i decided to colour my hair chestnut brown because my gray roots were a bit unsightly, even with blond highlights.
    The same day i went jogging. A few hours later, the sunlight and my sweat must have triggered the reaction: a horrible, itchy rash on my neck and shoulders. I saw an allergy specialist, who didn’t even bother to ask me if i colour my hair.
    I had a patch test, but PPD was not among the substances. It turned out i was allergic to nickel. So, i started avoiding all canned food, spinach, nuts etc. basically all food that contain nickel. Two months later i coloured my hair again because I didn’t think that would cause an allergy. Again, a horrible rash on my temples, eyelids, neck and shoulders. My scalp was ok, so i didn’t suspect the hair dye was the real culprit. I blamed the restaurant where i ate…maybe they had used canned food.
    Only last time i dyed my hair two weeks ago, my scalp became so red, itchy and inflamed, that i realised that was the cause. My neck is still covered in a rash, and my lymph nodes got so swollen and painful i had to take a few days off. My face broke out, though the pustules don’t look like pimples. They don’t heal, and are very itchy. After looking at pictures of people who had an allergic reaction to hair dye, i noticed that they looked exactly the same as me!

    Stay away from hair dyes. I will go back to highlights, even if the roots are grey.

    Edit: Hair product brands in comments under this article will not be published.

  • sooze

    Hi I have a terrible allergy to hair dyes swelling of the neck and the most awful itchinh and burningall over my head and ears, My hairdressers uses an aonia free dye. I will still dye it as I hate to see grey roots. Is there a coolingonditioner I can use after.

  • emerico

    i have allergy to hair dye. My skin and scalp react within minutes.

    Edit: Hair product brands in comments under this article will not be published.

  • http://www.network54.com/Forum/603111/ gogo548

    Debs,
    I can’t believe how many posts there are since I was last here. I KNOW there have got to be hundreds if not more of us experiencing this issue. I don’t know why, but it seems to really be a growing allergy. Oh, and it sux!

    Please come by and share:http://www.network54.com/Forum/603111/

    Edit: Hair product brands in comments under this article will not be published.

  • klil88

    Use hair dye for years. Began to sense a mild reaction. Changed. Increasing reaction until very severe as described in other posts above. However, I now have asthmatic response and cross reaction to compounds with sulfates and benzocaine: Neosporain with benzocain and Cordaide-10. Going to Duke University tomorrow for pulmanary function studies and allergy testing. If you have any type of reaction, stop using it immediately. Reaction only worsens with repeated exposure. I now carry an EpiPen. PPD banned in several European countries. Note: PPD has many, many synonyms. Suspect some of us may be developing PPD allergy later in life as hormone changes affect our immune system.

    Edit: Hair product brands in comments under this article will not be published.

  • Ban PPD

    After years of using hair dyes, I too, developed a itchy
    head due to hair dyes. I tried using an allergy pill after
    I had my hair done, and it helped, but the PPD allergy
    got increasingly worse. What would happen
    you asked, if you simply went gray ? Why people
    would treat you like you were 100 years older than you
    really were.

    If some places in Europe has banned PPD, then it would be reasonable to believe that they must have
    some other products for the graying population that
    would not be as harmful.

  • Jen

    Approx 6 days after dying my hair I noticed spots and itching around hairline, shoulders and top of back. Also ulsers in mouth. Since then spots and itching have spread to arms, belly and now to legs. Nothing major, just upto a dozen spots in each location. They look like small pinhead sized blisters.

    I have been taking antihistamine but doc is not sure of the cause. Could this be hair dye as I have had mind reactions in the past and my mum is allergic to hair dye.

  • Jan Modric

    Hm, 6 days is a long period for allergy. Even in delayed allergy you get symptoms within 72 hours.

    This type of rash you’ve described often appears in some digestive diseases like Crohn’s disease or celiac disease.

  • SandraLynne

    I have hair dye allergy and would like to note that hennas can cause reactions too. I used hennas for years and tried one that was supposedly “natural”…had a bout of wheezing with my asthma that sent me to the doc. The hair dye allergy happened about 15 years ago, and the allergist told me that if I hadn’t been on predisone at the time it would have killed me, the reaction was that severe!(
    I have to avoid all dyes and hennas now, unfortunately, and live with going gray:(

  • Jan Modric

    @SandraLynne: I had my first gray hair in elementary school…It’s good you’ve reported that hair dyes may cause asthma – this is not common.

  • ChrissyT

    I dyed my hair many times and nothing happened. Then I tried another one that was supposedly better for your scalp. My forhead started to swell and overnight, my face had become a giant balloon. If I use the first one again, will I have the same allergic reaction? I don’t want to live with grey hairs when I’m older.

    Edit: Hair product brands in comments under this article will not be published.

  • MAMAMIA

    … i am also allergic to all the others. It is a semi permenant hair dye. My head gets swollen from any other one.

    Edit: Hair product brands in comments under this article will not be published.

  • Jan Modric

    @ChrissyT You won’t be able to use that dye safely any more. This probably applies for other permanent hair dyes.

  • tracey

    I started going grey when I was 24 and have been colouring my hair since. I’m now 40 and have developed an allergy where my head burns when the colour is on, then itches for a few days after.

    The worst part though, is that when I wash the colour off I shed an incredible amount of hair. I’ve checked and it’s not snapping, but falling out, the root is visible. My hair is very thin now and I’ve decided to stop colouring, but I think I’m probably 80% grey :o( I’m not sure I can cope with grey – could I go blonde safely?

  • Editor

    @ tracey
    Allergy is to PPD part of hair dye.

    Hair may be made blond by several ways, that don’t include PPD, only I’m not sure what will be the result of discoloring of grey hair.

    With having so vulnerable hair, I’m not sure, if it is appropriate to use any further hair chemicals though. I think you should first concentrate on how to strenghten your hair.