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Discovering an allergy to PPD through a colouring disaster


Many people are allergic to Paraphenylenediamine (PPD).  Despite this fact, while PPD is banned in France, Germany and Sweden, it is present in more than two thirds of UK permanent hair dyes. Whether the reaction is a mild form, a ‘burning’ and itchy scalp or dermatitis, or is a violent or hypersensitive allergic reaction after the application of hair dye, the repercussions of coming into contact with PPD can be nasty.

It can be distressing and soul-destroying to have you hair change colour, its texture turn ‘like rubber’ or even fall out due to a chemical imbalance during hair colouring, but having an allergic reaction can be still more horrible.  The result can often be seen for much longer than you’d imagine. A horrible ‘burning’ sensation does not usually just disappear overnight. After an allergic reaction to PPD, contact dermatitis and contact urticaria are common.  Similarly, once sensitivity to PPD has developed other harsh chemicals used in hair dye can cause more allergic reactions. It seems the skin is less able to resist against harsh chemicals after one has affected it.  In this way, after having a reaction to PPD you are usually left unable to use another permanent hair dye in the future.  For more detail, consult our Hair Dye Allergies page or if you are concerned with particular symptoms, the other pages listed under Hair and Scalp Problems.

PPD is not the only chemical substance in hair dye people find they are allergic to, many other chemicals are also found to provoke reactions and cause skin conditions.  At the same time, PPD is one we are very aware of and Allergy experts are currently negotiating having it banned or restricted in theUKdue to its evident dangers. When we are aware that so many people are allergic to PPD, it is stupid to not test for the allergy before applying the substance all over the head. While there are many other dangers in the process of colouring hair, one so clear as a reaction to PPD should be overlooked. Every precaution possible should be taken, and it is worrying that they are often not.

Discovering an allergy before application of the hair dye isn’t hard.  We may wish our colouring to be quick and hassle-free but the use of a patch test 48 hours before application can save a lot of stress and anxiety in the long run. Damage to hair and scalp are so likely to happen that we should take the upmost care to ensure that this is consistently done. It is irresponsible not to test this before applying your own hair dye. The consequences of an allergic reaction will be damaging in the event it happens, taking a patch test can only be a minor inconvenience.

If you are having your hair coloured by a hairdresser and they do not immediately book you in for a prior consultation and patch test, make sure you ask for one. This is an example of hairdresser negligence that should not happen. From the perspective of a hairdresser, arranging an appointment separate to your main hair colouring ‘wastes’ time. For you, however, this could make a huge difference in your hair and head condition and consequently you should make sure that you do not accept bad service and the risk for the sake of convenience.

If you have already suffered from an allergic reaction to PPD and have not managed to avoid discovering your allergy after colouring, Macks are here to help.  Our expert solicitors can advise you on how you can claim compensation for your hairdresser’s negligence and failure to take a patch test before applying hair dye to your hair. Macks Solicitors are committed to excellent customer-service and expert advice. If you are interested in receiving expert legal advice from our negligence specialists about your situation, call Free phone 0800 980 9386 or 01642 252828, visit our website at or fill in an online claim form. After suffering from an allergic relation, you will want help to get back to normality. We at Macks Solicitors are here to get you the compensation you are entitled to, so you can return to living your normal day-to-day life.