Shanika McNeil, a 29-year-old Houston woman, said she was left looking like an “emoji” after her body had a horrific allergic reaction to hair dye.

Apparently the reaction caused her face to swell up to balloon-like proportions.

“I was laughing at myself because I did look extremely funny,” McNeil told Kennedy News and Media.

According to the New York Post, McNeil colored her hair back in January. And although the procedure took place as usual, she soon after noticed that something was terribly wrong.

“I dyed my hair myself on Sunday evening and it was fine, I had no issues,” she said. “Then in the morning I woke up and I had a headache – it lasted all day and then probably around 3 p.m. I noticed I had this line around my forehead and a rash.”

From there, McNeil’s symptoms worsened.

“My scalp started burning like it was on fire and then I used a napkin and could tell my scalp was oozing,” she said.

McNeil shared that every hour she would look at herself and notice that her forehead was getting bigger and the swelling “worse.”

“It looked like I was an emoji, it was very weird,” she said.

McNeil went promptly to see a doctor who informed her that she suffered from an allergic reaction to an ingredient in the dye called PPD.

According to Healthline, black and brown hair dyes contain the highest concentration of PPD. It is imperative to avoid it if you’re sensitive to it or allergic.

McNeil’s doctor prescribed her “antihistamines and steroids” to reduce swelling. Because this did alleviate her pain, McNeil believed that her problem was solved.

But she was wrong.

When McNeil returned home, the swelling continued at a quick rate leading people around her to say that she looked like she was in “a fight.”

Although McNeil had initially poked fun at her symptoms, her reaction quickly changed as the totality of pain onset and her “eyes were completely swollen shut so I couldn’t see for a few days.”

As the days went by, McNeil’s swelling moved from her forehead to the middle of her face. She endured bruising under her eyes. And when she decided to go back to the hospital, after being told that the swelling could continue down to her throat, the staff were reportedly shocked at her appearance.

McNeil stayed in the hospital for a few hours. And eventually her swelling subsided.

When she returned home, she could only use baby shampoo on her scalp. And says she’s been left with bald spots, eczema and a scalp that’s so sensitive, it hurts to comb to her hair.

Today, McNeil believes that she missed the warning signs of an oncoming allergic reaction. She had suffered from scalp sensitivity for the past year, but didn’t believe it was anything serious.

“I haven’t dyed my hair since and I don’t have any intentions of doing it,” said McNeil.

Now she urges those who are interested in dying their hair themselves to do a patch test “every time they use it.” And she advises those that are sensitive to PPD, to look for a dye that doesn’t contain the ingredient.

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