Teenager Tylah Durie has always successfully dyed her hair without any trouble, so she didn’t bother doing a patch test on herself when she decided to try eyebrow tint. But that was a huge mistake. Within minutes, the 16-year-old began to react to the product, almost losing her sight because of it.
A beauty student, Tylah knew she should have done the patch test, but skipped ahead and tinted her eyebrows and eyelashes anyway. Now she’s warning others to not forgo the patch test. Within 30 minutes of applying 1000 Hour’s Eyelash and Brow Dye kit, her eyebrows began to itch. Then they began to burn. Then her reaction turned excruciatingly painful and became severe.
“I woke up almost blind because of the reaction, my eyes had blown up like huge balloons, I was crying and screaming. It was 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.
My eyes were pretty much swollen shut. I could only see a tiny amount and my eyes were weeping with a lot of pus. Doctors said I had a very unusual but severe allergic reaction and could have gone permanently blind.”
Tylah had no clue that she was horrifically allergic to a chemical in the dye called paraphenylenediamine. She sustained chemical burns not just on her face under her eyebrows, but also on her eyeballs. Doctors told her she’s so allergic that if she touched hair dye with that chemical in it ever again, it could kill her.
Even though she waited 10 minutes for the dye to set in, then washed it off, the damage had already been done. Her body had already been exposed to the chemical for long enough that she had a reaction. Tylah took antihistamines, but blisters formed in her eyebrows and her lashes fell out.
“I was terrified of losing my eyesight at such a young age. An optometrist the next day told me how lucky I was not to have gone blind and now I have to go to see them on a regular basis to monitor the last effects of the damage.”
She warns everyone to always conduct a patch test before using any dye, even if it’s one that’s been used before without any side effects. The chemical she’s allergic to is a common ingredient in hair dyes and also ink used for henna tattoos.
“I’m on a lot of medications to heal this and would never wish this pain on anyone, so please do a patch test.”
PPD allergy specialist Gina Taro told Daily Mail that reactions to the chemical range from a small amount of redness to anaphylactic shock and death. She said the stronger reactions tend to occur in people who have had micro-abrasions that allow the color to enter the bloodstream.
“The reactions will become more severe the more times you’re exposed to it. It’s like giving your child peanut butter when they are allergic to peanuts.”
For now, Tylah will continue monitoring her situation. She begs everyone to conduct patch tests on themselves before using a product and hopes no one else experiences what she endured.