Dying your hair at home can be a fun experience, but unfortunately, it's easy for this experimentation to go real wrong, real fast. When 29-year-old Kirsty Weston took the plunge herself and tried to create the Insta-trendy unicorn hair look at home, she learned just how bad DIY hair coloring can turn out to be. Weston, a British mother of one, found herself in the hospital with severe chemical burns, hair loss, and even facial swelling.
Weston planned to bleach her dark hair before adding pastels into the mix to achieve the unicorn look. She purchased powdered bleach, mixed that with peroxide, and applied the dye to her hair.
After letting it sit for 15 minutes, Weston experienced a painful burning sensation on her scalp.
Weston told Metro her hair was "actually smoking," and despite having washed out the chemicals, the pain continued.
The 29-year-old woman's face and eyes then began to swell, at which point she decided to go to the hospital, where doctors suspected she was having an allergic reaction, and treated her with antibiotics.
But the pain continued in the following weeks, and when she returned to the hospital again, it became clear Weston had suffered serious burns. Pieces of her hair and scalp came off in patches, and it was suggested she go in for surgery the next day.
Since then, Weston had to have five further operations, as well as a skin graft from her thigh. It is thought that some patches on her scalp will never again be able to grow hair.
Weston also communicated how this horrifying experience has shaken her confidence. Even if she's just heading out of the house for chores, she'll cover her head.
Fortunately, come September, Weston is getting a bespoke wig from Bloomsbury Wigs with the help of the Katie Piper Foundation, an organization dedicated to making it easier to live with burns and scars.
Of course, Weston's story isn't the standard for everyone, but it definitely calls attention to the dangers of bleaching your hair at home.
So what should we take away from her experience?
Generally speaking, the chemicals used to dye your hair aren't that great for you, so there's that. But when it comes to peroxide and bleach? That stuff is no joke.
All in all, you have to be really careful when dealing with these types of chemicals, even if they look innocent sitting in the beauty aisle at your local pharmacy.
Remember to do patch tests on your skin before you cover your whole head with this stuff, and most importantly, consult with a pro (no, Siri doesn't count) who has a lot of experience with this kind of thing. They can give you tricks of the trade, and tell you how to best handle chemicals while applying.