By Lauren Salapatek | Modern Salon Are your clients using box hair color in-between salon visits? If so, they need to know that most commercial hair dye products are not as safe and natural as they might have the public believe. For example, while chemical hair dye boxes describe some potential side effects – those with tattoos are more likely to have an allergic reaction. The hard truth is that when consumers are coloring their own hair at home, they may not realize the danger.
However, these problems are far more common than most realize. Rod Harper, creator of Harvest Moon Healthy Hair Dye, offers the following side effects of an ongoing, serious reaction to chemical-based hair dye. Educate your clients on the warning signs:
• Blistering: The chemical cocktails in typical hair dyes can lead to blisters on various parts of the body. The scalp and hairline are most commonly affected, of course, because that’s where the dye rests on the skin. But it’s also possible to develop blisters on the face, neck and elsewhere. Chemicals easily penetrate the skin and enter the bloodstream, producing effects in apparently unrelated areas of the body.
• Rash: A severe rash is not only potentially scarring, but it can also indicate an allergic reaction. When the offending hair dye has worked through the system and the rash begins to heal, rubbing in some natural aloe vera gel can prevent or reduce the appearance of scars.
• Swelling: Puffy face and eyes are a clear warning sign that the body is rejecting something foreign; chemical-based hair dye has been known to cause this reaction in many people. In a worst case scenario, the swelling of soft tissue could make it hard to breathe or swallow, a life-threatening situation.
• Itchy, dry scalp: While not likely to land anyone in the hospital, achieving a particular hair color doesn’t need to come at the cost of skin irritation.
• Thinning hair: Chemical hair dyes are known to cause thinning hair and hair loss. Look for more hair than usual falling out in the shower or after brushing.
• Liver enzymes: The most serious of all adverse reactions, elevated liver enzymes are a silent danger – they’re undetectable unless a doctor conducts a blood test. Elevated enzymes can result when the liver goes into overdrive trying to filter toxins like those found in most boxed hair dyes from the bloodstream.
Harper urges anyone experiencing any of the above symptoms to stop using chemical hair dye immediately. A full-blown reaction may take days or weeks to manifest. Therefore, people may not consider their hair dye to a suspect, although in fact it should be at the top of the list.