Salon Allergy Specialist

Salon Allergy Specialist

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Bleach Allergy, Titanium Dioxide, Nickle, Cobolt, and the MELISA test

While the majority of my clients are enjoying getting some holiday hilights, and happily going to their parties without any swollen eyes, or blisters. It has just been brought to my attention that there actually might be a reason that some of the people I have been in contact with over the years have allergy issues with bleach. I have read the ingredients of several containers of bleach, and I assumed that there must be some PPD in some of the bleaches that have a little bit of blue added to the normal color. This is not true with the bleach that I use, and there is nothing in the bleach that I use that is a major allergen. I know this because I have researched each chemical myself. I had just done the same for a patron of a board I often reply on, when she had posted that one of her past bleaches had contained "Titanium Dioxide"

Titanium Dioxide - also known as titanium oxide or titania, is the naturally occurring oxide of titanium, chemical formula TiO2. When used as a pigment, it is called titanium white, Pigment White 6, or CI 77891. Generally it is sourced from ilminite, rutile and anatase. It has a wide range of applications, from paint to sunscreen to food coloring. When used as a food coloring, it has E numberE171. (from Wikipedia)

I Googled hair bleach, and titanium dioxide, and the first one that came up was Redkin, Up  to 7 . Here are the ingredients:
Potassium Persulfate, Sodium Silicate, Sodium Persulfate, Corn Starch/Zea Mays, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Ammonium Chloride, Xanthan Gum, PPG-2-Ceteareth-9, Sodium Metasilicate, Sodium Stearate, Amorphous Silica, Mica, Ammonium Sulfate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Poloxamer 182, Titanium Dioxide/CI 77891, Polyquaternium-22, EDTA, Sodium Sulfate (D5572/3)

Normally, you would not be allergic to bleach. If you were, you would know long before you were old enough to bleach your hair. You drink chlorinated water, swim in chlorinated pools, and have bleach added to your laundry. I checked this with an allergist to be sure. However, I have said that there are buffers and such that can be specific to manufacturers that you can be allergic to. Titanium Dioxide is used as a whitener, or to enhance pigment, and as a thickener. It is also used in the old surfer movies, on the noses of the dudes on the top of the tower, in the small, red swim suit. It is still being added to sunscreen today. It used to be added to desitin baby balm, and might be in some of the tubes, but not all of the mixes. It is used in styptic powder, and some tattoo inks. It seems to be lurking around when you least expect it.

The client who had alerted me to this quandary, has been having a difficult time because her only visible allergy has been to nickle and cobolt. Now it seems as if she might have to so new testing, as her T.R.U.E. test did not help her as much as it could have. Now she will have to re-test with the MELISA test.

This is a special metals test done with a blood test, that you might need of you are not showing that you are allergic to any thing on the T.R.U.E. test.

Hope you get to spend some time this year with loved ones,

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Extra information on each ingredient in hair color, IN ENGLISH

Happy Holidays! During this holiday season, I have found some extra special information that I decided I didn't just want to share,  but I wanted to add as much information to it as I could, as simply and cleanly as I could. I find that with as much information that there is out there, there still seem to be large gaps where people don't grasp why they react to this, but not that. I hope that the more information that I post, the more gaps get filled in. I am trying to make the very difficult chemistry as simple as I can. Please ask questions if I lose you!

Component                    Function                     Sample Ingredients
Solvent                          Dye vehicle               Water, Propylene glycol,  Ethanol,  Glycerin

Surfactant              Foaming, thickening          Sodium lauryl sulfate, Ceteareth-  Cocoamide MEA, Oleth-5
Alkali                      Swell hair, bleaching                   Ammonia, Monoethanolamine
Buffer                    Stabilize, reproducible             Disodium phosphate, Citric acid
Dye precursors             Impart color                    P-Aminophenol,1-Naphtol,P-Phenylenediamine,
                                                                              4-Amino 2-hydroxytoluene
Fatty alcohols                           Emollients                  Glycerol stearate, Cetearyl alcohol
Quaternary compounds      Conditioning                 Polyquaternium, Cetrimonium chloride
Peroxide                         Oxidant, bleaching                      Hydrogen peroxide

