Few people enter into a challenge for their life with high spirits. But many people go through their lives without even knowing that they’re in such a situation. Such is the case of a young french woman named Estelle.

The 19 year old did as many girls that age are wont to do. She decided it was time for a new look and headed out to buy some hair dye. But she wasn’t at all prepared for the nightmarish fight for her life that would follow. No, she wasn’t accosted on the way to buy the hair dye. And she didn’t face any type of attack on the way home. The real danger actually came from the hair dye itself. Many hair dyes come with a test to determine if one has any allergies to it. Most people try it with some scepticism. After all, by the time one enters into adulthood it’s a given that she’ll know what she’s allergic to. Or, rather, that’s the general ideal. However, reality doesn’t always behave as we’d wish it to.

She didn’t even skip the allergy test though. But she did rush past it and the recommended window in which it might show results. Instead of waiting the recommended 48 hours she proceeded to use the dye after about half an hour. She noticed a slight itch after applying the dye. It was severe enough to prompt her to go off and buy some antihistamines. An antihistamine is often enough to stave off even moderate allergic reactions. But it didn’t seem to make much difference for her itch. And in fact, the itch began to transition into something far worse. Before she knew it she started to experience increasingly severe swelling in her head. By this time she was at a level where she describes her forehead as having doubled in size. In fact, she states that her head looked like a light bulb. This prompted her to go to the hospital. They gave her a round of corticosteroids and antihistamines. And with that she was sent back home.

The situation would be scary enough if things ended there. But it actually managed to grow in severity. Her tongue began to swell by the time she returned home. It wasn’t just a matter of having trouble speaking either. She even had trouble breathing. This all prompted her to search for another hospital where they might take her situation more seriously. Thankfully that did prove to be the case. The second hospital admitted her and began to look into it more carefully. Her face was continuing to grow at this point.

And the doctors would eventually discover the underlying issue. The dye she’d used contained PPD. It’s common enough in most over the counter hair dyes. And enough people have adverse reactions to it that it’s been banned in cosmetics. But hair dye is a whole other situation. The amount of PPD in hair dye has gone down. But it’s still in there. Estelle has made a full recovery. But she hopes that her experience might help others to avoid the same mistakes. Which is part of the reason why she’s been so open with pictures of the experience. She wants to make sure people check the ingredients of all the products they use.