Hair Colors are made with numerous ingredients which are also used in cosmetics. But there are a few, or more specifically 4 ingredients that are deadly and harmful. These are Toxic PPD (paraphenylenediamine), Poisonous Barium or Lead (Heavy metals), pungent ammonia and harmful Hydrogen Peroxide. The problems caused by these ingredients vary from mild allergy, to hair weakening, to toxicity, hair loss and in some cases even cancerous.

The most notorious amongst the deadly 4 is PPD (paraphenylenediamine) which is a coloring component that produces black color on oxidation. This means that the resultant black color on the hair is the outcome of PPD getting oxygen from other ingredient and oxidizing. PPD (paraphenylenediamine) is a sensitizer and in some cases it may cause sensitization of the skin, scalp and other parts of the body of some people. It is a proven toxic ingredient which can sometimes prove to be fatal for those individuals who are allergic to it. There have been many cases reported in the past where an allergic reaction from PPD (paraphenylenediamine) had caused a series of problems. More recent is the incident wherein a lady died in UK after using the hair color of a well known brand. Print & Electronic Media highlighted the harmful effects of PPD used in a much larger scale in the U.K.

The 2nd dangerous ingredient in hair dyes is Lead (heavy metal). These hair colors have a long history and are believed to have been used even during the Roman Empire. Toxicity from lead is a well known fact these days and FDA of most of the developed countries has banned the use of lead in any kind of cosmetic preparations. Another heavy metal, Barium, in the form of Barium Peroxide, is used in henna based hair dye preparations and acts as an oxidizing agent. Barium is a known poisonous ingredient & irritant to eyes/skin. It is mostly used in poor quality henna hair dyes and has the tendency to get infused in the blood stream and make it poisonous. We may term heavy metals in hair dyes as slow poison, and hence hair dyes containing Lead or Barium must be avoided.

The 3rd harmful ingredient is Ammonia, which is not poisonous but causes great damage to hair. Its function in hair color is to increase the pH & hence open the cuticle of hair. This opening or expansion of cuticle allows the easy passage of coloring molecule to enter the hair shaft. However, raising the pH causes the hair to lose a huge amount of protein & moisture. This action weakens & damages the hair cuticle to great extent. Further, opening of the cuticle also causes color to come off sooner after coloring. For this reason more quantity of dying toxic molecule is needed.

Last, but not the least, Hydrogen Peroxide is another harmful ingredient in hair coloring preparations. This has two functions in the conventional hair color, 1st is to react with the coloring molecule PPD and produce black color and the second is to remove the “Natural” color of hair which, in case of Asians, is Black or Dark Brown. As Indians, we mostly don’t want to lighten our hair to blonde or we wish to darken our hair to Dark Brown/Blackcolor. Hence in our case, the 2nd purpose of Hydrogen peroxide i.e. extraction of black color is not required. This means that we need relatively very low quantity of Hydrogen Peroxide which would be sufficient to provide necessary oxygen to coloring molecule PPD. This also indicates that extra peroxide may add to pre mature graying.

If we broadly analyze the above points, then we realize that for Indian hair, we surely do not need heavy metals, or ammonia and we also need very less quantity of Hydrogen Peroxide. Of course the PPD must be avoided.

This validates the stand taken by the scientists at ‘INDUS VALLEY’, who have progressed and left these ingredients way back in the past. They have developed hair colors which are devoid of these deadly 4 ingredients, whereas these are still the integral part of contemporary hair colors in the market.

Indus Valley’ brand of hair colors launched in Holland in 2006 & is now available in other parts of the world and contains none of these deadly ingredients. ‘Indus Valley’ hair colors are backed by cutting edge science & these are also tested dermatologically for the ingredients’ safety. Many dermatologists of Middle East, India & several other countries are prescribing it to their customers as they also believe that these are safe to use and won’t cause damage.

There are 2 variants and there are 12 shades in each. First is the 100% Botanical Hair Color, which is a Hypoallergenic hair color with guaranteed 100% premium quality herbs ‘without a trace of any chemical whatsoever’. This works excellently for people who are experiencing initial greying or for who have less than 30% grey. The second variant is the Gel color, which is a safer permanent hair color for proper grey covering, without any of the 4 deadly ingredients. All the Indus Valley Hair colors are best for both men & women. Please contact your doctor to know more about these.

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