Salon Allergy Specialist

Salon Allergy Specialist

Friday, December 13, 2013

UPDATE: KOLESTON INNOSENSE, SEE NEW ARTICLE - P&G develops new ME+ molecule with less allergies for Wella, is it SAFE?

Happy Holidays! I hope everyone is having a great holiday season this year. We just had a beautiful snow this morning, it made the Christmas music on the radio a LOT more bearable today. I received an e-mail today that was a request for information on the new ME+ molecule from Wella, which is a Proctor & Gamble company. The new diamine information became available to me in October, but I was not impressed about the information that I read. P&G's inform said it would not people who were already allergic, and it would not stop all allergies. So, I chose not to write about it. I now realize that I need to put the information out about it, good or bad.

It took chemists around the world 20 years to develop this molecule, and they turned down many chemicals before this one. It is an important step in my industry, because it is moving in the right direction. A baby step, but a good step. If it helps to cause less new allergies, then it is a good thing. The name of the chemical is 2-Methoxymeth-p-Phenylenediamine, which did gave me a bit of an eyebrow raise. This is why it will not help people who already have allergy problems with PPD.  While I would like to see a color that the allergic clients could use, we have to crawl before we walk, or we will never run.

Dr. Carsten Goebel, immuno-toxicologist with P&G, stated "that there is data backing up the information." Dr. Bryan Murphy, section head at P&G, said that "there is a growing interest in color that is reduced in the risk of allergic reactions."  From Dr Bianca Piraccini, a dermatologist from the University of Bologna in Italy,
[An]Allergy has two phases. The first is called ‘induction’, when the allergy is developing but shows no symptoms. The second phase is called ‘elicitation’ which is when the symptoms can actually appear. The claim for ME+ is that it has lower potency than PPD/PTD, and so induction of allergy is less likely. But it still could elicit reactions, especially in those already sensitised to PPD/PTD. As Dr Piraccini says: “Severe allergic reactions can still happen, but the induction of an allergy is less likely with the new ME+ technology”.

Wella currently plan to launch the new ME+ molecule as part of their Salon Professional portfolio in early 2014. The product will be called Koleston Perfect Innosense and it will come to salons in 22 shades on launch.

The first link here is to an article in Europe, the second is to the Adobe file from P&G. The third is the European Union's evaluation on the chemical.

So, the verdict? It's not safe for anyone with allergies. Sorry folks.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Teenage Boy's photos of PPD reaction

I saw this boy on the Dr.Oz show with his mother last year. His mom was a hairdresser, and she actually had known about hair color allergies. The show did talk about the allergies some, but some of the information was not correct. I contacted them via e-mail, but I was  never contacted back again. I have also contacted them 3 times since, but I never get a response. (I have also contacted the Ellen Show, with the same response, I suspect it has to do with advertising money) I have wanted to post these photos here for quite a while, but I am never in the right place at the right time. Finally, here are the photos. I did have them on my facebook for a bit. It was the son's first hair color, but you can tell in the first photo that he has had a tattoo, so he has been exposed to some inks. He also may have come into contact with hair color with his mother being a hair dresser, you just never know. The poor mother felt would I! Lesson learned.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Formaldehyde releasers and hair loss, quick results

After doing a months worth of reading and trying a few different brands of product I had my mother try the alcame clean shampoo. It uses a plant based stepan mead mix in stead of sodium laurel sulfate, and has no formaldehyde releasers. Within two weeks, my mother called me at work to say she had a lot of new hair, her bald spots were filled in, and her hair was very full. I responded as any hairdresser, or DAUGHTER would," Mom, there is NO was you could possibly grow that much hair in two weeks. You're crazy." She said she was going to drive over to prove it. I had a client, and I felt impending doom. I am not used to being wrong, but if she is driving over, there is a reason. Of course, my customer was having a good old time watching me squirm. It turned out that both of my parents came, and even my father wants to try the shampoo. I had to take a photo of the area that was previously completely hairless on my mothers scalp, and take a photo for a before photo of my dad. My customer left with a bottle of the shampoo as well. Anyone who knows me, knows that I don't really push products. If you like what I use, and you buy it, you will buy it again. I believe that is more important than a big sales pitch. 

You can read the previous blog and vo to the health food store and purchase much of the same kind of product if you are careful and read the ingredients. Alcame uses 80% recycled plastic, has designed it's bottle so the cap acts as a balance to use every drop, and is highly concentrated. The Pure line has no botanicals,  no essential oils,  no pthalates, no preservatives, ( aka formaldehyde releasers) no sodium laurel sulfate, no petrochemicals, and no fragrance.

Check them out, it's made in Rochester, NY by a friend of mine, Frank Lipani. He is a genius!

Here is the photo of my moms' hair

I hope everyone had a safe and happy Halloween, here's to a "hairy" November!

Gina xx

Monday, October 21, 2013

Hair Loss from PPD , Formaldehyde Releasers and Sodium Laurel Sulfate?

Last week I had a new client that had some hair loss, but had never colored her hair. This was shocking to me, because she was referred to me from a source that usually sends PPD referrals. I began to read through my collection of information, -read as "notebooks of scribble", before I hit the web. I had read something about this before, but I had not remembered how small the articles were, about 4 paragraphs. When I did some reading on-line, I found more information that had been done, and had to add Sodium Laurel Sulfate to the list. I remembered reading something about Formaldehyde, but I was shocked to learn that it was IN THE SHAMPOO I WAS USING!!! I can say that I have been using a line of products I love, but I have been having trouble with hair falling out since my thyroid has been off. Since I switched to Indian shikakia powder, the hair in the shower drain has been cut down to 1/2 of what it was. (you can get it in your local Indian grocery store, or order it on Here is the information:

 Two of the articles were medical journals that stated that hair loss issues in women can be cause in part from hair color. One was from the Japanese Society for Investigative Dermatology, done in 2012, this study was done on mice and stated that Peroxide or H(2)O(2) and MEA, or Mono-Ethanolamine, may be the key causative ingredients for hair dye-associated dermatitis and hair loss. The second one I had was a medical journal about a woman (41) who had presented hair loss with severe scalp pain. They had ruled out  andro-genetic baldness, and had determined that the cause was due to an allergic reaction to hair dye. (PPD in particular) 

Two of the articles were about Formaldehyde Releasers, which are used as a preservative in shampoos, and other health and beauty aids. I was shocked to learn that even a few of the high end products that I was using in my salon had Formaldehyde Releasers in them. The names of the releasers were as followed: Quaternium 15, DMDM Hydantoin, Ureas, and Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate.

