This Parisian student almost died after a severe allergic reaction to a chemical found in at-home hair dyes.

PPD is a chemical found in most hair dyes, but for some people, it can cause a severe allergic reaction with the potential to be life threatening. Estelle, a Parisian student who purchased an at-home dye kit from the supermarket, discovered just how dangerous such a reaction can be.

A Nearly Fatal Mistake

Estelle completed a patch test of the product, but rather than waiting the recommended 48 hours, she waited just 30 minutes before proceeding with the application The Daily Mail reports. Sharing the horrifying results of her dye job online, Estelle recounts how she immediately noticed swelling, and when she woke in the morning, her head measured 63cm, significantly bigger than the average 56cm. “I could not breathe, I had a light bulb head,” she said. The ingredient is needed to ensure the permanency of colour, especially the dark shade Estelle was applying, but given that most people are unaware that they have an allergy, proper patch testing to required to avoid a severe reaction.

hair dye reaction

A Warning to Others

Estelle ended up being rushed to the emergency room where she was given an injection of adrenaline and kept for observation overnight. She acknowledges that she made a mistake by incorrectly conducting her patch test and is determined to warn others about the potential dangers of PPD. “I almost died, I do not want it to happen to others,” she told French paper Le Parisien.

Estelle’s story highlights the importance of checking the ingredients in all the products you put on your skin – even if you don’t have a known allergy, it’s always a good idea to patch test first just to be sure. It could save your life.

Have you ever had a severe allergic reaction to a beauty product? Tell us in the comments.


  • Had one salon treatment once when I was 16 – they gave me my money back because it didn’t work and the side effects were not traumatizing. However, I haven’t set foot into a salon from that day to this and don’t regret it.

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  • That is why some hairdressers put a sample on a small patch of skin on your arm to see if you have an allergic reaction to it at all before you have your hair coloured the first time.

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  • I had a blonde hair colour done at a salon here in the eastern suburbs of adelaide Adelaide. It was the first time I went to the salon it was a beautiful looking place and the end result was they burnt my hair so badly it melted like jelly and fell out in clumps and my scalp blistered all over so badly it hurt to go out in sunlight. I cried so much for so long but you can’t undo actions you can only be positive. I couldn’t colour my hair for 12 months I had to cut it really short to try remove as much damage as possible and I felt so unattractive I would hide if I saw someone I knew because I was so embarrassed. I have very crooked teeth so having my hair destroyed really affected my self esteem. I appreciate the hair I have now and try to look after it. I very rarely go to the hairdresser because I worry! I feel for this poor woman it must have been terrifying!

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  • I one time after a Salon perm, developed clusters sores on my scalp, they kept erupting as soon as one was healing others would errupt for many years, becoming less frequent and smaller but nothing prescribed made any difference. I had to keep my hair short for decades. It was a reaction perhaps to a chemical or it could have been some infection from unsterilised items at the salon. The leisions were scabs and very painful.


    • You poor thing! Sounds so painful and awful! The smell of perming solution is truly awful too.

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  • Oh, poor woman. What a shock for her. I never had a reaction to a beauty product, just to cat’s hair: very swollen eyes.

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  • Oh my goodness the poor thing! Must have been absolutely shocking and terrifying. I do not dye my hair – no way to such nasty chemicals!

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  • Wow terrifying. I would’ve never thought a reaction could be so severe.

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  • That is so dreadful! I can’t believe the size of her head!

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  • Wow, good reminder to follow the instructions to the letter. They exist for a reason. Interesting she wasn’t aware of the allergy before this, maybe it’s the first time she ever dyed her hair.

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  • Holy smokes she would have been petrified!

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  • This would have been horrific for her,poor girl!

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  • most salons make you do a patch test before hand which is good.

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  • Ooer. I often skip the patch test – not any more!

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  • I buy hair colour all the time and thankfully I have never had an allergic reaction to any .Estelles story is very scary

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  • This is scary to read, especially as it can happen even when you have used the same product before! So important to do a patch test and wait 48 hours!

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