Propylene Glycol - Propylene glycol (PG) is a clear, colorless liquid with the consistency of syrup. It is practically odorless and tasteless. It is hygroscopic (attracts water), has low toxicity and outstanding stability, as well as high flash and boiling points, low vapor pressure and broad solvency. In addition, propylene glycol is an excellent solvent for many organic compounds and is completely water-soluble. These properties make PG ideal for a wide array of applications, such as, Antifreezes, Coolants and Aircraft Deicing Fluids, Chemical Intermediates, Cosmetics and Personal Care Products, Flavors and Fragrances, Food, Heat Transfer Fluids, Hydraulic Fluids, Pharmaceuticals, Plasticizers, Solvents and Thermoset Plastic Formulation. Propylene glycol (PG) is manufactured from propylene oxide, a petroleum-based raw material. As the leading global producer of PG, Dow manufactures approximately 1.2 billion pounds annually.
PG is the main ingredient in the oil dispersant Corexit, and was used in great quantities during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill . Corexit has come under scrutiny for probable adverse effects on marine life and humans that are exposed to it. Propylene glycol has also come under scrutiny, as it is the chemical that disperses Corexit and the oil to subsurface depths.
Ethanol  - alcohol also called ethyl alcohol, pure alcohol, grain alcohol, or drinking alcohol, is a volatile, flammable, colorless liquid.
Glycerin - Glycerol (or glycerine, glycerin) is a simple polyol compound. It is a colorless, odorless, viscous liquid that is widely used in pharmaceutical formulations. Glycerol has three hydroxyl groups that are responsible for its solubility in water and its hygroscopic nature. The glycerol backbone is central to all lipids known as triglycerides. Glycerol is sweet-tasting and of low toxicity.
 Sodium laureth sulfate, or sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES), is a detergent and surfactant found in many personal care products (soaps, shampoos, toothpaste etc.). SLES is an inexpensive and very effective foaming agent. SLES, SLS, ALS and sodium pareth sulfate are surfactants that are used in many cosmetic products for their cleansing and emulsifying properties. They behave similarly to soap -also a known irritant.
Ceteareth 25 - Ceteareths are the polyethylene glycol esters of Cetearyl Alcohol. The properties of Ceteareths are dependent on the degree of polymerization of the polyethylene glycol segment. In cosmetics and personal care products, they are used as surfactants. Ceteareth-2 to -18 are used asemulsifying agents; Ceteareth-20 to -40 are used as solubilizing and cleansing agents; Ceteareth-22 is used as an emulsifying agent and a viscosity decreasing agent; and Ceteareth-50 to -100 are used as cleansing agents.
Cocamide MEA is derived from the fatty acids from coconut oil and monoethanolamine (MEA). In cosmetics and personal care products, Cocamide MEA is used in the formulation of bath soaps and shampoo.
CIR Safety Review: The CIR Expert Panel considered data from previous safety assessments of Coconut Oil and its derivatives, Monoethanolamine (MEA), Cocamide DEA (Diethanolamine), Stearamide DEA and MEA, Isostearamide DEA and MEA, and Myristamide DEA and MEA in the evaluation of Cocamide MEA. These data suggested little acute, short-term, or chronic toxicity associated with dermal application. The CIR Expert Panel noted that MEA vapor was highly toxic but did not consider this significant since there was no vapor that arises from Cocamide MEA. The CIR Expert Panel noted that, unlike DEA, MEA has not been found to form a stable nitrosamine. However, MEA can react with an aldehyde to form DEA, which then can be nitrosated. Dermal application of Cocamide MEA at concentrations of 50% was nonirritating to only mildly irritating tests. Cocamide MEA was negative for mutagenicity in bacteria. In clinical tests, Cocamide MEA at a concentration of 50% was not irritating in a single-insult patch test.
OLETH-5: Oleth-5 is a polyethylene glycol ether of Oleyl Alcohol (q.v.). Function(s): Fragrance Ingredient; Surfactant - Emulsifying Agent Synoym(s): PEG-5 OLEYL ETHER; POLYOXYETHYLENE (5) OLEYL ETHER, mineral oil.
