Hair After

I want to ask for advice about how to treat hair after chemo. Mine is now about 2 1/2 inches long, dark (funny, I was always a “natural blond”!) with a scattering of grey. Has anyone had advice they can pass on about how soon post chemo hair can be coloured etc, and just generally how to treat this newly grown hair. I have had one cut to get it in shape and will have regular cuts, but does anyone else have the urge to grow their hair long just in rebellion against having had baldness/ cropped hair foisted on them for so long? I do, and mine was short before all this happened! Alternatively, has anyone gone for a whole new colour or style when they got their new hair?

Hi mimsy, had my last chemo in aug 09 and hair started to return almost immediately but it was grey and white! My onc said I should not dye it for 6 months but I couldnt wait that long and found a natural, safe veggie dye called Naturtint. I bought mine online but I believe Holland & Barrett stock it. Loads of shades to choose from. It contains no amonia and is very gentle on the hair. It does fade a little quicker - i have applied two now and its growing so fast I am nearly ready for another. Hair before chemo was pretty straight - i am now fuzzy on top and really curly at the back - its so bizzarre! I have heard after about a year your hair can revert back to how it was before… will have to wait n see. I used to have a long bob but will keep it much shorter now as I like the extra half hour in bed in the mornings. Just got to get it past this very short stage and I will have a trim I think. Funny old business eh? x

my last chemo was july3rd 2009,my hair came back grey and yellow. i didnt know your not supposed to dye it, so i have. its darker than what i had before, i use alot of serum in it, to stop the frizz and control the curls. when i get up first thing in the morning it sticks straight up in the air, like ive put my finger into a plug socket. i want to grow it also. just got to get past the dont know what to do with it stage.x

I have just gone through ‘don’t know what to do with it’ phase. I finished chemo 13 months ago. My hair came back dark, thick and quickly but FRIZZY. I have worn a hair band to keep the curls from my face. It was so un-me that even some of my family didn’t recognize me.

However last week I took the plunge and had it cut. I now have a very slight wave and I feel I’m beginning to look like me again. I have worn my hair short for many years, and I think by my next haircut(6weeks) it should look back to normal.


Hi there

I finished chemo in early October and my hair is now back and very short at the moment. Although my hair was dark brown before it has come back almost black with much more grey and has a bit of a wave to it - it was completely straight before. The texture feels coarser and more dry.
As the grey patches were right at the front it made the hair look thinner so just before Christmas I used henna. I did a red henna first and then a brown one and it covered the grey well. It’s very messy but with short hair not so bad. I got mine from Lush.

I’ve had so many good comments about how much short hair suits me that I’m going to keep it very short although a bit longer than it currently is. That’s a change from my usual bob.

Elinda x

Hello - I too was wondering how long I needed to wait till I could start colouring my hair - wasn’t sure if it was 6 months after finishing chemo or rads. I’ve also been recommended the H&B Naturtints and am going to pop in there this week to look at the shades available. I had quite a bit of grey to cover before all this started (I’m only 34!!) so am used to colouring my hair. It’s still a bit short to know what it’s going to grow out like but so far the colour seems quite similar to before…Was hoping I might come back blond or something!

hello, was just wondering if anyone had success with the cold cap and how they treated their hair post chemo with regards to washing and colouring,

I am due my fifth cycle on the 3 feb, and although my hair as thinned I still have a good covering, although it’s messy and I hardly wash it i’am hoping it hangs on in their

My chemo was FEC T, i had a bad allergic reaction to the taxotere, and so they switched me over to taxol

best wishes A

I had my last chemo on the 3rd Sept and my hair had just started to grow back and by beginning of Jan (3 weeks ago) it was about an inch long so decided I didn’t want to be grey so bought Herbatint from an organic shop. Stupid me didn’t know that if you have a complete covering of grey you should use 3 caps of one colour to 1 cap of another mixed with 2 caps of developer and normalising shampoo! Anyway to cut a long story even longer, my hair went bright orange like a carrot! Imagine my shock, but with my sense of humour I did see the funny side. I wrote to the company who were extremely helpful and sent me a package of all the bits and bobs I needed to correct it and now it is a presentable light auburn brown and I’m much happier! Lesson learned!


I finished chemo in July 09 and my hair is about 4 inches long now all over. I used to have long brown hair with blond highlights and have found it very difficult to cope with short hair. It is now short and brown with the odd grey hair in places. Everyone has been trying to boost my confidence by saying that it suits me short but this all went out the window this weekend when my friend’s 4 year old said to me “Why have you cut your hair?” And then while I was trying to think how to reply, she said, “Because it looks ugly?”…I was speechless!!! Out of the mouths of babes!!!

ouch…rawlie, i know how that one feels. my grandkid just took a look at my pic before chemo, also july 09, she said when are you going to grow your hair to be pretty again. kids eh. the good thing is we can grow it again. ive heard that it can go back to how it was before chemo, i have dyed my hair, i didnt know that you wasnt supposed to. i know if your hair is grey you should put on a red before putting on brown, otherwise it can go all sorts of colours.

my hair was very dark with lots of grey peppered through it… i was also told to wait 6 months after chemo… my last one was in nov… however when we were at centre parcs i completely forgot when mrs focka was wandering around with her bleach…

i was wanting blonde highlights however they are a bit gingery/auburn as i think id have to have left it on twice as long as recommended to go blonde… anyway i was just glad my hair didnt go green or fall out and iv had so many lovely comments about how great it looks. LOL

im not actually sure what the research is behind not dying it… perhaps its a theoretical risk rather than an actual one.

rawlie and sharon poor you :frowning:


Hello! I haven’t posted on here for ages, but sometimes pop in to read. Since you’ve all had fairly recent chemo, I thought it may be useful to add my experience.

