The BBC reports that a 38 year old British woman collapsed into a coma after dying her hair with L'Oreal Preference hair dye. According to her family, her hair regimen consisted of dying her hair every 6 weeks for several years. The victim's husband stated, that while she rinsed the product out she began having difficulty breathing and then collapsed. He rushed her to the hospital but her brain had been without oxygen for too long and she could not be revived. She remains in a coma and has a slim chance of recovering.
Doctors believe that she suffered from a severe allergic reaction to phenylenediamine (PPD), which is a chemical found in permanent hair dyes . Studies around PPD, show that high consumption of the chemical can be linked to injury, suicide or death. The victim's family believes that her frequent use of hair dye caused the chemical to build up in her system and is the main cause of the coma.
Hair dyes containing PPD usually come packaged in 2 bottles, one containing the PPD dye preparation and the other containing the developer. Hair dye makers include PPD in their products because it is responsible for long lasting color. The chemical substance can also be found in temporary tattoos, dark colored cosmetics, printing inks, black rubber, and gasoline. In many instances people working with PPD such as hair dressers may develop dermatitis on their hands due to repeated exposure (Ever wonder why some hair dressers wear a mask and gloves when dying your hair?).
This is a very sad story and can happen to anyone. And another reason why it is very important to check ingredients labels. In some cases the side effects can occur immediately or over time.