Here is a bit of the information I learned about the Sodium laurel Sulfate, which is a salt that is cheap, and makes shampoos and soaps lather really nice. I found an article on from August of 2013 that said this:

Improper use of shampoos containing SLS can lead to hair loss, according to the National Toxic Encephalopathy Foundation. According to the NTEF, hair loss can be the result of poor rinsing that leaves SLS deposits in your hair follicles. These deposits penetrate your scalp and corrode the hair follicle, causing hair loss. reports that SLS also affects the rate of new hair growth, which occurs at a rate about eight times slower than normal. In addition, Personal Health Facts reports that NaCL, the salt used as a thickening agent is drying to your hair and, by increasing the potential for breakage, also contributes to hair loss.

Read more:

I was pretty blown away to read the 8 times slower bit. I am not so sure that I believe the web sight it came from, but I am experimenting with using nothing on my hair but the powder from India for a short while. I am enclosing what the gob in the shower has looked like for the past 3 Monday mornings. I am not sure how easy it is to tell, but there really is about half as much hair there. I hope it's not too graphic for anyone who is squeamish out there. What a difference so far! -On the bright side, I found several articles that said that they may be able to prove that SLS isn't cancer causing after all. (Believe it, or NOT...)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The False Safety of Sunless Tanners, DHA, and the FDA

Tanning booths and sunless tanning is a part of the industry I have chosen for my career. I have worked for salons that offered both, and I have used both. I can say that I used them rarely, because I could not sit still long enough to lay in the tanning bed, or to keep the tanning cream or spray from becoming smeared. I have also unknowingly sold sunless tanner from Aveda with the false pretense that the chemical would be safer because it came from walnut shells. I know know that this is not safer. Here is some information direct from the FDA web sight on DHA, the active ingredient in sunless tanning products.

Thank you, FDA!

What are "sunless tanners"?
Neither the laws nor the regulations enforced by FDA define the term "sunless tanner." It typically refers to products that provide a tanned appearance without exposure to the sun or other sources of ultraviolet radiation. One commonly used ingredient in these products is dihydroxyacetone (DHA), a color additive that darkens the skin by reacting with amino acids in the skin's surface.

DHA is listed in the regulations as a color additive for use in imparting color to the human body. However, its use in cosmetics--including sunless "tanning" products--is restricted to external application (21 CFR 73.2150). According to the CFR, "externally applied" cosmetics are those "applied only to external parts of the body and not to the lips or any body surface covered by mucous membrane" (21 CFR 70.3v). The industry has not provided safety data to FDA in order for the agency to consider approving it for use on these exposure routes, including "misting" from tanning booths.
In addition, no color additive may be used in cosmetics intended for use in the area of the eye unless the color additive is permitted specifically for such use (21 CFR 70.5a) DHA is not permitted for use in the area of the eye. The CFR defines "area of the eye" as follows:
"the area enclosed within the circumference of the supra-orbital ridge, including the eyebrow, the skin below the eyebrow, the eyelids and the eyelashes, and conjunctival sac of the eye, the eyeball, and the soft areolar tissue that lies within the perimeter of the infra-orbital ridge." (21 CFR 70.3s)
As with the lips and other areas covered by mucous membrane, the industry has not provided safety data to FDA in order for the agency to consider approving it for use in the area of the eye.

What does this mean for DHA spray "tanning" booths?
As noted above, the use of DHA in "tanning" booths as an all-over spray has not been approved by the FDA, since safety data to support this use has not been submitted to the Agency for review and evaluation, When using DHA-containing products as an all-over spray or mist in a commercial spray "tanning" booth, it may be difficult to avoid exposure in a manner for which DHA is not approved, including the area of the eyes, lips, or mucous membrane, or even internally.

Consequently, FDA advises asking the following questions when considering commercial facilities where DHA is applied by spraying or misting:

Are consumers protected from exposure in the entire area of the eyes, in addition to the eyes themselves?
Are consumers protected from exposure on the lips and all parts of the body covered by mucous membrane?
Are consumers protected from internal exposure caused by inhaling or ingesting the product?
If the answer to any of these questions is "no," the consumer is not protected from the unapproved use of this color additive. Consumers should request measures to protect their eyes and mucous membranes and prevent inhalation.

Has FDA received reports of adverse reactions associated with sunless tanners?

FDA has received reports from consumers stating that they have experienced adverse events associated with sunless tanning, including rashes and, primarily in the case of spray tanning booths, coughing, dizziness, and fainting. It is uncertain what, if any, ingredient or combination of ingredients in the sunless tanning products might have caused these adverse events, whether an individual's allergic reaction might have played a part, or whether factors unrelated to the sunless tanning products may have been involved, such as pre-existing medical conditions.
Under the authority of the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA), FDA requires ingredient declarations on cosmetics sold on a retail basis to consumers. In this way, consumers can know what ingredients are contained in the products they purchase and avoid ingredients to which they may be sensitive. However, the FPLA does not apply to products used exclusively by professionals, such as those used in spray tanning booths.

Who is responsible for the safety of spray tanning booths?
The FD&C Act does not authorize FDA to approve cosmetic products or ingredients, with the exception of color additives that are not coal-tar hair dyes. Firms and individuals who market cosmetics are responsible for assuring that the products they market are safe when used under labeled or customary conditions of use and properly labeled. FDA can take action against firms and individuals who violate the law. The practice of administering such products by professionals, such as in salons, is generally the responsibility of local and state health authorities.

Consumers and healthcare providers can report adverse reactions from cosmetic products, including sunless tanners, using the contact information in Bad Reaction to Cosmetics? Tell FDA.

You can read more of this article at the FDA web sight. I included the link at the beginning of the information. I am not sure why so much of my industry is unregulated. I am more surprised by each chemical I begin to look up. I will be posting more often if the results are as fruitful as they seem to be. 

-sadly, Gina 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

What is Really Organic, and What is NOT in a Salon

This week, I had a question about organics. Specifics such as, "Is your shampoo organic?" or, perms, color, put anything in place of the shampoo. It can be a tricky slope for a client. Since a truly organic product must be refrigerated, and will last only a few days, you really want something that is mostly organic.  I look for quality ingredients, natural and organic, along with some other products. I would be lying if I said there were no chemicals. No salon is chemical free, no matter what they say, just by the very definition of the word.

Chemical -  A substance having a specific molecular composition, obtained by or used in a chemical process. 
Obviously, your color is processing, RIGHT?

There are others,

 Chemical - A substance with a distinct molecular composition that is produced by or used in a chemical process.

I worked with Aveda products for 18 years, and I thought they were an amazing company. I would take a short class when each new product came out, and was taught all the lovely things about it. I was told to drink the Koolaid, so to speak. After I stopped selling it, I began to look at the ingredients, and I realized since the Lauder Companies had purchased them they were not quite what they once were. A product touting organic lavender had 25 other ingredients, and lavender was close to last. They even had the Aveda signature scent added, so I had been selling a product, and saying how lovely the organic lavender in it was, but you could not even smell it. Ask anyone who has used Aveda, and they will tell you it is a natural or organic product. However, it's not. In fact, the company actually states, "When possible." When they say that something is 97% naturally derived, that does not mean that it is organic, or that it is good for you. You always need to read the fine print, because chemicals exist.

