Allergy to paraphenylenediamine or p-phenylenediamine — better known as PPD — in permanent hair dye can be severe. In worst cases, it causes swelling around the face and neck, with difficulty breathing. Angry red rashes around the hair line, ears and eyes caused by PPD can also be serious and unpleasant.
What alternatives to PPD are there?
With a few interesting exceptions (see bottom), most options fall into one of three main categories.
1. Natural plant-based colors
The safest options are natural botanical colors, which use henna, cassia, beetroot, coffee, indigo and other plant extracts to impart color. These are unlikely to trigger allergies in their pure forms, although a few contain added essential oils which some people may react to.
100% natural ‘dyes’ such as these can’t change you from dark to light or vice versa, but they can help to conceal partial grey hair quite well, and add a deeper red or brown tone to your hair. The results may only last a few washes, but they do not damage hair, as they do not penetrate the hair shaft.
The following are all free from PPD, as well as ammonia, peroxide and synthetic colours, additives or preservatives. Powders should be mixed with water before application.
It’s Pure Organics (UK)
Straightforward and pure powders containing only henna, cassia, amla, indigo and neem.
Light Mountain Natural Hair Colors (US)
Very attractive looking kits, with only the purest of powders — indigo, henna and senna.
100% natural brand from Germany. Some are powders, but most are cream blends containing henna, jojoba, walnut, rhubarb, beetroot, with added algin, wheat protein and essential oils.
Lush Henna Hair Dyes (US) / Lush Colour (UK)
These are solid henna blocks, also containing coffee, Irish moss and indigo, blended into cocoa butter, and with added essential oils.
Rainbow Research Henna Powders (US)
Another pure powder brand, featuring various hennas (neutral, red, black), plus flowers of marigold and camomile.
Sante Herbal Hair Color (US) / Sante Herbal Hair Colour (UK)
Powders and creams. The powders contain henna, indigo, curcuma, beet, ratania and other extracts, with wheat protein and alginates. The creams additionally contain water, alcohol, glycerin and a few other ingredients — including essential oils.
Surya Brasil Powder (Worldwide)
Henna, indigo, amla, arnica, acai, Brazil nut and other ingredients originating from Brazil and India.
2. Semi permanent / semi natural dyes
An ‘intermediate’ option. Despite brand names or product descriptions which often suggest the opposite, these kits typically use artificial coloring agents — with perhaps a few natural ingredients. They are usually a bit more effective than 100% natural options — especially in darkening or highlighting dark hair, and covering greys — but the synthetic dyes in them can trigger allergies in a few women.
The following are free from PPD, peroxide and ammonia, but contain some petrochemical derivatives / artificial preservatives.
CoSaMo (US / Canada)
Solely synthetic colorants. Also contain a silicone and artificial fragrance.
Naturtint Reflex (UK)
Liquid formula of artificial coloring agents. NB Naturtint also produce a permanent line which contains PPD. Ensure you choose from the Reflex range.
Surya Henna Cream (Worldwide)
Primarily artificial colors with small proportions of henna and botanical extracts derived from walnut, carrot, camomile, guarana and others. Free from artificial fragrance.
Tints of Nature Semi-Permanent (UK) / Tints of Nature (USA) / Tints of Nature (Aus)
Blend of artificial colors and a few natural botanicals. NB Tints of Nature also produce a permanent line which contains PPD. Ensure you choose from the Semi-Permanent range of henna creams.
3. Permanent hair dye
In place of PPD, a few products contain similar chemicals called PTD / PTDS or TD / TDS to impart permanent color, but these aren’t always as effective as PPD, and perhaps a third or so of people who react to PPD also react — sometimes severely — to these alternatives. Any product declaring itself both ‘PPD free’ and ‘permanent’ will probably contain PTD or TD. Proceed with particular caution if you have confirmed PPD allergy.
The ingredients may appear as para-toluenediamine, p-toluenediamine, toluene-2,5-diamine sulphate and similar variations.
These contain PTD / TDS instead of PPD:
Madison Reed Permanent Hair Color (US)
NaturVital ColourSafe (US) / NaturVital ColourSafe (UK)
Is there anything else out there?
Here are some other unique options offering more permanent solutions through natural means:
Hairprint (US / International)
Entirely natural and innovative product — the Color Restorer (right) — billing itself as ‘the only product in the world that restores grey hair to its true color’. It is not a dye. It uses peroxide to oxidise plant and mineral ingredients to recreate the lost natural and original pigment in your hair shafts, in the pattern (or ‘hair print’) that is unique to each of us. It is free of PPD, PTD, ammonia, artificial colours, synthetic preservatives (such as parabens), sulphates, gluten and silicones, and is vegan. The manufacturers say that they have not been notified of any confirmed allergic reaction to their product. Suitable for black and brown untreated hair.
Palette by Nature (US)
Two creams, applied one after the other to the hair, to which heat must then be applied. There are very long lists of ingredients in each of the products — which means those with allergies may have a lot to check — but completely natural, free of any oxidising agents, and uses only botanical and mineral-based colorants, that work using a patented method.
A final reminder
- Always perform a patch test at least two days before dyeing your hair, even with a more natural option, even if it’s a product you have safely used before (see also comment from Joolz, below).
- Carefully follow instructions, and always double check ingredients, as these occasionally change.
- No hair dye can be guaranteed 100% safe, but remember that extreme reactions are very rare.
- If you have reacted to hair dyes before, consult a dermatologist for patch testing and a formal diagnosis.
- Strictly avoid PPD / PTD if you have ever had a black henna temporary tattoo, as this can sensitise you.
- Don’t expect miracle results with the more natural options, and understand carefully the limitations that some of them have in dyeing your hair with respect to certain shades, colors and coverage. Some will require experimentation, and you may find you need to try a few products before finding the ideal one for you.
- If you’re looking for nickel tested / nickel allergy safe hair dye or color, try my article here.
Do you know whether the Scott Cornwall hair colour products are safe? Some new ones were recently launched. Thanks.
I’ve heard of them – and I think they’re launching next month, possibly in Boots. I’ll try to find out for you.
Just heard back from them, Sal – sorry for the delay. The entire Scott Cornwall Colour Restore Range is free from PPD and is also free from methylisothiazolinone. They seem to use phenoxyethanol as preservative instead. They are semi-permanent, but use artificial dyes only.
Phenoxyethanol is a known irritant so be careful using products with it as well. I wish hair dye manufacturers could find more natural preservatives.
I think you could say that about so many ingredients especially preservatives. ‘More natural’ preservatives tend to be weaker preservatives, so it’s always going to be a compromise. Most people tolerate phenoxyethanol.
Do these cover grey/white hair???
I heard of a shampoo that color your hair, it called Mokeru hair dye. Can you let me know what do you think about the ingredients? Thanks a lot:
Ingredients:Coconut oil,Juglans Regia(Walnut Leaf Extract),Cytisus scoparius Extract,Krameria Triandra root Extract,Water,Glycerine,Propylene Glycol,AMP Acrylates/ Allyl Methacrtlate Copolymer,PEG 400 Hydrogenated Castor oil,Triethanolamine,Cetearyl Alcohol,Polydimethylsiloxane,Acrylates c10-30 alkyl acrylate arosspolymer,ammonium polyacralate,Polyvinylpyrrolidne,Bismuth Citrate,CI77499,Ethylhexyglycern.
