— It is important that allergy testing is carried out each and every time you colour your hair even if you have used the same hair colourant previously
…lucky to be alive
Chemese Armstrong’s face swelled up so much she was unable to see for two days after visiting a salon to have her grey hairs covered
A fitness blogger was left unable to open her eyes for two days after an allergic reaction to henna hair dye caused her face to swell up to twice its size.
Chemese Armstrong, who became an inspiration to thousands through charting her battle to lose more than double her body weight, experienced the extreme reaction after visiting a salon to have her grey hairs covered.
When she visited A&E, doctors told the 35-year-old that if her face swelled up any more it would begin to affect her breathing.
Sharing her “traumatic” experience on Instagram as she recovered, the Texas-based blogger said the hair dye had caused her “severe pain”.
She wrote: “I was in severe pain from my scalp burning and itching with my face completely swollen to the point I was unrecognizable.
“The most scary part about this whole thing is that my eyes was completely swollen shut where I couldn’t see for two days.
“My doctor was afraid that it was going to start affecting my breathing which didn’t happen.
“As of today my eyes are open and I can see again but my face is still very swollen (I don’t look like myself).
“I’m not in any more pain and I feel things are heading in the right direction.
“I hate that this had to happen but now I’m even more focus on making sure that my health is number one priority.”
Chemese used henna hair dye, a plant-based substance, on the advice of a dermatologist.
She knew she was allergic to Paraphenylenediamine, or PPD, which is found in many mainstream dyes, and always avoided using it.
However it appears her most recent hair stylist ignored Chemese’s warnings.
In a YouTube video, she told her followers: “I was told the henna was all natural and chemical-free but that wasn’t the case.”
Chemese visited the salon and March 5 and did not react to the dye straight away.
After a 30-minute strand test it appeared that nothing was wrong, but after the dye was washed off Chemese started to show symptoms.
In a later post on Instagram, she shared: “My face is still swollen and I don’t look like myself. “It’s hard looking at myself in the mirror right now but I know this is only temporary and I’m taking it one day at a time.”
Chemese, who missed an entire week of work because of the ordeal, now has an EpiPen, in case this ever happens again.
Nine days after the appointment Chemese still had no response to her emails to the salon.
Yet another case with a teenager
But instead of leaving Dinya Rasool feeling glam, a bottle of home hair colourant almost killed her – twice.
After a reaction to a home dye kit in 2012 put her in hospital, another attempt three years later put Dinya back in A&E on the brink of death.
Despite choosing an ammonia-free brand and completing a patch test, the second reaction caused Dinya’s face and glands to swell so much she went temporarily blind, struggled to breathe and suffered dangerous levels of pressure on her brain.
It was six weeks before the swelling went down and now Dinya, 18, from Cardiff, has vowed never to dye her hair again.
She says: “I cannot begin to explain how terrifying it is to feel your entire face swell so much that you can’t see.
“The pain is like nothing I’ve ever experienced, it felt like my head was going to explode.
“The first time it happened I was so scared as I had no idea what was happening. The second time I knew what it was, but this time it was even worse and I was so frightened I wouldn’t make it through.
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