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What is paraphenylenediamine and where is it found?

Paraphenylenediamine (PPD) is a chemical substance that is widely used as a permanent hair dye. It may also been found in textile or fur dyes, dark coloured cosmetics, temporary tattoos, photographic developer and lithography plates, photocopying and printing inks, black rubber, oils, greases and gasoline.

The use of PPD as a hair dye is popular because it is a permanent dye that gives a natural look. Hair can also be shampooed without becoming decoloured and perming to achieve waves or curls can be done without difficulty. PPD is a colourless substance that requires oxygen for it to become coloured. It is this intermediate, partially oxidized state that may cause allergy in sensitive individuals. Fully oxidized PPD is not a sensitizer thus individuals with PPD allergy can wear wigs or fur coats dyed with PPD safely.

What are the reactions to PPD allergy?

Reaction caused by the use of hair dye in mild cases usually only involves dermatitis to the upper eyelids or the rims of the ears. In more severe cases, there may be marked reddening and swelling of the scalp and the face. The eyelids may completely close and the allergic contact dermatitis reaction may become widespread.

Severe allergy to PPD can result in contact urticaria and rarely, anaphylaxis.

People working with PPD such as hairdressers and film developers may develop dermatitis on their hands; patch testing usually reveals hypersensitivity to PPD. Occupational allergy to PPD has been found in a milk tester whom through laboratory work was in frequent contact with PPD solution. Dermatitis on the hands and occasional spreading to the arms and upper chest occurred.

PPD has also been suspected of precipitating contact leukoderma and vitiligo in genetically predisposed individuals.

Benefits of ammonia free colours

Hair color products are very popular worldwide. A slight trace of ammonia in your hair color may not be that dangerous, but continuous use of these products may affect the hair and skin. Natural based products are always much more reliable and safer to use. The major benefits of using ammonia free hair color are:

1. Good for
the hair

People who color their hair every now and then may suffer from rashes along the hairline or irritating skin. Sometimes ammonia containing products may induce split hair ends. Hair cuticle and shaft may be damaged by long term use of ammonia containing colors. Ammonia free hair color is particularly beneficial for the people who have dry and frizzy hair.

2. Protects your
Skeletal Skin

May help those who complain of feeling a burning sensation or itching which may mean the the  skin has become allergic to ammonia

3. Ammonia may cause
Sinusitis problems

Besides the skin, ammonia can affect the sinuses. The pungent smell of the ammonia in the hair color may trigger sinusitis.

4. Preserves Proteins and other Vital Nutrients

In an alkaline environment, the hair color swells the cuticle of the hair to penetrate into the cortex. Significant amount of protein and moisture loss takes place during this phase. Ammonia can raise the pH of the hair. Therefore, the cuticle remains open for the whole period and the hair may suffer a loss of proteins and moisture.

5. Ammonia free colors work at a lower pH value

The ammonia free colors not only raise the pH to create an alkaline environment, but also work as a softening agent. It softens the cuticle while coloring the hair. The softening process makes sure that the ammonia free colors can work at a far lower pH value than that of ammonia colors. Therefore, protein and other vital nutrients of the hair are preserved. The ammonia free colors open up the strands of the hair so that it can easily penetrate and deposit its pigments.

As in all products a sensitivity/allergy test must be carried out before use.

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