Originally my hair was light brown/dark blonde, wavy/curly, shoulder length, with some grey.
My chemo finished in Feb '07. Hair was at first ‘baby hair’, very fine & straight. This was soon replaced by very dark brown, very curly, fairly coarse hair. By Easter '07 it was a proper full head and I hated it, it looked like a poodle!
To try and feel better about it, I used natural henna, dark brown. This did help with the coarseness, and everyone said the colour was lovely, but it didn’t look like me in the mirror.

The coarse curls gradually grew out. Early in 2008 I had a short cut, which almost got rid of them. Before going on holiday in late May, I had the last of the horrible stuff cut out, and had highlights as well. My hair was very short, but it looked nice - and I looked like me at last.
Once it grew then, it was definitely ‘my’ hair, exactly as it was before, and the original colour - but with less grey!
In my case then, at least it took a good 18 months to be fully back to normal.
So don’t worry too soon, it really will get better - as with everything else, give it time.


I finished chemo end March 09, my hair started to grow pretty quickly
and when i finished rads in May i had a layer of dark hair speckled with grey, i had a little grey before losing it. my hair has always bbeen straight and it was shoulder length before BC. I coloured my hair with a semi ( l’oreal) in June 09 3 weeks after finishing rads. strangely i haven’t coloured it since and still have only a few greys at the side. I didn’t cut it as i was going to take part in the Racoon extention, hair initiative and have extentions fitted , but that meant letting it grow to about 4 inches. As my hair grew it was cury and a bit frizzy, but very strong, unfortunately i got to begining of Dec ( 5th) and decided to have it cut as i didn’t like the curlyness. i am going to have it cut again next week and i think most of the curlyness , will be cut out. I use straightners on it occasionally. I am have to re define a parting as it doesn’t seem to have one naturally. If anyone wants to give the extention thing a go , google Racoon Hair extentions, and the link is on their site.

rhian xxxx

That is SO encouraging!! Thank you!!


It is really helpful to read all these comments, especially from Rhian and Aubergine about how the hair that grows back can change over the first 18 months in texture and colour.
Mine is very strong, dark and straight as long as I put styling stuff on it, but I dont mind a bit of wave. I put the colour down to the new hair having not had any sun on it which normally bleaches my mousey hair. Anyway, if you can be “in love with” your hair, I am with mine, just having it back is fantastic, and goes a long way to making me feel normal again. It`s a good feeling that (fingers crossed)it will just keep growing and I will eventually get some choice as to how it looks.I have suffered for this hair!
When my body hair came back I used to sit and stare at the hairs on the back of my hand as if they were a kind of miracle, yes, I know, I am a bit strange!
Mimsy x

Mimsy, seeing new hair grow, shows you your body is renewing and healing and its not strange to stare at it because it reassuring.
What a great thing to say ‘in love with your hair’, made me feel a bit guilty as i struggled with the ‘new hair’ and how it was growing.

r xx

I finished chemo in Dec and have just finished radiotherapy. My hair is just starting to grow, itchy under the wig! Can’t wait to see what colour it will be after decades of being every colour under the sun, however I suspect it may be varying shades of grey! My husband keeps saying he likes me bald and will shave it off again! Must admit it feels great to wip the wig off when I get in the house. Not so keen on the lack of eyebrows and eyelashes which has only recently happened - I thought I’d got away with that one! Also, what a drag to have to start washing and conditioning and blowdrying again, spending a small fortune on hairdressers and products!! No wonder men shave their heads!

Dae x

Finished chemo on 27th August and used the cold cap so lost about 50% volume and had bald patches on the crown. I did have a fab wig for going out but wore adjustable hairbands and used a false bun hair extension (from Boots) when at home or shopping and nobody seemed to notice. Had my first hair cut in November which was a challenge for my hairdresser as it is very fine and flyaway but haven’t worn a wig since then. I have henna’d my hair which covered really well. My hair is growing very randomly but just looks like it is very out of condition and has been over processed now. My son is getting married in May and I am going to have medi hair extensions to give me volume and a proper hairstyle. Can’t wait!!!

Just want to say that I finished chemo earlier this month and had appointment with my onc this afternoon. I asked her about colouring my hair and I heard that I had to wait 6 months. She said that was a load of rubbish! Her words.

Sheila xx

I think because chemo is so damaging to the hair follicles I would be inclined to give it the 6 months. A lot of ladies I’ve met also had a very sensitive scalp when they were bald, I had to moisturise mines every day to stop it from getting dry or flaky. When my hair returned it was so baby fine I would not have risked anything on it, even my hairdresser said it was a no no - all the staff in my salon have been to college for trichology etc.