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I am very sensitive to different medications so I guess I shouldn't be surprised at the reaction I had to hair color. I have been having episodes for about 6 months where my heart rate will pick up after applying the color. I have switched around and was doing ok with the 10 minute hair color- until today.

When I put it on it was burning a little but I didn't think anything because it usually does, but it was a little worse today. About 6 minutes into it, my heart started adding (or skipping?) beats pretty often so I decided to go rinse it out. Then my heart started really racing and pounding. My hands felt tingly. I rinsed it out as quickly as I could and my heart rate came back down within 5 minutes. I still feel shakey and "potsy".

Great! Now what am I going to do when my roots start coming in? :blink: I think I've tried all the haircolors. I hate this POTS!!!!

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Hi I'm new here and don't know much about dysautonomia yet, but thought I would chime in and say that other health issues i have there has been information about changing hair colour and worsening of symptoms after hair colouring. I speak about Lupus specifically, but I do use home colour and I have watched to be careful about it and have to say that i haven't really noticed a significant change in my symptoms because of it. Now when i am in a bad flare the colour of my hair changes so fast you can almost see it happening. It seems to drain the colour and life right out of my hair, and it becomes totaly unmanageable and lifeless. Take care, Sandra

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Wondering if this is because when you're putting the color in, your hands are above your head? That can cause a POTS attack for me. Makes washing my hair quite difficult.

I've never had a problem with hair color, but I tend to only use the semi-permanent stuff and I get someone else to apply it. Perhaps the permanent hair color is too strong for us? My mom (who doesn't have POTS) has a reaction to permanent hair coloring...

Sara

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I bleach my hair using a cap or foil pieces so the color does not DIRECTLY touch my scalp. Is it possible for you do go this route?

Its exhausting having your arms over your head but if somebody can help you, maybe you can at least add enough color to add depth and body to your hair.

If I did not bleach my baby fine hair or perm it, it has nobody and the older I have gotten the color is duller...which is normal for women.

Direct color applications to the scalp have many side effects...so think about doing a cap...I do mine in stages as it is easier. I get my stuff from Sally's Beauty supply stores.

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hi..

I gett sick when gett my hair colored at the hair dresser.. And most colors for home use make me ill too.. But I use an organic now, its the only one that I can use.. i by it at a organic store.. I dont know how its around u, but some hair dressers have organic colores... Even loreal have one out now i think..

becouse of the hand above head thing i gett help or do it on a very lilte potsy day...=)

best of luck

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I will have to try the organic kind.

By the way, when the symptoms hit me was about 7 minutes after I applied it and was sitting at the computer, so I doubt it was the hands above the head that caused it.

Sophia3, my hair is really fine too and has about 25% gray so I really need some color. I was considering highlights. Do they do them so the chemical doesn't touch your scalp?

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Maybe the smell caused your POTS Symptoms. When i have a bad POTS episode, i get to a point were all kinds of chemical smells have this kind of reaction to my body. Nail polish, hair color, even a lotion made me feel realy sick ones.

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I too wonder if it's the combination of a lot of arm/overhead movement + smell.

Did it calm down after a couple of hours?

When I want my hair colored, I have to pay for the salon now, unfortunately. I used to do a pretty decent job myself, but the strain and smell is too much. I think the salon has better ventilation and I am sitting so it's not so bad.

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speaking of hair, i had a PTT treatment done a few years ago, it's a protein treatment by redken, don't make them anymore, anyway, I use to get them done all the time, my hair would feel soft afterwards, then this one night I had a treatment, within minutes after her applying it to my hair, it starting burning my scalp, it had never burned my scalp before, and might I remind you, I was perfectly healthy before this night, I go home, I go to bed, I wake up with this very weird headache, I had this weird feeling in my head, was extremely nauseated, my heart was racing, and I felt like I was going to pass out. I got in the car and drove to my parent?s house, later that morning my Mom took me to the ER. They drew blood, blood work came back fine, and they sent me home. It was a few months later before finding diagnoses. I use to think whatever was in that bottle at the salon made me sick. Maybe they don't wash them after using them, and bacteria and all sorts of things grow in them, I don't know. But I think whatever was in that bottle, when through my scalp into my brain and into my blood stream. lol.

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The worst of the feeling went away in less than 10 minutes, but I felt "off" the rest of the day (heart rate up some and my left hand still felt a tiny bit tingly from time to time). It was like it stirred up my nervous system. I still believe, like northerndarlene, that it was the chemical getting into my bloodstream that did it. I have asthma and it didn't get stirred up by the smell like I do with some strong smells.

My natural haircolor is darker than what I've been coloring it so I think what I am going to do is when my roots start coming in I will get someone to use foil so the chemical doesn't touch my scalp and put a few highlights through the darker color. That way I can go back to my natural color more gracefully. I may use the no ammonia kind of color to do the highlights.

I hope to never repeat what happened yesterday. B)

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jenwic

I don't have money for beauty shops but could not tolerate them if I did. So many started doing fake nails with HORRIBLE GLUE SMELL i could NOT tolerate being in salons 20 years ago..let alone now.

Also the bleach is not bad for me to mix up..but the dark hair color I use to mix with activator to add low lights, stinks MORE than the powdered bleach. Then I use a no ammonia or non peroxide toner as needed...I have to step out of the bathroom to mix up the darker colors and then it disappates. sp?

