Hair Dye allergic reaction

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Hi I'm new to this group. I am twenty years old and female. I have had blonde highlights before done three times but this past Wednesday I got my hair dyed dark brown. It looks almost black. That night my head started to burn and the smell made me very sick to my stomach. The next day my face got all blotchy and red and itchy and my throat swelled up and burned making it hard to breathe. I took liquid Benadryl, since I can't swallow pills do to a narrow throat, and then my mom took me to immediate care. My tongue was burning and felt it was swelling up. My whole mouth was tingling. I got examined by the nurse and then the doctor. My head burnt but didn't have any redness or burn marks. The doctor said I could get an Epi Pen but it could increase heart problems and more health issues. She said my tongue didn't look swollen but I told her it still felt like it was burning. She let my mom and I decide if I wanted to get the Epi Pen and we decided against it. I can swallow fine and much better than Thursday. I have taken Benadryl for the past two days and my throat still burns and feels swollen. But again I can swallow fine. My throat is red and my head still burns along with my neck. I haven't taken any Benadryl yet today but I'm breathing better. I also deal with bad anxiety and depression.So I don't know if my breathing was worse because I was having a panic attack or multiple of them? I have applied coconut oil to my face and scalp. The blotches are basically all gone it's just the burning in my throat, my scalp, and my throat just feels swollen still. Is this common? Should it not get any worse? I'm just very concerned I'm going to die but the doctor didn't seem like I needed the Epi Pen. Any help or advice would be greatly appreicated. Thank you

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    You can get different coloured natural Henna powder to colour your hair next time perhaps.

    And look into multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS).

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  • Posted

    This type of allergy, if you were going to have the level of anaphylaxis you're concerned about, you would have it sooner. Please be advised anaphylaxis is varying levels. It can be simply a rash, a swelling, or life threatening.

    God bless

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  • Posted

    How awful.

    I had a reaction to hair dye but this made my scalp burn and tingle. I just kept washing my hair in a very mild shampoo and did not put any extra chemicals on it such as are in hair conditioners. I did not have any swelling etc and it must have been a very scary time for you.

    I assume that you will not use any hair dyes until this is all cleared up. I would perhaps suggest that  keep your dr informed and see if anything further can be advised.

    Have you approached the hair dye manufacturers for their help and advice? They may be able to assist. They should have a health and safety Officer there.

     

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  • Posted

    Hi about 15 years ago I developed an allergy to a class of chemicals which include something called PPD, which is used in dyes for dark colors. (You can do a search with keywords 'PPD Hair dye ' to discover for yourself the many toxic substances in hair dye). I had no idea what I was allergic to as I was also reacting to soaps, make up, shampoos- everything w a chemical base. I kept getting hives in my face that would make my skin peel in sheets.

    Most doctors couldn't figure out the cause and gave me steroid creams which are not a good idea long term. After seeing 4 doctors and spending thousands of dollars in testing I was fortunate to end up with a doctor who found the causes.

    I was able to find one hair dye, Goldwell, which does not contain PPD. It is from England. It is more eexpensive than others so not many salons carry it. You might find one by searching the keywords 'goldwell salon' followed by your town or area. I have been using it successfully ( their gloss as well) with no reactions . I also bring my own shampoo to the salon btw.

    Please be aware that a hair dye sold in many health food stores as ' natural' contains PPD.

    I only use strictly natural shampoos, soaps, etc, and I only have reactions when I slip up. There are many nice products on the market these days, such as Aubrey. If you have a Whole Foods in your area it is worth checking out. I hope this helps you.

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    • Posted

      Dr Bronner's liquid soap's really good and reasonably priced. I'm allergic to all man made chemicals it seems so I've had to find alternatives for everything. I even had to get rid of my fridge and freezer because I became allergic to the gases in them! cheesygrin

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  • Posted

    Hi I am back. I should have added to my last post that PPD is used in many makeups that are dark, especially mascara & eyeliner. More people are allergic to PPD than realize, and you can become sensitive after much use. That's why someone can use an eye makeup for years without a reaction and suddenly develop itchy eyes.

    Personally I only use Clinique or Dr. Haushka or Bare Minerals makeup ,. Although there are now many smaller brands which are chemical free and can be found on the internet.

    P.s. As a bonus for going chemical free my skin is really nice...

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  • Posted

    Hi Jannine, it’s been over a year now since your post and I wanted to know how you have been with hair dyes. Recently I’ve experienced exactly what you have and it was a horrible experience, it lasted over a week with the mouth tongue throat burning, this also happened to me with diffusing essential oils. I tried to cope with throat numbing lozenges and eating yogurt. I would love to hear from you regarding this experience, I would appreciate it very much, from Hanna.
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  • Posted

    Dear Jannine, I would suggest you to see another doctor as well just to verify what will be his actions. It's not good your throat doesn't feel better. You did great that used coconut oil though) 

    Get well) 

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  • Posted

    There are many ingredients in hair color that can cause an allergic reaction, but the most common hair color ingredient that people have a reaction to is a substance known as PPD, shortened from the scientific name of paraphenylenediamine. It's frequently used in commercial hair dyes—both drugstore and salon brands—and is primarily used to fight color fade. According to researchers at WebMD, PPD is found in more than two­-thirds of commercial hair dyes. In her book Skin Rules, Dr. Jaliman states that, “Black dye is known as being worse than others, but you can get a reaction no matter the shade you're using­ or the original color of your hair.” If you're having a severe PPD reaction, it can show itself as a painful rash around the hairline, as well as facial swelling. Reactions can be serious and although it's rare, hospitalization can occur.

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