How a Hair Color Allergy Changed My Life: A Hair Stylist’s Story

As a Hair Stylist, I always knew my job would take me places, I just never thought that place would be a hospital.

At the time of this story, I’d been doing hair for 10 years, and was an Educator for one of most respected brands in the industry. One day, after working countless hours at the salon and education center, I finally had the opportunity to get my hair done!

Believe it or not, when you’re a busy Hair stylist, time doesn’t always allow for this – so, I was excited.

After the color was rinsed, I headed home very pleased with the results, but was in no way ready for what came next. Within hours, my body started to swell. I started running a dangerously high fever, and my throat began to close.

This was by far one of the scariest moments of my life, I had no idea what was going on. After being admitted to the hospital, they ran a series of blood tests and the results were shocking:

I was having a potentially life threatening reaction to the ingredients in hair color – pigments and ammonia, to be exact.

After spending a week in the hospital (completely disfigured, by the way – see photo), I thought my career as a hairdresser was over. How could I continue to color hair, or have my hair done when my body had developed a very serious hair color allergy?

Hairdressing wasn’t just a job to me – it was my life and greatest passion. It was (and still is) the reason I rise every morning, full of excitement. After weeks of endless research, I realized there was a possible option for me. I was uncertain if it would work, but I wasn’t about to let my career end over an allergy to chemicals in hair products.

That’s when I made a discovery that changed my career and life, for the better. My research brought me to find Organic Color Systems, a UK-based company, who had actually been producing safer salon products for over 15 years.

I was shocked I hadn’t heard of them, but was very impressed with their ingredient lists, company ethics (they’re certified vegan and cruelty-free) and devotion to the health of the Hair Stylist.

My research also revealed this line was solely created by Hair Stylists who had a team member that could no longer use chemically-laden salon products. I wasn’t alone with my struggle! The whole reason Organic Color Systems existed was because of professionals (like me) who developed a hair color allergy – so, I decided to give it a go.

To my surprise, not only did I not have a reaction, but my hair actually looked and felt healthier than ever before. That’s all it took for me to get absolutely hooked on these products.

Fast forward 5 years.

I’m now the Technical and Education Director for Organic Color Systems in all of North America. I travel around the world to teach other stylists about this healthier lineup of products. Many still aren’t aware there are salon products on the market that respect the health of Hair Stylists and their businesses.

That’s why I’ve made it one of my life’s missions to continue to educate our industry on organic and natural salon products. Most of us won’t even consider these type of products until you’re like me, and don’t have any other option.

So, I’m here to tell you there are safer products out there that still perform at the professional level. There’s a whole wave of Hair Stylists and companies who are here to change salons for the better. And I truly feel if we stick together, one day the entire industry will never have to compromise health for creativity.

P.S. Below – on the right – is how I normally look (you know, when I’m not reacting to a hair color allergy). :)