The Trouble with Haircolor and PPD

The video below details a woman from Virginia’s painfully story of how she suffered a severe allergic reaction while getting her hair dyed.

The chemical in question is PPD (Paraphenylenediamine) and its cousin PTD (Paratoluenediamine) are petrochemicals that have been used as colorants for ages. These dyes can be found in clothing, temporary tattoos, photocopying, and are also used to develop photos. PPD/PTD are popular in hair coloring because they are cheap and can be cleansed several times without fading. 

So what does all this mean? You do not need to give up coloring your hair, but you do need to be educated about what you are using.

  1. ALWAYS perform a patch test before applying any chemicals, even if you have used them before.  The women in the story above had used that hair dye previously, without issue however this recent time she had a severe reaction to it.
  2. Opt for a natural color that is free of PPD/PTD.  I had my hair colored at the hair salon using Organic Color System which is PPD/PTD free.  Read about my experience here. 
  3. Think using natural color like henna is safe?  Only if it is 100% pure henna, indigo, etc.  Check the company website and ask questions, don’t just go by the marketing on the box.  Read more about safe henna coloring here.

There is nothing wrong with coloring your hair. It doesn’t make you any less authentic in your natural hair journey.  Heck I have highlights in my hair right now!  However I want you to be informed about the products and the process so you can make the best decision for your health and your lifestyle.  For more information about hair coloring check out this post.


4 thoughts on “The Trouble with Haircolor and PPD

  1. Thank you for sharing! This really open my eyes to being more active when getting my hair done. Not to be afraid to ask questions about what is going in my hair.

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