5 Facts About Allergic Reactions & Hair Product Ingredients

Allergic reactions don’t just come from the foods we eat. You can react to just about any substance – including the ingredients in your hair products. Dr. Jan and the team from Madison Reed offer some very helpful insight into allergic reactions and the ingredients in the hair products we use.


1. What is an allergic reaction?

You could think of an allergic reaction as “too much of a good thing.” I say that because it’s a result of your body’s natural defenses working overtime. An allergic reaction is an inappropriate response to an otherwise harmless substance. When the body becomes sensitized to a substance, that substance becomes an allergen. Since this response depends on each body’s response, different people are allergic or sensitive to different things.

Minor allergic reactions are common. In fact, some reports claim that up to one third of Americans have allergies. Most allergic reactions are minor, but some allergic reactions can lead to a severe life threatening reaction called anaphylaxis.

The first time someone is exposed to an allergen, there is no reaction because the body hasn’t had time to develop antibodies meant to “fight off” the allergen. With each subsequent exposure, there is more of an immune response. This is why some people can, for example, eat shellfish or take penicillin or use hair dye their entire lives, and suddenly have an allergic reaction.

The takeaway is to trust your body’s reactions. If something feels wrong, stop what you’re doing, even if it’s something you’ve been able to eat, drink, or use in the past.

2. Why are some people allergic to hair color?

Allergens can get into our bodies in a multitude of ways, like eating peanut butter, breathing in pollen, through the blood when a bee stings, or topical like hair dye. It’s not well understood why some people react to certain substances while others do not.

Let’s talk about common ingredients in hair dye that can trigger sensitivities. Much of the hair dye made today is still based on formulas developed during the Industrial Revolution. The most common chemicals in hair dye linked to allergic reactions are PPD, ammonia, and resorcinol.

Knowing which ingredients pose a risk will help you make the best choices for yourself. Luckily, advances in science have led to healthier hair color formulas—like Madison Reed Radiant Color Kit —that give high performance without these common, potentially dangerous allergens.

3. Can I get hair color without these ingredients?

Yes! Madison Reed permanent color is free of PPD, ammonia, resorcinol, added parabens, and gluten. And Madison Reed products do not contain any of the 22 chemicals that are banned in the EU, which has stricter safety standards for hair color.

If you have high sensitivity to oxidative ingredients (which all permanent color requires to process hair), semi-permanent gloss is another option. This is a category of hair color that deposits pigments onto your hair without chemically opening the hair shaft. The tradeoff is that semi-permanent color cannot fully cover grays. Learn more about the difference between semi-permanent and permanent color on the Madison Reed blog so you can make a more informed decision!

4. How do I make sure a product is safe for me?

If you have had an allergic reaction of any kind and know what you are allergic to, avoid the allergen completely. Repeated exposure to an allergen can lead to a more serious reaction. Always check a product’s full list of ingredients to ensure your safety.

If you don’t know what you are allergic to, keep in mind you can be sensitive to any ingredient, not just the common allergens.

The other important thing to note is that each color has different ingredients. So if you’ve been using one shade of color and decide to change your look, read through the new shade’s ingredients carefully. Don’t assume that it will be the same formula.

If, and only if, you have not had a severe reaction in the past to hair color, you can perform a patch test on your skin before coloring your hair. Madison Reed offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so you can do this with their Radiant Color Kits with confidence. If you are going to a salon, call at least 2 days in advance to ask if they offer this service. If they do, make sure they perform the test with the exact shades that they plan to use on your hair.

If you have had a severe reaction in the past, please do not test on your own. It’s best in those cases to consult your personal physician, dermatologist, or allergist.

5. How do I perform a patch test?

Susan Roberts-Cooper, award-winning international colorist and director of research and development for Madison Reed, recommends these step-by-step instructions for a sensitivity skin patch test:

1. Mix a small amount of permanent color and a small amount of developer in a small non-metal bowl. You will be testing a very small patch of skin, so about 1” of color from the tube with a dime-sized dot of activator should be enough.

2. Clean small patch of skin (we recommend the inside of your arm, wrist, or behind your ear) thoroughly. Use rubbing alcohol if you are not sensitive to it.

3. Use a cotton swab to apply the color mixture to your skin.

4. Allow color mixture to dry. Then apply a small bandage to cover.

5. Leave on skin for 48 hours to test for sensitivities to the ingredients. If you sense any discomfort or sensitivity, remove and clean immediately.


Patch test must be done 48 hours (2 full days) before you plan to color your hair. Skin should not get wet during the 48 hours. For this reason, behind the ear is usually the best spot.

A visible change in the skin (redness or bumpiness) could signal sensitivity even if you do not feel physical discomfort. If you test on skin that is hard to see (like behind your ear), ask a friend to check at the end of 48 hours.

