Published: 15 April 2024  (Updated: 15 April 2024)

If I am making a hair dye that doesn’t contain PPD, can I make the claim ‘PPD-free’?

PPD is a widely used ingredient in permanent hair colorants.  Although it is not always present in hair colouring products, PPD or related ingredients such as PTD, MePPD or other derivatives will be present in darker colouring shades. 

As well as having to be listed in the ingredients list on pack, when a hair colorant contains PPD, or a related hair dye, by law the product also has to be labelled with “Contains phenylenediamines” or “Contains phenylenediamines (toluenediamines)” to alert users with a PPD allergy that the product is unsuitable for them.  These warnings exist because of the risk that a person allergic to PPD may also react to related ingredients.  PTD, MePPD or other derivatives can produce a similar type of reaction in people with the potential to become sensitised, and there may be cross-reactivity to both hair dyes.  In other words, someone allergic to PPD is likely to react to PTD, MePPD and other derivatives, even if they have not used them before. 

Therefore, a hair dye containing PPD, PTD or other PPD-related ingredients must not claim ‘PPD-free’.  While it may be accurate that the product does not contain the ingredient, this claim is still misleading and may put consumers at risk.  People with a known allergy to PPD are likely to assume that the product is suitable for them, and consequently experience an allergic reaction which could be severe.



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