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Can Sweet’N Low really help with hair color allergies?!?

Published March 28, 2016 by Stylist&Reviewer

Disclaimer: This was an experiment I chose to do while in cosmetology school a few years ago. I took the risk knowing the possible outcome, however I will not be held accountable for any possible reaction you may have IF you decide to try this at home. This is my own experience, and I do not guarantee any results.


I’m a hair stylist, who specializes in color, who is allergic to haircolor. Yep, awesome career choice, right?

I found out about my unfortunate allergy when I was about 19 years old, and on kick of coloring my hair black and bright pink. Surprisingly, it was a decent look on me. The red, oozing sores that would appear all over my scalp after coloring? Not such a hot look.

Ever since then, I had been experimenting with different techniques, products, and methods in an effort to allow me to color my hair without feeling like I had applied fire ants to my scalp afterwards…

One day, I was at a clients home when she mentioned adding Splenda to the haircolor, asking if i’d ever heard of doing it. (Just a note, Splenda was NOT used in the experiment.)

……’Splenda? No……I havent.’

*pause, with color brush still in hand, dripping with dye-lifter.*

‘Hold on….’

Then, like any world-class professional, I dug out my phone, and began to furiously google this new idea. I wanted to hear more about this possible allergy solution! Client’s out-come be damned! (Just kidding. I was 95% sure that the extra time wouldn’t affect her hair. Luckily it didn’t.)

After some searching, I found some articles that stated that Sweet’N Low had been reported to reduce haircolor reactions. So, like any completely insane passionate stylist would, I decided to test this theory.

The next day, I walked in to school and asked some instructors if they had ever heard of this theory. Even Mrs A hadn’t.

Sidenote: Mrs A was an old-school instructor who was all about those wacky old theories, such as using cigarette ashes in hair color. One time, I burned myself really quite seriously on a 450 degree curling iron. It started to blister almost immediately. She saw it and insisted I slather mustard all over it. Yes, mustard. The kind that you put on a sandwich. I sat in the back room for 30 minutes, re-applying the mustard over and over. To this day, I’m not sure if the small amount of relief it gave was proportionate to the huge amount of ‘crazy’ that I looked. 

So, instead of give up, I googled more. I happened to find this article which explains the science behind it…

Cream of tartar, AKA potassium bitartrate, is one of the ingredients in Sweet’N Low. It has a low pH buffer, while saccharin [another main ingredient in it] also has an acidic pH. Because of these properties, it is believed that the addition of artificial sweeteners helps neutralize some of the ammonia used in hair color and mitigate irritation.

satisfied that all of those big words HAD to mean something, I ran on to the clinic floor to beg someone for their left-over haircolor. Luckily, someone had just finished applying and was happy to give me their left-overs. in the back room, I mixed up the concoction that I was hoping would change my life!



as you can see, I mixed one packet in with a small amount. I’d guess the ratio to be about 9 parts haircolor to 1 part sweetener.

I applied it behind one ear (one of the two traditional places for a patch test to observe possible allergies) and applied haircolor without Sweet’n Low to the other ear.

Here is a look at the results… (sorry about the crappy camera work. I didn’t plan to blog this one day!)



Personally, I think the results speak for themselves.

Once again, try this at your own risk, but if you’re feeling risky and frisky, then let me know what YOUR results are!

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