Mention the chemical p-Phenlenediamine, or PPD, and few will have the slightest idea what you’re talking about. Say the name “Just for Men” however, and you’d be hard pressed to find an American consumer that hasn’t heard of the do-it-yourself men’s hair dye solution.
The product has been on the market since the late 80s and has been the consistent “go to” for men looking for an easy way to get rid of grey hair on their heads and faces. Changes to the chemical formula for Just for Men, however, are leading many to rethink that decision.
In a chain of complaints dating all the way back to 2012, Just for Men has come under fire for causing burning, itching, and swelling on the faces of unsuspecting consumers. Loyal, repeat customers are finding that the product they’ve used for years is now causing them significant discomfort when applied; some so bad that they’ve required hospitalization.
A Massachusetts man experienced swelling so serious that doctors feared that his throat could swell shut. He was admitted and placed on steroids and antihistamines; an event that took him completely by surprise given that he’d used Just for Men for the previous decade with no adverse effects.
When asked, a company representative stated that no changes to the product’s chemical makeup had occurred for quite some time. Instead, she suggested that changes to customers’ own body chemistry could be to blame. Human skin chemistry changes as we age and a chemical that has no effect on someone at one age may trigger a response in that same customer a few years down the road.
There is no shortage of chemical components to Just for Men. Comprised of everything from acids to alcohol derivatives, the product contains a laundry list of substances that could trigger an allergic response in a customer.
For its part, Just for Men suggests that customers test a small amount of the product on a small portion of skin – generally the bend of the elbow – and wait 48 hours before going ahead with a full application. It’s worth noting that they also suggest consumers go through this process before every application – not just their first experience with the product.