Learn more about Madison Reed and their line of hair color products that are healthier for your hair! With more than 30 shades of permanent hair color, semi-permanent gloss and root touch up, there is a color for you! Find your perfect hair color now!

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Loving the Pure Illumination Lip Gloss + Giveaway

I received this item as a promotional item. This is not a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% my own.  Pure Illumination Lip Gloss

I got a Pure Illumination Lip Gloss to try out from Beauty Care Choices, and I love it. I got the color Shimmer B49. It has natural healing properties of Lanolin with a nice luxurious top shine. it offers the unique formula combines the naturally therapeutic powers of Medical-Grade Lanolin, Jojoba, Sweet Almond Oil and Vitamin E. 

Pure Illumination Lip Gloss

What is so neat about this lip gloss is that it has an LED Light Applicator, just by twisting the top and opening it up, it instantly lights up. Plus on one side of the bottle it has a mirror attached to it. So you can apply your gloss whenever and wherever you are! I love this feature, it is so nice not to have to carry a little compact mirror around or wait till you are somewhere with a mirror.

Pure Illumination Lip Gloss

This is a nice smooth texture that glides on nicely. I love how it doesn’t have a sticky texture like some glosses out there. I would highly recommend this gloss, they have tons of colors to choose from, it is worth investing in for sure. It last quite awhile on your lips, and really just looks great on! It has the perfect amount of shine!


Head over to Beauty Care Choices and shop around. They carry tons of hair care and beauty products for you at great prices. Plus they have lots of different Pure Illumination Lip Glosses to choose from!


1 Lucky Reader will Win a Pure Illuminations Lip Gloss from Beauty Care Choices! This giveaway is open to US residents only, and will end on 2/8 at 11:59 p.m. Est. I will choose the winner using Rafflecopter, which draws a winner at random. I will contact you via email, and you will have 48 hours to respond with your contact information or I will then choose a new winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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RapidLash: Enhancing Serum for Your Lashes and Brows #IC #ad #RapidLash

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for RapidLash. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for my participation.


I was sent RapidLash awhile back to try out and see what I felt about it! I have been using this for weeks and weeks and I finally feel like I can share my thoughts. First off I will tell you a little about the product and then share my thoughts!

About RapidLash: 

RapidLash is a serum that you apply to your lashes for visible improvement to the overall appearance and condition of your lashes. It is not tested on animals, paraben-free, and fragrance-free. It is suitable for those who wear contact lenses, and is proven to be safe and effective!

This serum helps to replenish the lashes with essential proteins and vitamins that provides luster and shine. It always has powerful polypeptides, which helps protect against breakage and naturally supports more fabulous looking lashes! You can also use this on your brows!

My Thoughts: 

I went ahead and took a before and after shot of my lashes so you can see the difference. I tried to do a side profile, but I couldn’t get the angle right so you could see the length. I tried to take it at the same distance apart from each other to get the closest pictures that look the same. Don’t mind the no-makeup!!!

RapidLash  Enhancing Serum for Your Lashes and BrowsI feel like after using this for around 6 weeks it has made a difference in my lashes. I feel like they look nicer, by being a bit fuller, and I do notice more shine to them! They just look healthier overall! I am a person who wears makeup a lot, so I am always wearing mascara and eye liner. With that I use makeup remover to get rid of it at the end of the day, even though it is pretty gentle on the eyes, I feel like it does hurt my lashes. As I have gotten older they are less full, and not near as healthy as when I was younger. So having a product like RapidLash is something I would really like to keep using to give my lashes the protein and nutrients it needs to revitalize!

I didn’t have any reaction to the product at all. I applied it at night like it said, once a day. I would whisk it on and then I went to bed. Its easy to apply, you just have to make sure your face is free of makeup or eye creams.

Overall I am impressed with this product. I know from the pictures it is kind of hard to see a major difference. It looks different in real life, their is a noticeable difference to me! I would recommend trying this out if you want to work on getting your lashes to look healthier! I highly recommend RapidLash for sure!


If you are interested in RapidLash, feel free to check out their website and shop today! You can use this on your eyelashes and your brows, which is so neat!Find a store near you that carries RapidLash or shop online. Retailers are, Bed Bath & Beyond, Walgreens, DermStore, Ulta, Drugstore.com, CVS, Fred Meyer, Harmon, Duanereade, Kohl’s and Meijer!


Would you like to try RapidLash for your eyelashes or eyebrows?! 



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Absolutely In Love with Jean St. Paul Hair Care Products!

I received this item as a promotional item. This is not a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% my own. 


