Mom in Coma After Using Hair Dye

She may have suffered severe allergic reaction to chemical
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Suggested by Larry-Crehore
Posted Nov 22, 2011 4:42 PM CST
Britain's Julie McCabe in Coma After Apparent Reaction to Chemical in Hair Dye
A woman in Britain entered a coma after using hair dye.   (Shutterstock)

A British woman collapsed within minutes after using hair dye and is now in a coma, marking the second such tragedy in less than a month, the Daily Mail reports. Julie McCabe, 38, has just an 8% chance of survival and is likely to suffer permanent brain damage if she survives, doctors say. Weeks ago, a 17-year-old in the UK died 20 minutes after applying hair dye; an investigation is ongoing.

McCabe’s coma hasn’t been directly linked to the hair dye, but a chemical in 99% of such products could be to blame. Para-phenylenediamine can cause an allergic reaction (usually mild) in one out of every 250,000 people, and the reaction doesn’t always occur the first time it’s used, says the Daily Mail. Dye manufacturers recommend a special skin test before each use; McCabe had been using L'Oreal Preference. “I promise for the sake of my daughter and other women to get this chemical outlawed in Britain,” says her father. L'Oreal says it will aid the family in investigating the situation. (More hair dye stories.)

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