I can tell you that there doesn’t appear to be PPD in it. I don’t know how the colouring action works in that formulation. What would you like to know?
Hi and thanks for your response! I just wonder if there’s any ingredients that are likely to cause an allergic reaction because they are similar to PPD…
And maybe someone here will know what make the color permanent, if so…
No, no ingredients similar to PPD. The CI ingredient is a colour, I think an iron oxide, and perhaps the bismuth salt imparts some colour too. I also can’t see any detergent there so are you sure it’s a shampoo? It doesn’t look like one to me.
Well yeah that’s what it’s says at least…
I’m a little uncertain about this product. It may well work, but I can’t help wondering whether it will stain clothing / bedding. It seems to be iron oxide based colour – which is what is used in mascara and make-up.
For sure the coloring action comes from bismuth citrate. This kind of product has been developed as an alternative to those progressive dyes based on lead acetate which were banned by FDA due potential cancering effects. Progressive dyes are supposed to cover gray after daily successive use by at least one month. I have heard that works well in many cases without allergy problems. But also I have heard that in many cases doesn’t work. Look that depend on each specific case.
I just had a negative reaction to Mokeru. It contains PPD. It’s cheap but my meds for my skin irritations are much more expensive. But then, I think I may have bought the fake ones. So there!
Sorry to hear this Lilian. Do you (or you Hernando) have an updated ingredients list so we can correct the list given above?
I’ve also tried mokeru shampoo only for allergy test on a small spot, and the reaction was terrible. I’m sure it contains PPD even though it’s not in the ingredients list. Be careful
This does sound very odd and concerning. Has anyone spoken to the manufacturers? It would be good to give them a right to reply on this. There could be various potential explanations, including a contamination issue with an ingredient.
Hi – what about Herbatint? I have it but cannot find a complete list of ingredients? would appreciate any info – thank you!
The Vegetal Herbatint is PPD-free, but the permanent gel is not. If you search for ‘herbatint’ on this page you’ll see there have been some comments previously.
Pingback: Black henna tattoos | Allergy Insight
May I suggest that you extend the time you recommend for the patch test? I have an allergy to PPD and the hairdresser said her products were gentle and did a patch test on a Tues and said to wait 2 days. Thank goodness I didn’t have an appt on the Thurs and waited until the following week. On the Sunday, 5 days later, the patch test flared up with a very bad reaction. I dread to think the mess I would have been in if I had only waited 2 days.
I became allergic after a ‘black henna’ tattoo. That took several days to swell too.
Thanks for your helpful page.
Goodness – thanks for that. Most authorities advise 48 hours at least, and some 72, but I’ll add a note, yes.
It probably depends on the individual, maybe 48 hours is ok for most people, but I think waiting a few extra day is worth it.
Henna tattoos are deceiving as some of them also have PPD and other harsh chemicals. We tend to believe it is just henna, but it is not.
Yep, thanks Priscila, I’ve just written about henna tattoos, incidentally: https://www.allergy-insight.com/black-henna-tattoos/
Hi Alex, been reading the article as im allergic to PPD . What do you think of Hairprints is it worth a try? ( it does sound too good to be true!)
I think it is an original concept that clearly works for some women but not for others. I would certainly consider it if you feel you meet the advice and recommendations on the Hairprint site. Take a look here: https://myhairprint.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/categories/200211837-Will-Hairprint-Color-Restorer-Work-for-Me-
But sadly there are no guarantees in life! Good luck!
I’ve been using Hairprint for 12 months. It is brilliant! Covers my 100% white hair. I just keep doing the roots. Only downside is that it’s a messy process when applying. I get someone else to apply it while sitting outside. It makes a mess! Works for brunettes only, so if you are blonde, give it a miss.
Hi Alex I’m also one who sadly became allergic to PPD after a black henna tattoo gone wrong at the age of 4 (little did I understand) and then dyed my hair brown at 14 and had a severe reaction. I have tried Daniel Field before but never put near scalp as I dont trust it enough. Whats your opinion on them?
Hi Jem. Sorry to hear that. Daniel Field contain PTD / PTDS instead of PPD, so could still be a problem for many with PPD allergy. If you’ve used it without any reaction it might be OK for you, but I would perhaps consider consulting a dermatologist before doing so again. Other options in this article are far likely to be safer for you, but results are unlikely to be as good. I’ll add them to the list – thanks for reminding me of them. Alex.
Hello . I enjoyed reading this forum . In addition to PPD allergy , I am also allergic to propylyn glycol, which is in most developers . Anybody can recommend something that is free if those ? Thanks
Here is what I’ve managed to find out:
Hairprint is propylene glycol-free (they say so on their website).
The Herbatint Vegetal line look to be propylene glycol-free (but the Herbatint PERMANENT line contains both PPD and propylene glycol).
Surya is propylene glycol-free (they say so on their website)
Daniel Field *appears* to be propylene glycol-free, but their website is very user-unfriendly. They contain PTDS, though, which people with PPD-allergy may still react to.
The Naturtint Reflex CONTAINS propylene glycol (in the colorant)
Naturvital ColourSafe contains propylene glycol (but seemingly only in the shampoo, having checked a few examples). They contain PTDS, though, like the Daniel Field.
All the henna-type options in category 1 above should almost certainly be completely safe and propylene glycol-free.
If you are sure you can tolerate the PPD-alternative ingredients (PTD / TDS etc), then Naturvital ColourSafe could be an option (just don’t use the shampoo – and double check your chosen shade, as I didn’t check all).
If you are not sure you can tolerate PTD / TDS, then I’d look to brands like Surya or the more natural ones mentioned early on in the article.
As always, double check ingredients and patch test before going ahead – and good luck.
Hello! .. so, this PPD allergy has been the first thing to officially install a sense of fear into me 🙁 I colored my hair, through my hairdresser, every 6 months, the last time I got my hair dyed, I went really dark brownish black, 30mins into getting the colour I got really dizzy and light headed, told my hairdresser I didn’t feel good and needed water, she asked if I needed something to eat maybe and by then, as she explained to me, my face went grey, my eyes were black and I was convulsing. I woke up covered in sweat and slowly started feeling better, we finished my hair and I went home. One week later, all of a sudden I developed a lot of severe food allergies. I’m now allergic to an unknown amount of legumes, nuts, tree nuts, almonds, most tress, grasses… the list is ongoing 🙁 never had food allergies before, only a simple animal hair allergy that was totally manageable without meds, I’m wondering if the hair dye caused all this? And, due to the “plant” allergies, is there a hair dye that doesn’t have PPD and isn’t plant based? … at a loss with all this 🙁 can’t do anything safely anymore, including eating … was hoping to get more tattoos but now I’m afraid, will never travel again due to food complications, pollen/inhalant allergies… so hard to get answers, can only keep researching for myself ..
Sorry to hear this. Randi, that’s a troubling story. It’s very difficult to advise. Ultimately, I feel you must see an allergy specialist – the food allergies are an additional burden that need to be evaluated properly. I would guess it’s possible that there is a link. By the sounds of it, you have hay fever (tree / grass) so you may have had these previously, but not obviously, and the PPD reaction magnified them by heightening the sensitivity of your immune system. I’m speculating. I’m not a medical expert.