Monoethanolomine -  used in  the following applications:  Cement – to enhance strength, reduce drying time and protect against the effects of freezing and thawing , Gas treating – for a variety of natural gas, petrochemical, and oil treatments , Metalworking fluids – to neutralize acid components in lubricants, prevent corrosion and rusting, and for proprietary corrosion inhibitors and biocides, Personal-care products – to make ethanolamine-based soaps for use in hand lotions, cosmetic creams, cleansing creams, shaving creams, and shampoos; also for dry-cleaning solvents and heavy-duty liquid laundry detergents, Pharmaceuticals – as raw materials in the production of certain pharmaceuticals, Printing inks – to control pH in the formulation of packaging and printing inks, Textiles and textile additives – as aids to clean and scour textiles, facilitate wetting, and improve lather and ease of soap removal, Wood treating – for wood-preservative alternatives (arsenic is one chemical that was once used)
Disodium phosphate - Disodium hydrogen phosphate, (Na2HPO4)   is sodium salt of phosphoric acid. It is a white powder that is highly hygroscopic and water soluble. [1] It is therefore used commercially as an anti-caking additive in powdered products. It is also known as disodium hydrogen orthophosphate, sodium hydrogen phosphate or sodium phosphate dibasic. It is commercially available in both the hydrated and anhydrous forms.  PH of disodium hydrogen phosphate water solution is between 8.0 and 11.0.
4-Aminophenol is the organic compound with the formula H2NC6H4OH. Typically available as a white powder, it is commonly used as a developer in black-and-white film, marketed under the name Rodinal. Raw materials required: SULFURIC ACID Nitrophenol 4-NITROCATECHOL N-Phenylhydroxylamine Sodium 4-nitrophenoxide Hydrochloric acid 4-Nitrophenol Iron Sulfuric acid Sodium metabisulfite. Used in the production of sulfer, and AZO dyes.
1-Naphthol, or α-naphthol, is an organic compound with the formula C10H7OH. It is a white solid. It is an isomer of 2-naphthol differing by the location of the hydroxyl group on the naphthalene ring. Used in dyes, pesticides, and rubber production.
p-Phenylenediamine is an organic compound with the formula C6H42. This derivative of aniline is a white solid, but samples can darken due to air oxidation. It is mainly used as a component of dying hair and furs, but is also used as a vulcanization accelerator in rubber.
4-Amino-2-hydroxytoluene –   Synonyms: 5-Amino-o-cresol, 3-Hydroxy-4-methylaniline 4-Amino-2-Hydroxytoluene is a substituted aromatic compound used in the formulation of permanent hair dyes, colors and tints. (From the European Commission) Based on the information provided, the Scientific Community for Consumer Products  (SCCP) is of the opinion that the use of 4-amino-2-hydroxytoluene itself as an oxidative hair dye substance at a maximum concentration of 1.5% in the finished cosmetic product (after mixing with hydrogen peroxide) does not pose a risk to the health of the consumer, apart from its sensitizing potential.
 Polyquaternium is the International calling card for Conditioner. (or,  if you  want to understand it) It is the nomenclature for the Cosmetic Ingredients designation for several polycationic polymers that are used in the personal care industry. Polyquaternium is a “name” used to emphasize the presence of quaternary ammonium centers in the polymer. INCI has approved at least 37 different polymers under the polyquaternium designation. Different polymers are distinguished by the numerical value that follows the word "polyquaternium". Polyquaternium-5, polyquaternium-7, and polyquaternium-47 are three examples, each a chemically different type of polymer. The numbers are assigned in the order in which they are registered rather than because of their chemical structure. Polyquaterniums find particular application in conditioners, shampoo, hair mousse, hair spray, hair dye, and contact lens solutions. Because they are positively charged, they neutralize the negative charges of most shampoos and hair proteins and help hair lie flat. Their positive charges also ionically bond them to hair and skin. Some have antimicrobial properties. It should be said that numerous companies supply a variety of these polyquaternium products and hence there are many more trade names that could be listed under the trade names column.
Cetrimonium chloride is a topical antiseptic. It is also commonly used in hair conditioners and shampoos, as a conditioning agent EWG rates it as a 6. Cetrimonium Chloride is a cationic quaternary ammonium salt that is used as a light hair conditioning agent. Its use in conditioners and cream rinses improves both wet and dry combing and reduces static electricity.  As it is cationic, it is used primarily in conditioning products rather than in shampoos.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The more I learn, the more I wonder...

