Commercial hair dye product typically comes in two bottles: the one with PPD based dye (non-oxidized and thus colorless) and the other with oxidizer or developer, usually hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). In the hair dying process initially the peroxide is used to break down the natural hair pigment melanin, and then the PPD is used to replace melanin. When PPD reacts with peroxide, it becomes partly oxidized and colored — it is this form which can cause mild to severe allergy.
In France, Germany and Sweden, PPD was banned as a hair dye because it was thought to be too dangerous for health
“PPD is widely present on the market since 1909, and it is still used in over 2/3 of permanent hair dyes. A coal tar dye with links to bladder cancer, recognized as the most hazardous chemical used in hair dyes; can be absorbed through the skin and causes chemical leukoderma; potential gastrointestinal or liver toxicity hazards; mutagenic; can cause redness, pain and swelling of the eyelids, blurred vision and blindness; sense organ toxicity hazards; can form carcinogenic nitrosamine compounds if mixed with amines; potential kidney and respiratory toxicity hazards; potential to cause immune system response resulting in lung sensitization and other damage to immune system; can cause asthma attacks; poses neurotoxicity hazards; pharynx and larynx irritation; and anaphylactic shock which can be fatal.
The most common allergic reactions to PPD are dermatitis of the eyes, ears, scalp and face, which may include a rash, extreme swelling and a severe burning sensation on the scalp. Other names and related compounds include: PPDA; Phenylenediamine base; p-Phenylenediamine; 4-Phenylenediamine; 1,4-Phenylenediamine; 4-Benzenediamine; 1,4-Benzenediamine; para-Diaminobenzene (p-Diaminobenzene); para-Aminoaniline (p-Aminoaniline); Orsin; Rodol; or Ursol; Para-Touline Diamine; and Touline Diamine-Sulfate.”*
This compound is used in almost every hair dye on the market, regardless of brand.
Some of the so-called "natural" and "herbal" hair colors, while ammonia-free, contain PPD. Some products sold as “henna” also contain PPD added, particularly so-called "black henna." In many cases, PPD causes allergic reaction, and can cause scarring in some people. PPD should never be applied directly to the skin in its pure form or mixed with anything else.*
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists PPD as being a contact allergen. Exposure routes are through inhalation, skin absorption, ingestion, and skin and/or eye contact; symptoms of exposure include throat irritation (pharynx and larynx), bronchial asthma, and sensitization dermatitis.
*source: Wikipedia, Natural News.
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*Even though our herbal ingredients have been used in natural medicine for centuries, we must add the following disclaimer: The herbs, formulas, and recipes contained within this web site are not to be considered substitutes for proper medical and health care. As with any other medicine, if you are sick, you should consult a physician to find out if the herbal preparations listed here are right for you. Saba Botanical does not make any medical claims nor warranties regarding the use of the products listed on this site. No matter how natural a product is, it may have a potential of causing side effects and allergic reaction on certain individuals. You should consult your physician before taking any medication.