Coloring your hair at home can be a tricky thing. On one hand, it’s super affordable and convenient to do on your own time, no appointments or waiting rooms necessary. On the other hand, you truly get what you pay for—and nothing compares to being able to sit back and having a professional handle it.
Another benefit to dyeing your hair at the salon as opposed to doing it yourself? It’s generally safer. While stylists typically mix their own, carefully measured dyes by hand, store-bought hair dye is packed with cheap chemicals, and you never know how your skin will react unless you do a patch test.
When one 16-year-old Australian girl decided to color her own eyebrows at home, she had no idea that, within 24 hours, she’d nearly go blind. And instead of the eyebrows she wanted, she got one hefty hospital bill.
Like most girls her age, 16-year-old Tylah Durie of Victoria, Australia loved to experiment with the myriad beauty products at her local store. One day, Tylah was curious about using a particular dye on her eyebrows—something she’d done before.
But things did not go according to plan, and Tylah was horrified to see what the dye had done the next morning. She recalled that it felt like “having beach sand thrown in your eyeballs and not being able to get it out, then a stinging like razor blades on my eyebrows.”
Tylah had a severe allergic reaction to a chemical in the product that eventually caused her eyes to swell shut, and she had to be rushed to the hospital right away—or else she would’ve gone blind.
Tylah had no idea she was allergic to a chemical called paraphenylenediamine (PPD), which hadn’t been present in previous dyes she’d used. She also neglected to conduct a patch test first to make sure it would be safe for her body.
Tylah was prescribed antihistamines, which cleared up the visible damage. Unfortunately, if she ever used that dye again, she could go blind, or worse—have a fatal reaction.
Tylah’s extremely lucky that she’s okay after this terrible accident. She says she now uses a brow pencil to fill in the color on her eyebrows. Since the incident, she always encourages others to do a patch test before dyeing their hair!
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