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Hair Dye DANGERS! Can Hair Colour Kill?

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Warning: Beware of PPD in hair colors.



Studies show that at least 75% of American women color (lighten or darken) their hair. Way more than the 7% that colored their hair in the 1950's. And it's not just women, last year men's at-home hair color sales reached over 113.5 million dollars! But what isn't being shown on any commercials for hair color is the fact that one of the main ingredients in 2/3 of hair color is hospitalizing and even killing people. The FDA does not approve it to touch your scalp...but it does and not many people know about it. AND YOU CAN HAVE A REACTION ON YOUR 1ST HAIR COLOR APPLICATION OR YOUR 37TH!
And no the patch test will not guarantee anything- they said you can have a reaction to the PPD even after you've used the same product safely for years.



Just last week, Tabatha McCourt, 17, began pulling at her shoulder-length locks, screaming and vomiting before collapsing in agony at a friend’s house. A short 20 minutes after applying hair color to her hair, Tabatha, who had died her hair many colors, died. The doctor reported is was a chemical called p-Phenylenediamine that had reportedly been suggested as a cause for the sudden reaction.


Please meet Miriade Kelly, a 29 year mom, who just wanted to cover her grey hair like normal. She suffered an immediate reaction from her, Garnier hair dye:


'There was yellow pus oozing from my scalp and it had the most horrific smell of burning flesh.
'I knew straightaway that was from the dye but at that point I didn't panic, I just took some anti-histamines and put some Sudocrem on my hairline, where it was starting to blister, before I went to sleep.'




'Both my eyes swelled up and the skin at the side of my earlobes was really swollen and itchy.
'The worst part was the awful pus that was still oozing from my head all the time.
'We went to A&E and I was seen pretty quickly, but at that point, because the reaction was still relatively slight, I was sent home with some anti-histamines and told to keep an eye on it.'
3 hours later she had to return, this time being hospitalized for 3 days.
One of the doctors asked her if she had ever heard of the chemical PPD.

An ingredient in many hair dyes, para-phenylenediamine (PPD) is a common allergen banned in many European countries.

People can become allergic to it at any time, even if they have been exposed to it before without problems.
For this reason, it was voted Allergen Of The Year in 2006 by the American Contact Dermatitis Society.



The bad ingredient responsible for many people who are suffering near death experiences from hair dye is: Phenylenediamine (PPD) its present in over 2/3 of chemical hair dyes, and is known to be toxic to the immune system, skin, nervous system, respiratory system, liver and kidneys. It is the most toxic chemical in hair dyes. It is a substance used in rubber chemicals, photo
developer, oil, gasoline, ink, textile dyes, dark cosmetics and hair dye. The European Union classifies it as a toxin and irritant that is dangerous in the environment. In Canada, its use in cosmetics is restricted and it was banned in France, Germany and Sweden.

PPD is a neurotoxin and is even used in anti-freeze.

PPD might also be called any of these names:

bul_arrowSctPurp.gif Paraphenylenediamine bul_arrowSctPurp.gifPara-aminoaniline (p-aminoaniline)
bul_arrowSctPurp.gifPPD bul_arrowSctPurp.gifPPDA
bul_arrowSctPurp.gif1,4-Benzenediamine bul_arrowSctPurp.gifOrsinâ„¢
bul_arrowSctPurp.gif1,4-Penylenediamine bul_arrowSctPurp.gifUrsolâ„¢ D
bul_arrowSctPurp.gifRodolâ„¢ D



****this is not just for store bought boxed color, this is in certain salon brand hair color as well! (see info below about Hair Stylists and Cancer levels)

And it causes Cancer: Laboratory experiments have shown that PPD damages the DNA of human cells. Accumulated DNA damage leads to cancer.

Hair stylists who color hair at work do have higher cancer levels. Studies have shown that hair stylists have higher rates of skin allergies, asthma and breast cancer, so the risks for stylists are real.
• Hairstylists and barbers with just one year or more occupational exposure to permanent hair dyes were 50% more likely to have bladder cancer than those who did not. This increased to five times — 500% — more with 10 years of professional exposure.

The Scientific Committee for Cosmetic and Non-Food Products is fully aware of the dangers of PPD.

