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Hair Loss/plant hair dye allergy


Dear Dr. Fisher,

 I do not use commercial hair dyes as I have become sensitive to them.  As a result, I have been coloring my hair with henna, but honestly the red does not suit my skin tone.  I recently discovered indigo as an alternative.  Apparently, henna and indigo combined give a rich brown or black hue.  
Unfortunately, I notice an intense itching withe the added indigo, that remains a few days after rinsing.  I recently did several patch tests (from different suppliers) with indigo alone that revealed a well defined red area where the indigo had been.  I don't know if this is a true allergy, or irritant dermatitis...or if it even matters.  Many women apparently have itchy scalps for a while after indigo, but continue to use it....while others can no longer tolerate it.  
Safety reports on indigo for hair use, by a European committee, was inconclusive, stating more research needed to be done.
My question is this, if I use it, rinse well, and make sure it doesn't touch my scalp as much, and say I do happen to have a true allergy to it, will the oxidized dye on my hair itch or irritate my scalp...since the allergen is still there.  I couldn't find the answer to this question on line.  

Thank you kindly for your time in responding to this!!


The dyed hair touching the scalp may also cause an allergic reaction to the skin when contact is made. I would run a small treated area test and see if this happens as there is suggestion that the oxidized form of hair dye is usually not that allergic.

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Michael S. Fisher, <B>Ph.D., M.D.</B>


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