For any Newbies, This is Hair colour help for you - NRAS


31,860 members38,775 posts

For any Newbies, This is Hair colour help for you

VeronicaF profile image

I have put this on here before but for anyone new, here it is again xx

Hope it helps someone.

Way before being told I had RA, my immune system decided it didn't like me dying my hair with chemicals and reacted by causing a reaction to hair dyes, any hair dyes.

I was beside myself at the time, as no way did I want the all grey look.

then after searching wide I found Daniel Fields organic water colours .

They have every colour you can think of.

I have never looked back-hope it helps someone???

16 Replies

Thanks for this veronica. it is amazing how many times 'stuff' comes up on this site that is so timely for me. I have been dying my hair for more years than I would care to remember with no problems. About 2 weeks ago I used the same brand of dye and the skin behind my ears and down the side of my face became raised , hot and itchy after using the dye.

It settled after few hours, but concerned me a little especially as I read online a young woman under similar circumstances died, due to anaphylactic shock caused by the hair dye.

So I have ordered from the site you posted and will see how I get on with that next time. I've also sent the link to my daughter who has very sensitive skin too. Thanks !

VeronicaF profile image
VeronicaF in reply to Mmrr

it works for me, I was so upset when it happened to me, because I am not ready to go the all grey look, I feel a 100 years old sometimes with my body, so want something to make me not feel so old

Mmrr profile image
Mmrr in reply to VeronicaF

same with me

janny55 profile image
janny55 in reply to VeronicaF

Thanks Veronica I was getting a bit panicky about dying my hair with all the meds I’m on especially as even antibiotics can cause a reaction which I didn’t know until the other day so goodness knows what all these meds would do 👍👍👍🤗😘

AgedCrone profile image
AgedCrone in reply to Mmrr

Being a real nerd I do what it says on the box & do a skin test every time & over many years I have found I often became sensitive to certain hair colouring products....for no obvious reason.

I don't know if it was because they changed some ingredient,or if it was me or the drugs I was taking...but over the years I have had many allergies from drugs to plastic to it was probably me.

For at least the last 5 years I have been using John Frieda easy as being a mousse it doesn't drip everywhere & only takes 25 minutes.

I can't go to the hairdresser as my neck can't cope with the backwash ((. I go with wet hair to get a cut & blow dry...luckily only 5 minute walk)!& this JF product has proved a God send, and many colouring products now come in very fetching silver grey shades which I am very tempted to try!

If anyone wants to try totally organic all natural hair colouring, I sometimes use one from Amazon.

It has enough powder for me to use 2 to 3 times and lasts months on my hair.

Brand: It’s Pure (various colours, can vary in finished effect depending on hair colour before application.)

Oh wow how can I thank you. I’ve been searching for two years!!!!! Xxxx

its so easy to use and the colours are beautiful, I love Daniel fields :O)

handy to know this one too charisma7aj xx

I've been having my hair dyed for years. No reaction at all. Is there any evidence for this?

Yes there are many cases of very severe reaction to hair colouring preparations.

They vary from very mild irritation to full blown anylphilaxis....where people are blue lighted to hospital for resuscitatation.

SeeMmrr post.

So everybody please & i do know what a nuisance it is to remember the day before the test recommended on the instruction leaflet!

Don't just think it can't happen to me.

Having had severe reactions to all sorts from drugs to foods it is a very frightening experience,& in the time it takes for the medics to work out what exact ingredient is causing the problem & find the can sometimes be too late!

for scottiedottie

NHS homepage

Hair dye reactions

Many hair dyes contain ingredients that can irriate your skin or cause an allergic reaction.

It's important to be aware of this risk, and know what to do. Reactions to hair dye are avoidable if you follow some simple safety advice.

This page offers advice to anyone who uses permanent or semi-permanent hair dye, especially darker-coloured dyes.

Why some people are sensitive to hair dye

Some people are prone to a skin reaction called contact dermatitis.

This means their skin becomes red, dry and irritated (inflamed) when they come into contact with a particular substance.

The substance may either be an irritant, directly damaging the skin, or an allergen, triggering an allergic reaction that affects the skin.

Many permanent and some semi-permanent hair dyes contain a chemical called paraphenylenediamine (PPD), which is a known irritant and allergen. This is the culprit of most reactions to hair dye.

Is PPD safe?