 The hair products I now carry were developed by a man from Rochester, a city about an hour from where I live, who worked with Aveda for about the same amount of time I did. He decided he could do what Aveda was doing, but much better, so he set out to do just that. All of the scents ALONE  in his products are real, from passion flower, to yuzu nectar.

Most people don't know that in chemistry, there is the study of organic chemistry, and in-organic chemistry. Organic chemistry, is the study of all carbon based things. In-organic based chemistry is the study of basically what's left. So, when I make my all natural lip saver, I use organic apricot oil, organic coconut oil, organic orange oil, and NATURAL BEE'S WAX. You can't control where the bee's go, so they may flit onto a flower with a pesticide. There is no organic bee's wax. Water has no carbon. Therefore, if a product has WATER added, technically, it is NO LONGER ORGANIC. I choose to answer questions CORRECTLY,  and to educate my clients. Is water bad for you? That can be your decision, but it should be very easy!

There are many companies that take advantage of the U.S. laws where you can have just one organic ingredient and call your product "Organic", including "Organic Salon Systems". You can go to any salon that carries this brand of products and they will tell you that their entire salon is organic. Does this mean that the color is chemical free? Absolutely not. Does it mean that the shampoo is food grade products? Absolutely not. Does it mean that the hair color is PPD free? At the time of this posting, absolutely not. It does not mean that the company has a terrible product. It means that they prey on naive people to sell the product, and to purchase the product. They also are no different from many other companies that use the current laws to miss-represent  what the product they have actually is.

You want products that are plant based, high quality, no sodium laurel sulfates, no added fragrance, no added dyes, doesn't test on animals, uses post consumer plastics, and I am sure I am forgetting about 25 other things. Actually, trust your hairdresser, or read the back of the bottle. A good product will have a money back guarantee. That way, if you buy it, and you don't like it, you can bring it back. The most important thing about hair products? That they WORK. Cheap shampoos have detergents that strip hair and strip color. Cheap conditioners use wax and lanolin to make the hair feel soft, but it will also look dirty faster, and feel weighed down. Gels flake, sprays build up and turn white.

 Chemicals exist, but less is always better. In the long run, don't pay extra for something that says it's organic if it isn't organic. False advertising is still false advertising, even if there is a loophole in the law.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The FDA has no authority over PPD in hair color, a timeline history

I read on boards, and get e-mails, where people blame the FDA for not regulating PPD better. Congress has removed the FDA's ability to control, change, or even adjust hair color. They can monitor, and collect cases of people who have had an allergic reaction. If you have had one (or several...) please go to this link and fill out the paper work.

This is a brief timeline of sorts compiled from several articles I have collected over the past 10 years of studying this allergy. It might help to explain some of the futility of it all.

1845 - August Wilhelm Hoffman had started to work with compounds such as indigo and coal tar in the 1840's. He names them aniline dyes. Anil, from the Arabic word for indigo.  He prepares this aromatic amino compound in two steps from the coal tar hydrocarbon benzene.  There were other other coal tar hydrocarbons, such as toluene, naphthalene and anthracene.

1856- William Henry Perkins discovers the first completely synthetic aniline dye. It was to replace Madder Root, which imparts different shades of red.

1862- The London World Exhibition has an exhibitor with a "slab" of aniline. It had been produced from 2,000 tons of coal tar, was 20 inches high, and 9 inches wide.

1881 - U.S.Department of Agriculture (U.S.D.A.) authorizes artificial coloring in cheese and butter. The Chemistry department begins research on colorants.

1900 - Coloring agents are used to hide inferior or defective food.

1902 - American Pharmaceutical Association (A.Ph.A.)  requests more standardization for medicine. Percentage of potency in most drugs was well below what was labeled.

1906 - The 1906 Food and Drug Act - Prohibits the use of poisonous or deleterious colors in confectionery, and the coloring and staining of food to conceal damage or inferiority.

1907 - The U.S.D.A. issues the Food Inspection Decision (FID)

1910 - Gaston Boudou produced the first commercially available PPD hair dye in France. It is called, "Inecto"

1912 - Harvey Wiley leaves the U.S.D.A. after 29 years. (1883-1912) He shockingly goes to work for "Good House Keeping Magazine" as the Director of the Bureau of Foods. He chooses this move as a statement about the way that the government is ignoring the issues of purity and safety of food, drugs, and cosmetics. It was also a statement towards the rising power of women's groups, and women as consumers in the marketplace.

1927 - The United States Food and Drug Administration is formed. (F.D.A.) It was called the "Food Drug and Insecticide Administration" at the time, the current name was given in 1930.

1931 -  15 straight colors were approved for use in food. Here are 6 of the seven still in use today :

FD&C Blue No. 1 (Brilliant Blue FCF), 
FD&C Blue No. 2 (Indigotine),
FD&C Green No. 3 (Fast Green FCF),
FD&C Red No. 3 (Erythrosine),
FD&C Yellow No. 5 (Tartrazine), and
FD&C Yellow No. 6 (Sunset Yellow)

1933 -  Lash Lure, a permanent mascara containing Para-phenylene Diamine, has been on the shelves. The FDA is unable to have it removed from the market despite attempts. More than a dozen women had been blinded, and one had died. This was recounted in a 1936 book by Ruth DeForest-Lamb, "The Chamber of Horrors". There were no rules for testing new cosmetics at this time. There were many other cosmetics that had problems in this era, such as Radithor, a radium laced water that was said to restore one's virility, and mercury based skin lighteners.

1937 - Elixir sulfanilamide. This  was an antibiotic that was used in tablet and powder form for several years to treat streptococcal infections successfully. The S.E. Massengill Co. had a chemist who found that the powder would dissolve in Diethylene Glycol, or anti-freeze. The chemist did not know it would be deadly. No testing had been done for toxicity, only for taste, fragrance, and appearance. 107 people died, most of them children. The name given to this mixture, "Elixir", gives the mixture an alcohol based category. This allowed the FDA to seize all products. If the product had been given the proper name, "Solution", no violations would have been made, and the FDA would have been powerless to remove the drug from the shelves. The S.E. Massengill Co. was charged with misbranding.  Dr. Samual Evans Massengill, the firm's owner, said: "My chemists and I deeply regret the fatal results, but there was no error in the manufacture of the product. We have been supplying a legitimate professional demand and not once could have foreseen the unlooked-for results. I do not feel that there was any responsibility on our part." The chemist had committed suicide before the trial, so he must not have shared his feelings.

1938 - The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938 - This act further increased government oversight of food and drugs, and for the first time, CONGRESS passed legislation for the regulation of cosmetics and medical devices. For color additives, the 1938 FD&C Act mandated the listing of those coal-tar colors (other than coal-tar hair dyes) that were "harmless and suitable" for use in foods, drugs, and cosmetics; required the listing of new colors; and made mandatory the previously voluntary certification program for batches of listed colors, with associated fees.  Mr. Charlie Crawford, who was head of the FDA, was instrumental in rushing to get this 1938 law passed through congress. There had been a lot of arguing, and no one could agree as to what should be on it, or what should be left out. Once the sulfanilamide deaths had occured, Mr. Crawford had made sure this law was expedited before something else happened, and he was sick with emphysema.

