I finished chemo in early January 2010 and had my hair dyed for the first time early August 2010. I waited that long mainly because there wasn't really enough growth to bother with before then. The colourist at Toni & Guy was very thorough and conscientious in the initial (free) consultation and he asked me to check with my GP that it was OK to go ahead the first time. My GP had no qualms about giving me the go-ahead. I've suffered no ill effects from the dye. My hair's come back very dry and I guess that's down to the effects of oestrogen depletion because I'm on letrozole. A tiny drop of Argan oil rubbed into the hair makes it look shinier.
My SSP entitlement ran out only part way through my treatment and I was on ESA (previously incapacity benefit) by the time my hair started growing back. I am now back at work on much reduced hours earning under £7000 a year. However, on balance I feel that my hair is such an important part of my identity that I am prepared to forego other things and pay £50 to the excellent colourist at Toni & Guy every 3 months or so to dye it professionally for me. I'd never had my hair dyed professionally previously and feel that I have been through so much that I deserve a treat now and again.
Aren't Toni & Guy horribly expensive, though? I'm on SSP now and have no money for an expensive 'do'.
Did the coloured mousse turn out OK?
I have 2 cm now and it's sparse but mostly albino still, and that combined with the dark circles under my eyes makes me feel 100 so any added innocent added colour would be welcome.
I'm even considering using fake tan on my scalp - it make 'take' on the hair!
A quick plug for Toni & Guy who have staff trained by MacMillan under a scheme called "Strength in Style". The trained staff at my local branch were absolutely fantastic and tailored my hair colouring procedure accordingly. Wow, I felt so much better when I'd had my post-chemo hair re-growth dyed.
I used the cold cap and didn't lose my hair which is very thick,it thinned a little and i used coloured mousse,after chemo and rads my hair dresser used semi perm colour,which made me look and feel so much better ,after 6 months did the perm colour, hope this helps x
My hairdresser wouldn't do mine until 6 months but tbh I never had much hair by 6 months so she cldnt get hold of it to dye it anyway she sd there is no guarantee it will turn out the colour u want owing to chemo I'm 5 wks post last chemo no sign of any hair yet
Well I finished chemo on 30 August and will certainly be dying mine or rather the hairdresser will in early December before I go to Australia... there is no way I can leave it six months!
Jane, (or Jsne, lol) maybe that's what happened? Did we muddle up yurts at some point? Sadly, I got my own eyebrows back - I had high hopes at the beginning that they were growing back thicker and darker, but alas, they've gone sparse and fair again, just like pre-chemo. Still, could be worse. Curly eye brows would prob not be a good look.
Well Trip, seeing as my very curly hair was waist length before chemo I somehow doubt that I'll ever get it that long again - particularly as it seems to be coming back much straighter than it was!
Now, you didn't sneak into my tent in the middle of the night and swap hair follicles with me did you?
MG - long curly hair is beautiful (if a trial to look after), but short curly hair, well, it should be reserved for the lg, and not the head, in my opinion 😉
Ah Trip, the "joys" of curly hair. I didn't have chemo but had curls anyway and they've been the bane of my life for years. If it is any consolation, speaking as one who spent many years looking like a poodle, curls tend to loosen up as your hair gets longer/heavier and I guess pretty soon you'll be able to straighten them if it is still curling at that point? There are also some "curl straightening" types of shampoos out there that seem to make them lose their "tight curliness" if you see what I mean.
Hope your own hair comes back soon! x
I must admit, I just thought 'stuff it' and dyed mine... I finished chemo in April, and dyed it a couple of weeks ago, but I have been 'lucky' in that it has grown back fast and thick. I use the word lucky advisedly since it has also grown back largely grey and looks like an old lady tight roller perm..... Anyhow, I used the Live stuff that they have brought out for those of us with a lot of grey, and though I decided I didn't like the colour much (I always had dark red hair - dyed that colour.. and it looks great on long hair, but pretty awful on short tight finger waves), it took no problems, and stayed put. Now I am going to dye it dark brown because I really, really don't like this colour on me at the moment. No scalp probs, no nothing, so guess I've been fortunate.
What I would really like is to have my own hair back again. I hadn't realised how hard it would be post-chemo, when I feel pretty much 'normal' again, to look in the mirror and feel revulsion. I found it far easier to cope with no hair than this travesty on my head!!!! Some of us are never happy, hey? xx
I'm 10 months post chemo but I dyed my newly grown grey hair with a Holland barratt dye about 6 months after chemo finished but my hair was very slow to grow back.
I did a couple of those and since then I've had 2 permanent ammonia free hair colours at hairdresser and will now do them at home.
My hair though is not keeping its colour I put a very dark brown on it and after about 5 washes it fades to a ginger tone.
Very different to the hair I lost.
One of the nurses on my chemo unit was telling me that Lush now do a hair colour that is ok to use and she said the colours were nice too.May be worth a look.
I dyed mine pretty much as soon as I had a good inch or so coming through. Wanted to lighten it a little as I looked too much like my hubby and sons with brown hair!
