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From: Michelle (
Subject: Re: Hair color ingredients - for the experts
Date: May 3, 2007 at 1:32 pm PST

In Reply to: Re: Hair color ingredients - for the experts posted by Denise Kingsley on May 3, 2007 at 6:05 am:

Thanks for your input, Denise. I really appreciate you taking time to respond. You're right about the bottles having long lists of ingredients. That's why I wanted to contact the companies. Very often they already have the lists of ingredients in electronic form they can email me. There's no way I could retype all of those ingredients (and get them spelled correctly) into a spreadsheet! I have had to do this before with sunscreen products, so this isn't new to me.

Thanks for letting me know that you haven't seen such a severe reaction with hair products before. With your long career, I'm sure you would have seen this if it were at all common. I'm a pretty allergic person (my doctor says I am not "the most allergic person" she's ever seen, but that it's "impressive"). I've recently learned of some food allergies I didn't know I had. One of them is tree nuts, which includes almonds, and I have seen almond extract in some cosmetic products. I'm also allergic to shellfish and fish and rice. The rice is probably irrelevant, but I seem to recall seeing "things from the sea" in some of the Aquage products. My most severe allergies are to pollens, like trees and weeds, and many cosmetic products contain plant extracts. Any of these could be the culprit. (My best friend and I joke that I was born on the wrong planet!)

It's helpful to know that you've noted a stronger warning label on the Schwarzkopf packaging than on other hair colors. Because we recently started refreshing with Redken Shades EQ and then tried the demi Schwarzkopf color, I'm wondering if the problem is some common ingredient in demi colors. My spreadsheet should help me figure that out...assuming the manufacturers get back to me.

In the meantime, I think I'll just have my regular stylist go back to the original color we've used on my hair for years before we started messing around with the formula to try to tone down the red. And I think we'll just skip refreshing the color for a while. It'll fade within a month or so, but I'll live with it until I can figure out what to do next.

Thank you again for your help and insight into my problem.

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