Congress, in 1938, passed a law that said the FDA has no authority over hair dyes. This has not been changed. Until we go to Congress, and plead our case, it will remain the same.

1953 - In upstate NY, Mr. Weilerstein, an FDA worker, makes out a report on a farm that is cutting down old tough beets, and canning them, and selling them as baby beets. The company contacts their congressman, and the result is that they had the first R.I.F, or a Reduction In Force. Some of the  Civil Servants didn't have their permanent jobs yet. The reasoning was that Mr. Weilerstein had nothing better to do than harass the company.

1954 - Mr. G. Larrick becomes commissioner. He builds up the FDA again. He was also responsible for tracking down all of the sulfanilamide in 1937. He was head during it's greatest growth, which had expanded tenfold, according to his leader history on the FDA web sight. Larrick was also known for his ability to get along with Congress, and many investigations came to fruition during his time as commissioner. He resigned in 1965.

1955 -  Division of Biologics Control becomes an independent entity within the National Institutes of Health, after a polio vaccine  is thought to have been inactivated, and  is associated with about 260 cases of polio.

1958 - Food Additives Amendment is enacted, which required manufacturers of new food additives to establish safety. The Delaney proviso prohibited the approval of any food additive shown to induce cancer in humans or animals.

1959 -  Aminotriazole, a weedkiller found to cause cancer in lab animals is found on the U.S. Cranberry crop 4 days before Thanksgiving. Cleared berries were allowed labels showing that they had been tested and cleared; the only such endorsement ever allowed by FDA on a food product before. 

1960 - In the fall of 1960, many children became ill from eating orange Halloween candy containing 1-2% FD&C Orange No.1 a color additive approved for use in food. The FDA re-evaluated all of the listed color additives. They found that there were many that needed to be removed from the list. It also had become clear that coal was no longer the primary raw material source for the manufacture of color additives. This prompted the Color Additive Amendment.

Color Additive Amendment  was enacted, requiring manufacturers to establish the safety of color additives in foods, drugs and cosmetics. The Delaney Clause prohibits the approval of any color additive shown to induce cancer in humans or animals. 

Federal Hazardous Substances Labeling Act, enforced by FDA, requires prominent label warnings on bottles of Thalidomide, and hazardous household chemical products.

1962 - Thalidomide, a new sleeping pill, is found to have caused birth defects in thousands of babies born in western Europe. News reports on the role of Dr. Frances Kelsey, FDA medical officer, in keeping the drug off the U.S. market, arouse public support for stronger drug regulation.

This was the "Drug Industry Act of 1962", that the FDA was trying to pass. (it does not) What was passed was the Kefauver-Harris Drug Amendments to ensure drug efficacy and greater drug safety.

This is a partial excerpt from a court hearing for the Drug Industry Act of 1962:

"At a hearing before the Food and Drug Administration held in Washington on  January 6 1956, Dr. Adolph Rostenberg, a consultant for the Food and Drug Administration testified to the effect that the patch test was prescribed by the present Food Drug and Cosmetic law was a highly accurate means of discovering whether or not a prospective user of coal-tar hair dyes was allergic to the product.

Dr. Louis Schwartz, former medical director of the U.S. Public Health Service, testified at the same hearing to the effect that the incidence of allergy to para- phcnylenediamine hair colorings (paraphenylenediamine is a chemical commonly used in the permanent type of hair dyes) was low; that he had examined thousands for incidence of allergy to such dyes and it was nil. His testimony further showed that of millions of bottles of a well known permanent type of coal-tar hair dye sold, a ratio of less than 0.00001 percent complained of alleged allergic reactions. 

No one has ever claimed that hair dyes were toxic or poisonous. The incidence of Injury due to allergic reaction is much too small to justify the proscription (or removal) of these widely used products. There are over 150,000 beauty shops in the United States. Over 800,000 persons are employed In the beauty shop industry. Gross income received by beauty shops total’s over $2.500 million a year. Hair coloring is estimated to constitute over 40 percent of the business of these beauty shops. Without hair coloring
business, few of the 150,000 beauty shops could survive, and hundreds of thousands of idled hairdressers and other employees would greatly expand the already large body of unemployed. Drug and department stores sell milllions of dollars worth of hair dyes yearly. Should section 103 be adopted, these stores would lose an important segment of their business.

Despite the economic disaster which would follow the outlawing of hair colorings. We would not urge it as an excuse for permitting the sale of coal-tar hair dyes if such sale were not amply justified. However, from all of the facts available it must be clear to any impartial observer that there is no justification whatsoever for prohibiting the sale and use of these materials. Millions of women today color their own hair or have It colored in beauty shops. They will not willlngly abandon the use of hair colorings for the enhancement of their personal appearance."
{This is a partial court statement before Honorable Oren Harris, by Ralph L. Evans, Ph. D. (from a well known hair product company, that the name was withheld) H.R. 11582, section 103 be denied.}

Other letters written to the court were found online, you can click on the link and read them for your self.

1965 - Drug Abuse Control Amendments are enacted to deal with problems caused by abuse of depressants, stimulants and hallucinogens.

1966 - FDA contracts with the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council to evaluate the effectiveness of 4,000 drugs approved on the basis of safety alone between 1938 and 1962.

Fair Packaging and Labeling Act requires all consumer products in interstate commerce to be honestly and informatively labeled, with FDA enforcing provisions on foods, drugs, cosmetics, and medical devices.

1968 - Reorganization of federal health programs places FDA in the Public Health Service

1970 - FDA requires the first patient package insert: oral contraceptives must contain information for the patient about specific risks and benefits

The rest of the information does not contribute to the PPD information that is my passion. You can click on the link below and read the rest of the history. There is also a link provided for where much of the information came from for this post.

I chose to post this information so people will know that congress passed a law in 1938 that the FDA has their hands tied for hair color.

Links : (weilerstein) (crawford) (larrick)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

PPD allergy and direct dyes or azo dyes

For people with mild to moderate PPD allergies, direct dyes are sometimes a life saver. These are the kind of dyes that are one step, no mixing. Of course, they have very different diamines in them as well. At Sally's, you can use Manic Panic, or Jazzing, or for a professional route, you can try Goldwell's Elumen or J Beverly Hills just released Fashion Colors. The dark natural colors in these brands are not all that great. They are all temporary colors, or semi-permanent at best. The best for natural colors is Cosamo. I haven't used it yet, but it seems promising from the client reviews. The customer service is great too.

I can not stress enough that you will want to do the 3 step patch testing that I have covered previously. If you have severe allergies, this is not for you. The red manic panic has had a few reactions as well, so patch test!

