Allergic To Hair Dye

by Janet


I am a brunette, and have been coloring my hair for almost fifteen years after starting to turn heavily grey in my mid-late twenties. About 70% of all my hair is grey now, which I feel ages me way beyond my years as my skin and body appearance would have most people guessing my age to be late twenties to thirty years old.

I discovered this web site today & want to share my recently discovered remedy to the severe allergic reactions I have experienced to hair dye in the last three years.

For many years, I was loyal to my wonderful (expensive) hair dressers whom I visited religiously and was very happy with. As my business changed over the years & I had to travel for many months at a time, (still do) I had to start coloring my own hair. I used to purchase the same professional brands my stylist used and following the same formulas as instructed by them, I successfully maintained my own beautiful color on the go when I wasn't able to see them. The reason being as many people who are very picky about their hair color can understand, is that different salons and professional stylists use various colors and brands that are available to them and furthermore, each color specialist has their own formula they use to try and match color. My problem with that is that I invested a lot of money in my hair and when a new stylist would mess up by not matching the color properly (usually poor lighting in their station), I still had to pay them for their error in judgement AND deal with the lost time... having to try and do it over if possible without over processing my hair... which to say the least, can cause some hair loss. I would obviously not return to the same person who caused me to have a different color hair line or made all my hair too dark or so on which would inevitably lead to a more expensive trip to another salon to correct. ... if even they didn't end up making my hair yet another color than that which I had originally only wanted to match my root to. In the end, this was a very expensive hassle which I got fed up with and had to give up.

I researched over the counter hair colors that are true to color and decided to go with a color that not even I can mess up, which is (semi-perm.) black; )) Not my favorite, but I just got tired of traveling around with large professional developer bottles and the various tubes of color that were necessary to maintain the specific color I liked my hair. It was painful, but black looks ok on me and since it would provide me with a suitable alternative to grey, I couldn't go wrong so due to the convenience of it, this method of coloring my hair won in the end.

However, after using Garnier Fructise, I started experiencing an allergic reaction that caused my neck, ears & back to blister and my scalp to swell. The burns were very severe sometimes. I tried switching to Loreal (all products I tried were semi-perm. & ammonia free) and leaving the hair color on for less time. I find that having so much grey, I need to leave the color on for at least 20 minutes from the time I start applying it (top first)or the color is light and I can see grey thru it. The packages all say to let sit for 10 minutes, but that isn't possible if I want to achieve any results that look good. It takes me about 8 minutes to apply the dye and cover all my roots. (Being experienced applying now for years, I get less dye on my skin than any hair dresser ever did ..almost 0 ) I have been plagued with this condition which sometimes can last almost the entire
18 days until it's time to do another coloring which to say the least has brought me considerable misery and a lower quality of life than I would like. I can't stand to be out and scratch, yet sometimes it's so bad I can't control it. The misery stems from imagining the possible health side effects that I'm not aware of from the continued use that I feel I must have, and all the itching, oozing and crusting from the burnt areas that I have to hide when ever I color my hair (twice per month). The really severe effects don't always happen, which make me wonder if it's something in my body like perhaps my hormone level or diet. Sometimes it has been very mild itching that didn't last more than three days. I always shampoo my hair for at least ten minutes in the shower to remove as much chemical from my scalp as possible. The lather is white when I finish washing it. I eat very healthy, I don't drink, smoke or take medications or drugs of any kind. I like natural, organic grains, fruits and legumes of all kinds.

...One day, I started reading about APPLE CIDER VINEGAR with mother in it (completely organic) being taken as a remedy for many allergic conditions and all types of health ailments. I also read about Natural RAW HONEY - unheated, cross pollinated, processed or filtered in ANY way, and how taking this natural honey with the natural vinegar absorbs from the stomach very efficiently into the blood stream and then cleans the blood supposedly, while improving one's health in numerous ways.

I had just colored my hair the day before and was starting to feel the itching and swelling when I went to the natural food store and purchased the honey and vinegar. (Bragg's all natural vinegar & Natural Raw Honey) I started taking two table spoons of vinegar with one tbs. of honey mixed together, three times daily. Within twenty four hours my itching was 90% gone and by the next evening, I wasn't itching at all and the swelling on my scalp was all gone!!!

