Is hair dye safe??? One of those 3am worries....

I’ve no idea where this has got into my poor, addled brain from BUT is it safe to dye your hair? I mean safe as in not a cancer risk, and also safe as in can my post chemo, about to be radiotherapied hair cope with it?? I know it’s daft but there’s an awful lot of grey in there, and… Well, I may have BC, scars, a fake boob, chemo-burn marks on both hands and knackered finger nails but I don’t want grey hair. Sigh. Me, vain??? Too right!!! :wink:

I think the jury’s out re parabens and ammonia and some of the other chemicals in hair dye BUT there’s no proof that they cause cancer. BCC did a great info video on it.

I dyed my hair with an organic, no nasties home dye after using the cold cap. It was alright - but a bit rubbish. Then went to the hairdresser about a month after my final chemo (prior to rads) and they used an organic salon dye and it was brilliant. I’m young, but have alot of grey, and having used the cold cap for 5 months, wanted to ditch my scarves etc and have a hair style again!


Thank you!! I’ll ask my hairdresser about the organic hair dye then, I’m not quite ready to embrace the grey… X

Thanks for bringing that up. Same question had crossed my mind about hair colouring. Val

This is a good question. Any permanent hair dye will contain a chemical called PPD - that is unavoidable. The darker the colour the more PPD.
As for the range of other chemicals in hair dyes such as ammonia, resorcinol, parabens etc those can be avoided if you use something like Herbatint hair dyes. (They do semi-permanent ones too).
I use herbatint and you can mix the colours too which is a good option. If you have a reasonable amount of grey then you always need to have a percentage of an N (natural) colour as well as the other colour if you want to mix.
I think for me it’s a question of minimising the amount of chemicals. Research is being undertaken to look at cancer risk and in particular bladder cancer risk and hair dyes.
Personally though I wouldn’t be without any hair dye. Perhaps I’m quite vain but then I think my body image has been through enough of a battering and it makes me feel better to have my hair looking good.
Elinda x

thanks for this thread ladies as I was wondering the same thing…can I dye my hair…or not…I read the posts on parabens and when I googled it I was horrified…nearly 4 months post chemo and not enough barnet to colour as yet so am waiting till xmas to see if it grows…it’s doing an impression of judi dench/brillo pad at the moment!!!

My hair came back post chemo completely grey - I hated it as I felt it really aged me. Prior to chemo I had been colouring it for years (foils at the hairdressers) so it was probably grey anyway! I asked my oncologist if I could colour it and he told me it was fine to go ahead. I just used a normal home colour (L’Oreal). The first one I tried did not come out like the packet - I was going for a chestnut brown, but it came more reddy/ginger, so I rang their advice line and they put me on the right track for a colour I am happy with.
I hear all the advice about using natural colours and fully understand caution, but I was happy to go with my oncologist’s OK.

I think you can obsess about what is good or not but I am a great believer if colouring your hair makes you feelgood and “alive” and a woman again then do it! This is the best medicine every. I would ring around some hairdressers and see if they have experience in the salon with colouring after chemo (they must have as we are in the 1,000’s) a big chain like Francos etc… Would be a place to start.

I have been on Capitabine (oral chemo) and I worried about this, I am not young but my hair was going grayer. In the end I sent for a Daniel Field natural hair colour, ordered on line, this was great no horrible smell and it has caused no problems.
When it arrived there was just an applicator and a bottle containing a small amount of powder, my first thought was this will never work. You have to put the powder into the applicator and add water, shake and it turns into a foam, and it does work.