Yesterday I went to the amazing skin doctor that I am so blessed to have. As I was sitting there, he was telling me that my face was finally doing okay. (Acne cream, still being applied at 44!) I mentioned to him that I have been having great results with the organic henna, and with adding the other herbals for pigment changes. He then asked me if I did any "patch testing", to which I replied, of course. I explained my 3 test theory, and how it seems to work well. I asked him why that was his first reaction, because most people don't ask me that. He continued to tell me that last week he had a man come in who had "blistering burns on his scalp from henna." I was immediately thinking that the patient he was speaking of must be using a box product, with compound henna, or possibly something with another ingredient. I know it is common to be reactive to indigo, but I could not tell this man who has been SO amazing any of the information I have learned in my research. (The horrors! Little 'ole me?) It does, however, show me that I do need to step up and get moving on taking the Organic Chemistry classes on the computer that I have lined up. It would help me explain some of the connections to the other chemicals better. I know I can't possibly be the only person who is re-searching this, as I have a friend in England who is doing similar work. I guess I have to wait to learn more, to connect more dots.

One more thing: Henna has Iron Oxide in it. That is what gives hair that orange look. Would it be possible that the man was allergic to that? PPD has an orange/gold  when used in food, and possibly cheap amber colored liquor, and also when you look into the pigments used in some tattoos. -I have been unable to make the complete connections with chemicals there, but I am working on it. I only know that there have been problems with people and allergies with these things, and that they could be related. Maybe there is another factor at play, and it is being missed? I have no idea, but I will keep working on it.


Friday, November 9, 2012

I have given a lot of thought about posting color without PPD. The problem with this, is there are so many levels of severity, that what one person can use, another can't. Even with 100% organic henna, if you add indigo alone to make black, you sometimes need to keep it away from the scalp. So, should I list all color without PPD, even if it has TDS? Knowing about the cross reactions? -or should I be listing ethels, knowing someone could be harmed by them? It is very difficult for me, personally, because I know of people who have been harmed by EVERYTHING. I am going to compile an ingredient list, and begin to hilight the diamines. I think that might be a better way to handle it

Monday, October 22, 2012

Am I allergic to...PPD or something else?

So, how would you know if you are allergic to hair color? If you are allergic to hair color, are you allergic to PPD? Is this the same question? I am often bombarded with questions that pertain to the above information. Sometimes, you can react to having your hair colored and not be allergic to PPD, or Para-PhenyleneDiamine. There are times when you can have a topical allergic reaction to a chemical, or a systemic allergic reaction, and this can cause a great deal of confusion for people. It's also possible get a chemical burn from a strong caustic, such as bleach, and mistake it as an allergic reaction, especially because chemical burns begin to itch when they start. Then there is irritation of an existing dermal problem, which can also be a problem to try to diagnose. This is all very difficult to weed through as a hairdresser, or a client, especially if the scalp looks clear when the coloring process begins.

