Vlogger Has Bad Allergic Reaction To Henna Containing PPD, Blind For Two Days


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?

About Petra

Hi I'm Petra Lomax , a staff writer and editor for BlackHairInformation.com . I am Jamaican born and raised and moved to the United States in my early 20's. I have a BA in Political Science and International relations as well as an MBA and a Masters In Project Management. I love travel, culture and anything that has to do with creative media and business.

About Petra

Hi I'm Petra Lomax , a staff writer and editor for BlackHairInformation.com . I am Jamaican born and raised and moved to the United States in my early 20's. I have a BA in Political Science and International relations as well as an MBA and a Masters In Project Management. I love travel, culture and anything that has to do with creative media and business.


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    1. ImTosha Braggs

      So sorry to hear that I’m allergic to ppd I can’t use any dye right now I developed the dye allergy as I got older I get blisters and everything in my scalp but I’m so sorry about your sister

    2. Cynthia Myles

      Thank you @Im Tosha Braggs…she didn’t die from this…it was breast cancer to took her out…but I believe the Hair Dye was a contributing factor…after using it, she looked like she had gotten jumped…the allergic reaction was so bad. She’s resting in peace now.

    3. ImTosha Braggs

      Yes that ppd can contribute to that I read alot on it and in the European countries it’s banned

    4. mibtp

      My sister, too. Rest in light and love.

  1. Sandra Goddard

    Omg no more henna for me .. Thank you for sharing…. God bless I pray for full healing and restoration in Jesus name amen

    1. Cee Turner

      As long as you’re not allergic you should be fine. Just do a skin test before each use.

      1. MsCurlyKat

        Exactly-henna has one ingredient in it only.

  2. Cee Turner

    Oh my goodness, this is scary. If the instructions say do a patch test’ you should do it, even if you have used the product with no problem in the past. This is why you should do a patch test each and every time you use the product.

    1. mibtp

      I simply don’t dye my hair. Avoids all of these issues.

  3. Tonji Anderson

    This happened to me also…bad allergic reaction…I couldn’t see anything..had to get a steroid injection

    1. MsCurlyKat

      It’s a plant, The henna plant by itself is used in powder form, mixed with an acidic liquid like lemon juice, to color the hair. So far nobody has had an allergic reaction to PURE unadulterated henna, only the so-called henna that has claims it can color your hair any other color but red. These have chemical color in them as well in order to do this.

  4. Phoenix McGee

    Real henna is a gentle plant based dye. This crap they’re making into a fad is made of poisons.

  5. Erika Turner

    Goodness that looks painful. Hope she is doing better. That is why I will always appreciate my gray.. the while part of being natural is embracing the real u..

  6. Lynsey Wade

    It’s not the Henna, it’s the active ingredient, PPD, which can be found in most hair dyes. I also had an allergic reaction to hair dye and it was not fun. Instead of being blind, my eyes were blood shot red for about two weeks and my weeping scalp was such a nuisance. I’ll stick to a rinse from now on and be done.

    1. MsCurlyKat

      Thank you, I was going to touch on that-a strand test is completely different from a patch test-a strand test will tell you nothing but how the color will look on your hair, not whether you are allergic to it. I am surprised the ‘stylist’ apparently did not do both. And after not receiving a reply from the salon I would be seeking legal counsel.

  7. mibtp

    Moving on? She needs to sue those people! Lied, then ignored her calls???

  8. MsCurlyKat

    True, pure henna will not have PPD in it. If anyone tells you they have henna that will color your hair anything other than a shade of red, it is not pure henna. Henna does not come in any other color but various shades of red; not the popular red right now, but natural redhead red. There is a way to color hair black with henna but it is a 2 step process involving another pure plant powder, indigo. If used in varying rations these two powders can also be used for shades of brown as well. But the henna will be pure henna, and the indigo, pure as well. One ingredient only.Please ladies, do research and purchase pure henna if you wish to do it at home, or ask to see the kind of henna they are going to use on you at the salon when you go for your consultation-if it has anything other than henna listed in its ingredients, bring your own or do it at home. PPD had been outlawed from hair color for a while, but i see it is making its way back into the color world. It is notorious for causing reactions like this, as well as being cited as a cancer risk. I hate to see people risking their health for something like hair color.

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