Back in July, my hair was finally long enough for a decent underlayer of turquoise. I’d done it before, about five years ago, so I knew it would be great. This time, I picked up a Manic Panic bleach kit to start things off, and everything went perfectly. With over and inch of my root grown out this week, it was time to bleach again. I still have half a jar of my Manic Panic dye, so I just needed some bleach.
I just happened to be at the grocery store after work and decided that my hair was properly oiled and free of chemicals, so it would be the perfect night to tackle my hair. I picked up a Splat bleach kit, because it seemed to be designed to prep hair for crazy colors. I’d paid about as much for the Manic Panic when I ordered it online (I could have gone to Sally, but I had some Amazon gift credit).
I was a fool. I skipped the skin test this time, because I figured all bleach would be basically the same and I’d never had any bad reaction to bleach before. My scalp is pretty resilient as a general rule. I pinned up the hair that would be dyed brown and combed out the underlayer, and with gloved hands I started working in the mixture. It was a little harsher than the other bleach formulas I’ve used, and I noticed that one place where the twist of hair laid against my neck, I was starting to get hives. I pinned the strand back higher and rinsed the bleach off my neck with about five minutes left on the timer.
When it was time to rinse, Splat gives you a shampoo that’s designed to “deactivate” the bleach. I’d never used this before either, and there was definitely a chemical reaction when I put it in my hair. Hopefully the huge amount of foam was a result of the chemicals neutralizing like a grade school volcano experiment.
I went on with my usual routine of recoloring and followed up with a leave-in treatment for my fried hair. The next morning, the scalp beneath my underlayer felt sort of crusty, like I’d had a nasty rash. My neck isn’t red, but you can see a few traces of the hives, and feel some bumps under my hair. Turns out I’m not the only one who has this specific reaction to Splat bleach. People who have a long history of bleaching with no trouble have reported nasty rashes as a result of Splat. I’m sure it’s some kind of allergy, so it won’t affect everyone the same. But I got lazy and didn’t do a skin test. Listen to me, folks: ALWAYS do a skin test! You don’t want to end up like that guy with the basketball head.