Allergy Community
10.3k Members
Avatar universal

Allergy to PPD?

Hi! I have been colouring my hair blond for 20 years using different products and brands available on the market.  I never had any problem until last time.  Around 24 hours later, my eyelids started to get itchy.  In the matter of 20 minutes, they had become very swollen.  The next day when I woke up, they were SO swollen I could not see a thing.  My lips wre also a bit swollen as well as my throat.  I was totally disfigured and stayed this way for 3 days!  HORROR!!... Have I suddenly become allergic to the PPD contained in most colorants?  Has anybody suffered such a reaction?  Do you know any alternatives to color hair safely, at least the time I go back gradually to my natural colour?  I'm stuck and very worried of what would happen if I had another episode... Please, help!
77 Responses
Avatar universal

This sounds like an allergic reaction most probably.

Have you had allergies to specific substances in the past?

You should continue with the antihistamine medications and consult your doctor immediately for your symptoms.

You should stop using the dye , till you have consulted your doctor and also talk to him/her if you need steroid medications and need to carry an epi-pen.

Let us know about how you are doing and if you have any other doubts.


Avatar universal
I too have been coloring my hair for years with no problems, and all of a sudden I am  PPD allergic. My skin and scalp is on fire for a week, and I now realize I cant color my hair anymore..It is just too dangerous now, but I don't know what to do with my hair, growing it out would be ugly for years? Any suggestions anyone?I hear Clairol Loving care is an alternative, but it is for gray hair and it is semi permanent !!
496771 tn?1209698358
I just dyed my hair the other day as well at an Aveda salon. My hair line is extremely swollen and painful and the glands behind my ears are, as well. They are sore to the touch-- am I in any danger? Will this just go away? Should I be worried? It's been about 48 hours since I dyed my hair.
Avatar universal

You could take some oral antihistamine or antiallergic medications like loratadine or cetrizine and see if it helps with your symptoms. Apply calamine lotion at the site of the lesions to help soothe the itching.

Have you had allergic reactions in the past? Are you allergic to any specific substances?

You should consult your doctor about whether steroid medications are required and you should rush to the ER if you feel that the symptoms are increasing.

Talk to your doctor if you need to carry an epi-pen and try to avoid substances that you have documented allergic reactions to.

Let us know about how you are doing and post us about what your doctor advises.

Avatar universal
Hi everyone,

I also had a severe allergic reaction to hair dye at an Aveda salon.  Like the doc suggests, I now have an epi-pen.  I had to go to Urgent Care.  It was really scary and took a long time for the symptoms to disappear.  My face was SWOLLEN!

I went to an allergist and we did a TrueTest allergy test on my back.  I am allergic to the chemical, PPD, found in all permanent hair dyes.

I tried doing a "full weave" for awhile (dye on foils where it doesn't touch your scalp).  However, I was still having some symptoms.  I now feel that it is NOT worth it.  Currently, I am using a temporary color (Clairol Loving Care) that does not have PPD.

This is a serious problem.  I truly believe it is on the rise.  I think part of the problem is that no one knows where, who to report this info to.  Therefore, I don't believe the manufacturers are aware of this growing concern.  

I have started a bulletin board for people to come share their experiences/support for people with this allergy "PPD in Hair Dye, etc.":

I hope we can work together to find alternative products etc.

Avatar universal

Its good to know that there is a gradual development of awareness on this issue.

Please keep us updated on your health and let me know if I can be of any help.

Best regards

535822 tn?1443980380
Does anyone get Hives from the hair products I too dye my hair and am trying to figure out the cause of the Hives I  have. Alaso do shampoos have PPD in them or Hair sprays, I dont Hives on my head only my neck area,I do know the heat here makes them worse but someting triggers it.Any Ideas?
Avatar universal
Yes, I also get hives.  I didn't figure this out for awhile.  I have been using Natural Instincts (beware of Clairol semi-permanent haircolors, they also have ppd).  About 2 weeks after I color my hair, my scalp intensely itches.  The last time, I had weeping wounds on the back of my head.  Dreadful.  I also get hives about 2 weeks later, but they are much worse in hot weather.  I don't plan on using semi-permanent hair color ever again.  I don't know how I'm going to deal with the transition though.  This is a serious issue, something going on here that no one is paying attention to.
I almost died and went to emergency 10 times before anyone even knew what was wrong with me
535822 tn?1443980380
I also had a reaction to the anti Histimine Hydroxyzine prescribed to me. I had  dreadful Gall bladder Symptoms ,this drug can give you virus infections, also beware of the steroids they all want to give you, there are sdie effects and if you use it long term effects from that. I have been to 2 differant Doctors and other than Prednisone they dont know anything at all.Allergists are very expensive and they dont alwasy come up with a solution I have had them several weeks now and I have found the most helpful are the Natural cures I Came up with doing research myself.
Avatar universal

It is unfortunate that you have had unpleasant experiences with the treatments that you have undergone. I totally agree to the fact that drugs may have various side effects. However, doctors usually act with good faith and are genuinely trying to give you comfort. In the internet world of things, each patient can have more freedom and choice of treatment and everyone can check the risk-benefit of using a drug on the basis of their own condition. However, it will be wrong to ask someone not to evaluate if a particular therpy prescribed by their doctor is incorrect or has side effects.

I hope my post helped clear the air a bit. let me know if you may have any other queries.
Avatar universal

I also found out that I have an allergy to PPD's. I was horrified - my whole face was swollen like a balloon. After a while of searching I found this amazing website that offered a few alternatives that did not contain PPD's. I use the Surya products and have done for months now, they are only semi-permanent but they do wonders covering my grays.
The link is www.topleaf.co.uk. I hope by sharing this information I have saved many of you searching for months like I did!

640685 tn?1223152473
Thank you for the link...!!!! I just found out that I have an allergy to PPD also....I had a deep scalp massage & hair conditioning treatment plus a hair cut & style at Aveda Salon one week ago today ( they didn't ask if I had allergies or ask about doing a patch test)......but no hair dye....at 2am the next morning I woke up with swollen ears & a red scalp.....each day it got worse....swollen face & eyes ..red, bumpy, ichy, burning scalp, ears, face & neck. Is it possible they have more products that contain PPD?
Today 1 week later I am still suffering I look terrible & still am very uncomfortable....what can we do? Has anyone every taken an action against Aveda Salons?
Why are we being subject to this horrible PPD in America????  
Have an Answer?
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Find out what causes asthma, and how to take control of your symptoms.
Find out if your city is a top "allergy capital."
Find out which foods you should watch out for.
If you’re one of the 35 million Americans who suffer from hay fever, read on for what plants are to blame, where to find them and how to get relief.
Allergist Dr. Lily Pien answers Medhelp users' most pressing allergy-related questions
When you start sniffling and sneezing, you know spring has sprung. Check out these four natural remedies to nix spring allergies.