Hair dyes containing PPD are safe to use, providing safety instructions are followed. These products are strictly regulated and there's a maximum limit to the amount of PPD the product can contain.

If you ignore the safety instructions that come with the dye, you could put yourself at risk of a serious reaction.

You're particularly at risk if you have (or have previously had) a black henna tattoo.

These temporary tattoos should be avoided because the paste often contains high levels of PPD, which can increase the risk of an allergic reaction the next time you're exposed to it. So, you could develop a life-threatening allergic reaction when you next use PPD hair dye.

Learn more about the dangers of black henna tattoos.

How to avoid a reaction to hair dye

Patch test

Always carry out a patch test before using a permanent or semi-permanent hair dye, even if you are using your regular brand.

This usually involves dabbing a small amount of the dye solution behind your ear or on your inner elbow and leaving it to dry. Follow the instructions that come with the dye.

If you develop any irritation or feel unwell after the patch test, do not use the product.

Allergy clinic

You could also have a patch test done at an allergy clinic, to see which chemicals you're sensitive to, if any. You can then check product labels and avoid products containing these chemicals. However, the clinic may not test all hair dye chemicals.

Other precautions

If you do not develop any reaction from the patch test, you can continue to use the dye, but make sure you:

do not leave it on for longer than the recommended time

wear gloves when applying the dye

rinse your hair thoroughly afterwards

carefully follow the instructions included

Signs and symptoms of a hair dye reaction

Reactions to PPD can range from mild irritation in the scalp to an allergic reaction that can potentially trigger serious symptoms throughout the body.

Mild irritation

If you're mildly irritated by PPD, you may find that your scalp, neck, forehead, ears or eyelids become irritated and inflamed after using hair dye.

The skin exposed to the PPD may become red, swollen, blistered, dry, thickened and cracked. You may feel a burning or stinging sensation.

Symptoms will usually appear within 48 hours, although strong irritants may cause your skin to react immediately.

Learn more about irritant contact dermatitis.

Allergic reaction

If you're allergic to PPD, your scalp and face may feel itchy and start to swell.

PPD may also trigger symptoms throughout your body, such as itching, a nettle rash and generally feeling ill.

These symptoms may not develop until hours, or even days, later.

A severe allergic reaction that develops within minutes is called anaphylaxis, or "anaphylactic shock". Signs of anaphylaxis include:

itchy skin or a raised, red skin rash

swollen eyes, lips, hands and feet – the eyelids can swell so much that the eyes close

feeling lightheaded or faint

swelling of the mouth, throat or tongue, which can cause breathing and swallowing difficulties


tummy pain, nausea and vomiting

collapsing and becoming unconscious

What to do

Dial 999 for an ambulance if you think anaphylaxis is happening, and give an adrenaline injection if you have one.

If you think you're experiencing a reaction to hair dye but it's not an emergency, follow this advice:

Relieving mild symptoms

wash your hair and scalp thoroughly with mild shampoo to remove any excess dye

try gently applying an emollient (moisturising treatment) such as aqueous cream to the affected skin

Steroid cream

If your skin is very red, sore and inflamed, you may need to try a steroid cream (topical corticosteroid). You can buy mild steroid cream over the counter (speak to your pharmacist for advice) or your GP can prescribe you one.

Read more about the treatment of contact dermatitis.

Avoiding PPD

If you develop a reaction to hair dye, even just a mild one, you should stop using products containing PPD altogether, as there's a risk you could develop a more severe reaction in the future.

Try switching to a safer alternative, such as a non-permanent, PPD-free hair dye – but be aware that it's still possible to develop a reaction to this.

Page last reviewed: 23/07/2018

Next review due: 23/07/2021

NHS homepage

NHS sites About us Contact us Profile editor login

Sitemap Accessibility Our policies © Crown Copyright

my skin is very sensitive and even reacts to none silver or gold, I can't wear anything that isn't, its a pain in the BUm :O))

Awesome !

Thank you Veronica. I have problems with hair dyes and perfumes.

My hairdresser uses Wella ‘Innosense” which I believe has less chemicals.

Passed this on to my hairdresser 👍🏻

Studies have shown the bad hair coloring brands cause brain cancer. I can’t think of a better reason to stop using them and go organic

Here’s some info. While better than prior to 1980 still has its risk

You may also like...