Remember, this is NOT a proven color for PPD sufferers. Please use extreme caution. If you react, call 911. Do not use this alone, so if your airway is constricted, someone else can speak to 911 for you. If you start to go into an allergic reaction that is severe, don't drive to the doctor, or the emergency room. The time it takes for your airway to swell is extremely short, so safety is a must.

Best wishes, with caution!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Allergic to PPD? Try henna.

I have specialized in hair color allergies for ten years now. Every day it seems like I get the same request, "Now how will I color my hair? I'm too young to be grey!" There are a few different kinds of color chemicals on the market, none of which are perfect if you have had a reaction. Most people don't realize that a reaction can be as small as itching when you get your color done,  hives, blisters, having your hair fall out, nerve damage, vomiting,  anaphylactic shock, and in rare cases, even death.

 One of the choices I personally love, is henna. It's good for you, it's 100% natural and organic. (if you order from the company I do, You can even get different colors depending on what you add to the henna, or what you do to your hair after the henna application. In my salon, I offer cassia, henna, amla, and indigo. Today, I decided to share 2 very simple henna recipes.  I get many requests to share them, especially when clients from distances too far to travel need allergy help. Since my blog is getting hits from several countries and the entire 50 states, maybe it can save some typing too. :)

You need to let the henna rest for about 8 to 10 hours, so leave some prep time! Then, you will need to leave it on your hair for a while too, so you need sitting time as well. If you can get a bonnet style dryer, like our grandmothers used to use, heat will but the time in at least half. I personally don't sit under a dryer, that way I can move around and get things done around the house. With heat, for good grey coverage, at least 2 hours. Without heat, at least 4 hours for good grey coverage.

This recipe is for shoulder length, medium texture hair. If your hair is longer, you might need an additional package of henna (100 gms) for about every 4 inches of hair length past your shoulders. Your hair needs to be freshly shampooed when you apply the henna. If your ends feel dry and snarled when you are going to apply the henna, you can apply a conditioner to the ends. You should know that if  pull on a single piece of your hair and it breaks, use conditioner with moisture. If you pull a hair and it stretches on and on, use a conditioner with protein. The henna will actually bond with the protein, and can help seal in the moisture. The henna is only active when it's wet.

What you will need:
100 grams of henna (I use
Bottled lemon juice (25%) and bottled water (75%) or cooled hibiscus tea (5 tea bags and  40 oz. water)
Glass or plastic bowl
Firm spatula
Color brush (I use one with short stiff 1/2 inch bristles)
A squirt bottle
Plastic wrap, or a disposable elastic plastic cap

You will want to decide which version you want to make first. If you make the lemon juice, I pre-mix in a  glass pyrex measuring cup. I use the same cup for the tea, I boil the water in the microwave, and after I add the tea bags for 2 more minutes. I then let the water cool. I use one or the other. The lemon juice can cover better sometimes, but the juice is acidic and can be harsh on the scalp on some people.

Your mixing bowl can be plastic or glass. Add your dry henna to the bowl, make a small well in the center, and slowly add a small amount of your liquid to the mix. Stir well, and keep adding until the mix is similar to mashed potatoes. If it is too dry, add more liquid, as it will be very hard to rinse out. Cover with plastic wrap, or the plastic cap for 8 to 10 hours.

After the time has passed, remove the cover, and stir the henna. You may need to add more liquid to make a yogurt like consistency.  Place a dot of henna on the back of your hand and check for dye release in 5 minutes. There should be a nice orange dot.

Once your hair is shampooed, conditioned, and you have good dye release, you are ready to go. I generally don't do the usual 4 quarter partings on myself when I do my own henna. I am not sure if this will help anyone, but I start in the middle top, but I move from the front of my head, to as far back to my head as I can easily reach, which is just past the round of my head. I apply the henna from the center of my head, in lines from the forehead to the back of my head, going towards the ear, then back to the top, and towards the other ear. I go over the hair line all the way around. I then split the middle of the back in half, and start on one side, doing horizontal partings, working towards the floor. This makes less work in the back of my head for me. 
You want to make sure you apply the color to the top and bottom of the sections, and apply it very thick. If it is the first time, doing a 2 inch area at the scalp on the first pass is a good start. You can apply it to the ends after the first pass. If your hair gets too dry, use the squirt bottle. If the mixture gets dry, add more liquid. If the mixture feels very sandy, add a touch of conditioner to it. It can help it to rinse out easier. Cover with plastic wrap or a plastic elastic cap.

If you have a table top bonnet style dryer, you can sit for an hour, take a short break, and sit under the dryer again. (I have done this) If you don't have access to one, check your local thrift store, or ask grandma. I happen to have one from both. You can allow the henna to sit for 4 hours and achieve the same effect. I sometimes will heat it up outside the plastic wrap with the blow dryer for 5 minutes at a time once or twice to give it a boost.

When your time is finally up, the best way to get the product out is to get it nice and wet. You want to use warm water, and once you have had the water running on it for a few minutes, then you want to use your hands to begin to massage the henna around the head, beginning to break up the "crust", so it rinses out smoothly. Allow the water to do the work for you, and it will rinse out cleanly. You can shampoo, or just condition it, as I prefer. 

You can add Amla to cool the red a bit. Just mix it into the henna. You can use your henna liquid to mix it, or just plain water. You add it to the henna when you apply.

You can add Indigo to darken the henna. Just mix the indigo with bottled water in a separate bowl with a teaspoon OF SALT. Yogurt consistency. You will add it to the henna when you apply, both the above were used in the photo below. If you apply it in a second, separate application instead of a mixed application, you will get black hair.
 Cassia, a yellow flower, can also be used for lighter hair colors. This is also mixed with an acid, I like chamomile tea. I add the tea very hot, and let it sit for 3 to 4 hours. Yogurt consistency.  I place my client under the dryer for an hour, and it turns grey hair a very soft pale blond color. You can add a sprinkle of henna to make strawberry blond.

The colors you can get with henna and it's organic counter parts are as follows:

Strawberry blond
Dark Brown
and Black. 

Your hair will be softer than it ever has before. It will be healthier than it ever has before, and thicker than ever! Your reds will never fade, you will wonder why you haven't done it before. Try it! You just might like it.

Want recipes? Try my friends book. I know it sounds like I'm plugging it, I'm not. it's like having me next to you! Just change the vinegar or lemon juice to hibiscus tea. (Christine uses it too now!) 2 tea bags per 8oz of boiling water.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

PPD, and Nitros, and Numbers? -oh my...

