More Locks and Lashes Blogs
- The Story of Cosmetics
- Protecting Your Hair and Skin In the Sun
- Straightening with a blow dryer, cleaning brushes, truth about top and base coat
- Powder Pads - do you need to change them?
- Being a Hair Stylist
- Locks and Lashes Fan Mail - Being Successful and SHORT!
- Applying Blush, Coloured Hair Streaks
- False Eyelashes, Bangs or No Bangs
- Hair Bleach | Pimple Cover Up
- Stray Hairs, Waterproof Mascara and Perfume
- Stage Makeup Eye Makeup Winter Hat Head
- Sharing makeup, does makeup cause acne? and hair static
- Eyebrows, Nose Piercings, Hair Dying
- Locks and Lashes: will my hair turn green, makeup and sensitive skin, sunscreen and moisturizer, stage makeup tips
- Hand and Nail Tips
- Natural vs. Festive Makeup
- Beauty Tips - Ask the Experts
- Summer Makeup for Day and Night
- Beauty Tips and Tricks
- Hair Dye Tragedy
February 2009 Blogs
Hair Dye Tragedy
This is a true story that happened to one of our very own Locks and Lashes experts, Julia Hofer.
“One Sunday afternoon, just like so many times before, I decided to colour my hair. I have been using hair dye for 15 years and had tried all the colours in the past from dark blonde to black.” It’s not like this was her first time or anything... “It was the fall and I decided to do a nice deep chocolate brown. I had used the same brand many times before, so I didn’t feel that doing the recommended ‘48 hour patch test’ would be necessary. The colour turned out darker than I expected, and I wasn’t very happy with it, but I figured it would fade after a few more washes. What I didn’t know was that the worst was still to come.”
Something wasn’t right, “The next day, my scalp and ears were very itchy. Later that night I felt an unusual feeling, it was like my scalp was pulsating. I rushed to the shower to wash my hair a few times to try and get rid of the remaining hair dye on my scalp.”
The worst of it didn’t happen until two whole days later! “Then the next morning I was caught by surprise, looking in the mirror, my head was swollen at the top and around my ears. I was shocked and started to panic. I rushed to the emergency room where I found out that I had a severe allergic reaction to the hair dye and the symptoms would only get worse. The following day scabs and oozing blisters were all over my scalp and ears and the swelling got even bigger (about an inch) and it started to move down onto my face! For a few days I could hardly open my eyes and I was tearing constantly. I went back to the hospital where I was prescribed strong steroids and an ointment for the scabs and blisters. People were staring at me on the street like I was some kind of freak.”
It can happen to anyone, even a professional. “It took about 2 weeks for my face to go back to normal. I have been lucky, I read about other people suffering with symptoms for much longer periods. I wanted to share my story with all our readers so you can be aware of how dangerous an allergic reaction to hair dye can be, and so you don’t have to go through the same pain and agony that I did.”
Why does this happen?
We asked Melissa Villa, our Locks and Lashes hair expert, to make sense of this for us!
“A severe allergic reaction like Julia experienced to hair colour is not common, but as with any allergy it can happen even if you have used the product before. There are a wide range of ingredients used in hair colour as well as other cosmetics that people can be allergic to. The leading cause of hair colour allergic reactions is a substance known as PPD (p-Phenylenediamine). Ppd is a pigment used in permanent oxidative hair colours. Higher concentrations are found in dark colours from black to dark reds. It can also be found in dark coloured cosmetics and temporary tattoos. Contact with this substance may result in dermatitis as well as other skin reactions.
Most hair colour preparations have a warning on the package stating that a ‘patch test’ should be done before using the colour. The test involves applying a quarter sized spot of solution (developer and colour) either behind the ear or on the inner bend of the elbow. Let it dry and leave it for 24-48 hours. If no irritation occurs then the test is negative. If you notice a reaction, then you should NOT use the hair colour.”
Plan on dying your hair any time soon? Do the patch test ladies! Just like anything, if you are going to do it, do it right!
~ Melissa Villa, Julia Hofer