I am not sure exactly how this came to work, but I had thought the matter was nearly hopeless before last month. I am about to color my hair again, and hopefully the same remedy will do it's magic.

I hope this information will help those sufferers out there that feel hopeless like I felt regarding allergic reactions to hair color. Please post your feedback on here if you try this remedy and have good results as I did & perhaps try to spread the word also. I swear it seems like a miracle to me!!!

I would love to know from those of you who are nutrition health specialists and who have a scientific / health background, how this remedy solved the problem for me. If anyone out there can seriously clarify this, please let us all hear from you!

All the Best,


Our reply

Hi Janet, it's a pleasure to meet you. I've spent a lot of time in Brazil and love your country. :) Thank you so much for sharing your story, and what has helped your hair dye allergy! I am so glad you found a solution.

For those readers who are looking for hair dyes without PPD, this is a challenge but may be necessary for those that have not been able to find use regular hair dyes.

There are a few natural hair dye options such as Color Me Natural, which is a permanent hair color (I don't know if this is available in Brazil) and also Surya Henna which is made in Brazil so hopefully you may be able to find it if you want to give it a try. The Surya Henna is a temporary hair coloring.

Most of the more natural hair dye options do have
mixed reviews since they don't always work as well as the hair dyes with PPD.

Comments for Allergic To Hair Dye

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Feb 04, 2014
no soultions
by: Anonymous

still looking for something to color my hair from gray to blonde it has been three years. Everything had PPD or TDS

Oct 02, 2013
still looking
by: Anonymous

2012 was my last post, but I still have not found something to color gray blonde without a reaction.

Dec 31, 2012
It worked form me too.
by: Zoey Sparks

I have been sifting through post after post trying to find a remedy that I was willing to try. By the sake of God, I found this post.
I dyed my own hair using an over-the-counter hair dye (black). It has now been a week since then. My ears ich like crazy. My neck ich. My face was iching, but managed to stop on its own. My back & chest just started iching yesterday.
Long story, short. I tried 2tbs of apple cider viniger & 1tbs of honey. The concoction wasn't that bad at all. The iching on my chest subsided within minutes. My neck is still iching, but not bad at all. ((((Needless to say, it worked like magic.)))) I'm going to try drinking this mixture befor going to bed, to see if it cures me of this horrible reaction, for good.

Thank you so much for sharing.

Dec 19, 2012
Hair Color allergy
by: Anonymous

I used to have beautiful hair, but now th bottom is still colored nad i have 8 inches of white gray. I have been wearing hats for a year and have not found a hair dye without PPD of TDS. I can not find a stylist that knows anything about this issue. I'm in Orlando, you would thinks someone would have a soultion. I can not believe I have to be 100 gray so early in life

Dec 06, 2012
Stressed about itchy scalp
by: Anonymous

Thanks for the comment about the vinegar and honey..I will do it and see what happens..I too have very stubborn grey around the ears and whenever I do the color,i come home and start itching right away..I can't stand the grey and have even considered going bald and wearing wigs.. My back,neck and face have little brown patches from scratching it and I really just want it to stop!!

Will keep you posted and feeling hopeful


Jul 26, 2012
Safe natural hair dyes
by: My Sensitive Skincare

I am so sorry for the severe problems you've had from hair dyes. Color Me Natural is one safer and more natural hair dye product I've seen. I have light hair so I haven't tried it, but it is well reviewed. Another option is Surya Henna. Because of your previous reactions, please do a skin test first on the inside of your elbow or wrist, and waiting at least a day or two to see if you have a reaction, before applying to your hair.

Jul 13, 2012
Follow Up
by: Anonymous

Hello! I wanted to follow up to this post. I have been dealing with the exact same thing for almost three years. I've been to numerous doctors, had scalp biopies, blood work... you name it, and no one can figure out my hair loss and scalp issues.
I got allergy test for hair dye and they came back negative. However, everytime I color my hair (I switched to semi perm. and tried hennas) a couple days later my scalp has a rash and it on fire.

Just wanted to know if there was a product out there that was completely natural. The ones mentioned still have some form of chemicals to make the "brown" color. And the hennas didn't work that well because, did I mention, I'm really grey!

It's so frustrating! I use to have beautiful hair and over the past three years, it is gone and so is my self esteem.

Thank you!

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