I have a lot of allergies.  A lot.

Despite my copious allergies, I’m pretty good at avoiding them.  One arena that is difficult to avoid my allergens is hair care.  I’m allergic to coconut and shea, and for a black woman with natural hair, most products marketed to me have either coconut, shea, or both.

Fortunately I don’t feel bound to use products that are marketed to me, as a black naturally curly-haired woman.  I use Wen products (and some other lines as well, but Wen is definitely my go-to as well as my fall-back product line).  I’m allergic to some Wen products too, but I’m able to pick the products I can use and leave the others on QVC.

Bottle of Wen fig cleansing conditioner
Bottle of Wen fig cleansing conditioner

TG, on the other hand, doesn’t suffer from the same allergy maladies as I.  Nevertheless, I only use products on her hair that I’m not allergic to, because I don’t want to have to apply a product that contains any of my allergens.  Some days I feel bad that she must be bound by my immune system’s inability to determine a threat from something that is benign.  Today was one of those days.

TG wanted to try a curl creme that, of course, contained coconut and shea.  I decided to go for it.  I figured it was a calculated risk that would be mitigated by a thorough washing of my hands once I had finished styling her hair.

I figured wrong.

About an hour or so after I finished her hair, one side of my face began itching.  And then the other side.  And then my head.  And then my neck.  And then my back.  And then behind my ears.  And then my arm.  And then my other arm.  And then my hands.  And then my stomach.  The tide stopped at one of my thighs.  A fine dusting of red, agitated bumps covered these areas.

So I hopped in the tub, hoping the water and Epsom salts would soothe away the itchiness.  It worked, except for my face and head which weren’t submerged.  I thought I was cured until about a minute after I got dressed.  Itchiness crept back in.

After searching the internet (because I always search the internet), I determined to take some generic Zyrtec for my symptoms.  I can’t say I’m considerably less itchy now, but I need to give it some more time before I make my final determination.

I’m glad to know that I still, in fact, have the same allergies.  At least I’ve not been avoiding products in vain.  I’m also grateful that my reaction was mild and didn’t prompt me to visit urgent care or the emergency room.  I’ll take an itchy rash over anaphylaxis any day.

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