If you definitely can’t tolerate things like henna (which features in most of the 100% botanical products in category 1 above), I could perhaps look at Category 2. (Category 3 contains PPD alternatives, which I think could be too risky for you to experiment with, at least without an expert’s opinion.). Category 2 tend to use artificial colours (rather than from nature) and avoid oxidative processes where PPD / TDS are needed. Herbatint Vegetal, for example, has artificial colours, no PPD / peroxide / ammonia, but does contain a few botanicals (aloe, wheat, jojoba) as well as fragrance, which can irritate some.
Hairprint, mentioned as an alternative to the main 3 options, could be suitable, but it depends on your particular circumstances. It does use food-grade botanical ingredients, but some unusual ones, teamed with minerals, and it does use peroxide too.
Regarding tattoos, yes you must be careful. I recently covered this on another site I edit, with respect to another allergen (MI). I didn’t check for your allergens, but you may find it of interest: http://mi-free.com/tattoo-creams-and-balms/
Hope some of this helps. Let me know how you get on. As always, do a patch test if you do go ahead with something, but I really would consult an expert in the very first instance, as yours sounds a complex case.
Thank you so much Alex for your time and your input, it means a lot to me to be able to reach out to others in order to gain further knowledge, your response is very greatly appreciated!
I had recent allergy patch testing & was found sensitive to PPD. I have had red itchy eyelids for years & couldn’t find the reason. I was given a list of products I could use (extremely limited from dermatologist)I have 50% grey and my haircolor is medium brown. My hairdresser tried Elumen by Goldwell which was the only color listed! I didn’t have a reaction, but it didn’t cover all my grey and after 2-3 days looked like it needed to be colored again. There are so many products listed on the web, can you PLEASE help sort out a good choice! I refuse to go grey! Thank you!
Hi Ellen. Thanks for letting me know about Elumen as I’d not come across it before, but could be considered another ‘alternative’ to the three main options out there.
It’s impossible to ‘sort out a good choice’ because all dyes and colors work to a degree – but different women experience different degrees of success with them. It’s very personal; very ‘trial and error’.
Have you considered Hairprint, mentioned in the article above? You would need to ‘grow out’ the dyed hair you currently have before using, I imagine, but it could be one option to try, as it is unique and some women have great success with it (others less so — but that’s always the way).
I take it you’ve tried the henna / henna-based options which are totally natural? No joy?
All the best, Alex
Hi Alex, my hairdresser thought henna color wouldn’t work for me. Are you familiar with any of these permenant hair colors, PPD free. Trying to narrow down my choices.
Calura by Oligo
Kevin Murphy- Color me
Wella- Koleston Perfect Innosense
I’m not familiar with any, sorry, Ellen – but please bear in mind that I’m a man, and have no hair to dye even if I wanted to! My interest is in ingredients and their safety / reactivity. It’s difficult for me to recommend on effectiveness. That advice must come from hair professionals and trichologists.
I’ve looked at Calura by Oligo but I can’t find much information about it on their site, and not their ingredients either. I’ve emailed them though.
Kevin Murphy Color Me’s website is very frustrating and user-unfriendly – I can’t finding anything useful at all.
Wella Koleston Perfect Innosense – this seems to contain a patented dye molecule called ME+ which is related to PPD / TDS, but seems to be less likely to trigger allergies. I would still be very wary of this as it’s in the same family of chemicals – it’s full name is in fact ME-PPD. The one study I have found on this found that 2/3rds of women who were allergic to PPD / TDS could tolerate ME-PPD. But that still leaves one-third who couldn’t. I will add this to the article – thanks for bringing it to my attention.
All the best, Alex
I tried the Wella product and still had an allergic reaction to it. Still looking for something. Does Demi permanent have same PPD/TDS?
I don’t know sorry, and I’d hate to generalise anyway. I can’t find examples online, but it seems as if demi is the same as semi but with peroxide, so if that’s right, it may be safer, but I’d hate to call it ‘safe’ without seeing a specific product with ingredients. If you can point me towards a product which lists its ingredients, I can take a look at them if it helps.
I had done a patch test with my normal hair dye Loreal preference last month became very very dizzy short of breath I have not colored since last january but I heard Ion at sally beauty is ppd free I do not know if it contains ptd or toulene you can check it out it is suppose to be the safer one I am considering purchasing a few wigs twc the wig company and paula young have some pretty ones
(Editor’s note: we have not checked the brand recommended in this comment.)
I am allergic to PPD and have used at home dyes such as Surya cream. A hairdresser introduced me to Wella Koleston ME+ and it has changed my life. I have been going to the hairdressers now monthly for over a year with little to no reaction.
Do you have the ingredient list. I am having difficulty finding it. What color is your hair? Do you have gray and if so is the coverage good? I am interested in hearing more
Hi again Ellen,
I’ve now had a response from Calura by Oligo with regard to their ingredients. It’s not fully clear to me, but it is ammonia free and PPD free, and it seems to use TDS (mentioned in the article).
FYI my understanding is that Ellumen uses magnetic technology rather than oxidative dyes, however, Ive read that you can end up with patches where the color does not adhere. Desperately hoping for a non oxidative solution to permanent hair color. Probably wont happen though.. sadly!
Thanks Chris. Useful to know. Must look into it.
I have hair dye allergy, also allergic to henna. I have used Ellumen once successfully with no reactions. I did only use it with foils so that there was limited contact with my skin, but for now at least I can manage my scattering of grey hair.
Good that it’s worked for you. Hairprint (mentioned in article) might be another worth looking at.
As a hairdresser I will let you know that Ellumen and any goldwell color can only be purchased by a professional and is not sold to the public. Same goes for Kevin Murphy color. These are both color lines I use regularly. If you are purchasing these without a license then they are most likely what we call black market products, which basically means that they may be tampered with or super old.
That’s very interesting, Kala. Thanks for your input.
Thanks for a good article.
I am naturally blonde (somewhere in between dark blonde/strawberry blonde). I have bleached my hair before, and also colored it lighter (both at salons and at home), but last year decided to go black and had an allergic reaction. Not a super bad one, but my skin got dry, red and inflamed for a few months, until I decided to shave my head 😉
I have now tried coloring my hair (that had grown out in the meantime) platinum blonde two times, but it seems like I’m now allergic for good. I work as a model, and it is important for me to keep beautiful hair – but now my roots are coming out, and it’s not looking great. It seems there is a lot of products for women with brown or black hair – but not really any for women with blonde? I want to avoid PPD and TDS. I’ve researched a lot, but I don’t seem to find any – am I overlooking something? Semi-permanent or reflexes could be an option!
First I would recommend you go for patch testing to a/ determine whether you really are allergic and b/ find out what you’re allergic to. It may not be PPD (although it is certainly highly possible).
One possible product might be Scott Cornwall Platinum – http://www.boots.com/scott-cornwall-colour-restore-iced-platinum-hair-toner-100ml-10140314 – which is PPD-free. But remember that alternative products contain alternative ingredients (such as preservatives -in this case phenoxyethanol) which can trigger allergies. This is why that diagnosis is so important as a starting point – otherwise, it’s trial and error and guesswork, to some degree.
Best wishes, Alex.
Definitely check out twc the wig company on line I have purchased a couple wigs from them about a year ago I am having trouble with hair dyes too I am a lead singer/musician so I realize appearances in the entertainment business are important these wigs are beautiful anyone I ran into did not even know it was a wig
I’ve dyed my hair black for as long as I can remember. About 3 years ago, after I got it dyed, my scalp started itching and I had knots in the back of my head. I went to the doctor and was told I had an allergic reaction to the hair dye. I hoped that was not the case and dyed my hair black again a few months later. Again, I had the reaction. After some research online I realized I was all of a sudden allergic to PPD. I’ve been coloring my hair blond since then but really getting tired of it. And my natural hair color is a disaster 🙂
Anything you can recommend would be great!
