Clairol Nice ‘n Easy — allergy gentle?

You may have heard of the recent release of the reformulated Nice ‘n Easy home hair colouring kits from Clairol, which boast a new “allergy gentle” molecule, called ME+.

If not, here’s an advert via YouTube

ME+ is a modern, patented replacement for PPD, which has been the go-to ‘colour fixing’ chemical for permanent hair dye kits for many years. PPD allergy can be extremely severe, and those allergic to both PPD and methylisothiazolinone have to take particular care (see our previous article on this). 

You may have been reassured by the allergy reference in the advert into assuming that Nice ‘n Easy may now be allergy safe. 

Not necessarily.

ME+ is chemically related to PPD, and is still potentially a problem for around one third of people already sensitised to PPD (or other PPD-alternatives). It was designed to be far less likely to sensitise, not to be less likely to trigger reactions in those already sensitised to PPD. The fact that in some cases it does, is a mere accident. If you’re allergic to PPD or an other PPD-like chemical, patch testing for ME+ may prove useful to determine whether you react to it, but as it’s still relatively new, it may not be available easily from a dermatologist. 

But of more concern to those with allergy to isothiazolinones is the fact that one item in the three-piece Nice ‘n Easy hair dye kit contains both MI and MCI — namely the CC+ Colorseal(TM) Conditioner. 

If you do wish to continue to use permanent hair colour, and are keen on the idea of an ‘allergy friendlier’ molecule, perhaps because you have allergies to other ingredients and are concerned about developing yet more, this product is only safe if you DO NOT use the in-box added conditioner. 

And if you’re looking for an alternative conditioner which you can use instead — you will find our list of colour-protect MI-free conditioners here


For more information, check the Clairol US or Clairol UK sites. Nice ‘n Easy is available on online retailers such as Amazon but check stockists have new reformulations not old products if you want to use ME+ versions. Look for ‘New and Improved’ and ‘Color Care Formula’ in top right hand corner. 

For the importance of conducting hair dye patch tests, see this article via Allergy Insight


  1. June singleton

    I had a terrible reaction two weeks ago yet have always used nice n easy med ash blonde for as long as I can remember! My scalp was so itchy and large lumps appeared! Why?

    1. MI Free (Post author)

      It’s impossible to say, June, but it could be the development of a new allergy. Tolerance can be lost even after a long period. Definitely worth making an appointment with a dermatologist to get to the root of the issue.


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