Any woman who has stumbled in her platforms or tripped in her stilettos knows that shoes can pose a safety hazard. But I bet none have worried their banging hairdo could also be dangerous … until now.
Let’s take a look at the case of Atasha Graham, a Jamaican-born housewife who resided in England before her untimely death. After a night of dancing at a club where her boyfriend was the DJ, Graham collapsed, stopped breathing, didn’t regain complete consciousness and later died in a hospital. An autopsy failed to find anything wrong with Graham’s organs or toxins that could have caused her death. A doctor later hypothesized that Graham’s death could have been caused by an allergic reaction to hair extension glue or her latex hair weave. Dancing and sweating all night could have caused the glue to enter Graham’s bloodstream.
We may never know what exactly triggered Graham’s death because doctors were unable to perform certain tests after her death — if she had lived, the tests would have been possible. They are sure, however, that she had an allergic reaction to something.
According to doctors and officials involved in Graham’s case, death by hair extensions, or an anaphylactic reaction to hair glue, isn’t as uncommon as one would think. According to the pathologist overseeing Graham’s case, there are 10 to 20 such deaths a year in Britain and many more in the States.
This sad and unfortunate story sounds like an urban legend, but it’s all too real for Graham’s boyfriend and family. The rest of us should take this as a cautionary tale that beauty can indeed kill.