Scalp is Sticky, Smelly and Bubbly After Using Hair Dye'

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Name: Shaik

Question: I always use lorial hairdye, my head has become so bubbly & sticky ,the stickyness is smelly . Wt is the remedy , that i can heal my head soon

caution hair dye hairstyling hair stylesAnswer: Hi, Shaik. When using any home-use hair dye product - or other styling solutions such as perming lotion or hair relaxers - it is vital that a patch test is carried out beforehand. This applies even if you have used the same product previously and had no problem with it.

All this involves is dabbing a small amount of the fully prepared solution onto the skin behind your ear around 48 hours before you intend to use it. Generally the amount applied in a thin layer is no bigger than the size of a five pence coin. This allows you to gauge your skin's reaction to the product on a small scale ahead of applying it to a larger area and is always recommended as a precautionary measure for reasons of health and safety.

The reason a patch test is so important even when you have used the product before is three-fold; firstly, the formulation may have changed since you last used it, either due to the manufacturers altering the ingredients or varying the amounts in which those ingredients are used. Secondly, the dye may not have been properly stored or be out-of-date, meaning its actions may be altered from those expected. Thirdly, it is possible for us to use the same product a number of times with no side effects, but still have an adverse reaction to the same product with the exact same formulation later on. It is believed that a sensitivity to certain ingredients often found in hair colourants - most commonly paraphenylenediamine (PPD) - can build up, hence why it may take a while for a negative reaction to occur.

These adverse reactions can range from mild to fatal and generally concern permanent or semi-permanent dyes, especially those in darker shades. People who have, or have had in the past, a black henna tattoo are also considered more at risk of having such a reaction, according to NHS advice.

Given there are many reported cases of hair dye causing problematic reactions ranging from scalp discomfort and contact dermatitis, to hair loss from chemical trauma and anaphylaxis, it is crucial to follow all the instructions contained in the box dye's packaging - including having the requisite patch test - exactly as they are set out.

The symptoms you describe having suggest a diagnosis of dermatitis or seborrhoeic dermatitis which may be accompanies by spots or crusts on the scalp. These scalp conditions - and the smell issue, as a smelly scalp is often the result of sebum which has an unpleasant odour - can often be addressed with medicated shampoo and washing the hair every day to help deal with excess sebum. When choosing a medicated shampoo do make sure you either opt for one which is suitable for daily use, or use one as directed - sometimes this is no more than once or twice per week, the instructions will be clearly set out on the product or in an accompanying information leaflet inside the shampoo's packaging - and use a gentle shampoo suitable for every day use on the other days.

Depending on how bad your scalp is, and especially if there is any broken skin, it may be wise to consult your GP before self-diagnosing and treating. If there is also accompanying shedding, a consultation with a specialist may be able to provide you with recommendations for both scalp treatments and hair loss solutions.
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