Facts about PPD in hair dyes

Author: Action Against Allergy

Date: Jun 2013

What is PPD?

PPD (paraphenylenediamine or p-phenylenediamine) is an ingredient used in permanent (also known as oxidative) hair dyes that is actually permitted as an ingredient in hair colorants by the European Cosmetics Directive, 76/768/EEC (now re-cast as the Cosmetics Regulation No. 1223/2009). This means PPD is allowed for use in hair colorants across the 27 EU member states.

Is PPD banned anywhere?

No. Contrary to reports in the media that PPD is banned in several European countries and the US, this is not the case. The manufacture and supply of cosmetic products, including hair dyes, is covered by stringent safety laws – the EU Cosmetics Directive. PPD is not banned in any European country, nor is it banned in the US.

PPD (paraphenylenediamine or p-phenylenediamine) is an ingredient used in permanent (also known as oxidative) hair dyes. It can, with certain people, cause an allergic reaction.What does PPD do?

PPD is used in permanent (oxidative) hair dyes and is needed for almost all colours/shades, but definitely for the darker shades. Almost all of these hair colours contain a PPD type hair dye because it is the most effective way to achieve a permanent hair colour and the only way of successfully colouring grey hair.

Other common questions about PPD

Some of the other most asked questions about PPD include - is it dangerous, is it used in any other cosmetic products, should an allergy test always be performed before using a hair dye, why do people react to PPD, are reactions common etc.

For more information about PPD and in answer to some of the questions above, please visit the Action Against Allergy website and read the full article here.

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Last revised: 3 June 2015

Next review: 3 June 2018