A teenager who used a new hair dye to turn her roots blonde claims she was left with bald patches and chemical burns because she didn’t do a patch test.
Summer Jackson, 19, decided to dye her roots with a product she hadn’t used before – Clairol Nice ‘n Easy 11 Ultra Light Blonde.
After applying the dye, Miss Jackson claims she had to wash off the dye 15 minutes earlier than instructed – after just 10 minutes – because it felt like her head was ‘on fire’.
As she brushed her hair, Miss Jackson claims that clumps began to fall out while her scalp was still in agony.
She rushed to the emergency room where she was given ointment cream to help the wounds heal, which she applied for a month.
Miss Jackson, from Monroe, Michigan, said her head has been left scarred and is sharing her story to raise awareness.
Summer Jackson, 19, has issued a warning for the importance of patch tests after claiming she was rushed to hospital with chemical burns and hair loss after dying her roots
After applying the dye, Miss Jackson claims that she had to wash off the dye just 10 minutes in as it felt like her head was ‘on fire’. Pictured, the burns reaching down to her neck
Miss Jackson died her roots with a product she hadn’t used before – Nice’n Easy’s number 11 ‘ultra light blonde’ (pictured). She admits she did not do a patch test
Miss Jackson, a care worker, said: ‘I dye my hair every four to eight weeks, but I only dye my roots, never my head.
‘I went to the store and my normal dye was out of stock in my hair colour, so I picked up Nice’n Easy Ultralight Blonde.
‘When it came to actually dying my hair I always start from the back and work my way up – which now, I realise how lucky I am that I do this!’
Miss Jackson noticed some light burning, but initially ignored it and finished the job.
She was about to leave the dye on for the 20 to 25 minutes like instructed on the packet.
However, she said: ‘The burning got increasingly worse and, when it had been on for only 10 minutes, I decided I really needed to wash this out as my head was on fire.
‘I used shampoo to remove the dye from my scalp and then conditioned it.
‘After showering I went to brush my hair out and clumps of hair began to fall out and as I did this, my skin was still burning.
‘Roughly around five clumps of hair fell out whilst I was brushing it once the dye had been washed out.’
Miss Jackson said small areas of her hair have been completely ‘burned off’.
Miss Jackson said: ‘After showering I went to brush my hair out and clumps of hair began to fall out and as I did this, my skin was still burning’
Miss Jackson was given an ointment cream which she used for a month. But said she has been left with scars (pictured)
WHAT IS A CHEMICAL BURN?
A chemical burn is the irritation and destruction of human tissue caused by exposure to a chemical.
Many cases occur due to accidental misuse of hair, skin and nail care products.
Most chemical burns are caused by strong acids that kill cells, which can lead to scarring and disabilities.
The extent of tissue damage depends on the strength of the chemical, the site of contact, whether it was swallowed, whether skin was intact and how long it was left on for.
- Redness, irritation or burning at the affected skin site
- Pain or numbness
- Vision changes if the eye is affected
- Cough or shortness of breath
In severe cases people may suffer a cardiac arrest, seizures or low blood pressure.
Minor chemical burns that affect a small area of skin can often be treated by thoroughly washing the affected area with water.
Major burns require hospital treatment.
She said: ‘My hair is only now starting to grow back. I still have light burns and scarring from the hair dye.
‘Even for the following few days I had to wear a headband at work to keep my hair from falling out, as I worked at a restaurant.
‘Then I lost even more hair as a hairdresser advised me to shave the back of my head to allow it to breathe and let the burns heal better.’
Miss Jackson shaved the hair at the bottom of her neck to aid healing.
She said: ‘Luckily the hair has started to grow back now, but I still have the burns and scarring on my neck but luckily they aren’t irritated anymore.’
Following what happened to her, Miss Jackson is sharing her story to advise others about the importance of doing patch tests.
She said: ‘I would recommend a patch test so you prevent something like this from happening.
‘I’ve never had an experience like this from hair dye, but I’ve always stuck to the brand I’m used to so should have tested when I was using a new product.
‘It’s definitely something that could have been avoided.’
Some components in hair dyes can cause symptoms of an allergic reaction, which is why manufacturers say a skin tolerance test must be carried out 48 hours before – for both home dye kits and those used by professionals in hair salons.
Miss Jackson said she has never had a reaction before picking up the new product
Miss Jackson, a care worker, said her continued to fall out, which ‘definitely could have been voided’ had she had done a skin tolerance test first
Most commonly the chemical paraphenylenediamine (PPD) causes reactions from mild skin irritation to swelling.
Paraphenylenediamine, also known as PPD, is one of the most common hair dye ingredients and is found in more than two thirds of products.
In bleaching products, potent chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide, ammonium and potassium persulfates are used, which can cause blistering and skin damage if left on for too long.
A company statement from Coty said: ‘The safety of the people who use our products is our first and most important priority, so we’re very concerned to hear about this experience.
‘Allergic reactions are very rare and hair colourants are extensively researched to ensure they are safe when used as directed.’
The company claim on the box that Clairol Nice ‘n Easy 11 Ultra Light Blonde is ‘allergy gentle’ and ‘significantly reduces the chance of developing an allergy in people without a hair dye allergy’.
When a customer buys hair dye from a shop, they test the dye by dabbing a small amount on their skin before using it to check whether it’s safe to use.
Last week, the UK Government announced allergy tests will be sold singularly in shops to reduce reactions.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) today reclassified the patch tests as a general sale medicine, instead of prescription-only.
The Colourstart test contains a small amount of a common hair-dying chemical and is placed on the skin to see whether someone will react to it.
If the skin reacts and becomes red or swollen it’s a sign the person may be allergic to the dye, which can cause pain, facial swelling and even more serious side effects or anaphylactic shock.
TEENAGER LEFT WITH PUS-FILLED SCABS ON HER HEAD FROM HAIR DYE REACTION
A teenager was left temporarily blinded, with a dramatically swollen face and with pus-filled scabs on her hairline after having an allergic reaction to her hair dye.
Riley O’Brien, 18, decided against doing a patch test before dying her hair because she had used the same box dye before.
But the nursery worker, from Colchester, suffered an allergic reaction that left her with chemical burns, despite her regularly dying her hair for four years.
Her scalp became tight and itchy the day after her dye-disaster, and her forehead, eyes and cheeks swelled up so much that she couldn’t open her eyes.
Riley O’Brien, 18, of Colchester, didn’t do a patch test of her hair dye before using it because she’d tried the same box dye before as she’d used the box dye before (pictured before her reaction)
Red scabs which were leaking pus had also developed around her hairline, so her mother took her to A&E.
She said: ‘It was awful. My head was so itchy, it felt like it was on fire.’
‘It was terrifying. My face looked like I’d been burnt with acid.’
Doctors told Miss O’Brien that the scabs were a chemical burn and that she’d had an allergic reaction to her hair dye.
Miss O’Brien’s face became so swollen she couldn’t open her eyes and needed medical help to bring the allergic reaction under control
The reaction died down with the help of steroids and her face returned to normal within a week, but she now urges others to always do a patch test.
Miss O’Brien said: ‘I learnt the hard way to always do a patch test even if you’ve used a product before.
‘I’ll never dye my hair again and, instead, will embrace my natural mousy brown colour.’