Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday, December 12, 2008 Veganbaby38, Community Member, asks

Q: hair color allergic reaction treatment

I recently dyed my hair with Ion hair color from Sally's Beauty Supply.  Since that time, my face has been itching like crazy.  I went to the doctor yesterday and got a celestane (steroid) shot and the itching and redness is almost gone. 


What kind of hair dye should I use in the future?  Also, is the steriod shot going to make me well?

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Answers (10)
12/15/08 4:01pm

Hi Veganbaby,


It is impossible for anyone else to tell you what kind of dye to use. There are some formulas that claim to be less allergenic than others, so read the labels carefully. However, if you are sensitive, you could have a reaction to almost any hair dye. Most dyes advise that you do an allergy test before applying the product all over your head. I would be sure to do that test first, following the instructions in the hair dye box. If you have any itching at all, don't use it! You may find that the wash out types of hair color are less caustic and irritating than the permanent dyes, but again a test is advised.


Steroids reduce inflammation, which is the root of all allergic reactions. Since you seem to be responding well to the one shot you got, I would guess that you're on the road to recovery and things should not get worse again. But if they do, be sure to contact your doctor to see what course of action you should follow. Meanwhile, use gentle hair care and skin products on your face until you are sure your allergic reaction is fully resolved.


To your health,


Mrs Dunn, Community Member
12/18/08 3:45pm

I would make three suggestions: 1) don't dye your hair again, one bad reaction can be a prelude to anaphylaxis.  2) if you cannot handle natural, try, (and TEST before using,) henna based products.  3) see number 1. 

Patty Jeres, Community Member
12/18/08 3:51pm

Aveda hair products are mainly organic.  I have not had skin problems but always have had asthma symptoms the day or two after getting my hair colored until I tried an Aveda salon.

RAVI SAHNI, Community Member
12/20/08 9:16am

i dyed my hair with two or three difrent co.]after ten or fifteen my face has been itching &sweling over face.plese help me @ send any treatment.


cherrie, Community Member
9/ 5/09 12:01am

cherrie, Community Member
9/ 5/09 1:04am

I am a hairstylist and I encounter severe allergy mostly in the face and scalf and my eyes  swells whenever I did some hair coloring and hair spray to my clients. What shall I do.

april7677, Community Member
2/23/10 10:13pm

immediately use a "clarifying shampoo" to wash the residue of the hair color out! you are allergic to the chemical "PPD" paraphenylendiamine....forgive the spelling, its a long scientific name. take Benadryl....see a doctor, he will give you some kind of steriod medication!

Then only use more natural hair colors without the PPD! be very careful....PPD is a known carcinogen....!!!

Jackie, Community Member
1/13/09 4:00pm

Don't color your hair!!! 

hrnsly, Community Member
5/24/09 10:11pm

I don't know what your allergist has told you, but I do know that most of the time it is an allergy to a single ingredient in the dye that triggers either a histamine, localized rash, or anaphalactic reaction in/on the body. This ingredient is usually common in all hair colors, and needs to be identified by your allergist. Once they perform a scratch test (since your reaction was localized) and identify the allergen, then you may contact different hair color companies and determine if the ingredient is present in their hair color. I use Ion regularly, and the only problem I ever had was with my developer. It was too hot and burned my scalp. I went to Ion sensitive scalp and do not have any problems. I had used my old developer (Salon Care 20 Creme Developer) with Clairol and L'Oreal for years and never had a problem, but hair coloring is chemistry. Mixing different chemicals causes different reactions. It is always best to follow the instructions first, and color a test area first when trying a new color. They make that recommendation based on the fact that hundreds of people end up in emergency rooms each year with moderate to severe allergic reactions to hair dye. Yes, hair dye. One of my husband's co-worker's wife ended up in the hospital for a week as a result of a coloring session at the hair salon. She had a severe anaphalactic reaction and had to be intubated. This was the first time I'd ever heard of such a thing. After extensive research, I discovered that it was not as uncommon as I had believed. Caveat emptor. ...And always test first!Laughing

Allergic to hair dye, Community Member
3/23/11 12:41pm

I specifically went to Sally's and told the girl that I am allergic to PPD. She said she never heard of such a thing! I told her I could have died from the severe reaction, that I have been using Henna without good results, what did she suggest, yes, Ion Color Brilliance. Once again I am in horrendous pain and taking Benedryl. I do not see the PPD listed in the ingredients. My fault, she never heard of it, and I took her advice.

No more dye, Community Member
5/ 5/11 7:39pm

If you have not looked up 'hair dye allergy' I would suggest you do this. PPD goes under at least 10 different names and has at least 15 different derivatives. And now that you have had reactions you are more easily set off by the 'triggers'. And believe me, there are quite a few, including medicated creams that are used for allergic reactions. I myself have had reactions, the first lasted 6 weeks and I only have memory for part of it, my head swelled so bad. I urge you to research your research, 10 years of issues like legs itching so bad I scratch off skin, miscarriages, etc. and most are signs of a PPD/derivative allergy. Doctors do not know squat about this allergy either. Henna's are not safe, you are only as safe as the person trying to sell you the product and their knowledge of the product. I do not want to be pessimistic but I am in the 3rd week of weepy hives and hair loss, and now they are slowly marching down from my head and neck to the trunk of my body and my thighs. It just is not worth it to do this, but if you do know your stuff.

evangeline, Community Member
5/25/11 10:16am

I, too,  am severely allergic to PPD but I think that what the girl in Sally's neglected to tell you is that only the "ION Demi Permanent Color" is PPD free.  I have used it for 3 years now with no reaction.  It is also important that you use the  ION #10 Sensitive Scalp Developer as well because it's formulated to go with the Demi Color product and also contains no PPD.  People dont realize that PPD is also added to some developers to make the color more permanent.

Stephanie, Community Member
10/31/11 7:44pm

I have just recently developed this allergic reaction, and am horrified at the thought of being gray- yours was the first post to give me "hope" I will try the Ion products. Thanks

Noralyn, Community Member
6/ 2/11 1:27pm

I had a severe allergic reaction to hair dye as well, so I'm staying far away from any hair dye for now.  I might try some natural Henna later on.


For relief and healing I purchased Tecnu Rash Relief (spay) and Scar Prevention  from Rite Aid and it works.  It helped stop the itching and pain while it dried the oozing of my severely damaged scalp.  It contains Tea Tree Oil, Vitamine E and Green Tea extracts. A friend of mine also suggested purchasing a cheap bottle sprayer and fill it with 100% aloe gel and olive oil.  Spray that two combination in your scalp let sit for a few minutes and than rinse off with Head and Shoulders Shampoo itch and anti dandruff shampoo to clarify residue in your scalp. 

John boy, Community Member
12/21/11 9:33pm

I have the same problem.  I actually get welps all over my head and my entire head swells.  The only color I have found is a #1 hair color.  Hair colors range from #1 which is temporary, to #3, which is permanant.  The #1 washes out in about 5-6 washes but it want make you claw your head off!  Hope this helps.


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By Veganbaby38, Community Member— Last Modified: 02/14/14, First Published: 12/12/08