Hairspray Allergy

Allergic reactions to hairspray though not very prevalent, do exist.  For instance, if you observe a ruddy colored rash near the hairline, every time you use a hairspray, then it is likely that you are allergic to it.  Once you have identified the allergen, then you will know which hairspray to buy and which to avoid.  

What are Allergic Reactions to Hairspray


Many ingredients come together to create a hair spray product.  The allergen may be one of the ingredients that have been used to create the fragrance, or it may be one of those chemical substances that are harmful to your skin and cause redness or inflammation.


If you are allergic to hairspray, then the cells that are in charge of fighting off the allergy release histamines.  Histamines cause inflammation, rashes and secretions in the eyes, nose and throat.  The most prevalent hairspray allergy is known as contact dermatitis.  Symptoms of contact dermatitis are swelling, redness, irritation and itching of the skin.  These symptoms persist for 15 to 30 days even of you have discontinued using the product.  

What Causes Hairspray Allergy


There are quite a few substances among the hairspray ingredients that can cause the allergy.  They are methylchloroisothiazolinone, parabens (preservatives), DMDM hydantoin (an antimicrobial formaldehyde releasing agent), Quarternium-15 (an ammonium salt preservative), formaldehyde, phenoxyethanol, and imidazolidinyl urea (antimicrobial preservative). 

Even the ingredients used to accord fragrance to the hairspray are sometimes seen to be allergens.  


How to Manage Hairspray Allergy


  1. As children’s skin is more sensitive and delicate it is important not to apply hairspray in their presence

  2. Promptly discontinue using a hairspray product if you detect any form of allergic reaction

  3. Do not scratch in the region where you observe redness after applying hairspray

  4. You can apply hydrocortisone cream to affected area to get relief from irritation and itching

  5. If itching is unbearable, you can get OTC medication pain as antihistamines

  6. Ensue that the medicine you take contains diphenhydramine, as this chemical helps contain the itching


Hairspray Poisoning


Poisoning can be caused by inhalation.  In extreme cases, hairspray inhalation may lead to coma too. The ingredients that cause poisoning are Denatured alcohol, CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons), HFCs (hydroflourocarbons), polyvinylpyrrolidone, carboxylmethylcellulose, propylene glycol, and polyvinyl alcohol.  If you are exposed to the poisonous inhalants in the hairspray then you can call the National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) for assistance. 

Symptoms of HairSpray Poisoning



  1. Irritation and itchiness of skin and scalp

  2. Redness and rashes

  3. Lowered blood pressure

  4. Respiratory problems

  5. Irritation in eyes and problematic vision

  6. Irritation in the throat

  7. Dazed feeling


Management of Hairspray Poisoning


The affected person should be moved to an area where there is plenty of fresh air.  His/her age, weight, time when the toxics were inhaled and general physical condition must be noted down in order to inform the professional care giver, before emergency help arrives. 

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