If you use permanent hair dye do you always read the instructions in the kit? Do you always do a patch test whether it is a new brand or the same old brand that you, your grandma and them have been using for decades?
The very first time I heard of hair dye allergy was when I was getting temporary henna body art done on my arm for a wedding, to make the design darker and long lasting the artist added some permanent black hair dye to the natural henna mix but before she did that she did a patch test on my arm to see if I was allergic to the dye or not. She mentioned that she never used to do patch tests before until a client had an allergic reaction to the hair dye. A few weeks ago a friend updated her Facebook status indicating that she was in hospital thanks to an allergic reaction to hair dye, I did not know how serious it was until she posted photos that were taken of her on admission the previous day, her entire face was swollen including her eyelids it was terrible!
Upon doing some online research I found out that almost all permanent commercial hair dyes contain the chemical substance known as Paraphenylenediamine (PPD) banned in some countries which is believed to be the major cause of allergic reactions to hair dyes. This chemical can cause an allergic reaction at any time even if one has previously used it without any problems. Usual symptoms of an allergic reaction to hair dye can range from mild red rash irritation on the face, neck, ears to severe swelling of the entire face. These symptoms can occur within an hour of application or take anything up to 2 days and more to appear. If the symptoms are severe swelling of the face, shortness of breath, and a drop in blood pressure it is very important to go to the emergency room because some of these allergic reactions to hair dyes can be fatal. It is recommended to wash off the dye as soon as you see any signs of an allergic reaction upon application and see a pharmacist if not severe for over the counter medication but for severe symptoms like mentioned above please see a physician immediately.
Remember always always do a patch test behind your ear or on the inner elbow 48-72 hours before intended application of any commercially produced permanent hair dyes or go for safer alternative natural products like henna and cassia if completely allergic to hair dyes.
More reading on allergic reactions to hair dyes