Even the hair colours, Estelle thought. She knew a lot that her life would hang on a thread two days later. Due to an allergic reaction, her head became completely deformed. “I want to warn others about this, do not do like me”, she sounds now.
The 19-year-old student from Vitry posted photos of her terrifying metamorphosis on Facebook. The culprit was PPD, a particularly allergenic dye that can be found in 90 percent of hair dyes.
Estelle had already had an allergic reaction, which is why she tested the product on her skin beforehand. However, she waited only thirty minutes, instead of the 48 hours that the instructions prescribe.
“Who can read that?”
“That was a stupidity of mine. Hence my call, please do not fall into the same trap”, she says. Her mother thinks the warning should be clearer on the packaging. “Look at those small print, who can read that? But it can have catastrophic consequences,” says Sygrid.
On November 16, Estelle decided to turn herself from blonde into brunette. A few hours later, however, she was itchy and the top of her head started to swell. The pharmacist on duty gave her a soothing cream and a remedy for allergic reactions.
From bad to worse
But the situation went from bad to worse. “Two days later my head looked like a light bulb,” says Estelle. Sygrid immediately brought her daughter to the emergency room. There they only knew the problem too well. After a treatment with corticosteroids and antihistamines, the girl was allowed to go home again.
Even now there was no improvement, on the contrary. To give you an idea: the circumference of her head had actually grown from 56 to 63 centimetres. “We drove to the emergency department again, but they assured us that the situation would improve”, says Sygrid. “However, I had no confidence in that, so we risked our chance in another hospital.”
“Photos hanged in hairdresser”
On the road to Créteil, however, it went completely wrong: Estelle could breathe with difficulty, her tongue swelled up and her heart started to beat faster. “The doctors gave me an adrenalin injection and kept me under close supervision for a whole night. It was not until the day after that the danger of life had passed.”
Her story has now caused a flood of reactions. “Some hairdressers have also let themselves be heard,” says Estelle. “They point out that you can have such a colouring done by an expert instead of working at home yourself. Some have even hung up my photos in their hairdresser to warn their customers.”
“Problems with PPD are not new”, explains dermatologist Catherine Oliveres-Ghouti. “2 to 3 percent of the population is allergic to it. Every year I see about fifteen patients passing that are full of rash. And because of a swollen head look totally deformed.”
“Hairdressers of course have the most problems. If they become allergic, there is no other option than to start a new profession.”
But PPD also plays in dark clothes, such as jeans and henna tattoos. “We have already warned a lot about it. Forbid the product makes no sense, because then all dark hair dye should be removed from the store shelves. But the consumer needs to know what it is doing. Do not use hair dye if you have not tested it on your skin for 48 hours before.”
For Estelle the worst is now behind us. But a new colour? No, that is no longer necessary. “I almost died, it was enough.”