The National Cancer Institute also warned that PPD can increase various forms of cancer such as:

  • non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Breast Cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Bladder Cancer

The University of Southern California just completed a study linking hair dye to bladder cancer:

• Women who used permanent self-administered hair dye at least once a month for a year or longer were twice as likely as women who did not use permanent hair dye to develop bladder cancer.
• Those women who used permanent dye monthly for 15 years or more were more than three times as likely to develop bladder cancer as non-dye users.

But did you know that certain ingredients are causing women and men to get thinner and thinner hair, and in some cases hair dye has even taken lives.

This is something that many big companies are not talking about, because this would put a major dent in their millions of dollars in sales.

And dark hair colors seem to be the most dangerous. Great, I've been dying my hair different colors for years! And I wonder why my hair is so thin!


So what's a girl or guy who wants to dye their hair or cover their gray to do?
No worries, we just have to make sure what we're using or where we're going uses hair color without PPD.


Do a little research before you head to the store to buy hair color or before you head to the salon to get your hair colored- and remember to look for the other names PPD is labeled as above.

There are natural alternatives too!

Here's a list of some of the safe, PPD free hair color or hair dye:
*Goldwell professional brand hair color is supposed to be free of PPD
*as well as Clairol Loving Care.
MANIC PANIC- your fun, rainbow colored hair dye is free of PPD! YAY! Fun colors AND safe!

1. La Vita Nuova hair color - PPD, Ammonia and Paraben free

2. Tints of Nature - certified organic hair color

3. Palette by Nature - free of paraphenylene diamine (PPD), resorcinol, m-aminophenol, p-aminophenol, toluene- 2,5-diamine, azo-dyes, diazo-dyes, disperse dyes, ammonia, and parabens

4. Advanced Cosmetic Technologies - formulated with natural plant dyes and easily removed with vinegar or lemon juice.

5. Herbatint - all natural hair color free of all chemicals

you can also ask your local Whole Foods about their natural hair color or ask your hair colorist about the line that they work with... or you can also use Henna if you like too:

Henna is another alternative. Henna reacts on the outside of the hair shaft, where "normal" hair dye works by penetrating the inner part of the hair shaft. Henna Options- please check, Henna can cause different allergic reactions too. And do NOT use anything labeled "black henna", that is PPD as well.

1. Light Mountain- natural henna hair color

2. Sabba Botanical- henna hair dye



*Reposted with permission. Please Forward, Tweet & Post elsewhere to help spread the word.

The Cancer Research Center
The Scientific Committee for Cosmetic and Non-Food Products

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that is frightening... my friend just dyed her dads hair the other day at her work and he ended up having an allergic reaction but he's all better now, they gave him some stuff to help him

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I know first hand, it didn't happen to me but I DID witness it, that this woman who got her hair dyed every three months came in one day for her usual appointment. Same hair dye, same peroxide... different results. She ended up with a chemical burn that sent her to the hospital. As a result she ended up with a permanent bald spot where she had the chemical burn and can no longer get her hair dyed.


I've also seen first hand peroxide - aka hair developer - eat my husband's skin and he has a permanent section on his wrist where the peroxide ate his skin down to the muscle. I always advise people who want to bleach their hair to know the dangers because p-Phenylenediamine (PPD) is not the only chemical that can kill, damage or permanent scar a person - hydrogen peroxide can as well.

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Yes thank you for the info! Extremely scary! I use Manic Panic mostly, but I do have to strip my hair of colour because my hair is so very dark. I haven't had any reactions so far but I will be more careful and check the ingredients more carefully. Its amazing how easy it is to just trust that everything is safe. I did notice that it said that its banned in Canada but I will still check all the ingredients as I do all of my own bleaching/colouring myself. Thanks again for the info, greatly appreciated!

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It is scary to think about the reactions that can occur, even with using the same products for years, you can have a reaction at anytime!

The best thing to do is, check the ingredient lists regularly for any changes, and keep away from heavy chemical dyes containing PPD.

I dont know if its use is banned in Canada, although it is restricted.

Another reason why pregnant women should stay away from hair dyes and chemicals.

If you have female or male friends who colour their hair (which I'm sure we all do) send them here to read the informative post, or forward it in an email to your friends. It would be devestating to have a reaction to something which you believed was safe, or to something you have been using for years without a problem.


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Unfortunately there is no way to know for sure if you are going to react though because as you said it can happen the very first time or after the 37th or never at all. 

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