Just For Men® hair dye is linked to a growing number of complaints about severe allergic reactions, chemical burns, and skin discoloration in Hispanic and African American men.
What is Just for Men?
Just for Men is a chemical hair coloring product that is primarily used by middle-aged men who want to dye gray hairs. It contains powerful chemicals that penetrate coarse hair in bears, mustaches, and sideburns, as well as scalp hair. It is manufactured by Combe Inc. and has been on the market since 1987.
What is the problem?
Over 400 men have reported problems with Just for Men on the website ConsumerAffairs.com. Some of the reports describe severe chemical burns and allergic reactions.
One complaint was written by a man who applied Just for Men as detailed in the instructions. He said:
“I had a burning sensation as well, and after rinsing it off, I thought I was fine. The next day, my face and neck had swollen up horribly. The following morning my skin had begun to weep as well, and I went to the ER. I was admitted immediately, as it looked horrible. They were concerned about my throat swelling shut. I am nearly 50 and do not have any allergies that I know of. Whatever is in this stuff is harsh. I needed steroids and Benadryl.”
Was the Formula Changed?
Some complaints were written by men who used Just for Men for over a decade before suddenly experiencing problems. These men are concerned about a possible change in the chemical formula, but a spokeswoman for Combe Inc. told ConsumerAffairs that the formula has not been changed in seven years.
Allergic Reactions from Chemical Ingredients
Just for Men contains p-Phenylenediamine, which was named “Allergen of the Year” in 2006. It is a dark chemical that has been widely used in hair dye since the 1980s. It is also a well-known allergen, causing allergic reactions in at least 5-7% of users, according to the North American Contact Dermatitis Society.
Skin-Patch Allergy Test
Every time you use Just for Men, do a skin-patch allergy test on the inside of your elbow at least 48 hours before you intend to apply it on your face and/or scalp. It is important to do a skin test even if you have safely used Just for Men in the past because body chemistry can change.
How to do a skin-patch allergy test:
- Wash an area about the size of a quarter on the inside of your elbow using mild soap and water. Pat dry.
- Open the Color Developer and Color Base tubes. Mix small, equal parts in the mixing tray with the plastic end of the brush. Re-cap both tubes.
- Use a cotton ball or swab to apply the mixture on the inside of your elbow. Allow to dry.
- Watch the skin over the next 48 hours. Do not wash it. You can use Just for Men if you do not have a reaction.
Symptoms of a Skin Reaction
- Painful burning rash
- Skin inflammation
- Hives (itchy, painful welts that get bigger when irritated)
- Face or eye swelling
- Blisters (fluid-filled)
- Weeping sores on the scalp
- Skin discoloration