It has always been known that companies could hide ingredients under other names, especially dangerous ones. The branches that the hair color allergy reaches are so wide, it is almost daunting to try to learn all of the chemistry involved with it. I am determined, and it will not get the better of me. In fact, a new color was just brought to my attention, K pour Karite. This is a direct dye, and AZO dye, or one that you don't mix with a second liquid. A request to search the ingredients for dangers has especially renewed my attentions. There are four numbers in the very first color listed. One of which, CI 12251      is a synonym for this:
JAROCOL, SIENNA BROWN; Basic brown 17 (C.I. 12251);1-(3-Nitro-4-aminophenylazo)-7-(trimethylaminio)-2-naphthol·chloride;8-[(4-amino-3-nitrophenyl)azo]-7-hydroxy-n,n,n-trimethyl-2-naphthalenaminiu;[8-[(4-amino-3-nitrophenyl)azo]-7-hydroxy-2-naphthyl]trimethylammonium chloride;7-Hydroxy-8-[(3-nitro-4-aminophenyl)azo]-N,N,N-trimethyl-2-naphthalenaminium·chloride;2-Naphthalenaminium, 8-(4-amino-3-nitrophenyl)azo-7-hydroxy-N,N,N-trimethyl-, chloride

People without allergies think that this will be harmless, and apply it. People with allergies think it is harmless and apply it. This is not a laughing matter, in fact, it is a very serious issue.  A systemic response can result in the response shown below. Doctors are very hard to find, because they are not trained to ask,"Did you recently get your hair colored?" They don't offer the T.R.U.E. test. If you wish to have this, you generally have to request it your self. This is just maddening to me. This test is from the FDA, and you have to educate yourself. I am closing this today with more requests for help.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

How to shampoo during the reaction, and after.

I often get many requests about how to shampoo after the allergy hits. Some people have scalps that are oozing, like a blister with the top pulled off, others almost like eczema, tight and sore. It can be a constant burning sensation, or itching so bad, you want to scratch your scalp off. Now, the first thing I want to say, I am not a doctor. Consult your doctor first please! I am only a hairdresser, and that and $3.50 will get you coffee at Dunkin Donuts.

There are a few things that you MUST do. Throw out anything that has any color in it. you should use clear products when ever possible. You should not risk anything with dyes, shampoo, conditioner, gels,  anything of this sort. If possible, try to stay away from Sodium Laurel Sulfate, or sulfates in general. They are very drying, and can add to pain, eczema, or itching. Shampoo LESS. I mean as in once or twice a week. Rinse your hair if you must, but stop scrubbing the hell out of your poor head! Give it a rest. (This is not for the poor people with the oozing scalps, or anyone with burning, rinsing with cool water might be the only thing that helps them)

If your scalp is oozing, your doctor should be advising you on what to do. You will probably be on oral steroids, a pretty good dose for a good amount of time. They also sometimes have you on Benadryl, and Zyrtec, but every doctor is different. You should be drinking a LOT of water, and add lemon to help flush your system, if you are not allergic. Lots of green leafy vegetables are good for you, what goes in can help a lot! Stay away from the blow dryer, it is your worst enemy. When you are done oozing, you can move into the next faze, oils.

Oils, are my favorite part. I prefer coconut oil, because it has a mild smell, and a soapy quality to it. it's solid at room temperature, but liquid at shower temperature. Please check to be sure you are not allergic to it! You can use olive oil, almond oil, pretty much anything. I stay away from baby oil, or mineral oil, as they are petroleum based. You can rub them into your scalp the night before you shampoo, and then sleep with them in your hair. In the morning, shampoo them out. They leave a barrier on your scalp, so you are not stripping it so much. Your scalp is not really producing any sebum right now, so it will help your hair feel better too. (It helps everyone's hair feel great!) You can get it at the health food store.

Sometimes I tell people that you can rinse your scalp with 25% apple cider vinegar and 75% water after shampooing. It helps to sooth your scalp, and rinses out the shampoo. I put it in a water bottle with the sport pop top. The vinegar smell is gone when your hair is dry. This is only if you have no oozing!

In my salon, I use Alcame products out of Rochester, NY. They have a line that is called "PURE", it has no sodium laurel sulfate, added smell, color, parabens, grains, glutens, botanicals, or essential oils. This is what I stick with. I do not recommend a particular product, but this is what I use.

I hope that this helps someone out just a little. :)

FDA T.R.U.E. Test for PPD allergies

If you have a problem with hair color allergies, especially PPD, you should begin with this link. PPD stands for Para-PhenyleneDiamine. It is the actual dye in about 90% of the hair color available on the market today. The reaction can be as severe as anaphylactic shock, or as mild as itching when you get your hair colored. HAIR COLOR DOES NOT ITCH! If you go to your doctor, and they don't know what you are talking about, you can at least have the satisfaction of handing them this information when you leave. (Or, educate them, and brave through it)

The above link is for the T.R.U.E. test. It is the sub-cutaneous tissue test that allergists and dermatologists give to see if you are allergic to PPD. If you have trouble finding a doctor who has any idea what you are talking about, you can print this out and bring it with you.

Remember, tell your friends. If your head itches when you get it colored, chances are, you have an allergy. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Safely Patch Test if You are Allergic to PPD or Other Hair Color

Patch testing is very difficult, and most hairdressers don't do it. There IS a reason, but I've never met one who knows why. It's because it doesn't work. All the patch test's that are currently in use do, is protect the color company with one more cushion from being able to be sued. Here's why:

 If you have a client who has never had hair color, then a patch test introduces them to PPD, PTD, or TDS. Then the second exposure, 24 hours after the test, when you color them, THEN they can react. Our system NOW has made up anti-bodies. If you hadn't done a patch test, the client would not have anti-bodies yet. If the client HAS had color before, then the allergy can turn up the second time, or the thousandth. Scientists, chemists, and doctors have tried, but there really is no way to know when a person will react. Well, of course, there is one way to know, because COLOR DOESN'T ITCH.

There are often cases where the clients get dry flaky eyes, but this is not spoken about, or listed in the warnings. Nor is the itching, or the fact that you can go into anaphylactic shock and dye. I believe this is what we should concentrate on changing.

If you get your hair colored, and it itches, you are becoming allergic to it, it will get worse, no matter what. If you know someone who colors their hair, ask them if it itches. If it does, guess what? It's going to get worse, each time they color. This is the one thing that we do know. Once you start becoming allergic, each exposure is cumulative. Your body will react worse with each exposure. We also know that if we were to live long enough, EVERYONE WOULD EVENTUALLY BECOME ALLERGIC TO HAIR COLOR.

Here is how to try a color with a new base diamine:

You are going to do three tests, 2 days apart. 2 on your arm, and one behind your ear. I have adjusted this, and it's still a working development. Sometimes, I alter this for certain clients if they have a different reaction. Do what works best for you. Make sure you gently wipe the area clean, so that there isn't any perfume, or lotion in the area.

1. Inner Forearm, just below the elbow. Apply the color, mixed properly, for half of the normal processing time. Then wash the area with mild shampoo. There should not be any redness, welts, scabs, hives, lumps, bumps, white areas, or abnormal skin in any way. You should not experience any
 scaling or flaking on your eyelids, drooping eye lids or facial features, abnormal breathing, shortness of breath, mouth itching, tongue swelling, throat swelling, or any skin abnormalities on your neck, shoulders, or trunk. NO ALLERGIC REACTIONS OF ANY KIND. This needs to be watched for 2 full days.

