Lifestyle blogger Chemese Armstrong knew that she was allergic to commercial hair dyes, which is why she wanted to dye her hair using the plant-based henna dye, a more natural and supposedly safer alternative.

The commercial hair dyes often used by salons contain the ingredient paraphenylenediamine (or PPD), to which Armstrong is allergic, so her doctor recommended henna as an alternative. But rather than avoiding an allergic reaction, Armstrong found herself in the hospital after she had a reaction to the henna dye.

“I was in severe pain from my scalp burning and itching with my face completely swollen to the point I was unrecognizable,” she wrote on Instagram.

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Luckily, Armstrong’s reaction did not affect her breathing, and she was able to recover. She is now spreading awareness and reminders of the importance of spot-testing dyes before use and of being aware of what chemicals you put in or on your body.

Check out her account below.