The other day I had my usually scheduled visit with my hair dresser of 10 years. No new dye was added; instead I thought the best coverup would be to stick to the previous docket. I enjoyed that cut and color receiving many compliments.
My hair dresser began to place the usual highlights then doused my scalp with low lights to hide the impending gray. I did note she completed my entire head this time instead of just the front with these lowlights, and I was excited anticipating a gray-free experience for the next couple of months.
Once doused with the pigment I was set under the dryer to let the colors imprint. Under the dryer about 30 minutes later I began to feel light headed. Af first II thought it may be the fumes from my slathered head leaking from the plastic cap. I got up, took a trip to the bathroom, hoping to eleviate and reconstruct my senses. Upon sitting down again, I noticed more lightheadedness and now an increasing heart rate. At first I thought it was my mind over reacting to an event that was causing anxiety. After all, I've done this for MANY years. Within a few short minutes, thereafter, my heart was racing at full speed, actually knocking in my chest wall, and I was ready to place the call for 911. I ran to the sink and motioned staff to rinse my head as quickly as possible. It took several minutes of rinsing to get my heart back to normal and I was sickened, achy, and anxious after the whole ordeal. What could have caused this?
What Causes an Allergic Reaction to Hair Dyes?
A rare sensitivity to certain chemicals, particularly a substance called p-phenylenediamine (PPD), can cause an individual to have an allergic reaction to hair dye. Often, the allergic reaction is fairly mild, producing signs like burning, itching, and redness. In very rare instances, a hair dye allergy can bring on a life-threatening condition known as anaphylaxis, which can be recognized by symptoms like swelling of the throat and face, hives, rapid heartbeat, disorientation, and discoloration of the skin. Those who wish to
color their hair may be able to avoid an allergic reaction to hair dye by always testing a product on a small area of the skin.
Many medical experts believe that a sensitivity to the compound PPD, contained in many cosmetic dyes, is responsible for causing a small number of individuals to have an allergic reaction to hair dye. For many of these individuals, this reaction produces unpleasant but mild signs, such as itching, burning, and
redness on and around the scalp. In many cases, the symptoms of a mild allergic reaction will diminish within hours or days. Taking an over-the-counter antihistamine may provide relief from symptoms until the reaction comes to an end. -http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-the-signs-of-an-allergic-reaction-to-hair-dye.htm
How Does Anaphylaxis Happen?
Anaphylaxis is a severe, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. It can occur within seconds or minutes of exposure to something you're allergic to, such as a peanut or the venom from a bee sting.
The flood of chemicals released by your immune system during anaphylaxis can cause you to go into shock; your blood pressure drops suddenly and your airways narrow, blocking normal breathing. Signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis include a rapid, weak pulse, a skin rash, and nausea and vomiting. Common
triggers of anaphylaxis include certain foods, some medications, insect venom and latex.
Anaphylaxis requires an immediate trip to the emergency department and an injection of epinephrine. If anaphylaxis isn't treated right away, it can lead to unconsciousness or even death.
Your immune system produces antibodies that defend against foreign substances. This is good when a foreign substance is harmful (such as certain bacteria or viruses). But some people's immune systems overreact to substances that shouldn't cause an allergic reaction. When this occurs, the immune system
sets off a chemical chain reaction, leading to allergy symptoms. Normally, allergy symptoms aren't life-threatening. But some people have a severe allergic reaction that can lead to anaphylaxis. Even if you or your child has had only a mild anaphylactic reaction in the past, there's still a risk of more severe
anaphylaxis. - http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/anaphylaxis/DS00009
Normally a body's natural defense in combating an uninvited foreign substance is to send out histamines. Histamines signal the body to send blood to the affected area, which causes swelling from edema and inflammation. However, for reasons that are not totally understood, in some individuals the histamine response is triggered by substances that are not inherently harmful to the human body or a normal histamine response is atypically aggressive, causing the normal symptoms associated with a histamine response to be somewhat more severe. Hence in this case, rapid, uncontrollable heartbeat.
I am fully aware that the miniscule use of the dye on previous visits caused no reactions, yet, when my whole head was lathered, my body triggered an autoimmune response feeling it was under attack. I must also share that many articles state any initial reaction to PPD will be experienced again in the future. Hence, I am warned to keep the hair dye directly off my scalp in future visits and lean on the art of foils instead.
This prompts a further look into my diet and other factors that are absorbed on the skin. I have often noted a rapid heartbeat ensues when something I ingest or absorb does not agree with me. Further more, shortly thereafter, I notice the added symptoms of increased pain, shooting electirical impulses, disorentation, and lethargy. And, sadly, sometimes laced with a feeling of being drugged. I am now on the alert to try small patches before applying skin emollients and taste testing foods before ingesting the plate. When doing so, wait 10-15 min. for reactions.