Woman's Terrifying Hair Dye Allergy Reminds Us to Read Labels

hairdye allergyGoing to the salon is usually a treat and a half for most women. The relaxing shampooing, the free wine, the prospect of a new 'do ... it's all pretty fun and mostly something a lot of us look forward to. But if you're not careful or just completely unlucky, a visit to your favorite hairstylists could turn ugly. Not like bad perm ugly, or terrible highlights ugly -- I'm talking facial deformation and scalp burns ugly. Unfortunately, Virginia native and 30-year-old woman Patrice Washington knows what I'm talking about.

She went in to get her hair dyed, like she's been doing on the regs for the past 18 years, but this time, something went really wrong. She had an allergic reaction and now requires steroids to keep her eyes open, and walks with a cane.

Doctors say that Patrice had a reaction to the chemical paraphenylenediamine, more commonly known as PPD. It's been used as a dye since the mid 1800s, and one doctor said he's only seen about 50 or 60 cases in the last 10 to 15 years of PPD allergy and considers it pretty rare.

Even though it's unusual, it's still important to get the dye patch-tested on your hair and scalp before dyeing your whole head. It's somewhat time consuming and most women skip it because they just want to get their hair done already, but Patrice's case should remind us to take the warnings seriously when it comes to chemical treatments we use on our hair, skin, and nails.

Taking safety precautions is always kind of annoying, but so is having a face essentially swollen shut and hip and back pain so severe that you need assistance when walking. We all know, hopefully, by now that Brazilian blowouts are not that awesome for us, so, I don't know, let's also try and keep in mind that our skin is our biggest organ and when we put all these dyes, perfumes, chemicals, and such on it, we should be conscious about the products we're using and what harm they're potentially capable of.

Watch Patrice's story:

Woman's face swollen after hair dye job: wavy.com


Have you ever had an allergic reaction to a beauty product?


Photo via wavy.com

beauty, hair


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

jrphelps jrphelps

I have had an allergic reaction to my husband's after shave I bought him for Christmas one year.  Also allergic to tanning beds & get internal hives.  This poor woman :(

the4m... the4mutts

That poor woman!

This has nothing to do ith "testing" the stuff first. That's typically reccomended for first time users, or if its been a long time. But this said she'd been doing it fo years.. yikes!

tigge... tigger238

I don't understand how hair dye can cause hip and back pain? I must admit that I've dyed my hair before w/o testing it first. Thank goodness I didn't have a reaction like that.

Jenny... JennyG0929

This happened to my Aunt, however she had a small cut on her scalp when she dyed her hair. She said her head filled up with so much fluid that she could hear it slosh around. She recovered from it within a few days.

GlowW... GlowWorm889

How scary! My entire family (except me, practically) dyes their hair. I hope something like this never happens. As for my own allergies, for some odd reason I can't use Olay soap. Any other soap is fine, but Olay makes me itch like crazy. Last time I used it I nearly scratched all the skin off my legs.

Sweet... SweetPieMama24

Omg thats horrible. The only thing I have a severe reaction with is benzoyl peroxide which is found in a lot of anti acne products. My face swells up and I can't see pretty much how this girls face looks above

Erin Sites Golden

Unfortunately, our bodies change and maybe a product that doesn't affect us the 50 times before that we used it can this time cause a bad reaction. Sad that she had such a severe reaction to a product had been used on her numerous times before.


craft... craftycatVT

I have the same problem as SweetiePieMama24. Benzoyl peroxide makes my face swollen and red and so itchy I end up just about ripping my skin off.

Wish2Be Wish2Be

Thats pretty crazy. I feel bad for her and anyone else that has to go through that. :(

arose74 arose74

I can't use lipstick, lipgloss or chapstick. Only vaseline on my lips. They will blow up like a fish... it's gross. Luckily there are so many "all natural" products now, my options are getting bigger.

1-10 of 14 comments 12 Last