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Hair Dye Reactions

2 min read

Hair Dye

Planning on coloring your hair? You might want to think twice about which product you use and if you want to do it at all. It is all too common to have an allergic reaction to hair coloring.

What's that like? I can tell you what happened in my case. Two days after having it done, I put my head on my pillow and jumped up from a pain behind my ear. When I touched the area I could feel two small bumps on my head just behind the ear. I could also feel irritation developing on my scalp. Several bumps appeared and I felt a slight itch and burning sensation. One day later, my right ear had the same bumps as the left ear and both sides hurt considerably. I went to my generalist and ENT doctor. The generalist didn’t think it was the hair dye. The ENT doctor said it was possible it was an allergic reaction to the hair dye. During the entire time I kept washing my hair hoping to reduce the reaction. I guess I could have taken Benadryl, but I didn’t think of it at the time. As time went on, I developed swollen glands all around the back and sides of my neck that felt like marbles. It took three weeks for the glands to go back to normal where I couldn’t feel them. Now that the glands have relaxed, I'm losing hair. Depending on the severity of your reaction, you could wait for it to resolve on its own, take steroids, need an EpiPen or end up staying in the hospital.

Of course, after seeing the doctors I did what everyone does, I searched on the internet. I found many cases of women reporting the identical reaction I had. Viewing images showed me I got off easy. Some people develop sores on their faces, swollen eyes, skin peeling, and in really bad cases respiratory distress. As it did in my case, a reaction can appear two days later. I’m glad my episode is over and needless to say I won’t be taking any chances on hair dye in the future, not even natural types. I’ve seen reactions to Henna products online which are supposed to be helpful to people who have had allergies. Your body absorbs what you put on your skin. It’s just not worth it to me, I will come to love my gray hair and do what I can with my diet.

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