Im 37 years old and I have been coloring my hair for 24 years now. I have been a variety of colors brown, black, red but for the last 10 years I have been a platinum blonde. Six years ago I had my first allergic reaction to bleaching my hair. I use the Lorel 40 volume peroxide and the Quick Blue ON scalp bleaching powder. I did my hair at home and washed it out in the shower. I had red, blotchy, itchy welts all over my body. I thought it was very strange but the welts went away very quickly (less than an hour) so I didnt give it much thought. Until the next time I colored.
I put the bleach on as normal and within a short time my face swelled up like a balloon. So much that I actually thought that my skin might split open because it was so tight and swollen. You couldnt see any definition of my nose. My eyes were practically swollen shut. My lips were so enlarged it was blocking me from breathing out my nose. My face, neck and chest were so red it made a tomato look pale. I washed it off immediately in the sink. My Mother called poison control. I wouldnt let her call 911 because I didnt want to go anywhere looking so hideous.(I know so vain!) They said take Benadryl which I did and was fine within 20 minutes. I wasnt giving up my blonde hair! So after that I just took Benadryl first before bleaching and problem solved. Or so I thought!
Six years had gone by with few problems as long as I would take the anti-histamine first. I did this as usual a couple weeks ago but this time my reaction was so bad I believe I nearly died. In addition to all the swelling in my face, my hands were very swollen and my entire body down to my toes was bright red and felt on fire. I could barely breath. My heart was racing. My entire body was shaking like a leaf. I couldnt stop shaking. It took everything within me to fight to breathe and fight just to stay conscious. This time I really should have gone to the ER. But instead I took more Benadryl, put ice packs on my face & body, drank lots of water and PRAYED a lot. Thankfully, after about an hour I was fine.
Im scared now and I dont know what to do. I Googled hair color allergies and was blown away by all the stories I have read on the internet. What is confusing to me is that the products I am using do not contain PPD. Most people on the message boards seem to be ok with the bleach but I have the same reaction as those with the PPD allergy. I can not figure out which chemical that I am allergic to. Although it saddens me to give up my blonde hair (I literally cried over this) I realize its not worth dying over.
I cant just let my hair grow out because I am a platinum blonde and my natural is dark brown. That would look ridiculous and take forever. So I will need to die it back to the dark brown (and then just stop coloring after that) but I am completely freaked out! What if I am allergic to PPD too? I am afraid that I would be ok with the patch test but then still have a potentially deadly reaction. Also, platinum blonde hair is extremely hard to color. Since all color has been essentially stripped out of my hair it doesnt accept the deposit color like healthy hair would. Help! What can I do -- short of wearing a hat or wig for the next many years??
The first thing I'd recommend is get a patch test done, so they can determine EXACTLY what you're allergic to.
Are you sure there are NO color in the bleach, no toulenes either?
Usually toulene-diamine and nitro something reacts like PPD.
Other sensitizing things you might find in bleaches are ammonia, resorcinol, hydrogen peroxide (obviously) and persulfates (potassium persulfate).
Perhaps you aren't allergic to PPD but to the bleach itself, that could give similar symptoms as PPD (although not related to PPD-allergy).
It's not very uncommon to be allergic to bleach.
I'm sorry this had to happen to you :/