I always recommend getting a proper diagnosis to be certain what the allergy is in the first instance. It may be PPD; it may be something else.
As for recommendations, well, I don’t offer personal recommendations as I’ve never tried hair dyes, and what works for one person, does not work for another. The PPD-free options are all given in the article. Once you know what you definitely react to, you can try alternatives. Black is difficult to achieve without PPD, unfortunately. Hannah Natural – mentioned in the article – have a black henna dye. So do Naturtint Reflex, and I’m sure others.
Good luck, A.
Pingback: Hair dye tests | Allergy Insight
Unfortunately I too am allergic to PPD. I’ve previously used dyes including henna’s to achieve a jet black look and one day suddenly the allergy occurred. After many attempts at locating PPD free dyes, I’ve since found the herbatint vegetal semi permanent colour which I’ve been using for ever since as it was always readily available at our Wellness and Herbal stores. This however has been discontinued (black) Are there any alternatives. I am in South Africa and some online stores in UK do have the delivery option for SA.
Have you tried the Naturtint Reflex Black, mentioned in the article near the Herbatint Vegetal?
Unfortunately none of the online stores delivers to South Africa
I’m still in search of a PPD free black hair dye
I’ve just asked Twitter followers and the SA Allergy association directly, to see whether they have any suggestions. You could also try contacting the allergy / eczema societies in South Africa, perhaps, as they may keep ‘safe’ product lists?
Juanita – are you OK with henna? This one should be safe for you: https://www.organicchoice.co.za/colouring/639-100-herbal-hair-colours-powder-logona.html#/shade-henna_black
Thanks so much for the recommendation of the Naturtint Reflex Black. I purchased this product online and a colleague collected this whilst in the UK and returned it to me here in South Africa. I am absolutely thrilled with the results. The product is easy to use, no mess, no fuss, and my hair looks and feels great even after using only half of the mixture.
I did the allergy test 48 hours prior just to ensure that I would not have any allergic reaction and can happily state that this is even better than the one I previously used
Thanks for your help
Delighted to hear it, Juanita!
I,too, am allergic to PPD along with many other things. I suffered through the contact dermatitis rashes for the sake of coloring my hair. Saw an advertisement for Madison Reed hair dye and it’s PPD free, so I tried it and am in love! Their website is easy and fun to use. Very affordable, too! I hope this helps. I wish I had found it sooner. It wasn’t listed in my “product book” my allergist gave me. I’m just happy I can have brown hair again!
Thanks for sharing, Kathy. Madison Reed I believe are Category 3 – they use TDS in their permanent hair colour options, so it won’t be suitable for everyone with PPD allergy.
I am very pleased that you found a product that works for you. I live in the UK, but not sure about you, can you tell me how you accessed an allergist?? I don’t know where to find one, thank you,
I went to Madison Reed for a skin patch test and unfortunately had an allergic reaction. Bummer! I am over 70% grey and can’t find a hair dye to cover my greys.
The only options I know are the ones I’ve given in the article, but there are so many comments here that perhaps there are other suggestions. Is it just PPD and other permanent dye ingredients you need to avoid? Surya may have some products which could work?
What is the name of the hair color dye please can you tell me and from where can i buy it ?
just wanted to add a comment about Henna. I am allergic to hair dye and so have spent ages looking at the alternatives. I found a Henna website that I liked and read every single bit of info on the web site, inclu all the comments.
I did a patch test and went onto putting a very small amount on my hair, not on my scalp; I wrapped it in foil, just to be sure. I was extremely surprised to have an allergic reaction. It was Henna with Indigo to make a brown colour; the company thought it was probably the indigo. So, moral of the story, just because it is natural (like nuts, grass, pollen etc), we can still have a reaction.
Oh absolutely – natural compounds are far likelier to trigger an allergy than a synthetic one, which are often ‘designed’ to be safer. There are no guarantees. I would still recommend patch testing though, if you did want to be sure. A lot of the henna products are indigo-free. Some use things like beetroot, cassia, coffee etc.
Thank you Alex, I didn’t know that about natural compounds – that is certainly not what the websites for henna are saying. Almost guarantee its allergy free. Thank you for this website, its helpful to share information. I haven’t yet found an indigo free Henna that will dye my hair brown, but will continue to look. Also I don’t actually know what caused my allergy, it could have been the henna.
The Sante Colour Creams look to be indigo-free. They’ve got cocoa / mahogany brown options.
Rainbow Research do a brown chestnut that seems to be just two types of henna, but that’s in the States.
I had a PPD-type reaction to Palette by Nature. Don’t know exactly what’s in it, but I was so disappointed.
Unfortunately, no dye or color can be ‘allergy free’ for everyone. The ingredients are on their site (there are a lot of them). It may be worth investigating, in case it’s something that appears in non-dye products?
Pingback: PPD allergy and the gentle molecule | Allergy Insight
I heard japan, Korea & Spain made PPD free Genuine Black hair dye. is it true. If anyone know about, Pls. tell me brand name or other details
What do you mean by ‘genuine’?
Hello i am allergy hair color parafenilendiamina what’s hair color i need
Hi Leonita. Espanol? Italiano? I speak both if you want specific help. All the products linked to in this article are PPD free, though I’m unsure about availability in countries speaking those languages.
Hi what would you suggest, I tried Hairprint no itchy and redness or swallow skin good for my skin but not covered 100% gray. I’m using black on my gray hair. Any suggestions?
Hairprint can be great, but doesn’t work perfectly for everyone. Have you tried Naturtint Reflex Black? Really, it’s difficult for me to advise individually. I’m afraid ‘trial and error’ is something many women have to accept, although a trichologist may be able to advise in more detail.
I tried Kevin Murphy’s Colour Me range yesterday. Just a small patch test on my arm and reacted pretty severely like I have in the past. I have the PPD allergy from a ‘black henna’ tattoo when I was 16 (31 now and getting more and more allergic it seems). Just a reminder to ALWAYS DO A TEST! It may say PPD free but it’s got something else in it that makes it dangerous for PPD allergy sufferers.
Sorry to hear this, Beth – but thank goodness you did the patch test. Is there anywhere I can see the full ingredients of the product you used, might you know? i’ve looked at the Kevin Murphy website but it is not the most user friendly and can’t see any sign of ingredients listings … Reason I ask is that yes, it may contain something which cross-reacts with PPD, but it may also be an entirely different ingredient to which you are sensitive, and others with PPD allergy might not be.
Sadly enough, I had an awful reaction to Kevin Murphy, too! Itchy scalp, eyelids and hair line itchy, racing heart, tingling throat — the list goes on.
“Confusion occasionally arises as natural hair dye formulas often contain a number of similarly named compounds. Both PPD and Toluene-2,5 Diamine Sulfate belong to the same family of ingredients: phenylenediamines. Since these related ingredients belong to the same chemical family, it is mandated by the European Cosmetics Directive to list the official warning text ‘contains phenylenediamines’ on retail packaging. Natural hair color products that do not contain PPD may still list phenylenediamines in their ingredients; however, they will not contain ‘p-phenylenediamine.”
