A Woman’s Bedspread Dyed Her Hair Pink

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Dying your hair pink is not a decision to be taken lightly. So imagine a woman’s surprise when she woke up with strands that had decidedly been colored overnight. (See the picture here.) The culprit: her new comforter.

The woman, a 61-year-old from the UK, believes the bright-red bed set she bought from department store Debenhams rubbed off on the back of her head and hair as she slept, resulting in pink strands. She claims the store has since agreed to take the bedding back for quality tests (she’s also getting a refund); according to online reviews, other customers had problems with the color running when they washed it. 

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So how common is this? According to Kaytee Joyce, colorist at Salon Benjamin, when hair is bleached, it’s more porous, so it could pick up dye from something like bedding. “I have actually never heard of this happening, but it makes sense that it would happen to someone with natural white or lightened hair. Especially for lightened (bleached) hair because it tends to be more porous, so it absorbs the dye. I would recommend washing your bedding once or twice before using it—but this is not a guarantee because there will still be remaining dye in the fabric. You are probably better off sticking to light/pale bedding if you have white or bleached light hair.”

In addition, there is the risk for some minor health issues. “The FDA requires ingredients of a cosmetic to be listed on the label, including colorants,” says Cincinnati cosmetic chemist Kelly Dobos. “But because there are no equivalent rules for textiles, we likely don’t know what dye is being used to make the bedding red. Although rare, some cosmetic colorants and hair dyes can cause allergic reactions or sensitization that may result in skin irritation, so there is the potential for this dye to be irritating as well.”

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