Woman, 26, reveals how allergic reaction to salon hair dye left her with chemical burns on her scalp and a severely swollen head
- Kelly Kruppner, 26, from New York, got her hair professionally dyed in October
- Hair stylist applied patch test but failed to leave it the recommended 48 hours
- Admin assistant woke up to find head so swollen she was nearly unrecognizable
- She was left with painful chemical burns doctors say will take a month to heal
A horrified woman revealed how she suffered allergic reaction to hair dye so severe she was left with an extremely swollen head and face and painful chemical burns.
Kelly Kruppner, 26, from Brockport, New York, got her naturally red hair professionally dyed dark brown on Sunday October 24th, having colored it years earlier without a problem.
But she woke up the following night to discover her face and head had ballooned so much her husband, Brandon Sprague, 24, nearly didn’t recognize her and her eyes were nearly swollen shut.
The hair stylist had applied a patch test for the dye behind Kelly’s ear an hour before doing her hair – but had failed to leave enough time for the delayed allergic reaction to show up.
Kelly Kruppner, 26, from Brockport, New York, got her naturally red hair professionally dyed dark brown on Sunday October 24th, having dyed it years earlier without a problem (pictured)
But the admin assistant woke up the following night to discover her face and head had ballooned so much (pictured) her husband, Brandon Sprague, 24, nearly didn’t recognize her
As the reaction progressed over the following days, Kelly says her scalp became covered in painful chemical burns that doctors say will take a month to heal, and she is unable to use shampoo because of the severity of the burns.
Kelly said: ‘It was fine throughout the dyeing and it felt good even after and then the next morning I had these rash-type things that kind of looked like I got really bad sunburn.
‘Then I woke up at midnight on Monday night and my face was all blown up and swollen and the rashes were even worse and looked more like burns – they were blistering and scabbing.
‘My husband woke up and I told him not to turn the light on because I looked so bad but he still turned the light on and he definitely got a shock. I scared him.
Kelly says she has never suffered an allergic reaction to any beauty products before and emergency doctors told her it was the worst reaction they’d ever seen from hair dye
Doctors told her to stay off work for a week since her eyes were almost swollen shut (pictured) making it unsafe for her to drive
‘It was really painful and each day it just got worse and more swollen. By Wednesday my eyes were almost completely swollen shut.
The admin assistant was devastated after spending almost two hours in the salon chair to end up in hospital being checked over by a burns specialist.
‘My cheeks were really puffy so I thought I looked like Fat B*stard from Goldmember, Austin Powers’, she said.
‘I didn’t even look like myself. It kind of looked like I was wearing a fat suit just for my face, it was awful.
As the reaction progressed over the following days, Kelly says her scalp became covered in painful chemical burns (pictured right) that doctors say will take a month to heal as well as her swollen head (L-R)
Despite her swollen face and head, Kelly is thankful that doctors believe there won’t be any scarring from the burns all over her head and hairline
She has now shared photos of her face during the reaction (pictured) to warn others to leave their patch tests on for the recommended 48 hours and avoid the same fate she suffered
‘I kept saying I looked like Sloth from the Goonies and my friend sent me a picture of the hunchback of Notre Dame, so there was a lot being thrown around about what I looked like.’
Kelly says she has never suffered an allergic reaction to any beauty products before, so the horror swelling 12 hours after her appointment came as a big shock.
Why some people are sensitive to hair dye and how to tell if you’ve had an allergic reaction
Some people are prone to a skin reaction called contact dermatitis.
This means their skin becomes red, dry and irritated (inflamed) when they come into contact with a particular substance.
The substance may either be an irritant, directly damaging the skin, or an allergen, triggering an allergic reaction that affects the skin.
Many permanent and some semi-permanent hair dyes contain a chemical called paraphenylenediamine (PPD), which is a known irritant and allergen, the culprit for the majority of reactions.
Signs you’ve had an allergic reaction:
- Itchy skin or a raised, red skin rash
- Swollen eyes, lips, hands and feet – the eyelids can swell so much that the eyes close
- Feeling lightheaded or faint
- Swelling of the mouth, throat or tongue, which can cause breathing and swallowing difficulties
- Tummy pain, nausea and vomiting
- Collapsing and becoming unconscious
Emergency doctors told her it was the worst reaction they’d ever seen from hair dye and told her to stay off work for a week since her eyes were almost swollen shut, making it unsafe for her to drive.
Kelly said: ‘I went to the emergency room and they said it was going to take three to four weeks for the burns to fully heal – they said it ended up being a chemical burn instead of just an allergy.
‘Three doctors total had to see me and come look at it, including a burns specialist, because they said they’ve never seen anything quite this bad with hair dye.
‘The ER doctor actually took me out of work because of how swollen I was. He didn’t want me driving.
‘My primary doctor gave me a steroid cream for the burns and a steroid pill to help but the ER doctor said it might not help because it’s burns on an allergic reaction.
‘For showering I have to take lukewarm or cold showers because my head is so badly burnt and I can’t use shampoo right now because it could cause an infection or further swelling and pain.’
Because of the severity of Kelly’s reaction and scalp burns doctors have warned her never to dye her hair again as she would likely suffer the same reaction, if not worse.
That means that she will have to wait for the almost black permanent hair dye to grow out until she’s back to her natural red locks.
But she is thankful that doctors believe there won’t be any scarring from the burns all over her head and hairline.
She has now shared photos of her face during the reaction to warn others to leave their patch tests on for the recommended 48 hours and avoid the same fate she suffered.
Kelly said: ‘The burns are starting to scab over horribly and itch but my face is nowhere near as puffy, I’m starting to look like me again.
‘I’ll definitely never do it again and I would advise anyone to patch test regardless of what product they use just to be safe after having my experience.’
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