Near-death experience following severe hair dye reaction

Hair dye ingredients caused almost-fatal allergic reaction

When 29-year-old office worker, Robyn Cherry, underwent a routine hair dye treatment at her hairdresser’s, an adverse reaction to a component within the dye almost killed her and triggered a raft of permanent allergies. That’s according to a recent news article.

The incident happened in 2010 but has led to multiple visits to A&E in the intervening decade. It occurred when Robyn was having her hair dyed back to her natural brown colour by a hairdresser after home bleaching her hair twice monthly previously. Despite having a patch test done 24 hours before and showing no signs of any reaction, within minutes of departing the salon Robyn’s scalp began burning.

Her symptoms progressively worsened. The following morning, her face had ballooned to twice its size, described by Robyn as looking ‘like a tomato’ and her head continued to burn. Taken to the GP by her mum, Robyn was told to go straight to hospital.

On the journey to A&E, Robyn’s face kept enlarging and her eyes swelled shut leaving her temporarily blinded. Her airways had swollen too. So much that they’d become blocked and she was struggling to breathe. Because of this, she was rushed immediately to the resuscitation unit. Simultaneously, her scalp covered in blisters which kept bursting and her hair was falling out in clumps.

Doctors found that Robyn had suffered a severe reaction to paraphenylenediamine (PPD), a common ingredient in hair dye, and her patch test should have been left for the recommended 48-hour period, not 24 hours.

She was administered adrenaline shots and steroids, kept in hospital for 20 hours and told it was the worst reaction they’d ever seen. According to the doctors caring for her, she’d have died if she’d gone to hospital an hour later.

But the saga didn’t end there. The release of PPD had made Robyn’s body go into a state of shock so she started having severe allergic reactions to everyday items including most foods, spices, nuts, alcohol and clothing.

She was also diagnosed with polymorphic light eruption and solar urticaria – allergies to the sun causing skin rashes and hives respectively. As a result, Robyn was forced to visit A&E multiple times every four days or so when each new allergy became apparent.

She’s now prescribed strong antihistamines and steroids forever, and has had to drastically change her lifestyle – giving up holidays, nice clothes and drinking with friends – as well as abandon her career ambitions to become a professional horse rider. In her own words, Robyn became a recluse, and experienced deep depression and anxiety attacks to the extent that her life was ‘a living hell’.

Because of what she’s been through resulting from hairdresser negligence, Robyn actively warns others about the dangers of not following protocol when dyeing their hair.

At Hairdressing Claims, our mission is to help people like Robyn pursue compensation from those to blame for harm caused, be it salons or individual hairdressers. If you’ve ever found yourself in a similar unfortunate position to Robyn, contact us for a free initial consultation and progress your case on no win, no fee terms thereafter.

Email enquiries@hairdressingclaims.co.uk, call 0800 970 9102 from a landline for free, phone 0333 202 6560 from a mobile or complete our online enquiry form.

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