The New Hair Dye Danger

Beware: Certain chemicals may cause allergic reactions.

Posted: 05/10/2013 11:51 AM EDT
The New Hair Dye Danger

What is PPD? And…have you already put it in your hair without knowing it?

According to dermatologists, a surprisingly high number of hair dyes have various types of potential allergens, many of which can cause rashes on your scalp, neck and chest.

During a recent presentation at the 24th Annual Meeting of the American Contact Dermatitis Society, research from 100 hair dyes was presented. The results? 89% of the products were found to have phenylenediamine (PPD), which can cause a condition called allergic contact dermatitis.

“There’s no real reason your body should identify PPD as a pathogen, but sometimes, it does. So it activates an immune response that results in a rash,” says Dathan Hamann, a researcher at the University of Arizona who presented the study.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t end with PPD: the researchers also found that hair dyes have, on average, up to six different dye compounds that can potentially pose a health risk.

Based on this study, experts recommend that:

—If your current hair dye doesn’t cause a reaction, you should be safe to keep using it (though you may still want to do a patch test before application).

—If you aren’t currently using hair dye, conduct a patch test before application.

—If you notice a reaction, be sure to consult with your doctor and/or a dermatologist.

Also, you may want to consider having a REAL patch test done, especially if you’ve previously had a reaction, or if you’ve never used hair color before.

“It’s not just putting a spot of dye on your skin per the product’s instructions,” Hamann explains. “It’s when your dermatologist applies different compounds to the skin to identify the root of the problem.”

Read more about the potential dangers in hair dye at BlackDoctor.Org.

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