Is Hair Glue Hazardous To Your Health?

A smiling woman with long, weaved hair(BlackDoctor.org) — While many of today’s most common hair styling products have proven to at least be relatively harmless, particularly under the expert guidance of a hair professional, there are still some hair care items that demand particular care.

What’s The Danger?

Glue extensions, or double sided tape, are often used with popular lace wigs. Unfortunately, they can cause damage that is often permanent. The glue can block your scalp pores and damage your hair follicles as well as burn and dry out your hair. Heavy extensions pull on your scalp resulting in thinning hair. It is difficult to clean your scalp with glue extensions in it creating unhealthy hair. Sometimes hair extensions can cause headaches and bald spots.

Hair bonding glue contains high concentrations of soluble latex antigen and may cause anaphylaxis without mucosal contact. Repeated glue exposure may potentially sensitize consumers. Physicians, cosmetologists, and latex-allergic patients should be aware of bonding glue-induced immunoglobulin E-mediated reactions associated with hair alterations.

Probably because the products made from latex are increasing in number, reactions to latex have become more common. Latex is found in balloons, rubber bands, condoms, elastic bands, bathing suits, underwear, waistbands, and rubber toys. The reactions to these items go beyond contact dermatitis, and may cause asthma, or even anaphylactic shock.

What Are the Symptoms?

The most common symptom of dermatitis or scalp allergies is the appearance of red, itchy raised areas on the skin called hives that can be very small dots or large splotches. Acute hives arise quickly, and can last up to six weeks. Sometimes they appear in groups that fade as other groups develop. Hives near the eyes, lips, or genitals swell a great deal, and can be alarming, but usually go away in twenty-four hours. The most common causes of acute hives are: foods, medicines, insect bites, and sunlight. Chronic hives are much less common. They may linger as long as six weeks, and the cause may remain unknown.

The effects of severe scalp allergies can be particularly troublesome because of the presence of hair over the lesions that must be cut to properly treat the scalp, or where the hair actually breaks off at the base, leaving bald spots. Most people are somewhat self-conscious about the appearance of their hair. A simple treatment that brings relief for any case of dermatitis is to bathe with a mild soap in cool to lukewarm water to relieve the itch. Sometimes an ultraviolet light, a sunlamp, or cortisone is recommended

There have been several recent cases where women have had severe allergic reactions to hair bonding glue. A prime example of this type of reaction is where a 37-year-old woman developed systemic anaphylaxis upon repeated exposure to hair bonding glue. Skin tests to the glue and latex tests were positive. Antigen levels exceeded those reported in other natural rubber latex-dipped products.

What Can I Do To Prevent This?

This is a serious matter, in that many females young and old have been using these adhesives regularly for hair extensions. Please be informed that if you have any allergies to latex or latex type products bonding glue or adhesive is not for you. Be aware of itching, bumping or irritation at the scalp surface. If you notice this reaction, remove the source of the problem right away.

There are non-allergenic and fragrance-free products on the market for those who have skin allergies or scalp conditions. In addition, treatment is usually with over-the-counter antihistamines, such as Benadryl or cortisone. As a general rule, a health provider should be consulted if the home care has not helped, if the reaction gets worse or returns, if the skin is open or there is a possibility of infection, or if the patient is having trouble breathing or swallowing.

By Jacqueline Tarrant, BDO Contributing Writer

Jacqueline Tarrant is a beauty expert, consultant, columnist, founder & CEO of Style Infinity Products & The Hair Trauma Center in downtown Chicago. Jacqueline Tarrant has pioneered effective methods to help men & women re-grow hair with her multi-layered approach to hair loss, known as Quadra-Follicle Stimulation. Jacqueline’s expertise on hair care and hair health is expressed monthly in national columns that reach millions through various publications. With numerous Style & Beauty appearances nationwide on Good Morning America, NBC, CBS, & the Fox Network; Jacqueline’s credits also extend throughout print in such publications as Seventeen, Cosmopolitan, Essence & the Wall Street Journal.

Her reputation as a renowned Educator, Trainer and Platform Artist has taken her throughout Canada, Europe, Africa, South America and the Caribbean.

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