Achieving the perfect brow shape and shade has become essential to many clients’ beauty routines. To meet this demand, eyebrow dyes have gained immense popularity over the years, as they offer a convenient solution for enhancing the appearance of eyebrows.

Knowing the potential risks associated with certain ingredients used in eyebrow dyes is crucial for any beauty professional. One such ingredient that has sparked numerous discussions is Para-Phenylenediamine, commonly known as PPD. 


Understanding the role of PPD in eyebrow dyes, its safety considerations, and the alternatives available can empower you to make informed choices about the products you use on your clients. 


Here we will delve deep into the world of PPD in eyebrow dyes. We will explore what PPD is, its purpose in cosmetic products, and why it has become a topic of concern. Furthermore, we will discuss the potential allergic reactions and associated risks arising from PPD usage. 

Keep on reading to find out more…

What is PPD?

PPD, also known as Para-Phenylenediamine, is a chemical compound commonly used in cosmetic and hair dye products, including eyebrow dyes. Typically derived from petroleum, PPD is highly reactive when exposed to air or specific oxidising agents, which triggers its colour development properties.

PPD is not limited to eyebrow dyes alone but is also found in other hair colouring products, such as permanent hair dyes, henna dyes, and even some temporary tattoos. 

Why is PPD used?

PPD is used as a colouring agent because it produces vibrant and intense shades, making it a popular choice for clients seeking a rich, deep eyebrow colour. PPD is also able to easily penetrate the hair shaft to create long-lasting colour results that resist fading. This versatility makes PPD a preferred ingredient in many hair and eyebrow dye formulations.


You may also enjoy: Which eyebrow beauty treatments are best for your clients?


What is an alternative to PPD?

An alternative to PPD  in eyebrow tinting is to use a product that is PPD-free. Another alternative is to look for eyebrow tinting products using vegetable-based dyes or natural plant colourants. These formulations often do not contain PPD or other harsh chemicals.

You may also enjoy: Everything you need to Know about brow lamination with Cheryl Taylor.

How do clients know if they are allergic to PPD?

Determining if your client is allergic to PPD is crucial in safeguarding their health and well-being when using eyebrow dyes or other products containing this chemical compound. Allergic reactions to PPD can vary, ranging from mild skin irritation to more severe symptoms. 

Here are some signs to watch out for that may indicate a PPD allergy…

Skin Irritation

Skin irritation is one of the most common initial signs of a PPD allergy. Clients may experience redness, itching, burning, or a rash on the area where the product was applied, such as the eyebrows or surrounding skin.


Allergic reactions to PPD can cause swelling in the affected area. This can include swelling of the eyebrows, eyelids, or other areas where the dye was applied. The swelling may be accompanied by discomfort or a feeling of tightness.


In more severe cases, PPD allergies can lead to the formation of blisters or hives. These raised, itchy bumps can appear on the skin and may be accompanied by redness and inflammation.

Respiratory Symptoms

Some individuals may experience respiratory symptoms if they are allergic to PPD. These can include difficulty breathing, wheezing, or tightness in the chest. If your client experiences any respiratory distress, seek immediate medical attention.

You can find out if your client has had any kind of previous reaction to PPD at the salon consultation stage before any treatment is carried out.

Find out more in our previous post on how to achieve the perfect salon consultation.

Always perform a patch test before treating a new client brow tint.

For more information on patch testing, take a look at our guide on the importance of patch testing.


What is the best PPD-free eyebrow tint for professionals?

If you’re looking for PPD-free eyebrow tints, discover our recommendations that you can buy today at Salons Direct!

RefectoCil Intense Browns Base Gel

RefectoCil Intense Browns Base Gel



A new, PPD-free formula, the RefectoCil Intense Browns Base Gel is a brow and lash system that allows beauty professionals to create intense and customised looks.

Key Features: 

  • Results last for up to 10 days on the skin and up to 6 weeks on the hair.
  • Mild formula means that it is ideal for clients that are prone to allergies or have sensitive skin.
  • Create impactful eyebrows and expressive eyelashes.
  • For Brows and Lashes.




Apraise Eyelash & Eyebrow Tint PPD Free

Apraise Eyelash & Eyebrow Tint PPD Free new and improved formula tints for a higher shine, higher coverage, and longer lasting results.

Apraise Eyelash & Eyebrow Tint PPD Free



Key Features:

  • Water-resistant and smudge-proof.
  • Cruelty-free and vegan.
  • Perfect for sensitive skin.

RefectoCil Sensitive Starter Kit

RefectoCil Sensitive Starter KitSHOP NOW


The Refectocil Sensitive Starter Kit offers a full range of products needed to start tinting eyebrows and eyelashes for clients with sensitive eyes and skin.

The kit contains:

  • 4 x Sensitive Tints.
  • 1 x Sensitive Developer Gel.
  • 1 x Sensitive Tint Remover.
  • 1 x Silicone Pads.
  • 1 x Artist Palette.
  • Free Sensitive Colour Chart Folder.


Shop brow tint at Salons Direct.