• Dr. Preethi Nagaraj

Hair Dye Allergy - Will Ammonia free dyes really help?




Hair dye allergy can be of 2 types-


One is of an immediate onset where the person gets sensitised to the hair color within a few hours to days of the first application.

The patient will present with severe itching, oozing and crusting on the areas of dye application which will begin within a few hours to days after the dye application.


Another type is of a more delayed onset where the person develops an allergy after many months or years of repetitive dye use.


The patient here has less severe symptoms compared to the first type. He will present with scalp itching / rash which worsens after a few days of dye use. He will generally not attribute the itching to the due use as he has been using it for a long time. 


In either types, the most common ingredient to cause dye allergy is a chemical called as PPD – Para Phenylene Diamine.


Unlike common belief, AMMONIA is usually not the culprit in hair dye allergies.

Hence, even if you are using an ”AMMONIA – FREE HAIR DYE”, you can still develop a hair dye allergy.


So what’s the solution??

Once you develop a hair dye allergy, changing brands will not help. Most of the commercial brands have the same ingredient- PPD as the coloring agent.

You could use PPD- FREE HAIR DYES, which are now available in the market. These are herbal-based hair dyes, which are relatively safer, compared to the PPD containing ones.

Please consult your dermatologist for further details.

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