This story caught my eye a couple of days ago for a number of reasons. For one, my hair loves henna* because as fine as the strands are they need all the help they can get when it comes to strength. Then secondly, I have never heard of someone having such a bad allergic reaction to henna until this week.
I follow Youtube health and fitness vlogger Chemese and she was headed towards the end of a 100 day cleanse when she experienced the worst allergic reaction to henna that actually caused her to be blind for two days.
This isn’t the first time Chemese has had a bad reaction to hair dye, as a matter of fact her decision to use henna was based on the fact that she is allergic to commercial hair dye due to the phenylenediamine or PPD that you can find in most of those dyes.
Chemese opted for a more natural option and as you know body art quality henna is as natural as it gets so she did what I did the first time I did my henna.
She booked an appointment with a local Texas salon that did all “natural and chemical free” henna to get her grays covered.
We always say that in order to determine if you are allergic to anything you should do a strand test, but even with testing on of her sisterlocs Chemese did not get the allergy until all of the color was applied.
“My scalp was on fire,” Chemese said in a YouTube video about the incident. By the time the next morning arrived, her face began to swell until she could no longer see.
“The whole top part of my face was completely swollen,” Chemese said. “I knew I needed to get to the doctor immediately.”
Chemese had to depend on a good friend for care and after visiting the doctor and emergency room the treatments started to reverse the effect of the PPD that was clearly in the henna.
Chemese has since then decided to tell her story and she is very clear about the fact that the henna used on her was not all natural as the salon touted but that it did contain PPD.
It is very important that when you purchase your henna* that you use body art quality henna and I hate to say it, but if you are not absolutely sure about what a salon is using you are better off doing the application yourself.
Not every ones reaction to PPD is the same. As a matter of fact if you are allergic to PPD the reaction itself is not the same every time.
In one instance it might be slight swelling, but the second exposure might be as extreme as what Chemese experienced.
You might wonder what Chemese did about the stylist and salon who clearly lied about what they were selling. Well, she sent them pictures of her facial swelling with a warning that clearly what they have is not all natural as they advertise. She is yet to receive a response from them!
If you watch the below Youtube video you will notice that Chemese is almost back to her old self as the swelling has gone down quite a bit. She is still dealing with a few skin issues which she describes in the video but she is moving on and paying, even more, attention to what she puts in and on her body.
“This whole situation…it just made me realize that I need to pay more attention about what I put in my body and what I put on my body.”
Have you ever had an allergic reaction to hair dye?