Kevin Murphy has Toluene-2,5 Diamine Sulfate:(
I have a severe PPD allergy and also react to the products that are said to be PPD-free. The information in this article regarding other chemicals in hair dye that can cause reactions is spot-on and important to note–thank you for that. People with these types of allergies and even hair stylists need to understand that PPD-free does not necessarily mean non-allergenic. When I had my first reaction I went to a dermatologist for allergy testing and he gave me a list of chemicals that are similar to PPD, so I was already aware that I could still react despite no PPD. I had severe allergies to lots of things when I was a kid, so I’m guessing that has made me sensitive to PPD. I “outgrew” many of my allergies thanks to many years of allergy shots, but a PPD allergy was not one that I was tested or treated for when I was young. Hair stylists must also be educated about the potential effects of non-PPD products for the safety of their clients. I had two patch tests applied last night with PPD-free products and I have reacted to one of them already this morning. The other so far has not reacted, but it will require further patch tests than just one spot to make sure before I even consider coloring my whole head. I’m reluctant to try henna. My hair stylist is doing a lot of research into products for me, but I am losing hope that I will ever find anything that is even semi-permanent but does not cause me to react.
Sorry you’ve had such difficulties. Other than henna options and Hairprint (mentioned in the article, but not appropriate for all), there is also Palette by Nature, but their ingredients lists are long. There is the ‘PPD-lite’ ‘allergy-gentle’ molecule ME+, but as you clearly have several sensitivities, perhaps or perhaps not related to PPD, I would be wary of trying it. But if you want to read more about it, I covered it here: https://www.allergy-insight.com/ppd-allergy-and-the-gentle-molecule/
Hi Alex, I have a photo of the packaging – do you have an email I can send it to?
Hi Beth, sure – contact me through email Alex icon on my website: http://www.alexgazzola.co.uk
hi, I wanted to know PHYTOCOLOR SENSITIVE colour products. It claims to have no PPD, but i was wondering if it contains any alternitives to PPD such as TD, TDS.
Yes, they have TDS, according to this: https://cdn1.costatic.com/documents/composition/phytocolor-sensitive-coloration-permanente.pdf
I don’t know of any permanent hair color products which are PPD free and don’t contain TD/TDS, other than the new ones with ME+. See this article for more on that: https://www.allergy-insight.com/ppd-allergy-and-the-gentle-molecule/
Hi Alex and thank you for your work in this field of allergans. I’m also allergic to ppd and after trying a non-ppd permanent hair color and awful reaction, I guess the color had TD/TDS in it (it was a Philip Martin’s color). Henna is ok for my skin but not for my grey’s… sadly. I wonder what should I try next. Since I live in Israel and all of the options mentioned above will require special order from overseas, I really want to try and make a good decision. can I kindly ask what would you suggest? My main goal is grey hair coverage, long lasting is of course a bonus.
I’m not familiar with Philip Martin, but if it’s permanent and PPD-free then yes it is likely to contain TD / TDS – although I’ve looked at the Italian website and is says ‘allergen’ free for the activator, which makes me wonder what the ingredients are. I can’t find them, so can’t comment.
Your situation is difficult and it is equally difficult to advise. You could try Hairprint, mentioned in the article, but see the Will Hairprint Work for Me section on their site.
If henna doesn’t work for you, then you need to consider the options given in Section 2 in the article – semi-permanent.
If you want to try another permanent option, there’s a new ‘allergy gentle’ molecule in some Clairol dyes – more information here: https://www.allergy-insight.com/ppd-allergy-and-the-gentle-molecule/ – but again, there are no guarantees and there is a small possibility of a reaction here too.
Make sure you do a patch test with anything new. Information here: https://www.allergy-insight.com/hair-dye-tests/
Let us know how you get on, Osnat!
Good luck, Alex
Thank you so much for your answer, I hope I’ll have good progress to update!
Sorry, I forgot to ask,
What do you think about Goldwell Elumen color? I saw in some places it supposed to be ppd free?
this is the product:
Haven’t come across this brand, but it’s a category 2 product – no oxidisers (no PPD / TDS) and using artificial colouring agents.
Hi Alex, Thanks! In simple words, what does it mean..? no risk?
Nothing is no risk, Osnat, I’m afraid!
OK, you’re right, and for sure i’m doing a test before any coloring. I meant if the ingredients are looking save, with all the caution that should be using.
I know it’s frustrating for you, but it’s just impossible to give this sort of guarantee of ‘safety’. There are thousands of cosmetic ingredients, and millions of people, and people’s skin reacts differently. It may be worthwhile you seeing a dermatologist for extensive patch testing if you are worried about other ingredients.
Pingback: Allergen free skincare | Allergy Insight
You omitted to include ecocolors, they are non toxic, no ppd and gluten and all other stuff. I’ve been using their ppd free color for 5 years!
Didn’t mean to omit brands, but impossible to include all, and many ignored approaches for information when I researched the article (don’t think ecocolours were among them). Thanks for the tip, though. Into which category do their products fall?
I think that SANOTINT is one of the best brands if you have an allergy to PPD.
Thanks. I’d seen it before but have been unable to ascertain full ingredients. A quick Google suggests it is PPD-free (or at least has some PPD-free options).
hi, is the brand THE SHADE safe for people allergic to PDD? thank you
Never heard of it, sorry, Jane. Do you have an online link to the brand? I can’t seem to find it.
Hi Jane, I’ve just ordered the trial for The Shade – should arrive Monday so will do a test and let you know how I go. I’m PPD allergic an STILL have reactions to Kevin Murphy and some other “PPD free” brands.
After I became allergic to PDD, –NOW, after I wash my hair, I dip a cotton ball in a baby food jar with red and green food coloring and dab it on my gray streaks, (and take an umbrella with me, in case I get caught in the rain)! Though liquid eyeliner and mascara don’t list PDD as an ingredient, after I became sensitive to PDD, liquid eyeliner caused me to have a burn line underneath the liner, so switched to using a pencil. Mascara also makes my eyes burn and itch a little, by the end of the day, to the point that I remove my eye makeup soon after I get home. It doesn’t burn me, the way liquid eyeliner did, but it’s annoying. Do you know if I may have to give up using mascara, at some point? Are some brands safer than others for people sensitive to PDD, even if PDD isn’t listed as one of the ingredients? I’m sensitive to Almay’s mascara, which is supposed to be less toxic. I bought a pair of magnetic lashes, but it’s been hard to center them without poking myself in the eye!
There are some other ingredients used in cosmetics which can ‘cross react’ with PPD – meaning that if you react to PPD you may also react to them. There are some colouring agents, and also para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) which is mainly used in sunscreen. I would consider the possibility that you’ve become sensitive to another ingredient – perhaps speak to your dermatologist for further patch testing? Alternatively, you might like to try a highly non-reactive brand of make up – NATorigin is one which I often recommend.
Hello my teenage daughter has a PPD allergy and was having so much trouble with skin care products, shampoo and makeup . She would end up with a rash. After much research we have found products that use any petrochemical will cause her to react. We needed paraben free products and SSL free. Now she uses Evo shampoo, Dr hauschka skin care and the australian organic makeup Inika which she loves including the mascara and eyeliner.Hope this helps.
