Two Women Suffer Extreme Allergic Reactions to Hair Dye

Hair dye kits can be dangerous, if the instructions are not followed to the letter

By on 16 Apr 2009, 21:01 GMT
Women dye their hair at home all the time, and have been doing so for many years. Yet, this does not mean that they should ever ignore the instructions on the package, as allergic reactions to the same product can still appear – and have terrible, even disfiguring consequences, as two women in the UK can testify from their own painful experience.

Carla Harris, only 15, and Susan Taylor, 55, dyed their hair at home using home kits from L’Oreal and ended up in the hospital, one with her head swollen to twice its size and fearing she would choke on her own swollen tongue, the other with burns on her face that have left horrible scabs. Carla’s mother has already filed a complaint asking for a ban on PPD, the ingredient that has generated much controversy because of its potential of causing severe allergies. PPD is already banned in France, Sweden and Germany, several British media outlets inform.

“It’s disgusting that this chemical is in there. Carla’s eyelids were puffed up so much she couldn’t see. She has only dyed her hair once before and she was alright then.” Mrs. Harris, a reception manager at a GP surgery, says for the Daily Mail. “When I put the dye on my head it felt really itchy. The next morning I started taking antihistamines but then the side of my head started to swell. It’s not right that they are allowed to put PPD in these dyes if it can do this to you. I’m never going to dye my hair again.” Carla also says after her painful experience.

Susan Taylor, though, was not as lucky as Carla to walk away unscarred from the emergency room. Although she’s been using hair dye since her teen years, and mostly the same brand, she had such a severe allergic reaction that her face is still covered in scabs that make her ashamed to leave the house. Nevertheless, she does not blame L’Oreal for the incident, but used her own case as a learning lesson to all women who don’t do the skin allergy test before applying the dye. “I want this to serve as a warning to other women. The instructions told me to test the product against my skin for 48 hours before applying it but I only did it for 24 hours because I’ve used it before without any problems.” she says.

L’Oreal, on the other hand, is unfazed by the incidents, albeit supportive of Taylor. “We are totally committed to ensuring that our products are safe and that our customers can use them with absolute confidence. Allergies to hair colorants are extremely rare but can occur for a very small number of people. Mrs. Taylor’s experience shows how important it is to carry out a skin allergy test 48 hours before using the colorant each and every time, following the instructions clearly displayed on our packaging.” a spokesperson for the company says in a press statement released shortly after word of the two incidents got out in the media. 

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Allergic reactions to hair dye are rare, but they do happen
   Allergic reactions to hair dye are rare, but they do happen