The steps to follow to calm down an allergic reaction depend on the symptoms you have. In some people, the symptoms could be mild while in others, it could be severe.
Luckily, there are several quick remedies to calm down allergy to hair dye and you will find all of them in this article.
What Causes Hair Dye Allergies
Hair dyes contain several chemicals that could irritate the skin and trigger allergic reactions. Most hair dye allergies are due to paraphenylenediamine (PPD), an ingredient present in many hair dyes.
When mixed with hair dyes, PPD becomes partially oxidized making it more likely to cause an allergic reaction to people with PPD-sensitivity.
While PPD is the main cause of allergies, it is not the only allergen to watch out for. Another chemical compound called para toluenediamine (PTD).
Symptoms of Hair Dye Allergy
As said earlier, hair dye allergy symptoms could be mild or severe. In some cases, the type of symptom will depend on the amount of hair dye applied. Furthermore, the symptoms may take more than 48 hours to show.
Below are the main hair dye allergy symptoms to watch out for.
After applying the hair dye, you may notice mild irritation in the area you applied the dye. This could be on your scalp, ears, forehead, and neck.
In some cases, the skin would become red, swollen, and blistered. You may also notice a sensation (burning or stinging).
Allergic reactions to PPD include itching and swelling. In some cases, the symptoms will not only appear in the area the hair dye was applied or after the body.
Allergic reactions could develop hours after use or even days.
If you have any of the reactions below, then you’re allergic to PPD
- Itching, irritation, and rash
- Swelling of the lips, eyes, hands, and feet
- Feeling faint
- Difficulty breathing
- Tummy pain and vomiting
How To Calm Down Allergy To Hair Dye
To relieve mild reactions,
First, wash off the dye with warm water and mild shampoo. Next, apply moisturizers and steroid creams to the affected area to reduce inflammation.
These creams will help deal with issues like itching, swelling, and irritation. In cases, where the symptoms are severe, it is best to report to your doctor for immediate treatment.
Some people may develop a rare severe reaction which will cause anaphylaxis, a rare medical condition characterized by swelling in the throat and tongue, difficulty breathing and fainting.
In such cases, immediate medical help should be sought as anaphylaxis can be fatal.
Other Ways To Treat Hair Dye Allergies
- Another way to get treat hair allergy symptoms is to use a solution of potassium permanganate. Applying a solution of potassium permanganate to the affected area will fully oxidize PPD. PPD causes allergic reaction due to its partially oxidized state, when it is fully oxidized, it is completely safe to use.
- Washing hair with shampoos containing topical corticosteroids
- Taking an oral antihistamine to help reduce irritation, itching, and inflammation.
How to Avoid Hair Dye Allergies
While most hair dye allergy symptoms can be easily treated, avoiding them is the best thing to do. Hair dye allergies can be avoided by you checking if you are allergic to the hair dye before applying it on your hair. You can do this with a patch Test.
What is a Patch Test?
A patch test is a procedure used to determine whether a product causes allergic reactions of a person’s skin.
How To Do A Patch Test
Patch tests involve applying patches with the dye on non-sensitive areas of the skin. To do this, simply dab a small number of dye solutions on your back or inner elbow or behind your ear. Leave it to dry and watch out for any reactions.
If you notice any burning, stinging, swelling, itching or redness in the area, then you’re allergic to PPD.
In some cases, the allergic reaction could be delayed, so you may have to wear the patches for more than 48 hours. If you don’t notice any reactions by then, you can go ahead and use the dye on your hair.
You can get your patch test done at an allergy clinic. The only difference between DIY and getting it done at the clinic is that you will be told which chemicals you’re sensitive to at the clinic. This will help guide you to make the right choices when picking hair dyes.
Hair Dye Alternatives for Allergy Sufferers
There are some hair dye brands that claim to make hair dyes without PPD, however, most of those hair dyes do contain small amounts of PPD. You can either try out the hair dyes products of these companies or use the natural alternatives below.
- 3 tablespoons of Henna
- 1/2 cup Hot Water
How To Apply
- Pour the henna powder into a bowl, and then mix with the hot water to make a paste.
- To activate the color, leave the paste overnight.
- After that, begin to apply the paste to your hair.
- Leave it for about 3 hours for it to set it.
- Wash your hair with shampoo.
This procedure should be repeated once or twice a month.
- Crushed 15 vitamin C tablets
- Anti-dandruff shampoo
How To Apply
- Pour your shampoo into a bowl and mix it with the crushed vitamin C tablets.
- Wash your hair with the mixture and wait for about 5 minutes
- Rinse your hair with shampoo and apply conditioner
This process should be repeated once a week until you get the desired results.
When it comes to allergic reactions to hair dyes, prevention is always better than cure. You should endeavor to get a patch test done whenever trying out a new hair dye. If you’re already experiencing reactions, you can follow above the tips to alleviate the symptoms.