A 17-year-old British girl died shortly after having a severe allergic reaction to a chemical found in her at-home hair coloring, according to the Daily Mail. Tabatha McCourt of Lankarkshire, England began vomiting and pulling her hair about 20 minutes after applying the box color and was taken to the hospital, where she passed away.
Severe allergic reactions to PPD (p-phenylenediamine) are not common, but are a risk for even those who have used at-home hair dyes many times. Even a slight change the chemical compound of a dye can trigger a reaction. Persons desiring to dye their hair at home are advised to perform an allergy test according to the kit’s directions every time that they color, even if they have used the dye brand before.
Typical PPD allergies cause red and itchy scalp, while more serious reactions include anaplylaxis (a whole-body reaction marked by the inability to breath, swelling, abdominal pain, fainting, etc) and, as in McCourt’s tragic case, death.
If you think that you are having a serious allergic reaction, you are advised to take an antihistamine, if possible, and head to the emergency room as soon as possible.