Let’s talk about Hair Colour…….The 1,2,3 on PPD!!!

what  the hell is ppd you ask?? and what does it have to do with hair colouring??? um…..a lot!!! here is the lowdown…….

PPD, also known as “Paraphenylenediamine” is a nasty ass chemical used in Hair Dye! It is known to cause horrific allergies and has even caused death! Holy Shit you say? Yep, its that bad! Let me explain:

PPD is an ammonia derived chemical. It is found not only in hair dyes, but may other things also, including: Fur dyes, dark coloured cosmetics ( I know! booooo ), temporary tattoos like henna, inks, black rubber, greases and a heap more!

What does PPD do you ask?? Ill explain it to you in a non scientific, I went to the best college sort of way…PPD basically helps the hair colour pigment stick to the hair shaft.  That is, without all the crappy terms, what it does! It is most commonly found in very dark hair dyes, like blacks and dark browns. It rears it’s ugly chemical head in not only permanent hair colours, but also in semi colours as well.

PPD is a known carcinogenic! It has also been known to cause cancer and other nasty stuff, and sensitises people who use it often, I know this because after being a hairdresser for 17 years, I AM EXTREMELY ALLERGIC!!!!

I have been exposed to this chemical for so long, that if PPD containing hair dye, comes ANYWHERE near my head, I blow up like a pufferfish needing a good fart!!

I blister, I ooze and I am in a hell of a lot of pain! It is not a pretty sight I tell you! PPD allergies can come on ant ANY time! It could be you 45th time of colouring your hair with the same brand, and WHAMMO! The scary thing is, not all allergies (like mine) happen straight away! My allergy experience, for example takes at least 24 hrs to show up, and boy is it a shit show when it does!! This is why I stress the importance of a patch test!!!! It takes 2 mins max to mix up a little bit of your colour and place it behind your ear or on the inner part of your arm!! JUST DO IT!! Believe me, you don’t want the alternative!

PPD is a cheeky shit, It goes under many different names on your hair colour ingredients list :

Para-toluenediamine, P-toluenediamine, PPD or PPDA, p-Phenylenediamine, Phenylenediamine base, 4-Phenylenediamine, 1,4-Phenylenediamine, 4-Benzenediamine, 1,4-Benzenediamine, para-Diaminobenzene, p-Aminoaniline

Signs and symptoms of a PPD allergy can be from mild to life threatening, these include:

Itchy or raised skin, red rash, swollen lips and eyes, swelling in or around the mouth, breathing difficulty, wheezing, nausea and vomiting, blisters and oozing, anaphylaxis, burning sensation.

If you ever have ANY of these symptoms, seek medical advise quick smart!!

SOOOOOO, What do I do know that I’m scared as hell to colour my hair???

By no means am I telling you not to colour your hair!! Everyone wants to have gorgeous, shiny, I want that colour now, in trend hair colour! I’m a hairdresser after all! I’m just giving you guys the heads up, just informing you and telling you to be aware! Patch test for god sake, I don’t want anyone to have a fab hair colour, but have you, look like you climbed out of the sewer, or live in a boiler room with puss and swelling and a face only a mother could love….jokes.

For people like myself with allergies, or people that are a little more conscious of the health and chemical side of things there is another way! DIRECT HAIR DYE! or semi-permanent hair colour!! These type of colours, are what they say….semi permanent. They do not oxidise…..(basically, they don’t need to be mixed, and don’t use a chemical reaction to process ), they are applied directly to your hair and sit on the outside of your hair shaft. Many of these colours DO NOT contain PPD and are actually quite conditioning for your hair. I have tried and tested so many its not funny!

Some of the brands I love the most include: Pulp Riot, Manic Panic, Adore, Unicorn hair by Lime Crime, Directions, Stargazer and Elumen by Goldwell.  I have black hair….( I know, best colour choice for a hair colour allergy… Not! ), but these hair colours I have mentioned have been my go to brands that I have used on myself for ages, with no reaction whatsoever! My most recent hair colour experience was from the brand PULPRIOT. I used there Noir Hair colour in deep black am I was extremely impressed I must say! Get on it!  http://www.pulpriothair.com

There IS a downside to using Semi’s or direct Dyes though, they do not have the same staying power as a permanent or demi permanent hair dye. Direct dyes usually last anywhere from 3 – 25 washes depending on how light or dark your hair is to start with. Direct hair dye companies, usually recommend to prelighten your hair first for the best results, this ensures, the colour is at its most vibrant and it lasts longer! These are a great way to add colour, shine and condition to your hair, and are a safe way to experiment with your hair colour without any long time commitment

( especially if you are colouring for the first time! or want a drastic change, and not too sure if you will like it, or will look like a mixed bag of lollies with bright pink hair! )

So there is my advice! Colour your hair, but be SAFE and AWARE and do a patch test first!!! And learn from my experience, a hair dye allergy is NOT fun, especially when you looked like me, ( insert pufferfish needing a good fart here ). xxxxx

Some of my Favourite Direct Dye Semi colours!


My Favourite Direct Hair Dye, websites: https://www.pulpriothair.com  https://www.manicpanic.com  https://www.limecrime.com