Allergy to PPD in permanent hair dye can be severe, and if you are sensitised you must take extreme care to avoid it. In the worst cases, it can cause swelling around the face and neck, and difficulty breathing. Angry red rashes around your hair line, ears and eyes caused by PPD can also be serious and unpleasant. PPD’s full name is paraphenylenediamine or p-phenylenediamine.

• Always perform a patch test at least two days before dying your hair, even with a more natural option, even if it’s a product you have safely used before.

• Carefully follow instructions, and always double check ingredients, as these occasionally change.
• No hair dye can be guaranteed 100% safe, but remember that extreme reactions are very rare.
• If you have reacted to hair dyes before, consult a dermatologist for patch testing and formal diagnosis.
• Strictly avoid PPD / PTD if you have ever had a black henna temporary tattoo, as this can sensitise you.
• Don’t expect miracle results with the more natural options, and understand carefully the limitations that some of them have in dyeing your hair with respect to certain shades, colours and coverage. Some will require experimentation, and you may find you need to try a few products before finding the ideal one for you.