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From: Michelle (
Subject: Hair color ingredients - for the experts
Date: May 2, 2007 at 3:18 am PST

Hi. I am almost completely gray and have been getting my hair colored with a Matrix permanent color since I was in my late 20s (for about 15 years). Because my hair was also relaxed with a hydroxide type relaxer, I began to have breakage and have been growing out the relaxer for almost a year in preparation for a TR. I also started having my stylist refresh my color with Redken Shades EQ back in November/December instead of pulling the permanent color through to the ends. Around February, I went to a different stylist who tried a Schwarzkopf demi color on my hair, which she said gives good gray coverage, and it worked pretty well but I had what appeared to be an allergic reaction to it. (Flushing of my face, prickly feelings in my face, dizziness, followed later in the day with burning, stinging scalp.) So, we never used that again. I went back to my original stylist, and we used a slightly different color formulation of the Matrix to try to duplicate the shade I'd gotten from the Schwarzkopf color (it was a small change, but the shade was more flattering - a little less red, a little more dark brown). We also refreshed with a different shade of Redken Shades EQ (also trying to cut down on the red). Again, I had what seemed to be a reaction to the color, although it was not as pronounced as it had been the first time. I just felt a little warm in the face with the prickly feeling and slightly dizzy, but it didn't kick in as quickly and didn't last long. I did not get the burning and stinging scalp like I had the first time.

I asked my allergist about it, and she suggested I get the list of ingredients in each of the colors used so that my dermatologist can find any common ingredients and do a patch test to determine what I'm reacting to. That way, I can look for products that don't contain that ingredient. I looked at the labels on the color bottles that both stylists used, but it didn't contain ingredients on everything. Does anyone know how I can find out ALL of the ingredients used in these products? Do I need to write to the manufacturers? Have any of you had clients who had similar reactions? (One other strange thing is that after the reaction to the Schwarzkopf demi color, I began reacting to the Aquage styling products I was using - the Straightening Ultra Gel and Beyond Shine as well as the shampoo and conditioner.) Any advice would be a great help to me. Thank you!

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