I’m happy i’ve found your page. i’m a guy that’s gone grey in his 30’s. I used to use a product called CAMO was all good and then i had 2 episodes that gave me breathing problems and hours of feeling like i was going to pass out. I then tried another product by O&M and no breathing issues by bad itchiness. I found out they are PPD free however they use PTD. I also have a condition G6PD. I have lately found out that PPD, Resorcinol and henna cause reactions when you have this condition. Are you aware of a safe product that i can use without these ingredients. My hair is dark brown/black. thanks
Hi Carlos. It’s tricky because most of the product suggestions in categories 1-3 will have either resorcinol, henna or PPD (or sometimes more than one) but I think Hairprint (mentioned later) is suitable for you. They have a dedicated True Hair Color Restorer for Men that should be appropriate for your hair color.
PS. Thanks for drawing my attention to G6PD. I’ve always wanted to write about favism and now see it’s related, so will take a closer look at the issue.
Thanks soooooo much. After 2 severe reactions I have become to scared to try anything else. Thanks for looking into G6pd. There’s an extensive drug list that mentions the ingredients I listed. I’ll be following your results 🙂
No problem. I just checked Hairprint ingredients and I think you’re safe with them, but perhaps drop them a line just to double check beforehand. Let me know how you get on!
Hey Alex, I ordered Hairprint and checked the ingredients. Their main ingredient is mucuna pruriens.
I’m a bit confused and if you can please clarify. Having G6PD means i can’t have anything from fava beans. My understanding is that mucuna pruriens is a legume? Possibly also linked to fava? thanks
I really don’t know sorry Carlos, whether mucuna pruriens is related to fava. As I said previously, it may be worth dropping Hairprint a line – maybe now to find out exactly what type of extract from mucuna is used and whether they know more about safety for G6PD.
I know I can’t use hair dyes that have chemical, I will get severe itch on my scalp. Tried many brands. Tried Henna, it is good and no itch but it cannot cover my grey hair. I wanted my hair black again. Can you please advise me which product should I get to cover my grey hair with black hair dye that have No Ammonia, no peroxide and no PPD. I suppose these are the 3 toxic chemicals for hair dye. Thanks.
Hi Lily. Firstly, I have to say that everything’s a chemical, including water. Henna is filled with (natural) chemicals. Also everything is toxic – at a certain dose, and it varies for different individuals. You only need to avoid your ‘toxins’ if you react to them at the levels in which they are normally found, or otherwise want to avoid them. If henna does not work for you and you wish to / need to avoid ammonia, peroxide and PPD then I’m afraid choices are restricted to those in Category 2, above. I’ve not tested or had tested any of the products, so can’t give personal recommendations, sorry. But perhaps the Naturtint Reflex Semi-Permanent 1.0 Black is one worth trying? All the best, Alex.
Pingback: Sulfite free hair dye | Allergy Insight
It is SO true that if you experience a slight reaction, it can get progressively worse.
I stopped having my hair stylist dye my hair, because my scalp, ears, and neck would itch like CRAZY. And this was after many years of dying my hair professionally and personally.”
I had been using Suriya Brasil henna, which worked great, and no allergic reaction but was very high maintenance, because I had to re-color so frequently (once a week or more). I was using the burgundy and sometimes the chocolate colors.
Recently I got tired of continually dying my grey roots, so I decided to let them grow in and go back to being a blonde or light white color, so the grey would blend in. Then maybe go silver.
I used a Clairol permanent “root color” dye, thinking that if I was only doing a small portion of my hair, I’d be less likely to be allergic.
Well, as I was using the brush to put the hair color on select areas, I got a spot of it on my arm. That spot started breaking out in itchy spots!
I decided to jump in the shower right then and wash it all off, and take a Benadryl.
I was still dealing with itchy skin for a little bit, until the Benadryl took effect, and then I was ok.
I would highly suggest anyone with ANY allergic reaction whatsoever ….STOP USING PERMANENT DYE.
And if you make the mistake I did, take a Benadryl right away!!!
Well I think the lesson here is to always do a patch test first and not hope for a spot to fall on your arm!! 🙂
I have always used Clairol no 79 in dark brown it washed out after 6washes and didn’t contain anything nasty, but clairol have been sold to Coty and have discontinued it, I don’t want to use anything with ppd, amonia or peroxide, does anyone know of anything similar that I can use. Thankyou
Try Goldwell Elumen. It is PPD and tds free. It is an azo dye but you still will need to patch test as some people with PPD allergy can also experience some cross senisitation. Below are some tips on Elumen.
Pingback: PPD free beard dye | Allergy Insight
I am wondering if you would be able to help me, I am looking for a non PPD hair dye that is a very light ash blonde in the UK ideally?
I haven’t been diagnosed with having PPD intolerance as we don’t have dermatologists here that we are able to access other than going private. When I colour my hair I come out in hives sometimes all over my body or just in small patches. The NHS said there is no point in having a allergy test as it will just come back saying I am allergic to lots of things but only apparent for that day, they said if I do the test the next day I could be allergic to nothing, so there is no point in doing it at all??
My hair looks dreadful at the moment, it is a light orangey colour, I need to colour it as it is getting me down. Any information that you can give me would be really helpful.
Hi Mandy. Not sure I agree with the NHS comment about ‘allergy today, no allergy tomorrow’ … in fact, I don’t understand how they could say that. Allergies are permanent, on the whole. At least, cosmetic allergies are.
Anyway, this is very difficult. The NaturVital (Link in the article above) are PPD free but use TDS – a safer, but not fully safe, alternative, and many with PPD allergy react to. Their very light golden blonde No9 may be close to what you’re looking for.
You may also be interested in the new ‘allergy gentle’ PPD-like molecule which Clairol Nice N Easy are using. I wrote about it here: https://www.allergy-insight.com/ppd-allergy-and-the-gentle-molecule/ – and although it was not designed for this purpose, it seems that some people with PPD allergy can tolerate it.
The Clairol Nice’n Easy Permanent Colour (9A Light Ash Blonde) is probably the one you’d be looking for.
I have to stress that both these options use PPD-similar ingredients, so come with risk. Please, please do careful proper patch tests with them before you consider using them. And if you do go ahead, do it supervised with someone present who can help in the event of a reaction.
I have to say that if you’re having hives it may be a different ingredient, as PPD reactions are often more extreme when they occur. Perhaps a fragrance? It’s so difficult to advise, Mandy. You really need patch testing to be sure …
I wish I could be more helpful …
I used this brand and shade for years but last time about 6 months ago had a reaction scalp red all over and itchy. Redness only lasted a day but now too scared to try any permanent hair dye. Have since also had a reaction to something that makes eye lid swell, red, itchy havn’t been able to pinpoint exact product.
Perhaps worth having a patch test to get better clarity, Jackie? It’s so difficult to guess correctly when there are so many products and ingredients out there.
I have included a link to a forum for people with ppd. Try a ppd free non oxidized hair color called GOLDWELL Elumen. It is a azo direct dye. Some people may have a cross sensitization to it but it is your safest bet at the moment .
Hi Paula. Another commenter in this thread (Kala) mentioned that Goldwell Elumen is not sold to the public and that those available may not be genuine / safe. Can you elucidate? Who sells it? Are there online licensed traders? I’d like to clear this matter up before recommending it to the readers of this post. Thanks, Alex.
Yes unfortunately Goldwell is very protective of the product and refuses to sell it to the public. From my research you need to apply heat to the product to make it permanent. I have also included some sources that helped me discover Elumen . At the moment people allergic to PPD are buying the product on ebay, Amazon or trying to find a hairdresser that uses it but as mentioned it is an Azo dye and there can be cross reaction so an initial patch test is required.In order to ensure the product is genuine it would be best to patch test each bottle. In the Tapatalk forum most members do not recommend TDS products as they have all eventually become allergic to it as well . For an organic henna I recommend Desert Shadow they test each patch. The most informed dermatologist on the topic is from the UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA dermatologist Bruce Brod he is cited in most of the medical literature.
