Can you highlight your hair if you have a skin allergy?

Skin allergies, also known as allergic contact dermatitis, are your body’s overreaction to certain substances that are thought to be harmful — even though they’re not. When you touch something you are allergic to, your immune system sends out an antibody called immunoglobulin E to instruct your entire body on how to fight the allergen. Symptoms of allergic contact dermatitis can include redness, swelling, blisters and itching.

Some people are allergic to hair dye because of the coal tar Paraphenylenediamine, or PPD, in many permanent dyes. PPD is what causes the color to stick to your hair, but it can also cause itching, red rashes, and sometimes even facial swelling. If you are allergic to hair dye, highlighting your hair will produce the same allergic reaction as dyeing your hair, assuming the highlight contains PPD as well. The best way to avoid an allergic reaction is to avoid the allergen that causes it. In this case, it means giving up on the spotlight.

See also  Tear Gas Used in Protests Could Help Spread the Corona Virus

However, if you feel you need to add some color to your hair, you have a few options. One option is to use a type of natural dye, such as henna. Henna comes from plants and the tannins give it a reddish color. Another option is to look for hypoallergenic dyes that do not contain PPD. Because PPD is primarily found in permanent dyes, temporary dyes and rinses are usually safe for people with dye allergies. Some semi-permanent dyes are fine too, but others can cause a reaction. The best idea is to test a small amount of dye on your skin before you proceed with the highlighting process. If you do have an allergic reaction, many over-the-counter products can soothe your symptoms. Calamine lotion and cortisone cream are usually recommended.

See also  What are the different cavity classifications?