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Why Don't I Get a Rash on My Scalp if I'm Allergic to Hair Dye?


Updated July 18, 2008

Question: Why Don't I Get a Rash on My Scalp if I'm Allergic to Hair Dye?
Answer: When people have an allergic rash from their hair dye, the cause isn’t always as obvious as it may seem. In fact, many people with hair dye allergy do get an itchy, flaky rash on their scalps. However, some of these people will never get a rash on their scalp. This is because the skin on the scalp is very thick and more resistant to contact dermatitis, such as that can be caused by hair dye.

The first place on the body that a rash from hair dye is likely to occur is the eyelids, since this skin is very thin and more prone to contact dermatitis. The skin of the face, neck, upper back and chest can also be affected, depending on the length of the person’s hair.

The hair dye can continue to leach from the hair for days to weeks after a person has dyed their hair. The chemicals from the hair dye can leach onto bedding (pillowcases, sheets) during the night, and then can be spread to the face and other areas of the body, even if these areas don’t come into direct contact with the skin.

Learn more about allergies to hair dye and other cosmetics.


Beltrani VS, Bernstein IL, Cohen DE, Fonacier L. Contact Dermatitis: A Practice Parameter. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2006;97:S1-38.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this site is for educational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for personal care by a licensed physician. Please see your physician for diagnosis and treatment of any concerning symptoms or medical condition.

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