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Woman Blinded After Allergic Reaction To Hair Dye Causes Head To Swell Like 'Alien'

Woman Blinded After Allergic Reaction To Hair Dye Causes Head To Swell Like 'Alien'

A woman was left blinded for 24 hours after a horror reaction to her hair dye.

Steph O'Dell, 24, coloured her hair ahead of her sister's 18th birthday trip to Amsterdam, but things went disastrously wrong after she suffered an allergic reaction to the dye.

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The reaction, which caused sales co-ordinator Steph's head to swell to three times its usual size, left her in agonising pain, and even temporarily blinded. (Yikes!)

Recalling the shocking incident, Steph said: "It was terrifying. I was lucky it wasn't worse. I'll never dye my hair again."

Credit: Hotspot Media
Credit: Hotspot Media

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Steph first learnt she was allergic to paraphenylenediamine (PPD) when she was 15 years old, after she came out in a rash after taking a patch test for a box of dye.

However, when she visited a Milton Keynes salon in June 2015 with plans to dye her hair the same colour as her extensions, she was assured it could be done safely.

"She assured me that the dye wouldn't touch my scalp and that [the dye] was organic," Steph recalled. "She claimed that she was also allergic to hair dye and showed me the product that she used."

Steph went ahead after she didn't react to a patch test, although she remembered thinking it was "strange" that the hairdresser wiped the excess die off straight away.

However, when she returned two weeks later things didn't go to plan.

While she initially liked her new look, Steph soon begun to feel an itching sensation, and realised that she still had some dye on her neck.

And the next morning after flying out to Amsterdam, things went from bad to worse as her neck begun to swell up.

Credit: Pixabay
Credit: Pixabay

She said: "My glasses felt tight at the side of my head, and my neck felt like it was on fire. I hoped that the swelling would go down so I left it. The next day, my head was massive and one of my eyes had swollen shut.

"It was so painful, my whole face and head felt itchy and tight. I was gutted that it was happening while we were abroad for my sister's birthday, I didn't want anything to ruin Amber's big day."

It wasn't long before Steph was forced to visit am Amsterdam hospital, where she was given anti-histamines and eye drops.

She then went back to her hotel - but the next morning when she woke up, her eyes were so swollen she couldn't see a thing.

Steph said: "I was blind and terrified.Amber was horrified and contacted our dad, Simon, 53, a sales executive, who paid for us to get an earlier flight home that day.

"I had to hold on to Amber everywhere we went as I couldn't see a thing - it was really scary. When we got back to the UK, Dad picked me up from the airport and took me straight to Milton Keynes Hospital.

Credit: Hotspot Media
Credit: Hotspot Media

"There I was given adrenaline shots. Nurses were worried about my breathing, as my neck was swelling. I thought I was going to die and had a panic attack."

Steph was admitted to the hospital for five days, and given steroids to reduce the swelling.

"Looking back at the pictures, I looked like an alien. I couldn't believe that this had happened, especially as I was told the dye was organic and free from PPD," she continued.

Following the incident, Steph is now swearing off hair dye for good, and warning others to be cautious if they've got any allergies.

"Thankfully I took my sister back to Amsterdam for her 21st birthday last year so she finally got the trip she deserved," she said.

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"Manufacturers can change the ingredients in products at any time so always make sure you do a patch test. Even if you use organic products, you never know if you'll react."

Featured Image Credit: Hotspot Media

Topics: Style, Hair and Beauty, Style News, Real, Health

Joanna Freedman

Joanna is a journalist at Pretty 52 who loves writing about all things food, fashion, beauty and lifestyle. She also has a particular interest in women's issues.

 

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