2. Repeat the above directions in the same manner, but increase the time to the full processing time. The same rules apply as to 1.

3. Repeat the above directions, but behind the ear. Change the processing time back to half of the processing time. The same rules apply as to 1. And 2.

If you have any problems, please call 911 FIRST. You should not apply the color when you are alone, as you may not be able to speak if your airway is constricted. If you can not breath, do not drive to the hospital! If you are having any kind of allergic reaction, please call 911, or your doctor. Do not risk your life.

Paid consults are available by email at request. prices starting at $120us

Hair Loss from PPD

I have been getting requests about hair loss from PPD. I did some research, and I was able to find very little information on this subject. There was one article on PubMed stating that hair loss can happen from a severe PPD allergy. (Severe Hair Loss of the Scalp due to a Hair Dye Containing Para phenylenediamine.
Ishida W, Makino T, Shimizu T.) For me to explain what I learned from this, and one other article I found, I will explain how hair grows in three cycles.

There are three cycles of hair growth, anagen, or growing, cantogen, or resting, and telogen, or falling out. At any given time, 30% of your hair should be in one of these phases, or moving into one of them. In the article noted above, the patient is diagnosed with severe allergic contact dermatitis, including skin lesions, and this resulted in telogen effluvium. (severe hair loss) This was determined to be from a reaction to PPD. The lesions were severe enough, or the allergy alone caused trauma to the scalp, which has forced the anagen and cantogen cycles to move to telogen. The skin lesions gradually improved after starting treatment with the systemic, or oral, corticosteroids. "The possibility that allergic contact dermatitis from hair dyes may be responsible for telogen effluvium should always be considered in a patient with increased hair loss." This was the end of the article.  I had noted that the skin improvement was mentioned, but the hair loss was not addressed. I don't know why it was not said if it had improved, stayed the same, or worsened. So, we have proof that hair loss from PPD exists.

There was one other article from Germany that I found on EuroPubMed "Idiopathic chronic telegon effluvium in the woman", but I am not sure that it has much more information from what was reported above. One of the most interesting points in the article was that they used information from  based on observation from the sheep wool industry and clinical experience. Sheep?! The treatment had and extra note "They include the use of L-cystine-containing oral preparations and of corticosteroids." Again, no notations on how the results were.

It is very disturbing to me that I have more than 6 requests right now from across the country, one from England, and I do not know what the results are. I can write what I suspect the results are, but I am not a doctor, just a hairdresser. I am just guessing. My GUESS is that the hair grows back, as the articles do not suggest that the problem is permanent. They also do not say that treatment is hopeless, or permanent, or anything dramatic. If you are the one who is losing the hair, that is dramatic enough.

One more note, if you are facing losing some hair and are looking at extensions, look at halo extensions. Anything that will apply traction or pulling on your hair can be detrimental. If you need to, you can always contact me.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Congress, the FDA, and the GAO on PPD

I have been doing some questioning lately, and I have actually been getting some answers. According to Ms. Beth Meyers, of the FDA, the FDA has no authority over PPD in hair color  This has to do with a law passed by Congress, "The Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938", which was enacted in part from 107 people dying after taking the Elixir Sulfanilamide, a that was sold as a "healing  tonic". This toxic chemical is now used for chemotherapy. Congress was also moved by Mrs. Franklin Roosevelt's "Chamber of Horrors", which had been a publicized failure of the FDA's ability to remove Lash Lure from the shelves in spite of the fact that several women had been blinded, and there was one fatality. Once the law was passed, they were finally able to remove Lash Lure from the shelves.

Apparently, because of this ruling, which I have not been able to find copies of, hair dye is exempt from FDA approval. In the 1938 law, there was a law passed that you can not dye eye lashes, or eye brows. The rest of the hair is exempt. Ms. Meyers was lovely enough to give me some information to look for, so I went searching, to the Government Accountability Office. I had not heard of this branch before, but the information I found was very interesting. Basically, they had said that they felt that the law should be reviewed again, and that the FDA should have some amount of control over coal tar hair dyes. (or Para-Phenylene Diamine, PPD) They also mentioned several studies that were done, and that they felt that the PPD and cancer situation needed to be studied more. They also said that hair color is definitely absorbed through the scalp, so that it should give the FDA a reason to go to Congress for a repeal of 601 (a) and 601 (e) of the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetics Act. The GAO also recommended that the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare should direct the commissioner of the FDA to evaluate the safety of coal tar hair dye and require, where applicable, cancer AND OTHER  appropriate warnings on the labeling.  This information is from December of 1977.

Most people are still un-aware that hair dye can cause cancer. Most people are still un-aware that allergic reactions can send you to the emergency room, and can be life threatening. This includes hairdressers. In fact, it includes most doctors. How to get the word out? I was just reading on the link about educational grants. Maybe of someone was a much better writer than I was, they could apply for a research education grant. A grant to educate the public, the hairdressers, and doctors about this. If the word was out, maybe Congress would listen. That's what happened with Toxic Shock Syndrome and Tampons. They got the word out. They said, I don't want my daughter to die from anaphylactic shock from a tampon. Now, in every box of tampons, there is a note, about this. Even though it's rare, and it might not happen to you, it's in the box. Is it a lot to hope for? Probably.

But a girl can dream.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Another PPD death

April 18th, 2013. A woman who was a daughter, a wife, a mother, gave up her fight for her life after falling into a coma last October. She died not from breast cancer, not from heart disease, or a car accident. She died from coloring her hair. You did not read this wrong, SHE DIED FROM COLORING HER HAIR. She lived in the United Kingdom.

Many people don't read the tiny note inside the box of hair color where it says, "WARNING, This product contains a chemical that might cause skin irritation. Do not use on eyelashes or eyebrows, to do so may cause blindness"  If you did read that, would you think it could take your life? Would you assume that the skin irritation was an allergic reaction, and that along with that, could come anaphylactic shock, which in turn, can block your airway? You can't call 911, because you can't speak. You can't drive yourself to the emergency room, because without air, well, you most likely won't make it there. If you had proper warning, maybe you could take some benadryl, but it may not be strong enough. Basically, there needs to be a choice. We at least should be allowed to KNOW that this can happen. Yet, the warning label is still just a rash.

PPD, or PARA PHENYLENE DIAMINE has been the number one allergen in Europe since 2006. It is in the top 20 in the United States, yet I continue to get e-mails week after week  from people that they are finding their own diagnosis, and can not find a doctor who has ever heard of it. How is it that a doctor can offer patch testing for allergies, yet not offer the FDA's most current list? I believe that in the U.S. the number of people that are allergic to hair color is sadly under reported. If doctors had the proper information, and hairdressers had the proper information, we would have a fighting chance.

