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Narelle Muller investigates claims behind the safety of DIY home hair dye kits.

Pregnant with my first child, I wondered if it was safe to continue dying my hair. The research was conflicting and so I erred on the side of caution and went natural for the duration. Two further children and many years on, the jury still seems to be out on several issues surrounding the potential dangers of hair dye, but some things are indisputable.

Chemicals in hair dye do affect those who have allergic reactions to them. These reactions are not uncommon, but the severity does vary greatly. A mild reaction resulting in itching, a temporary rash, or localised dermatitis may seem a small price to pay for your new look, but for the unlucky few, allergic reactions can result in a complete immune response, or possibly even anaphylaxis.

One of the main culprits is reported to be a chemical called p-phenylenediamine, or PPD, for short.

PPD is commonly used in hair dyes, especially darker shades and has been reported to be most problematic in home dye kits. Part of the problem may possibly be users not following instructions to the letter, but between seven to 10 percent of people who colour their hair are reported to have reactions to PPD. PPD is usually mixed with a hydrogen peroxide fixing agent and the mixture undergoes oxidisation. It is this reaction which has the potential to arouse sensitisation and for the body’s immune system to react. Often any unpleasant sensations subside as the oxidisation process ends, but they may last several days.

The good news is, there are substitutes for PPD which are considered less likely to cause these reactions.

While once anyone who had a negative reaction to hair dye had but one choice, to stop using these products, today there are alternatives.

Aromaganic, an Australian hair colour brand, believes a chemical known as TDS is a milder option for people who react badly to PPD. Aromaganic products contain no PPD, no ammonia, no resorcinol, no parabens, and no typical hair bleach and there are 33 certified organic ingredients in each colour.

Aromaganic was created by DNA Organics, a company founded by a successful team of hairdressers.

The range now includes 16 popular colours in an Australian/NZ compliant, easy-to-use, take-home kit. Team leader Grace Evans says, “Hair professionals and their clients need a healthier option that produces functional reliable results. The main thing they do is actually work!” That may sound simple enough, but the perception is that often natural/organic based products do not deliver the results that other big-brand cosmetic products provide.

With proven results, award-winning hairdressers using the products, and consistent and reliable formulae, it’s worth trying Aromaganic for a fresh new look!

Note: It is recommended before using any hair dye products that a patch test is conducted to identify any potential problems.