A frivolous question

This is a really girly thing to ask compared to all the questions of life and death we talk about in these sessions but I’m going to ask it anyway!
I’m fed up with having steel gray hair after chemo. The advice is to wait 6 months before colouring it but I’m tempted to go ahead anyway and use an organic colour. Has anyone else any experience of doing this? After managing to hold on to it through chemo I’d hate to have it fall out now!


Hi Barbara

I haven’t any personal experience of using a colour but a friend of mine who also had b.c. was a hairdresser and she said it should be perfectly safe to use an organic colour on your hair. Do you have a trichologist in your area? They might be able to advise you on the best product to use to make sure you keep hold of your hair!

Good luck


I’ve use henna on mine as I too hated that steely grey look. You don’t need much! I first coloured mine in September (finished chemo end of July) and it has shown no signs of falling out. Henna takes a bit oddly on grey hair, mine has a distinct hint of pink, but I like it!


I used wash in colour shampoos until hair was long enough to be coloured, which was about three months after chemo finished. My hair started to grow back before the chemo finished and came back completely white rather than grey.

I used a red colour shampoo which used to come out a reddish blonde. Can’t remember the make but think it was a toner or something similar. Used about two sachets a week.


Hi Barbara,

Funny old world, I love my salt and pepper hair. I have lost it for the second time but hope it grows back a little greyer.

I have always loved grey hair on men. As a 19 year old I remember seeing a middle aged man with a red polo jumper an a full head of grey hair. I stared at him so long whilst walking into the shopping centre I walked straight into Habitat’s plate glass door and bounced off it. Just the thing adverts are made of. I wouldn’t have wanted grey hair when young but I really think a good cut can look very distinguished in middle aged onwards women.

Sorry I can’t comment on the dying of hair only did that once in the eighties big mistake!


Hi - my niece’s friend dyed her hair as soon as it was a reasonable length and she found it okay.

Liz xx

I too dyed my hair as soon as I felt it was long enough and nothing drastic happened. i couldn’t wait to get rid of my steel brillo pad hairstyle.

Hello Barbara,

I had WBR in December 2006 and was told that only 70% chance my hair would re-grow. I have had three lots of chemo and afterwards when hair grew back it didn’t have this steel wool look or feeling.

Anyway it grew back and in November 2007 went to hairdresser who recommended organic hair colour. It was just lovely nice and shiny and felt good. Iam only just thinking about going back no root growth it just blends in. I’m very happy with it.



Hi Barbara,
I am a hairdresser and the big thing with hair colour is not so much that it will fall out but that through treatment your skin becomes sensitive and you could have a nasty reaction to the chemicals.
This can cause the face to swell up,eyes close ect…
However this is very rare.
The best thing to do is to mix a little of the colour and put it behind the ear for 24 hours before doing your hair.
(skin test). if there is no reactionyou should be fine.
Whatch out for any burning sensation…get the colour off straight away.
Although it is a chemical process that is going on the hair colours today have so many conditioners and stabilisers in them that they can leave the hair better condition then before colour.
Always go for some thing gentle like a semi permanant to begin with and avoid lightening the hair as this will use a stronger peroxide which will affect the structure of very fine hair and be more likly to cause a reaction.
The hair wont fall out at the root so to speak but it can weeken it and cause breakage…

I hope this helps!!!

Hi All

Posting this on behalf of Terry.



My wife coloured hers as soon as it came back and it is thick and healthy now

Thanks to all for these really useful comments. I think I’ll leave it a few weeks and take the plunge. I agree Carol that gray hair can look great - and was considering leaving it - but the combination of no eyelashes, no eyebrows and a steelgray brillo pad is just too much for me. Now if it looked like Helen Mirren’s that would be another thing altogether…


Mine has come back and the little that it has grown is white at the sides and the top looked a bit darker but is now joining the sides! I was thinking of leaving mine and seeing what it looked like and then perhaps colour it. I’ve heard the baby fluff disappears and then the stronger hair comes back. Does anybody know when this happens? does it takes weeks or months?

I would love mine to look like Helen Mirren - could I have her figure too - pleeeeaaassseee !

Liz xx

Hi all Didn’t mind bald as much as how grey I might be!!! Herbatint is good try health shops they are on the web to find stockists ! Used to put it on with a mascara brush then tooth brush! Would still be using it now as so good but difficult to get where I live only down side you have to be carefull as it can stain skin I put vaseline around hair line and you need to buy a squeezy bottle to mix it in but you can mix small amount at a time I started with 20mls good luck Jan

Hi Liz
The baby hair is just your hair when it starts to come through.
This hair won’t fall out but will start to come through thicker fairly quickly.
Once you have some hair I would recommend getting the fine hair trimmed off as it can look very wispy.
Sometimes hair will start to come through curly and then it will straighten out once it gets thicker.
In no time at all you be back to bad hair days…and loving it!!!