Thanks for this, Paula. Very interesting. And useful! I may do a separate post on it some day.
I just wanted to say that Joolz is absolutely right on timing patch tests. I had been coloring my hair for over 20 years without any problems or signs of problems to come. Then one day my stylist did a dark brown with a purple rinse. Two days later, my head was a little itchy, but it didn’t make me stop in my tracks or anything. Each day after it became worse. On day 7 – A FULL WEEK AFTER THE COLORING – I broke out into swelling on my scalp, an ungodly itchiness, and hives all over my body! It put me in the hospital. I was told to never color my hair again as it could be deadly (anaphylactic) if I was ever exposed again. Seven days people….seven days.
Thanks for that input – very interesting and sorry you went through that.
Wella KPME+ has replaced PPD and PTD in their permanent hair color. The replacement is a moderate sensitizer still (not extreme like PPD and PTD), so always patch test. But if new to Hair Color for sure the smartest place to start with if you want full permanent hair color.
Thanks Jay. I presume the Wella formula is similar to the Clairol one, and using ME+, which I wrote about here: https://www.allergy-insight.com/ppd-allergy-and-the-gentle-molecule/
I just came across new hair color that claims to be Ammonia free/PDD free/Parabens free/Silicones Free/Mineral Oil free/Resorconol free.
Ofcourse i will do a patch test,
but, by the ingredients list can you guess if it’ll be safe for me? I’m allergic to PPD and I think also to PTD/TDS.
Couldn’t understand from the list if it’s in it.
Thank you very much.
COLOUR DEVELOPING EMULSION: 20 Vol Aqua/Water/Eau, Hydrogen Peroxide, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth-20, Cetyl Alcohol, Polyquaternium-6, Ceteareth-33, Oxyquinoline Sulfate, Etidronic Acid.
COLOUR DEVELOPING EMULSION: 30 Vol Aqua/Water/Eau, Hydrogen Peroxide, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth-20, Cetyl Alcohol, Polyquaternium-6, Ceteareth-33, Oxyquinoline Sulfate, Etidronic Acid.
SUNFLOWER & MOUNTAIN TEA CONDITIONER Aqua/Water/Eau, Cetearyl Alcohol, Distearoylethyl Hydroxyethylmonium Methosulfate, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Quaternium-91, Parfum/Fragrance, Cetrimonium Methosulfate, Inulin, Astrocaryum Murumuru Seed Butter, Beta Vulgaris (Beet) Extract, Butylene Glycol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Crambe Abyssinica Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Extract, Hexyl Cinnamal, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Hydrolyzed Wheat Starch, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Hydroxypropyl Guar, Lactic Acid, Linalool, Niacinamide, Orbignya Speciosa Kernel Oil, Origanum Dictamnus Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Origanum Majorana Leaf Extract, Panthenol, Phytantriol, Polyquaternium-37, Sideritis Syriaca Extract, Sodium Gluceptate.
ARGAN OIL ADVANCED COLORANT: 1.0: Aqua/Water/Eau, Laureth-2, Peg-4 Rapeseedamide, Trideceth-2 Carboxamide Mea, Ethanolamine, Laureth-12, Oleth-30, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Toluene-2,5-diamine Sulfate, Avena Sativa Kernel Extract/Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, m-Aminophenol, Cetearyl Phosphate, Sodium Cetearyl Sulfate, Polyquaternium-6, Sodium Sulfite, Ceteareth-20, Titanium Dioxide, Erythorbic Acid, Tetrasodium Edta, Cetyl Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sodium Hydrosulfite, Peg-8 Stearate, Ceteareth-25 Phosphate, Etidronic Acid, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Parfum/Fragrance, Hexyl Cinnamal, p-Methylaminophenol Sulfate, Phenyl Methyl Pyrazolone, 4-chlororesorcinol, 2,4-Diaminophenoxyethanol Sulfate.
Hey Asnat. The Argan Oil Colorant contains toluene-2,5-diamine sulphate, which is TDS, so if you think you are allergic to it, then you should avoid this product.
maybe, have i missed any permanent hair color that does not contain all of this?
There’s a newer alternative, called PPD-ME+, but it may still be a problem, and not many products use it. Otherwise, I don’t know of any other common solutions other than the ones mentioned in the article above. For more on ME+, see this article: https://www.allergy-insight.com/ppd-allergy-and-the-gentle-molecule/
[Editor’s Note: I am publishing this as it’s an interesting and clearly genuine personal experience, which also alerts readers to the fact that shampoos can very rarely contain PPD. That said, I want to make it clear that the expert advice to anyone diagnosed with PPD allergy, no matter how ‘mild’ or ‘severe’, is strict and complete avoidance. A.G.]
I am severely allergic to PPD and recently started using Control GX grey reducing shampoo by Just for Men (I am female). I did the necessary patch tests several times, but on my scalp in areas that I know are particularly sensitive. I didn’t have any allergic reaction, so I started by using it on the longer ends of my hair just to see the results. I noticed that it did color my hair and covered the grays pretty well, so I gradually over about a month worked up to doing my whole head. I have been using the product for about two months now and have not had a single allergic reaction and my grays are covered pretty well and the color looks natural (I have dark hair). The product does have PPD in it, but I am guessing the amounts are low and because the product stays on for only 1 minute, it doesn’t cause a reaction for me. I tried for many years to find some kind of hair dye, but I had a reaction to every one I tried–salon and OTC products. Patch tests are necessary with this product, but perhaps it might help other women who have a severe sensitivity like I do.
Thanks very much for alerting me to this product, of which I was unaware, and for sharing your experience. Apologies, but I felt it necessary to add a warning. Thanks again, Alex
Hello, I’m trying to find PPD free color that will cover my white hairs, I came across this product and I wanted to ask if you know if some of the ingredients can cause similar reactions for ppd allergic people?
The ingredient list:
Water, cetearyl alcohol, ceteth-20, oleyl alcohol, ethanolamine, ceteth-15, stearic acid, toluene-2,5-diamine sulfate, propylene glycol, steartrimonium chloride, ceteth-10, behenyl alcohol, polyquaternium-10, resorcinol, mineral oil, amodimethicone, artemisia vulgaris extract, cnidium officinale root extract, chrysanthemum morifolium flower extract, panax ginseng root extract, threonine, hydroxypropyltrimonium hydrolyzed keratin, pca, m-aminophenol, dioleyl phosphate, oleth-5 phosphate, cocamide dea, ethanolamine thioglycolate, 2,4-diaminophenoxyethanol hydrochloride, disodium edta, p-aminophenol, sodium ascorbate, butylene glycol, alcohol, fragrance.
Thank you very much,
Well it’s got TDS (toluene-2,5-diamine sulphate) which is mentioned in my article, so PPD-free, but still a permanent dye with an oxidiser, and which may still cause problems for those with PPD allergy.
GOLDWELL Elumen has brought out two new colours to cover grey hair NN@6 and NN@8. They are still an Azo due so no ppd or tds. The following is a quote from their site . “Elumen chemical formula has not changed at ALL! It’s the same as the rest 32 shades (34 with the 2 new NN shades) of Elumen. No PPDs, no TDSs – just the Unique HDmax Technology. Note that the NN@6 & NN@8 can be mixed with any fashion shade in the assortment (e.g. KB@7 etc.). “
Please still patch test .
