MS asks…I know you’ve written about hair coloring before but are there any products safe for coloring pubic hair? (The old phrase “do the curtains match the drapes” comes to mind.)
The Beauty Brains respond:
One does need to be careful when dying hair “down there” because of the potential for irritation. For example, one common hair dye ingredient PPD ( p-Phenylenediamine) is known to cause contact dermatitis. Nonetheless, there are a number of products that specialize in coloring pubic hair. The most popular is probably the “Betty Beauty” line. Why is Betty safer than regular hair dyes? In a response on their FAQ page they state “Betty does NOT contain PPD or ammonia.” However, upon reviewing their ingredient lists we saw that two of their products actually do contain PPD. Needless to say we were confused.
We contacted a representative of the company and found out that SOME colors (the black, brown and auburn) DO contain PPD but they contain “the lowest % of PPD than other dyes currently on the market.” This is mentioned else where on the website (but not the FAQ page) so thanks to Nancy Jarecki of Betty Beauty for clearing that up for us. We wish more companies were so responsive!
PPD is typically used in hair dyes at approximately 0.15 – 0.30%. Less is better when it comes to irritation but the lower the amount of PPD, the lighter the color. In other words, the tradeoff is that lower levels of PPD should mean less potential for contact dermatitis but they also mean that you’ll be less likely to match darker shades. That could be a big problem for the hair on your scalp but it’s probably less of an issue for pubic hair which rarely sees the light of day (unless you’re Sarah Bellum, that is.)
One additional note: if you ever have had a reaction to a PPD containing hair dye you may have become sensitized. Once sensitized, it takes a very small amount to trigger another reaction. So using any PPD (even one like this one with a lower level) is probably ill -advised.
If you’re hell bent on making sure the carpeting matches the drapes (and if it’s important to have natural looking darker colors) then the Betty Beauty line looks like your best alternative. If anyone in the Beauty Brains community has other ideas on how to color pubic hair , leave a comment and share your experience. (But, please, no pictures.)