Hair Dye after chemo

Morning ladies,

I had my last chemo on 8th November 2011 and would love to dye my hair as I have a huge patch of grey right at the top of my head – does anyone have any suggestions as to which hair dye I can use at home or would I be better to go to a salon (unfortunately as I was growing my hair before I was diagnosed I never really had a regular salon that I used so I feel a little insecure mentioning the words chemo/cancer to a new hairdresser!)

My hair has grown back very thick and seems (to me) to be in very good condition and with the chemo curl (but only at the back!!) it is about an inch and a half long.

Any suggestions would be great.

Hope you all have a lovely day

Thank you


I used a run of the mill semi-permanent with no ill effects. For the first time ever I did do a precautionary patch and strand test first! I also left it on for a bit less than recommended as I thought my hair might be more ‘absorbent’, which I think is the case as it’s taken really well and seems to last.

I finished chemo in July, first dyed my hair in November and I’m still using it now every 4-6 weeks.

Good luck!

There was another thread on this recently with lots of information so might be worth a search for that.

I would recommend using something like Herbatint vegetal (semi-permanent) which doesn’t have chemicals. I then switched to their permanent hair dye about 1.5 years after chemo but that was because I had a lot more grey by then. The permanent one contains PPD which is in all permanent hair dyes but not all the other chemicals you usually find.

I buy mine from a health food shop but you can get on-line. If you have a lot of grey you need to mix your chosen with a one of their natural colours (N). So for example, I mix light mahogany chestnut with light chestnut (N) to get the best grey coverage.

Here’s a link for you where you’ll be able to see more info and colour charts:

I know some women have been to salons like Aveda who I understand do more ‘natural’ hair dyes with less chemicals.

take care, elinda x

I finished my chemo on 10th Nov so very near you. My ‘hair’ currently looks like very cheap underlay! I have just sent off for a Herbatint in Platinum from Amazon and I will let you know how I get on!

Hi i finished chemo on oct 27th and i dyed my hair on jan 26th .I went to holland and barrat and bought a nitrating.I bought hazelnut brown.Not my usual colour but i didn’t want to look harsh as my hair is really short .
I was going to wait but i went back to work this week and wearing my wig would have not have been practical. Im 43 and totally grey lol so had to do something.Its a totally natural hair dye and it came out quite blonde ,but a nice blonde.Everyone says how great it looks short(i hate it ) but the hair dye played a big part in it .
Im sure you will be fine if you stick to the natural ones .Good luck xx

Thanks for your comments and suggestions ladies…

I must admit I am nervous about dying it for the first time – seems like a different lifetime when I would turn up at the hairdressers for a colour and not give it a second thought!!!

So this week I will be out looking for herbal hair dye – and crossing my fingers and toes that everything goes ok.

Enjoy your sunday



Just used the Herbatint Platinum hair colour. It says on the box that it is enough for 1 to 2 applications but with my bit of hair I could probably do it 9 times! Anyhow it was really easy to use and I am very pleased with the results. It has given an even silvery blond colour and has made my hair feel much softer.


Thanks Jam , I shall get some.

Jam? Cackles - you really do need to proof read your posts before you hit the submit button.

I have decided to be really brave about my hair - I am so thrilled that it is returning that I am going to wait to see how it looks when it has grown a bit longer. I coloured my hair every six weeks for donkeys years (where did that expression come from??) I have looked at photos before I did this and they all show me with strawberry blonde hair. When I started colouring it I always went for Oslo blonde. The hair that is coming back looks dark - very dark with about 1% white/grey. I will wait and see what happens.

Jan…loved the underlay comment !! Mine is exactly like that…how funny !!
Was thinking, like supertrouper, that I may attempt to " embrace the grey" but i may have to give-in to vanity. Just not sure if i have enough hair to dye yet…about half an inch

Madge x

I didn’t ‘embrace the grey’ it was annoying enough people telling me that short hair really suited me, when they started saying that the grey did I decided to act!

The Chemo unit gave me a leaflet about mineral hair colours details from, but even that needs a patch test.Herbatint sounds good.As a Hairdresser Lecturer,I gave many lectures on the contra indications of using hair colours,now that it is me in the chair it is all a different matter.I am 77 and for the last few years have threatened to stop using my very light copper blonde,but couldnt stand seeing my white roots so gave in to colour.Now do I decide to give in to gorgeous grey(shudder) or back to professional permanent hair colour.These products contain Paraphenylene diamine and certainly need skin testing before each application.The sensible thing would be to be patient and test reaction for a while before deciding.I have a trade card and tend to buy in a supply,in fact I have quite a stock already,bought before chemo.I hate this “shall I shant I” indecision,what a wimp am I.
Love and Light xxMavis

Well it is ordered Jan. I will be platinum blonde again when Amazon posts it to me. I really do not like the white with black patched look.
If it falls out it will be no loss. I still have my wigs until it regrows!!!

That’s the spirit Cackles. I do like my new hair colour. This Platinum colour is very subtle and just softens the badger look, which, despite people saying that it suited me, I hated.

I know I should have done a test patch first Mavis but I was just too impatient. As Cackles said I could always just carry on wearing the wig.


Well I went to hair dressers yesterday and had my hair bleached was on for 1 hour god my head hurt I have always wanted to go blonde. I was a dark brown long hair girl before my chemo.
Well the saying is blondes have more fun !!
I thought I might wake to hair on pillow. No all in tact so time to show off now !!