I had a client who thought she was allergic to hair color, and I was inclined to believe so as well. I tested her with a color that had Touline Diamine Sulfate (TDS) dye, and she did not react. I colored her with the TDS for 2 years, until she began to react with that, and then I had her go my own doctor. A dermatologist who I know can diagnose PPD allergies. She was very lucky to have a regular old case of what he called "dermatitis", which I suspect was a very bad case of dandruff. She had to have a prescription lotion to clear it up, and in a month, her scalp was finally starting to look normal again. She didn't even need to have the T.R.U.E. test done, but in this instance, we trust this doctor. (Dr. Jeffrey LaDuca, Auburn, NY) I did the normal series of 3 patch tests I choose to do, which I will explain at the end of this. This client did not react to the TDS color, and is able to continue with a normal color.

I have had contacts from the US and other countries ask if they can be allergic to bleach. I personally didn't believe you could be allergic to bleach and not know it. If you have ever swam in a pool, or drink public water, there is bleach added, in the form of chlorine. You have had you laundry bleached, you have been to restaurants that have had bleach added to the rinse water, and to the cleaning solutions for cleaning the tables. If you were allergic, I THOUGHT you would have reacted at some point by now. With that being said, it does NOT mean that you can't be allergic to hair bleach! All manufacturers have different propitiatory mixes, and buffers, and some of them even add bluing that can have some amount of PPD. Not many, but some. In my experience, the majority of bleach problems seem to be chemical burns, not allergies. That does not mean that it can not happen, it just means that it is not NORMALLY the case. I am allergic to bleach. The persulfates give me an instant chemical reaction. I realized that it wasn't a chemical burn when I went into a hot tub. I just dipped my feet, but they felt like they were on fire. I had a reaction to the chemicals in the spa. Guess what they are high in? Persulfates! I had to go on steroids AGAIN to heal because I ended up with very painful cellulitis. (with crutches) If your hairdresser used a high lift tint, and not a bleach, totally different story...

When you have a topical allergic reaction, it is generally a red, rash like development. It can occur at any time, generally, I find that topical happens during the color. (Please bear in mind that I am a hairdresser, not a doctor!!) Systemic, I find can happen even from breathing the damn fumes. It can be as severe as anaphylactic shock, blocking your airway, leading to death, or as simple as a rash on your trunk 4 days after your color, that goes away. The problem with a systemic reaction is that the PPD can be gone, but the body will continue to attack itself, and it seems to be difficult to break the cycle in some extreme cases. (This is very sad for me to read, which has lead me to begin this blog. Being beautiful should not lead to suffering)

I am going to conclude with some controversy. I have been doing hair for 27 years at this point. If I am doing hair color on a client who has had her hair colored before, or has NOT colored her hair before, but has never had a bad reaction, I do not perform a patch test 24 hours ahead. The reason for this is because it will provide a false sense of security, and does not actually prove anything. For the first time client, if you have never been exposed, the patch test is your first exposure, when you are GUARANTEED to not actually react. Why would you do a patch test, which would make the coloring day the second exposure? We have not figured out the how, what, or when a client will react. It can be the second exposure, or the thousandth. So, performing a patch test  literally does nothing for the client who is not reacting. Now, for the client who is reacting...

I never do the patch testing recommended in the box. That whole 24 hour leave the chemicals on your body is crazy! If a client has reacted before, I do a 3 patch series. The first 2 patches, I do on the inner forearm, 3 to 4 days apart. I mix the color up with a q-tip, and apply a dot. I leave it on for 15 minutes, if it is bearable. then I wash the area with soap and water. If this is clear, then I will do a third patch test behind the ear, the same way. There should never be any redness, blistering, itchiness, scabbing, tenderness, or any difference from one arm to the next. Sometimes I will even apply a box around the area with vaseline, depending on the consistency of the color.

There are some of my theories on patch testing, and on bleach, and PPD allergies, which with $2.50 will get you a cup of coffee at Dunkin' Donuts! Remember, please consult your doctor before trying anything you read here! I am a hairdresser, not a doctor, but I can refer you to my doctor if you need one. He is amazing!


