hair dye - cancer causing or not?

I haven’t dyed my hair (medium golden brown) since just before dx and am reluctant to do my roots now. I’m almost completely white-haired under the colour and don’t particularly want to end up looking drab/like my mother if I grow it all out.

This seems a bit shallow under the circs but it really makes me feel depressed having all this grey hair coming thru.

Have googled but it doesn’t sound like vegetable dyes would work on completely grey hair.

Anyone found a solution/happy to continue to dye theirs?

C x

hi . i use a colourant i get it from holland and barratt, most good health shops too. called naturtint and it has no parabens etc, and i find it colours my hair as good as the others, the only draw back is its cost, 9.99 which for me is worth it. hope this helps. it is permenant too.

Good luck x

Thanks Charhie I’ll take a look.

All best wishes

C x

Does anyone know before you use this dye fromH & B, how long should you leave it since last chemo and does hair need to have grown to any particular length?

Also - can you used it on top of other dyes (I’ve been using Nice n Easy) or do you have to grow out other colours first?


C x


I can echo Charhie as I also use Naturtint, and agree that it’s really good. I buy mine online from Vit-Shop where it’s currently £7.69. Although you do have to pay postage, it still works out cost effective (for me) as I tend to stock up and buy other stuff too.

It was the first time I’d coloured my hair since chemo, it was fairly short (as I’d been advised to clip all the fluffy hair as it would contain the chemicals and risk an odd colour when I did apply dye). First colouring was 3 months after my last chemo, and they really do recommend you do the strand test first!

Hope that helps

Thanks for that info Jenna. I am only 2 months since last chemo (doing radiotherapy at the moment) and my hair is only fluff, just thought even fluff would look better with a colour on it.Now I realize the fluff will of course contain the chemicals from chemo, could end up green, not a good look!! Will have to be patient and wait.
Val pp

I haven’t had chemo - have had a lumpectomy and am waiting for rads to start end Jan.

Just wondered if anyone is cautious about using hair dye including Naturtint in case it may be cancer causing?

C x

hi chicci,

i too have thought about this issue for exact reasons as you. only because i thought i had read a few years ago whether it could be linked or not - cant remember if was particularly to BC though - no definate evidence though i think at that time. but now i think dare i risk it anymore. i normally have my coloured at the hairdressers. (semi permanent colour - so far i only have a couple of grey hairs but might start noticing a few more now).

are the ones from H&B safer to use than the colours used at hairdressers does anyone know?

TTM xxx

I knew my hair would grow back grey as I’d been dyeing it since my early 20s (premature grey runs in my family). I was pleased with the platinum and silver tones it came back with so I waited over 2 years before I did anything with it and only resorted to colouring again because it started becoming very dark at the back. I am now a soft ash blonde and have it done at the hairdressers every 6 weeks. In the 30 years since I started dyeing my hair there have been scare stories in the press about hair dye allegedly causing bladder cancer, but then I’m old enough to have lived through a lot of the pill and HRT scares and also the one back in the late 80s where campaigners were claiming aspartame sweetener caused ovarian cancer. I’ve never read anything conclusive so I just take it with a pinch of salt and if I want to colour my hair I do. If I spent all of my time thinking about every product I used I would never get out of bed in the morning, those of us who were young women in the 80s will remember all the stuff about the dangers of CFCs and aerosols etc, yet we all happily had Dynasty hairdos requiring massive amounts of hairspray.

I understand your concerns and it’s a difficult one. I’ve decided to use hair dye as my vanity won in the end but keep it to a low chemical one and I don’t use cosmetics, shampoos etc with chemicals.

I started off using Naturtint but have since read Herbatint has less chemicals than Naturtint. In a French survey of hairdyes all other hair dyes including Naturtint were deemed to have too many chemicals. See Herbatint website for more and it has useful info too:

All permanent hair dyes have PPDs to make the colour hold. Herbatint do a semi permanent but I found it wasn’t sufficient to cover the greys.

If you go to the Herbatint site and look at the section on the homepage Herbatint, PPDs and the risk of colouring you may find it useful.

Hope this may help.
take care all, Elinda x

A word of warning though, I do find that the Herbatint colours come out a bit darker than they look on the box so if you do go for a permanent colour then might be best to go a little lighter first to try it out.

the other to add is that I decided to wait for a bit after I finished treatment before using a permanent hair dye. I found my hair after chemo was much more dry and different. Once it got stronger and I’d had most of that cut out I switched to the permanent one.
Before that I used henna or a semi permanent herbatint. Elinda x

thanks for that info elinda45.

i havent even thought about shampoos and cosmetics yet! i dont really wear makeup though, but do like to use face creams to try keep the wrinkes at bay! might not bother any more though more important things!

what shampoo products do you use. are simple products any good or do they have all chemicals in as well.

TTM xxx

Hi all
When I went to see a trichologist when I had my hair extensions, I’m sure he told me that you should wait for 6 months before colouring your hair.
Big hugs
Stella X


The Simple range don’t have perfume and colour and I do use their soap. I’d prefer to use a non-scented chemical free soap but it’s easier and cheaper to keep buying Simple particularly as it doesn’t make me itch (unlike any perfumed soaps).

there is actually a huge range of products out there that are free of things like parabens and parfum (or fragrance as it’s sometimes called). It really is a case of finding what you like and works for you.
You will find that some of the chemical free products do use essential oils. I find that some of those can be irritating too so it’s a case of trying them out.

At the top end of the price range is things like Neal’s Yard:

I like the Pur Nuff Stuff products but they are based in Penzance in Cornwall and hard to source where I live so I order and have a bulk delivery. I particularly like their shampoo (dry hair cleanser) and conditioner.

I was also sent a free sample of Green People moisturiser from somewhere and I love that too. I haven’t tried their shampoo but do have some of their make up:

You may also like to look at the site Naturally Imperfect. I first heard about this on television and it’s a good source of info on where to get things:

Elinda x


many thanks for all that information/advice.

i will have a look at various sites you have listed.

lots of hugs TTM xxx

thanks for all the info elinda - much appreciated. Maybe it’s time to go for the more natural stuff

C x