We've all had a haircut or dye job go wrong and leave us in tears. Okay, maaaaybe occasionally we've suffered a panic attack or meltdown of some sort, too. Hey, hair can be a very personal, sensitive thing! For one Missouri woman named Catherine Oldham, a dye job gone wrong led to a heart attack and eight days on life support, she says. And now she's suing Geoffred's Hair Salon and stylist DeShone Love.
Oldham told the court she went in for a haircut and a condition, and Love persuaded her to add some color to the gray in her hair. The complaint states that "when the time came to neutralize the hair coloring agent on plaintiff's hair, defendant DeShone Love borrowed an unmarked bottle from a neighboring cosmetologist's lane and applied the solution." Oldham says that the next day her scalp began itching, and two days later, blisters formed. She ended up in the E.R., where she was given pain meds, antibiotics, and steroids.
Eventually, from talking to Love over the phone, Oldham deduced that no rinse and neutralizing agent had been applied to her hair. Instead, she had been treated with two acidic hair colors one after the next and apparently developed a bacterial infection due to the scalp wounds, which led her to having to get her hair cut off. Ugh.
But here's where it gets complicated ... (I know, as if it didn't already sound totally involved!) Oldham apparently woke up with severe pain and nausea only a couple of weeks after the dye job. She fainted and went into cardiac arrest. Then, after being on life support for eight days, she reportedly "went through numerous surgeries and was then implanted with an internal defibrillator to keep her heart rhythm regular." Now, she says she's in constant pain and will be forever limited in daily activities due to the defibrillator she has to have for the rest of her life. She will also need to have surgery every five to six years for defibrillator maintenance.
Hmmm. Something about this just doesn't add up, you know? I believe it's totally possible that she got a bad allergic reaction and possibly even a bacterial infection from the dye job. But to blame the heart attack on it? I dunno ... Seems more like Oldham was so worked up about what happened with the dye job and downstream effects of it that she basically made herself sick and gave herself a heart attack.
This seems to me a perfect illustrated example of why we need to be aware of just how much our stress response and emotional health can influence our physical well-being.
With hope, Oldham is able to regain a higher quality of life after this harrowing, traumatic incident. But blaming what happened to her wholly on a chemical reaction seems sadly misguided.
What do you make of this? Do you agree her heart attack was probably more related to her emotional state in the wake of the dye job?