Tag: Allergic

10 of the best blog posts and articles about Grey Hair.

After my serious allergy to hair dye (thanks to the black henna tattoo) my doctor and I agreed it would be best that I never coloured my hair again.

Now that said, it is fine to agree to no hair dye in your 20’s, but as you head further into your 40’s the grey hairs start to come thick and fast (well for me). So you start thinking about your options or try to come to terms with your grey hair.

I have read a lot of articles about how other women feel about having grey hair and here they are some of the wonderful articles and blog posts on the subject.

Women In Consulting

Anne Kreamer – Going Gray

Boom By Cindy Joseph – 5 tips for embracing natural hair

What I have learned from my gray hair experiment

The Guardian – Why women dare not go grey, The politics of hair

The Telegraph – I’ve had grey hair since I was 16

The Change Guru – Lessons from a year of growing gray hair

Silver Style Life – Grey Hair Lifestyle

Make Up and Beauty Blog – Graceful way to gray

Andrea Bonawitz Styling – Aging Gracefully how to go grey

Just about to start reading Anne Kreamer’s book – Going Gray, will let you know my thoughts.

Hair to dye for

I first spotted a grey hair in my early twenties and was a little bit shocked to say the least. It’s not that I hated grey hair or anything, it was the fact that I hadn’t even thought about it happening.

It’s not something you usually think about in your twenties…Have I got enough money to go out tonight – check, Do I have grey hair? – check!!

Dark Brunette

Being a very dark brunette, pretty much jet black hair, that grey hair stood out a mile and what with it’s different nature stood up very proudly on my head, but not for long as I yanked it out. Over the next few months I spotted more and I just wasn’t ready for them.

Low Maintenance

Being a low maintenance kind of girl, I popped along to Boots and bought some hair dye and applied it to my head. To be honest I really couldn’t tell the difference and the colour hadn’t changed either. My head got very itchy very quickly but just thought the dye had dried my hair out.

I woke in the middle of the night with what felt like a very stiff neck, I couldn’t move my head very much and my head was burning and weeping. I went to the mirror to check myself out. I got quite a shock, the reflection starring back at me looked like I had swallowed myself. My head and neck had swollen to twice their normal size and my eyes had swollen too. I looked like I had gone 10 rounds with Mike Tyson and hadn’t move from my bed.

Luckily I was at home with the parents for the weekend and I sheepishly knocked on their bedroom door at 4am in the morning (like I was 5 and going to tell them I don’t feel very well). I remember saying to my mum “Don’t worry and don’t turn the light on but I have a very swollen head” bang went on the light and I scared the living daylights out of all of us.

A&E

We drove to A&E straight away and got seen very quickly (I do love the NHS they have saved me on many an occasion.) The doctor was brilliant and put me on some very heavy steroids via a drip, and antihistamine and other medication to apply to my scalp. I was very lucky as my throat had started to swell and my breathing had got more restricted but we acted quickly and so did the hospital. It took about 2 weeks for all the swelling to go down and for me to be able to wash my hair.

The allergic reaction had occurred due to the allergy I had from the PPD’s in the Black Henna Tattoo I had a few years previously.

The moral of this story is:

Don’t get a black henna tattoo and always have a patch test done first when colouring your hair.

#Avoidblackhenna #alwaysgetapatchtest

5 things to do if you become allergic to your Black Henna tattoo

When I had my henna tattoo on holiday, I had no idea there was a difference between black henna and real henna.

But when I became allergic to the Black Henna, the doctor said that there was no way I would have had the same reaction had it been real henna (obviously some people can be allergic to anything but it is less likely from a natural substance).

Black Henna contains chemicals (PPD’s) to enhance the black pigment in the tattoo so that it is a darker black (like a real tattoo) and the paste can contain illegal amounts within the dye. PPDs can cause serious allergic reactions including anaphylaxis shock.

Please, please ensure that you do not go for black henna (or have a skin patch test first) but the real henna, see this link to the NHS website about the dangers and how to tell the difference between the two hennas.

5 things to do if you have had an allergic reaction to Black Henna

  1.   If to hand, take an antihistamine tablet or medicine
  2. Go straight away to the doctors or to A&E, it will only get worse if you don’t get it treated.
  3. Do not put water on the affected area – Water will only make the dye penetrate the skin further
  4. Do not put anything on the skin until the doctor has seen you, this will irritate the skin further
  5. Make sure you go to a Doctors or A&E straight away and inform them that it is an allergic reaction (yes I know 5 is the same as 2 but it is very important to get seen.)

#AvoidBlackHenna

Holidays and Black Henna Tattoos

It seems a funny place to start but it’s where my life changed, so I feel like it is a good place to begin. The combination of holidays and tattoos doesn’t sound like a good one and it wasn’t for me.

Henna vs Permanent

Luckily I didn’t have a permanent tattoo (but it was on my mind and I didn’t know what tattoo I could live with forever) therefore I opted for a Black henna tattoo, that I could sport whilst on holiday and it would wash off in time for me to return to work.

Henna won

I went for a nice rope pattern around the upper arm and as I was in my early 20’s had lovely toned arms, I thought I looked the nuts.  It lasted the whole holiday and I even got to show my friends back at home.

After a couple of weeks the black henna tattoo could no longer been seen but arm started to itch in the exact same place.

A rash appeared in the exact same pattern of the rope henna tattoo. This took a few weeks to appear and was very itchy. I visited the doctors and they gave me some cream which didn’t help.

Another week went by and my arm had started to swell and another rash appeared across my whole body and my arm had start to weep.

I was then sent to A & E as nothing the doctors gave me was helping and luckily the nurse on duty was training in dermatology who spotted it was an allergic reaction to the Black henna tattoo.  It took a few weeks to clear up with a Zinc and iodine application along with antihistamine and that was that. No more tattoos on my mind or body.

If you have been allergic to holiday henna tattoos head straight to A&E, as the allergy can escalate very quickly.

Let me know in the comments below whether you or someone you know has had an allergy.

Thanks

Sam