Right now, the warning was put into effect in 1938 by Congress. We would have to fight congress to have this changed, and it would be a tough fight. We may be able to get the allergies on the label, but it might not make any difference. The FDA does not have ANY ruling over this, as I have been in contact with them. I am working with the state on how to educate, it's not looking good. I think the best solution might be through the truth in advertising, and the FCC.

So, that is going to be my next adventure. I am working with the FDA to collect more information. I am going to see how much "truth" there actually is in all of this. If I can prove that these companies know that there is more than a skin irritation, that will help. If I can prove that the TDS colors that claim to be "PPD FREE", are known to have higher cross allergies, and they know it, then we just might have a fight.

Wish me luck! - Gina xx

Friday, April 5, 2013

The allergy had to happen to me?! ...and about that TV

Well, I finally had an allergic reaction to Wella Koleston hair color. This is a Toluene-Diamine Sulfate based color. The industry claimed it should have reduced my chances of developing an allergy. Apparently this is just as I had expected. The whole purpose of the industry wide move to TDS was because it was safer, and there were going to be less reactions. There were going to be less cross reactions. I found information that said 3%, up to 30% would cross react with TDS. I now know it is closer to 60 to 90%, in my experience, depending on the severity of the allergy.

I colored my hair on a Wednesday afternoon, in between clients. I took Benadryl that night because I could not sleep. Late morning, the next day my forehead and the sides of my face itched. (None of my clients said a WORD!) After a few hours more, I finally looked closer in the mirror, and I noticed I had small blisters all over! When I went home for the evening, I took Zyrtec, Benadryl, and smeared it with a drying cream. Friday it seemed less itchy. Saturday morning, BLISTERS! Back on the Zyrtec and Benadryl! I am still taking the Zyrtec, and it seems fine now, but I am going to take it for a few weeks to be sure. I am also drinking lemon water to cleanse my system.  I was very lucky to have a friend of mine remind me that I was having a PTD reaction, and to take some allergy meds, or I would have been even MORE blistered. Sometimes, I am so busy giving out advice, I forget to take it myself! (Thanks Kristi!!)

-and about that television. The Doctors, a TV show that often has information in quick small bits that people actually remember, finally had a PPD bit on a teen and his mom who is a hairdresser. The teen wanted his hair colored, and didn't do a patch test. He took photos of his reaction, and they showed them. The clip was a bit misleading, as it did not explain that you have to be exposed to PPD once before you can react, and did not explain that you can react the second time or the thousandth time. It mentioned to go to the FDA web sight to fill out the form if you have had a reaction.  It did not mention anything about the miss-diagnosis problems, or the lack of doctors who know about this, or can treat this problem. It did not mention that there are multiple ways that you can react, or that there is a T.R.U.E. test that is safe, and can help.  If you have had a problem finding a hairdresser who can help, contact me. If you have had a problem finding a doctor who can help, contact me. I will do my best to get you information that can help.

Gina xx

EDIT - The photo journal of the teen that was on The Doctors is on this blog. Just look for PPD and Teen. That's him. :)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Spring bling...or not to bling. Tattoo information from the FDA

I was just reading my FDA update e-mail that I get once a week, and the education section caught my eye. It said something about the warm weather coming up, and with more skin being visible, here was an update on tattoos. 1 in 8 adults regret getting a tattoo done. I was surprised at this number, as it seems am always hearing about someone getting a new tattoo. I get asked about ink problems with getting a tattoo if you have PPD allergies. I usually reply that a good tattoo artist will be able to give you the M.S.D.S. information on each ink s/he is going to use, so you can read what is in it. The colors to be watchful of are the oranges and yellows. Read on.

The information in this article completely floored me. The FDA considers tattoo ink to be cosmetic, and NONE of them are approved for injection. NONE of them are approved for CONTACT within skin. Some, are even closer to printers ink, or automobile paint?! With spring coming, you might just want to look a little more carefully into what kind of ink is actually going into your skin before you get one. Not everyone will need to worry...

 If you have never had any color allergies, you may not have to worry, there are a lot of people who have had tattoos with no problems. Allergic to diamines, PPD, PTD, AZO's, nitro's, any type of dye at all?  You should take heed. You can never be too careful, or read the backs of too many bottles, or too many FDA articles. If you are one of the sufferers, this information might help.

  • FDA considers tattoo ink to be a cosmetic. Although a number of color additives are approved for use in cosmetics, none are approved for injection into the skin. In fact, many pigments used in tattoo inks are not approved for skin contact at all. Some are industrial grade colors that are suitable for printers' ink or automobile paint.
  • FDA takes action on ink safety issues. Because of other public health priorities and a previous lack of evidence of safety concerns, FDA has not traditionally regulated tattoo inks or the pigments used in them. However, FDA takes action to prevent consumer illness or injury when safety issues arise related to the inks. The actual practice of tattooing is regulated by state and local authorities

Friday, February 15, 2013

The FDA, and More On Bleach Allergies

Happy St. Valentine's Day! I just got off of the phone with the FDA, and I finally was able to speak with a real person. The phone chain put me through to a guy in partnerships who is going to actually get back to me today about the PPD allergies. Cross your finger, but don't hold your breath...

On a second note, I was doing some reading about the hair bleach, and thanks to the availability of industrial hazards and reporting, I found that there actually is a problem with two of the main ingredients in hair bleach. These are: Ammonium Persulfate, and Potassium Persulfate. They are known allergens, I found the information by way of another channel, and now it will come up easily by google search. It works the same way that the PPD does, once you are sensitized, you can not use it. It is also used in pool chemicals, and in stronger concentrations, spas and hot tubs.

To anyone who lives near the Cicero area, look for the ad in the Cicero Life Magazine, we are running this half page for one year. If you go to the Syracuse Basketball games, look for the Salon Taro ad on the monitor when you go in at the front gates, that's where the ticket booths are. ;)

I hope that you are keeping warm where you are, we had a high of 37 degrees yesterday, woo hoo! Happy Friday, everyone!

Gina xx

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Colorist Education, New Cosmetologist Education

Happy New Year! I have been reading more and more e-mails lately that tell me I have to find a way to get more education out there. New students have NO idea what PPD, PTD, or TDS is, let alone a seasoned colorist. (Okay, most DOCTORS don't know what it is, so why would hairdressers?) It is very overwhelming for me to even begin to think about how to address this situation. I have the information and knowledge to help train others to save a lot of people from being hurt, but how do I begin? I think this is more of a rant than an actual blog today. I have received 2 e-mails from people who said they were allergic to PPD but the colorist still used color with PPD because they were not properly educated. I hear this ALL the time. "No, you aren't allergic to that, it's the ammonia. let's try this." Before you know it, the client is in the emergency room with her eyes swollen shut, and she can't breath. Okay, I am not going to complain any more, I hope everyone is having a great new year!