By Jill Reilly
Last updated at 6:48 PM on 28th December 2011
A fan who tried to dye her hair the same shade as Cheryl Cole’s has been told she can never colour her hair again after suffering a severe allergic reaction to a home dying kit.
Louise Henson, 22, wanted to copy the former X Factor star’s new look and colour her locks a deep honey blonde.
But within hours of applying the Garnier Nutrisse dye her scalp began blistering and weeping yellow pus. Overnight her face ballooned and a severe rash spread across her face and neck.
Allergic reaction: Louise Henson’s suffered a severe reaction to hair dye leaving her face terribly swollen
The barmaid has now been left in shock as her hair continues to thin and fall out in clumps.
Louise said: ‘I was terrified when it started happening – my face was burning, my scalp felt so sore and my eyes were excruciatingly itchy.
‘My whole face was really tight and I couldn’t move it to smile.
‘I couldn’t brush my hair either because my scalp had blistered – and the area round my eyes was so swollen it was too painful to cry.
‘Since the swelling has gone down, my hair is a lot thinner and falls out whenever I shower or try to brush it.’
Louise, from Skegness, Lincs., decided to use Garnier Nutrisse’s ‘caramel golden light brown’ dye when she found it matched her idol Cheryl Cole’s honey shade of blonde.
She applied the product on December 7 but within two hours suffered the horrific allergic reaction.
Painful: Louise before suffering the allergy (left) and afterwards (right). She says that her hair has continued to drop out in clumps
She was rushed to Skegness and District General Hospital by a friend, where she was treated with painkillers and given a steroid injection to reduce the swelling.
Doctors told Louise she had suffered an allergic reaction to one of the chemicals in the hair dye but there was no way of knowing what chemical it was.
Louise added: ‘After I came home from hospital, I just stayed inside my little flat for days – I was too scared to go out.
‘I occasionally had to leave to get food but people would stop in the street to gawp at me, I was even laughed at by school children.
Role model: Louise was trying to turn her hair the same colour as Cheryl Cole
‘I had to wear sunglasses and a big hoodie whenever I left my home.
‘It was like I had a severe facial deformity, it was humiliating.
‘It took a week before my face began getting back to normal.’
Louise has now been told she can never dye her hair again as another allergic reaction could be even worse and could stop her breathing.
She added: ‘That upsets me more than anything because I’ve always loved experimenting with colour.
‘I’ve had to move on from idolising Cheryl Cole now – seeing pictures of her is just a constant, bad reminder.
‘I love Rihanna and would love to have hair like her – but looking like a troll to get her hair colour just isn’t worth it.’
Louise, who has been home-dyeing her hair for more than five years, admitted she did not do a skin allergy test before applying the new hair dye brand.
A spokesperson for Garnier said: ‘Allergies to hair colourants are extremely rare but can occur for a very small number of people.
‘Ms Henson’s experience shows how important it is to carry out a skin allergy test at least 48 hours before using the colourant each and every time, following the instructions exactly, which are clearly displayed on Garnier Nutrisse hair colour packaging.’
Woman’s campaign to band hair dye drug
Zoe Vernon was rushed to hospital with agonising burns after using a home hair-dye kit.
The 24-year-old shop assistant from Didsbury, Manchester, was taken by ambulance and put on a drip in the special burns unit after suffering a severe reaction.
Doctors told her she had some of the worst burns they had seen caused by hair dye.
Zoe Vernon is now backing a campaign to ban a chemical used in hair dye after she was left with horrific burns and left needing hospital treatment when she used a home-dye kit
She spent four days in hospital, covered in horrific burns and weeping blisters after the incident in October 2009.
Now she is backing a campaign to ban the chemical para-phenylenediamine, which is in hair dye and solicitor Greg Almond said is ‘expressly forbidden for use on skin because it is such a dangerous chemical’.
Miss Vernon said: ‘I was in agony and my eyes were so swollen I couldn’t see.
‘When, after four days in hospital, I could finally look in the mirror I’ll never forget what I saw. I felt like a monster – it was horrendous. I was certain I’d be scarred for life.
‘I was given a cocktail of drugs including really strong painkillers and anti-inflammatories. They basically treated me as if I’d been in a fire.’
An Allergy UK spokesman added: ‘We always advise people to do a skin patch test at least 48 hours before using any product as it can take that long to cause a reaction.’