This site is NOT written by physicians or other medical professionals and is NOT intended to provide medical advice.   Always consult your physician for medical care. If you have a medical emergency, call 911 or your country’s emergency number immediately.

Why don’t manufacturers put warning labels on products with PPD?

Many do — often in tiny print on the back of the box. They also recommend a patch test—in tiny print on the back of the box—to rule out allergies. Few women do this, of course, either in salons or at home. Most have used hair dyes before, so why bother? Here’s why: PPD allergy can develop at any time. Women who have dyed their hair for years with no problems can suddenly develop itching, oozing sores, rashes, burns and worse. Always patch test!!

Why doesn’t my stylist know about this?

Many stylists — as well as many physicians, allergists and dermatologists  — are unaware of PPD allergy! Some salons will advertise “organic” products that contain PPD, or tell you that their color line is safe because it is ammonia-free. They aren’t out to hurt you–they just don’t know. Believe it or not, stylists receive little to no education about PPD allergy in their training. This isn’t covered in beauty school.

How do I know if it is PPD that is causing my symptoms?

Ask your physician or dermatologist for a T.R.U.E. Test. This is a skin patch test that can test you for allergies to PPD and many other substances.

What should I do if I have a reaction?

If your have difficulty breathing or other life-threatening symptoms, call 911. If your symptoms are severe, go to the emergency room. Call your physician as soon as you can. He or she may be able to prescribe steroids or other medications to help your symptoms.

Are there any hair color products that are safe to use?

There may be–it all depends on your individual sensitivities. You have to be very careful — read ingredients and patch test every time before you use a product. See “Hair Color Alternatives” for a list of what other people are using.