marble head

I seem to have developed an allergy to hair dye or hair bleach, which is a shame really because it means I’ll have to go grey (ish) but I guess it’s good as well because I’ll save time and money – clouds, silver linings and all that stuff.

I thought I’d had an allergic reaction last time I had my hair done but I didn’t really believe I had, I thought I was imagining it but yesterday I know I wasn’t imagining it. I wish I knew if it was the colour or the bleach though – I’m pretty sure it was the bleach and I’m not just talking a bleach burnt skull I’m talking glands on the back of my neck like golf balls.

It all started in the shower when I was rinsing my hair. See the hairdresser is just over the road and she lets me walk home and rinse it off myself after the hour processing time. So everything felt normal, bit of bleach itch in a few spots but when I started shampooing I thought – wow, I have a really weird shaped skull – it’s really lumpy, okay, oh wow, I don’t think it usually feels like this. Then after I got out and dried it I got a headache and I had some panadols and then I ntoiced that the veins in my temples were bulging and lumpy, like they get when I have a migraine, but bigger. Then I got a mirror and looked at the back of my neck and these two glands were massive and when I tried to bend my head back I couldn’t because it was so swollen. And then I thought I was probably about to go into anaphylactic shock and die. So I told my daughter what was happening and to call an ambulance if I came in clutching my throat because I probably wouldn’t be able to talk by then and I had an antihistamine and went and had a lie down.

When daz came home I got him to run his fingers over my skull and he said it felt like there was a bag of marbles in there. I’ll have to go over and see the hairdresser and ask her if she’s using something new or if I’ve just developed an allergy but it’s definitely put me off doing it again. These things tend to get worse each time I believe.

Today the swelling has gone down but it’s red and a bit itchy. No scabs thank god – Dr Google told me that some people get weeping sores and faces so swollen they can’t open their eyes and blocked windpipes and full body rashes and if this thing escalates each time I’d be a little concerned that one of those might lie down the track for me.

Anyway it was weird, and a bit scary.


15 thoughts on “marble head

  1. Hmmm
    Maybe you should explore non-bleach alternatives?
    Try to get an ingredient list of the offending hair product, and give some weird herbal or henna or rises or whatever a try.
    Allergic reactions are No Fun, though, so maybe do a little patch test, in an elbow or something, first.
    Scary stuff.

    • I think I’ll just let it go free and wild for the moment. I was doing some research last night and apparently a lot of people have a reaction to henna as well. I’ll definitely be doing a test patch from now on.

  2. Oh ow! I hope you feel better by now. I discovered I had an allergy to henna after one of my former students gave me a henna tattoo. It took a while to show up, but when it did, I had these lovely floral-shaped hives all over my arms and hands. Thank goodness I didn’t have my feet and legs done as well.

    My mother’s old hairdresser says the stuff in hair dye that’s most likely to give one an allergic reaction is PPD. It’s used to make both inks and dye permanent, or nearly so. I’m not sure what she uses, but when I told her about my reaction to the henna, she brought out this different brand of coloring. So far no lump, no bumps—knock on wood.

  3. I gave up on that ages ago. Now luckily I only have as much gray hair as most women my age would have (if it wasn’t for everyone dyeing their hair nowadays) and frankly I don’t care. Saves loads of money and I never have to worry about touching up my roots.

    Allergies don’t get better at our age, only worse. If you’re swelling up and throbbing that badly this time, it would be very likely that you might stop breathing next time. Or at least have the weeping sores, which is much less attractive than gray hair even.

    Might pop round to the health food store and look for something all natural but with no henna. Obviously the bleach is right out, but maybe you can go darker.

  4. If it really bothers you, see a doc to get prednisone/steroids. Sometimes the antihistamines alone aren’t enough. Also, fyi, you can “safely” double the recommended dose of antihistamines – that’s all a hospital injection really is, double dose liquified.

  5. Niece developed the same type of reaction. In the end she ended up is the emergency department looking like Herman Munster. She can use henna based and natural hair dyes, but of course they are darker, not blonde. The research is firming that hair dyes are can cause cancer in those with the predisposition. I have gone graciously grey (of course I am over 50) and I am so much happier. A sense of freedom.

    • Yes, well I’m thinking I’ll just let it grow as it wants as well. Trouble is I have a lot of thick coarse hair so it’ll no doubt look like I have a head of steel wool.

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