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Posted on: August 20, 2019 at 4:24 pm

Are aliens real? After a woman’s experience with a severe reaction to a hair dye, we can question these extraterrestrials.

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Steph O’Dell was getting ready for her upcoming trip to Amsterdam, and like many vacation go-ers, wanted to look and feel her very best. Instead of achieving her desire, she instead faced excruciating pain as her head swelled three times it’s normal size.

When Steph was 15, she first discovered she had an allergy to paraphenylenediamine PPD, an ingredient in permanent hair dye. For almost a decade following, she had religiously followed a patch test on her products beforehand. 

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After realizing it was PPD that was caused her initial alarming rash, she decided to only use bleach to create highlights. 

At 18 years old, 3 years after her initial encounter with PPD, her highlights didn’t turn out as planned, and so she was forced to dye her hair, and unfortunately – her face swelled.

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Steph had come to terms with her allergy, she essentially gave up on hair dye, and also was advised to avoid henna tattoos, and eyebrow tint.

For her sisters birthday trip to Amsterdam, Steph booked an appointment at a local salon to have her hair extensions fitted and matched. She had told her stylist that she was allergic to PPD and she even showed them pictures of her previous reactions. 

Steph was assured that the dye would not touch her scalp and that everything was ‘organic’. Her stylist related to her previous experiences and shared how she also had an allergy to hair dye. 

After a quick patch test, with no reaction, she was happy to continue with the service. Steph left the salon happy enough, but not long after she began to experience some irritation around her neck. She noticed that there was hair dye residue, which she quickly washed off and followed with an application of a soothing cream. 

The next day, the sisters flew out for their Amsterdam trip, at around the same time, Steph’s face began to swell. She said: “My glasses felt tight at the side of my head, and my neck felt like it was on fire.

Hoping that this swelling would diminish, she left it. 

The next day, Steph’s head was massive and her eyes were swollen shut. “It was so painful, my whole face and head felt itchy and tight. I was gutted that it was happening while we were abroad for my sister’s birthday, I didn’t want anything to ruin her big day.” Steph recalls.

It progressed to a point that Steph ended up in the hospital, she was given antihistamines and drops for her eyes before returning to her hotel.

From bad to worse, the next day Steph woke up so swollen, that she couldn’t even open her eyes, causing temporary blindness. 

Her sister was terrified and called their dad, who paid for them to get an earlier flight home that same day. 

Steph recalls having to hold her sister to direct her, because she couldn’t see a thing.

When she arrived back in the UK, her dad picked her up and brought her straight to Milton Keynes Hospital, where she was given adrenaline shots. The nurses were worried about her breathing as her neck was swelling.

Naturally, Steph was in panic for this entire time, stating: 

“I thought I was going to die and had a panic attack.

“My mum, Gayle, met us at the hospital and she didn’t even recognize me as my face was so swollen.

“She only noticed us because she spotted my dad.”

Spending 5 days in the hospital, where she was treated with steroids until her face returned back to normal.

“Looking back at the pictures, I looked like an alien,” Steph added. “I couldn’t believe that this had happened, especially as I was told the dye was organic and free from PPD.”

“I was shocked that, even though my patch test was fine, I still reacted to the dye when it was used on my hair. I’ll never be touching hair dye again. Instead, I’ll be embracing my natural hair colour.”

Thankfully Steph had the opportunity to take her sister back to Amsterdam for her 21st birthday, “she finally got the trip she deserved.”

With this story, Steph leaves us with a valuable piece of advice “Manufacturers can change the ingredients in products at any time, so always make sure you do a patch test. Even if you use organic products, you never know if you’ll react.”

Before using any hair dye, natural, organic or otherwise, it’s always best to double-check the ingredients. If you are still unsure, try contacting the manufacturer. 

  1. Woman left temporarily blind after an allergic reaction to hair dye https://metro.co.uk/2019/08/08/woman-left-temporarily-blind-allergic-reaction-hair-dye-10538672/
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