Thanks for the info, Pia!
Thank you for all the incredible information!!
What do you think of Herb speedy hair dye, PPD free.
Thanks you for any help!
Well, the content given on the Amazon page seems to suggest it’s PPD-free, but I’ve not come across this brand before, and can’t see a list of ingredients, so I’m afraid I can’t comment.
I have tried it although I have serious allergies But found it ok
I am allergic to general hair dye but have been successfully using Goldmen Elumen in foils to colour my hair every 5 months or so.
in lockdown I can’t go to the hairdresser so greys are really showing. I have seen the product Plantur 39 Brown caffeine shampoo advertised, does anyone know if it contains ingredients that are likely to cause allergic reactions? thank you,
Yes, I’ve heard others have had success with Goldmen Elumen. I don’t have the ingredients to Plantur 39, but if you print them here, I can comment. to some extent, though, it depends what you mean by ‘likely’ – all cosmetics have ingredients which can potentially cause problems. Fragrances, preservatives and food allergens (eg nut oils) are just some examples of ingredients and all be problems – though I don’t know whether these are found in that shampoo.
Thank you Alex, I take your point that nothing is safe, so if I were to try it I would still patch test etc.
I have listed the ingredients below, taken from the website. Thank you so much for your help, it is great to have this resource as a way of sharing information.
Aqua, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, PEG-3 Distearate, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Chloride, Caffeine, Coco-Glucoside, Glyceryl Oleate, Panthenol, Propylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Parfum, Polyquaternium-7, Phosphoric Acid, PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, Hc Blue No. 2, Polyquaternium-10, Sodium Hydroxide, 2-Amino-6-Chloro-4-Nitrophenol, Citric Acid, Hexyl Cinnamal, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Limonene, Zinc PCA, Niacinamide, Tocopherol, Linalool, Sodium Benzoate, Glycine Soja Oil, Citronellol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.
So there are quite a few fragrance compounds there – limonene, linalool, sodium benzoate, hexyl cinnamon – but as they’re washed off quickly in shampoo, they’re usually less of a risk. Second ingredient SLS can irritate if you have eczema. It doesn’t look designed for sensitive skin / scalps but most products aren’t … Not much else I can add. It is unfortunately very individual! I’m not sure about patch testing shampoo, personally – it does get rinsed off quickly and the patch testing is contact which you just won’t have with the product in ordinary use – but I’m not an expert! All the best, Alex.
Thank you, your comments are appreciated. Perhaps someone who has tried it may comment, and give their personal experience of it.
Firstly thank you so much for the all the great information you have provided, it has really been extremely helpful!
Ive just used this hair dye on my beard as I have a slight allergy to PPD
Cream #1: water, urea, ceteareth-20, mineral oil, sodium salicylate, sodium sulfite, stearyl alcohol, gallic acid, cetyl alcohol, butylene glycol, behentrimonium chloride, salicylic acid, fragrance, cysteine, glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) root extract, ammonium bicarbonate, paeonia albiflora root extract, salvia officinalis (sage) leaf extract, chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower extract, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract, ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, camellia japonica seed oil
cream #2: water, ferrous sulfate, cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, mineral oil, PEG-5-Stearylammonium chloride, ceteareth-20, oleyl alcohol, ascorbic acid
Its is PPD free and does not contain any other oxidative colourants. I have no idea what the mechanics is, as it has a two cream process, you apply the first cream for 10mins then the second cream for a further 10mins, whole process takes under 20mins, which is pretty quick for a non ppd dye! You do not mix the creams together before hand like a normal dye. I have no idea how it works, but what I can say is that it is really effective! No reaction and pretty decent coverage.
Would really appreciate your thoughts on this product and any insight you may have in to how it works.
Very curious! I’m afraid I can’t shed any light. I can’t even work out what the colouring agent is – ferrous sulphate is probably red? Nope, not a clue, sorry. Hopefully someone else will come along and share insights!
I have just heard about a couple of products recommended to me by a hairdresser that may be suitable for people with hair dye allergy.
anyone had experience with Goldwell Nectaya, or Wella Innosense?
appreciate your help,
Hi Alex. What’s your opinion on Simpler Hair Color. Ingredients are:
Aqua (water), Stearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth 20, Oleic Acid, Oleyl Alcohol, Dibutyl Adipate, Ceteareth-30, Steareth-40, Lauryl Alcohol, Ceteareth-3, Steareth-80, Ethanolamine, Propylene Glycol, Polyquaternium-58, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Jojoba Esters, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, 4-Chlororesorcinol, Toluene-2-5-Diamine Sulfate, M-Aminophenol, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, 2-Methylresorcinol, 2,4 Diaminophenoxyethanol Dihydrochloride, Sodium Sulfite, 2-Amino-3-Hydroxypyridine, Sodium Isoascorbate, Tetrasodium Edta, 1-Hydroxyethyl 4,5-Diamino Pyrazole Sulfate.
Hi John. This has got T25DS, which is listed in category 3 in the article, so it is a permanent hair dye, just using an alternative to PPD, which is less likely to cause allergy (but far from guaranteed …).
Hi, has anyone with a PPD allergy tied Wella Professionals Koleston Perfect ME+ with success? I have a PPD allergy and have been colouring my hair black with pure henna and indigo from Lush and Its Pure Organics for the last 10 years, but now that I’m starting to go grey I’m finding the upkeep to be a bit of a pain.
I’ve had a reaction to the wella koleston perfect me+ I had been using it for years and then suddenly had a reaction. My hair dresser has tested me since with Wella colour touch plus and a yoghurt based one Kemon Nayo Colour system… all reacted. I’ve patch tested the Pure organic herbal on my arm and seemed ok… tested that at an allergy clinic and that seems to be a problem too… have you managed to find an alternative dye? I’m really struggling to find one!
Try Elumen. It is an azo dye and they have released to colours that are better for grey coverage
I need free PPD and ammonia please in Pakistan
I don’t have any information on product availability in Pakistan, sorry, Tazar, but I hope some other readers can help you here.
Can hair dye be used for eyebrows?
I really don’t know. You’d have to check with the makers of individual products. My instinct would be it’s not something you should attempt yourself, given the proximity to eyes. Might be worth talking to a professional hair stylist for an opinion, or perhaps others who follow this thread’s comments will have more knowledge than me.
You shouldn’t put it anywhere if you’re allergic.
Well yes Anna that goes without saying. But the premise of this article is to suggest products to people looking for dyes to which they aren’t allergic.
I am 53, and have been using ammonia free hair colour for years. I tried to switch and use natural ingredients like pure organic heena and organic indigo to colour my hair and all of a sudden I have dark patches on my neck, forehead, chin and temples.. I have stopped using anything to colour my hair since past 3 months (and i look so old now :(….), but my dark patches don’t seem to be getting any lighter. Trying home remedies, masks, retinol etc.. nothing works.
Any idea what may have caused the hyperpigmentation?
I’m sorry, but I think this is one for a dermatologist, Shelly. Discolouration can take some time to fade, and some people can react to henna / indigo, so nothing is 100% ‘safe’. I think keeping the areas moisturised (if they are dry) may be the best advice, but I’m no expert, and I think this situation could do with one. Good luck.