Sorry for the quality - my phone takes really crappy pictures.
This is me - waiting in the emergency room to be called back to a room. This is also me after a mild to moderate allergic reaction to hair dye.
Let me back up. On Sunday, I dyed my hair black, using the same brand I always have used to dye my hair black. (Keep in mind that I've never had any problems using that hair color before.) After hours afterwards, I started feeling these little scratch things on the top of my head, but I wrote it off as scratching my head to hard or it was just really dry. The next day, I started getting welts and rashes on my head, neck, and shoulders. I knew something was wrong so I washed my hair out several times to get rid of the excess dye. By the end of Monday evening, my head was swelling, and I was getting puffy. We went to one hospital about 8pm but it would have been midnight or 1am before I even saw a doctor so we went home. Yesterday, my face was starting to swell a little so we went to another hospital. Once I was in a room, the doctor saw me, gave me a dose batch (which I guess is just a few medications), gave me some prescriptions, and sent me home.
I am currently on prescription-strength Benedryl, Prednisone, and another one I can't remember. I seem to be doing a little better and everything should be gone in about a week. I still look like a cartoon character - the kind with the big heads.
I decided to post this to warn those who dye their hair that any time, you can develop an allergic reaction to hair dye. I've dyed my hair since high school, and just now developed the allergic reaction. It seems that a chemical in the hair dye, called paraphenylenediamine (or PPD), is what causes the reaction. Permanent hair color (especially black colors) is the worst offender and you should always do a patch test before using any hair color. Be sure to know that symptoms if you do have an allergic reaction! Since I had been dying my hair for years with no problems, I didn't do a patch test, which was my mistake.
No more dyeing my hair ever again!