Man's eyes, neck swell in bizarre reaction to hair dye

A man feared he was going blind after his head doubled in size when he had a bizarre extreme reaction to hair dye.

Bradley Reeson, 23, bought the bright red hair dye while on vacation in Egypt and applied it all over his short hair without doing a "patch" test.

A day later his face and neck started to swell up and itch until he could barely see out of his left eye.

Shocking photos show his usually slim face doubled in size, bizarrely swelling at the sides and around his eyes.

Reeson, from Manchester, was rushed to the hospital where doctors gave him an adrenaline injection in a bid to halt the swelling before his throat swelled up.


Embarrassed Reeson had to spend two weeks wearing a bandanna to cover his head until the swelling went down, and is now warning others of the dangers of PPD allergy.

The chemical - called paraphenylenediamine - is found in 90 percent of hair dyes and is also in henna tattoos.

"My head inflated to around double in size and I was unrecognizable," Reeson, a marketing executive, said. "At first I thought that everything was OK but then my neck started to itch. Before long, parts of my head and face then started to swell up especially around my left eye."

Reeson pictured with his girlfriend in November 2018.

Reeson pictured with his girlfriend in November 2018. (SWNS)

"It was very unpleasant and painful," he said. "It got to the point where I couldn't see through my left eye. I was extremely frightened at the time because I thought I was about to go blind."

Reeson bought the unknown brand of bright red hair dye from a supermarket in Sharm El Sheikh while on a four-week trip with his family in June 2011.

He was there with his mom Sue, 68, dad William, 68, and older brother, Luke, 24.

He applied it before going out for dinner and did not test it on a patch of his skin prior to use.


Reeson shaved off his hair hoping to halt the reaction, but it didn't help.

"It was just to prevent further swelling on my head which was painful. I looked like an army recruit," he said.

He was admitted to hospital where doctors said he was experiencing an allergic reaction to chemical PPD.

"I was shocked that I had an allergic reaction because I had never heard about it before," Reeson said. "I was discharged a few hours later after being injected with epinephrine which can relieve the symptoms of allergic reactions."

"After this, I was forced to stay indoors during the day because the doctors said that the swelling would get worse with the heat," he said. "When I went out in the evenings, I had to resort to wearing a bandanna to cover all of the red swelling on my head because it was so embarrassing.

"It was certainly a frightening experience but I now know of my allergy to PPD," Reeson said.