Good luck.

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i bleach out my hair (my friend at a salon does it) and the entire time i have a towel covering my face because as soon as i smell that i pass out. My heart starts racing and i faint. I think its because we are so sensitive to everything. But i have had problems with bleach before POTS so now that i have it it just makes it worse

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I was a hairdresser with my own salon for a few years when i was diagnosed with pots and the doctors said the chemicals were part to blame for the problems i was having. They told me no more perms or colors and i know when i do my own color now i suffer.

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I've been thinking about this for a few days. I wonder if it could be the ammonia or peroxide that causes the problem. I know there are no-ammonia types. Today I saw a "Natural Instincts" loving care brand with no ammonia or peroxide (it might not lighten my hair though). I might try one of these.

It's hard to know if it is the smell or the chemical. I do know that even after I rinse it out, my heart rate is up some for a few hours.

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Jenwic,

Last time I had a conditioning treatment in the salon and they put me under a dryer for 20 minutes, I got such a horrible migraine from the heat on the back of my head I had to take several breaks...Weird.

Potsgirl

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just had the same thing happen to me. It is scary. I don't normally have severe POTS symptoms any more. I have not used an at-home color for years. I was using natural instincts by Clairol. After also about 7 minutes, I felt like I was having a panic attack. It came on suddenly of course--very fast heartrate and felt huge adrenaline rush. I immediately rinsed and felt better, but I still feel off--shaky, dizzy, POTS-y. I wonder if it is an allergic reaction, but I don't have a rash. I've never had an allergic reaction to anything before.

It says on the package to rinse immediately if there any any feeling of burning. I had a very slight sensation of burning in a very localized area.

I wonder if there is something in the hair color that affects the nervous system. We have lots of blood vessels in our scalp. Yikes, I also do not want to repeat this. I won't be doing this again!

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most all hair colors tell you in box to do an allergy test before using don't they? You guys do that first to check body reaction before applying on head?

Been highlighting for years from beauty supply house but stuff in stores used to have strict directions about testing 24 hours ahead.

might be good idea :)

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I hear you...was the hair color the cause or just odd timing and you were having a bad day?

it's tough figuring this stuff out.

I DO know I must do color thru scalp or with foil to avoid scalp burn.

ALSO medications can interfere with the chemicals in the colors only we don't always know that, you know?

so tough to figure out unless we have a chemist in the family! :)

Hope you get it sorted out.

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I know Sophia it is hard to know. However, I was not having a bad POTS day at all.

I am pretty sure it was not an allergic reaction. I never got a rash, etc. It was just these sudden, awful adrenaline surges that I associate with bad POTS days (which are rare for me now)--along with feelings of anxiety, restlessness, tachycardia and then trembling. And it took a long time to feel back to "normal". It kind of freaked me out only b/c it was sort of hard to know if it was an allergic reaction, so I stayed up late, which didn't help. I took a benadryl, just as a precaution/out of curiousity--which didn't do anything noticable.

Anyway, will not use any hair color product directly on my scalp again.

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ok laet me shed some light on some stuff hear about hair color and the rest. i have been a cosmetologist for over 20 yrs, i have owned my own salon for over 12 yrs. i have OI,NCS,POTS. legalities out of the way. one more this is just advice and not to be construed in any way of telling you specifically what to do.

1st- if you feel there has been a prob w/ hair color in the past, or any time you switch hair color, you should always do a patch test. which consists of swabbing the hair color on the inside of elbow area for 24 hrs. this id protocol for hair dressers.

2cd- if you are in a reputable, not chain store, believe me those bottles and bowls and brushes are kept clean. we pay heavy fines, if they are not, and could possibly loose our license. sanitation is high priority in salon.

jen- i think it was you that siad you are lightening the hair at this time and not darkening it. if i am correct w/ who it is, or not read any way. when lightening the hair, you are using a higher volume of peroxide ( and nothing can lift hair w/o peroxide or bleach and peroxide), this alone would cause your scalp to itch and burn. now if you were brushing your hair prior to the application then it would be more intense burning and itching. any stimulation to scalp prior to application causes more intense burning and itching. and if you scratch while it is burning, will definitely make it worse. i would give clients something like highlight needle to poke w/ and no scratching.

3rd- some of you may have reactions, i do not. but if you do or have do the patch test first. i have had my hands in it for years. i do not believe it caused my dx or sx. only because i know of others who have done this work a lot longer than i have and don't have dys.

4th- please be careful with this so-called natural color.. as like anything marketing is more of the key than it actually being natural. and be careful of henna being used, mixing that w/ other types of hair color can cause hair to fall out.

i could go on and on, so any personal questions, please pm me or ask at this location, i would love to help if i can.

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Thanks--All I can say is it was very strange and I am close to 100% sure it was not an allergic reaction that I experienced. I've never had a "POTS reaction" like that before to any specific trigger. Maybe it was the fumes? Maybe it was coincidence, but not sure I want to test again and find out!

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  • 9 years later...

Thanks for this discussion and info! Even if there isn't a clear answer, it helps a lot to know about the experiences of others and the advice they have. I feel much more confident in my decision to give hair dye a try, especially know that I know some safety tests to do first. It's hard enough to maintain control over my life with the symptoms I already have, let alone all the unknowns and possibilities for more. 

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