Friday, October 12, 2012

Today I thought I would post the names of some of the chemicals PPD can be hidden under, and some photos of some friends who are suffering.  I have posted the chemical names on other sights before, but it bears repeating here.  I have so much information in my piles of binders, I have to weed through it and decide what to put in the blog, and when, so makes sense. I think starting from scratch might be best. Here is my best list of what to look for in products:

Para-Phenylenediamine, Para-Toulenediamine, Toulene-Diamine Sulfate, Benzenediamine, Para-Diaminobenze, Para-Aminoaniline, Orsin, Rodol, Ursol, 2-Nitro-1, Diaminobenzene, Dye GS, Durafur Brown 2R, Fouramine 2R, Diaminonitrobenzol (German), Nitrobenzene, C.1.Oxidation Base 22, Fourrine Brown, C02222, and Zoba Brown RR, Ethylene, Tricloroethylene, Dimethylsulfate.

If you read the ingredients and the product has anything with a combination that includes any of the above chemical names, it could be dangerous to you if you have previously reacted. I would also like to add that I am NOT a doctor, but a licensed NYS Cosmetologist. In 1962, they passed the current patch testing laws, which I do NOT agree with. I have had very good results with a 3 step patch testing, especially if someone has shown previous reactions. I can add about 3 more paragraphs of chemicals, depending on the severity of your allergy. I have one friend who was allergic to the Ethylene in contact solution. YES, Ethylene in CONTACT SOLUTION. It is used as a preservative. As you can imagine, her beautiful eyes swelled shut. This made me immediately think of the Lash Lure scare from the 1930's where women actually went blind. The FDA was helpless to even remove the product from the shelves because Lash Lure had been acting withing the law. In 1933, Eleanor Roosevelt aided "The American Chamber of Horrors" which was an exhibit to show how the 1906 FDA law was allowing companies to harm the American public.  The law was finally changed in 1938, and Lash Lure was removed from the shelves.


 Here are some photos of reactions. I am not including photos of anaphylactic shock, as I need to contact clients for permission to show faces. Some of these reactions below can continue for over a year, as the initial reaction comes from the hair color, but the allergic reaction sets the body to attack itself. Photo 1 is a systemic full body reaction, 6 months later. Photo 2 is a "Black Henna" Tattoo, there is no such thing as black henna, it is PPD. Photo 3 is also a systemic reaction, 1 year later. This woman has had permanent hearing loss from damage to the inner ear, as well as depression, and many other problems. She is a wonderful woman, with a very sad situation! I hope that everyone has a safe Friday, and we don't get any new reactions today. :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

As promised, here is the link for the cancer and PPD

Here are some other useful links:

The above link is for the T.R.U.E. test. It is the sub-cutaneous tissue test that allergists and dermatologists give to see if you are allergic to PPD. If you have trouble finding a doctor who has any idea what you are talking about, you can print this out and bring it with you.

The above link is an interesting article that shows how dangerous PPD is, and how it has been removed from everything. Well, with the exception of hair color. If you notice there is an exception in parentheses for that, which was so wonderfully granted.

Here is another interesting article. Have fun reading kids!


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Great day!

It's a beautiful fall day in central New York. I was doing some research yesterday for the Para-Phenylene Diamine documentary, and I found the documents I have been looking for. I wanted specific information connecting lymphatic cancer to hair dye, and I was happy I found it, but sad that it was so difficult to put into regular English. The medical jargon used was even difficult for me to read, and I was sitting with a medical dictionary in my lap. I know that Jackie Kennedy-Onassis died from this, and her doctors admitted it was from coloring her hair dark for all of those years.  I have had trouble finding actual proof that was in some kind of language lay people could read. It's a great day for me! I'm one step closer to getting there.  When I figure out how to post the link, I will gladly include it here.