As you all know I love hair care and beauty products. I was sent some Jean St. Paul Hair Cosmetics to try out and I am in love! My hair has such a nice shine to it, without having to use any products in it! I am really shocked out how nice they are on my hair, and they smell wonderful!

Jean St. Paul Hair care Fresh Mint Invigorates & Clarifies Shampoo and Conditioner
Volume-Pro Shampoo and Giveaway 
Shape Shifter Hairspray
About The Company: 
A French perspective on beauty was born when Jean St. Paul realized that everyone deserved to look and feel attractive. Jean St. Paul believes in nourishing your body to bring out the inner beauty and make you shine. We have a full line of hair, skin and nails vitamins available now and will have a full line of hair care products available soon. 

Out of all these products I have to say the Fresh Mint Shampoo and Conditioner Smells absolutely amazing. I love peppermint and I love smelling like it!  It really makes my hair so soft, and adds a really nice shine to it. I normally use like a shine cream after I shower, but with these shampoos and conditioners I don’t have to! Now that hair spray really holds well! It has a nice strong hold so if you like to tease your hair it really holds. Or if you like your curls to stay in place this is the hairspray for you!

Jean St. Paul

They would make great holiday gifts as well! I know for me I like getting beauty products as gifts, and this is such a great line of products that are high quality!


You can shop online for all your hair care needs! They have some great products up for grabs, and if all the other ones compare to what I received I think you will love them!

Do you like to trying out new hair care products like me?! 



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Check Out these Conair Products – To Get You Ready for the Holidays!

I have pretty long hair, that is a bit thick, and I am very thankful for that! But, when it comes to drying my hair it can really be a chore, it can take like 30 minutes or more to get my hair dry. Sometimes I just don’t have the time to waste!

I was sent this Infiniti Pro by Conair 3Q Styling Tool​ to try out and share my thoughts on! As you all know I love trying out new products, and I have to say this wins a gold star! First off let me just say that this is a lot more quiet, and so much faster at drying my hair. It has a lower temperature and faster airflow which helps to minimize heat damage, and reducing drying time by up to 70%! It is beyond awesome and it actually works perfectly! I think it was around 5-8 minutes and my hair was dry, it was awesome!

Plus look at the shine my hair has right after I got done drying it! This is with no product in it! I am just blown away at how awesome 3Q is! It has ionic technology which enhances shine and up to 75% less frizz! I mean as you can see from the picture, it speaks for itself!

Now I was also sent the Infiniti Pr by Conair Secret Curl, which was really neat to try out! They are pop-up rollers that provide a nice bouncy seamless curl! They are clipless, which is so nice, I tend to lose clips very easily!

Here is a close up of one of the rollers. You can easily wrap your hair around it, and then you gently push and it closes and locks! I will say it takes a bit to get used to how to roll your hair using these. I have never done amazing at knowing which pieces of hair should be wrapped and locked into place, but I did my best!

They are a silicone surface, which helps in giving your hair a radiant shine, and they heat up really fast! What I love is, their is a little red dot, on the machine, when it turns white your rollers are ready! It tooks such a quick time to heat, it was so nice. When I went to grab the rollers they didn’t feel super hot, which was beyond amazing. SO many times i have burned my hands trying to get my hair in rollers! This truly was simple to heat up, roll my hair in and lock into place! Then you wait till the rollers are cool, I sat down and did some work for about 15 minutes. I think they were cooled off before that I just wanted extra time. They came out of my hair really nice and easy, and it had such a curl to it! I am a person that prefers more of a wave, so I just ran my hands through my hair for awhile and it softened the curls!

I am such a fan of Conair products, if you read my blog you already know that. I have talked about so many of their products over the years! I have to say I am really impressed with both of these items! I am absolutely in love with the 3Q Hair Dryer, it is out of this world amazing!

Shop: You can purchase these Conair products at most mass retailers or drug stores! These tools would both be amazing for upcoming holiday parties and events you may be attending. Or if you have a beauty lover you know, they would make a wonderful gift as well! Also check out the where-to-buy section: http://conair.com/where-to-buy-cn.15.html

Giveaway: Plus make sure to enter the Conair Holiday Wish List Giveaway on the Conair Beauty Facebook page with your friends for the chance to win your very own, custom-made wish list full of your favorite Conair products.

Do you think you would enjoy using these awesome Conair Products, or know someone who would?

Visit www.conair.com and get free shipping on orders all orders $50 or higher this holiday season (until December 25) when you use promo code CONHOLIDAY14

This is a product-provided, sponsored conversation that contains affiliate links. I received the Infiniti Pro by Conair Secret Curl and the Infiniti Pro by Conair 3Q Styling Tool for my own personal use. All opinions, text and experiences are my own.

This post may contain an affiliate link. Please see my Disclosure Page for More Information.