Mum left permanently bald after hair dye horror ravages her scalp

August 26, 2017
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Mum who tried to dye her hair ‘unicorn’ colours is now BALD after £5 bleach left her with severe scalp burns

Kirsty Weston, 29, from St Albans, Hertfordshire, used £5 powder bleach bought on the high street and ended up spending three weeks in hospital

Kirsty Weston, 29, from St Albans, Hertfordshire, used £5 powder bleach bought on the high street to lighten her brown locks with the pastel shades.

Kirsty Weston, pictured late last year before she bleached her hair

But instead of being left with a mane resembling the mythical creature, Kirsty is now permanently bald in parts, because the skin graft from her right thigh has no active hair follicles.

Kirsty, who is a single mum to Lexi, two, said: “I wanted unicorn hair, where you lighten it and then dye over the top with lots of different pastel colours.

“I never thought it would end up completely destroying my hair and changing my life like this.

“It’s caused a lot of pain and I’ve completely lost my self-confidence.”

Kirsty claimed she applied the sachets of powder bleach, which she bought in January this year, according to the instructions included in the packet.

It needed to be mixed with peroxide, which was not included and had to be purchased separately.

Kirsty pictured after doctors changed her bandages for the first time following her skin graft

Despite the fact that her mum Helen, 57, is a hairdresser, Kirsty thought that applying it herself would save money and allow her to control the final result.

Kirsty bought 40 volume 12 per cent peroxide, which is sold on the high street and said it would lighten her locks by up to nine shades, though she didn’t do a patch test.

But just before she was about to wash it out after 15 minutes, she started to experience a burning sensation.

She explained: “Within 15 minutes, my hair was literally smoking.

“The pain was so excruciating that I started to feel dizzy, like I was going to faint.”

Despite rushing to rinse the bleach out, she felt severe pain on her head and the next day, her face began to swell.

Kirsty with her daughter Lexi, aged just over a year old, in October 2016, prior her hair dye disaster

Kirsty’s eye began to swell and she went into hospital, where she was treated for an allergic reaction“I thought it was a reaction,” she said. “The next morning, I went to A&E at Watford general as at that stage, I couldn’t open my left eye. It was getting really painful.”

At A&E she was treated for an allergic reaction and prescribed antibiotics.

But over the following weeks, she continued to experience pain and discomfort.

It wasn’t until a return trip to A&E on February 23 that doctors realised she was suffering from severe burns.

Kirsty recalled: “A plastic surgeon came to see me and when they lifted my hair, most of my scalp came away with it.

“I was a complete emotional wreck.

“They told me that I needed to have surgery the next day.

This was Kirsty’s head a few weeks after doctors changed her bandages for the first time following her skin graft operation

Doctors took a skin graft from Kirsty’s right thigh

The mum-of-one described herself as an emotional wreck during the ordeal

“They put a bandage around my head and I wasn’t able to put pressure on it, so I had to sleep sitting up.”

Kirsty was transferred to the Royal Free Hospital in north west London, where medics shaved her head to allow her to undergo emergency surgery to treat the chemical burns on her scalp.

After surgery she was transferred to St Andrews Centre for plastic surgery and burns in Chelmsford, Essex, for further treatment.

Admitted for three weeks, she had five further operations including a skin graft.

Since the incident Kirsty has lost more than half the hair on her head, which she’s been told will never grow back.

She has been offered two treatments, but both would involve further operations and may not be successful.

Unfortunately Kirsty has been told that her hair won’t grow back as there are no follicles in the skin grafted from her thigh

She is now contemplating her options, which inevitably would mean further operations

Kirsty tried to dye her hair herself, despite her mum Helen being a hairdresser

“I’m not sure what I am going to do so, at the minute, I’m just concentrating on getting my skin graft healed.”

The Katie Piper Foundation has stepped in to fund a bespoke hair piece from Bloomsbury wigs for her to wear to cover her burns.

Kirsty said: “Where I have got hair, it is very thick and it’s growing fast so they wouldn’t be able to put on a full wig. They are creating a hairpiece that will clip around the existing hair.

“It should be ready in September and I think that will completely transform my life. I will be so much more confident going out and about.

Kirsty told how the Katie Piper Foundation is creating her a hairpiece that will clip around her existing hair

At the minute, even if I am just nipping to the shop, I put my hood up or wear a headscarf.

“I would tell other people to just go to a professional who knows what they are doing. I was trying to save some money but bleach is dangerous stuff.”

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