Allergic reactions to hair dye are on the increase in the UK as more people reach for the bottle and colour their hair. This is because many permanent and semi-permanent hair dyes available in the UK contain a known irritant called para-phenylenediamine (PPD). PPD and other related agents have been linked to a number of severe allergic reactions.
There have been many product liability compensation claims reported in the media resulting from using hair dye products. These have been due to cases of burns, dermatitis to the face and head, severe cases of facial swelling and breathing difficulties. Although serious adverse reactions to PPD are relatively rare, if you use dyes containing this chemical, you should be aware of the risks.
Clear warnings are usually shown on the packaging if the product contains PPD. Always read the instruction leaflet carefully and make sure you carry out a test for sensitivity first every time you colour your hair if you want to avoid the risk of a hair dye disaster.
Another problem associated with hair dyes, tints and highlights is a colour disaster, where the result is nowhere near the shade you wanted. You go in asking for, say, a light auburn colour and it comes out dark coppery bronze.
A further common reason for a hair dye disaster is when the hairdresser leaves the chemicals on for too long, or applies colour to hair that is already dyed. This can cause permanent structural damage to your hair.