Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

Irritated Scalp after Haircolor Service

Q: My scalp is red and irritated after getting my gray colored. Is there a hair color formula for sensitive scalps? I have been using Aveda and Paul Mitchell. Thank you.
A: The fact that you have shown a sensitivity reaction to your haircolor service is proof that patch tests are a good idea before you have ANY chemical service. The fact of the matter is that there are virtually no hair color formulas that can be called "100% Safe" for everyone because there are so many ingredients to which someone could be sensitive and have a reaction.
Your best course of action would be to talk to your doctor about the ingredients in the hair color that was used and see what he or she thinks was the most likely cause of your sensitivity. You will want to talk to the salon professional that did the service, or take the packaging if it was an at-home kit, in order to provide an accurate listing of ingredients.
Because different people are sensitive to different substances, it is hard to say which products or formulas would be safer. If the color product contained lightening agents and that's what you were sensitive to, then a color that was deposit-only might be safe for you. If it was the coloring agents that you were sensitive you, you might find a product that uses different coloring agents and be fine. However, if you are sensitive to ingredients that are common to all hair color formulas, you would be looking at having a reaction to any product used.
So talk with your doctor and with your hair stylist about the sensitivity. At the very least, the stylist can probably help you by performing test patches (of different color formulas available in the salon) to determine the ones to which you show sensitivity.
There are additives available at many beauty supply stores in the haircolor aisle that are designed to help with sensitive scalps and to make some of the harsher chemical mixtures "less harsh" to the scalp. These may help in your case, but should still be used only after a patch test has been performed.
Related posts:
Hair coloring
Hair color allergies
Burning sensation and pain on the scalp when coloring hair
Are there any hair dyes which do not cause allergic skin reactions?