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Hair Dyes--Different Types and Possible Allergic Reactions

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My husband tried dyeing his hair for the first time about eight years ago. He ended up in the emergency room in the middle of the night with severe pain, itching, and burning sensations on his head, neck, and mouth. He had swelling all over his face, mouth, and hands. He could not move his neck from one side to another. His eyelids seemed like small sized balloons. He stayed in bed five days after that and took the strongest antibiotics and allergy medicines. He swore that he would never use any kind of hair dye again in his life. He chose to go gray graciously rather than suffering from allergies.

Recently, on his visit to India for a wedding he was encouraged to try the brand of hair dye that his friend uses. He was assured that this particular hair dye was safer and milder. Since he had one experience already he opted for a test prior to the actual dye. Even though he only let it be on his skin for a few minutes, my husband's arm ended up having severe allergy where the dye was placed. It looked like a third degree burn with blisters all over. It was awful to look at and he was in severe pain. His arm was completely swollen and a fine liquid like matter was oozing out of the blisters. He was lucky that he tried only on a single spot of his arm. I could only imagine what would have happened if he had not tested the dye on his arm that day. He would have burnt his whole scalp and ended up in the emergency ward again. I used hair dye the same day and was fine except for a little itching on my scalp. I was horrified looking at his arm and did not dare to dye my hair another time.

The primary purpose of hair colors is :
a. to cover the gray hair
b. change colors of existing hair

Hair color is also changed by use of tints, relaxers, and sun bleaching.

There are several different types of hair colors available in the markets:

1. Temporary hair colors: available as rinses, shampoos, gels, sprays, or foams. These are not absorbed by the follicles but the molecules attach themselves to the hair shaft resulting in easy removal through washing. They damage the hair and make it dry.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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