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Hair Colour Ingredients To Avoid

Many hair colour products contain toxic chemicals that can be harmful to our scalp and may cause an allergic reaction and damage or irritate your hair and scalp.

The following is a list of ingredients which are best avoided. Even though they are outdated and harmful, they are still found in many hair colour brands.

Why are they still used? Because they are cheap.

Ammonia (Ammonium hydroxide)

  • has a pungent, harsh smell which can irritate the skin, eyes and nose
  • is used as an industrial cleaner
  • It is quite aggressive in its function and it allows natural oils and moisture to leave the hair, leaving the hair dry, weak and brittle.

PPD (p-phenylenediamine, para-phenylenediamine, N-phenyl-p-phenylenediamine)

  • PPD exposure is associated with an increased cancer risk
  • has been associated with mild skin irritations and more severe allergic contact dermatitis
  • It can be irritating to people who suffer from eczema or other skin conditions
  • anyone allergic to PPD can experience severe reactions if they are exposed to it
  • some people can develop a reaction to PPD after repeated exposure to PPD

Dr. K. Mokbel, a leading London breast cancer surgeon who led a study examining the link between permanent hair colouring and breast cancer. He advised that it is best to avoid hair colour products with more than 2% PPD.

Parabens (Propylparaben, Isopropylparaben, Butylparaben, Isobutylparaben)

  • are restricted by the EU
  • studies show that some parabens specifically mimic the activity of the hormone estrogen and therefore can interfere with estrogen production.
  • may be linked to breast cancer and reproductive issues.

Phthalates (dibutyl phthalate, diethyl phthalate)

  • are known as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). When absorbed by the body, they act as estrogens that interfere with metabolism and normal hormonal function.
  • EDCs are related to: infertility, decreased sperm count, endometriosis, breast cancer, asthma, ovarian cancer, obesity and allergies.

SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate)

  • is a surfactant, and its efficacy, low cost, abundance and simplicity mean it’s used in a variety of cosmetic, dermatological and consumer products.
  • has been shown to irritate the skin, causing problems such as skin and eye irritations, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, skin rashes, hormonal disruptions, dizziness and headaches.

Titanium Dioxide

  • it is considered a possible carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer


  • can irritate the skin of those with coeliac disease.

The Shade is proud to offer hypoallergenic hair colour products which are free from all of the above problematic ingredients.

The Shade was started to help you achieve beautiful salon-quality salon results at home, inclusive of those with sensitive skin, allergies and health concerns.

Our colour is safe for people with sensitive skin. It is kinder on your hair, skin and health than conventional colour products.

Choose hypoallergenic colour products with healthier ingredients, for better colour and health outcomes.

I have severe allergies to PPD and I am so happy that I can use this PPD-free colour! No itchiness, thank goodness, and I love the colour!

Holly W.

I was hoping for a better colouring experience and…I got it! No tingling or itchiness, no horrible smell, and a really natural colour result and lovely hair condition. I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a better home colour experience!

Rose Higgins

Love my gorgeous colour and so happy that I can use it! I have allergies to regular hair colour but this colour didn’t give me any itchiness or reaction at all and I love the colour result! Hair feels really lovely too and got a few compliments already, so I’m very happy! Thank you!

Stella Ashwood

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