I did the good old packet dye from boots and it really did not take at all. It went luminous yellow!
I've dyed it a couple of times since then and its almost long enough for a short bob, now a nice caramel blonde colour. I would say definately go to hairdressers for the 1st time after chemo.
i finished chemo at the end of October 2010,
i waited until April then had my hairdresser put an all over semi permanent dye on it, unfortunately it didn't stay long!
it washed out and left dye on my pillow every night!after a few weeks it was all gone.
i waited until June and went back and had an all over colour again but this time permanent, it made no difference at all
within weeks it had gone!
it seems my hair doesn't want to keep a new colour yet!!
i have given up for the time being, as my natural hair seems to have high lighted itself! I'm brown with blond/caramel bits
i do admit to using my GHDs everyday though, as its come back curly
Hi, I hope you don't mind me joining this thread. I too had my hair coloured regularly before chemo so it has been a horrible shock to see how grey I am. I finished chemo 2 months ago and now have only a few milimetres of mostly white hair! I asked the hairdresser the other day and she said that there was no reason not to do an all over henna (i.e natural) colour right now. I recall the chemo nurse saying that I should avoid chemical dye because of my scalp rather than because of my hair. The only thing stopping me doing a colour at the moment is that my hair is too short to go without my wig yet so I'll wait till it's long enough to brave a bare head but will definitely colour it then - I've seen hairdressers advertising natural henna colours.
I'd always assumed that it was more to do with the fact that your new post-chemo hair is so fine and delicate so hair dye might damage it, rather than the chemicals actually being bad for you.
My previous thick, curly, dark hair with just a touch of grey is now a very fine mousy brown/grey covering and has very little curl... very peculiar! I'm 3 months post-chemo so it'll be interesting to see how it develops.
A good friend of mine who finished chemo two months before me has had her previously straight hair come back very crinkly and silver (it was grey before but always dyed). It actually looks quite regal on her and is certainly very distinctive!
I'm now 14 months out of chemo and my radiotherapy ended mid July last year. My pre chemo hair had been coloured by my hairdresser every 2 months for at least 20 years. I used to have thick hair with a natural wave. This lifeless mop of dry, fine, grey hair just makes me want to cry. My hairdresser initially suggested we keep to the 6-9 months wait but in view of the fine, dry condition - she even describes it as "feeling like its burnt", we've agreed to wait until Christmas! I've started trying L'Oreal's Elive new shampoo and conditioner "Full Restore" for weak, limp and lifeless hair, which describes mine perfectly. In addition, my hairdresser suggested I use a lightweight mousse after shampooing. I would say wait the 6-9 months, as the hospital advised me, and if your hair condition can take it then, colour it. Another friend warned me against colouring it too soon - as her friend did and it ruined her hair. I'd loved to get my good hair condition back but won't consider colouring until it improves. Good luck.
Can anyone recommend what I can do with this lifeless mop?
Nice to hear from you too. Hope you are doing ok. Check the other thread that I have bumped, there is a bit more info.
Hi Amber & Wandy
I can't believe either it was so long since that first Reading meet up- glad to hear you're both doing OK.
I now have a "skull cap" of grey wire wool -at least that's what it looks like. I've been wondering and searching the threads for a definitive answer as to how soon you can dye your hair. What I don't understand is what problem the dye is supposed to cause. My colour has been out of a bottle for years and hasn't caused me any problems in the past, it's not as if I'm absorbing or ingesting it in any way.
Looking forward to your research Amber.
All the best -Diana x
Im pretty good Amber, FEC5 of 6 next week. I have a terrible time after each one, but just grit the teeth and get through it. I've had all my surgery, so rads next and then tamox. Glad things are going well for you and the tumour has shrunk.
Will ask about hair at next chemo but DJ007 I might be brave as well and try a H&B product when I've got enough hair to do it.At the mo I'm still as bald as a coot!!
(I'm doing alright thanks after last chemo last week and news this week that the chemo has vanished the lump completely. Surgery soon etc but it's a good start! You?)
What I don't get it why hair dye would make this huge difference when we're not told to avoid any other chemicals for six months. Weird.
How are you doing? Can't believe it was way back in mid May when we met in Reading!! I know what you mean about the 'urban myth' thing about the hair dye...What is the real story?
It seems to be about the toxins in normal hair dye, but as you say, there doesn't seem to be a consensus on time scales. I hate the idea of being grey for months and am looking forward to trying lots of funky new colours as my hair grows out!
Will make enquiries at the hosp next week and will watch this space.
I was told 6 months, but being a nosey individual I tried finding the research behind this. Can't find a single real fact anywhere other than all sorts of people repeating themselves about waiting months and months. No studies ever seem to have been done. Is it a fact, or is it a myth, I wonder?
I have an inch of largely grey hair now and am very keen indeed to get it re-highlighted some time in the next months. Will keep looking for actual data...
I was at Look Good Feel Better and they said there that you should wait 6 - 9 months!!! Which I hate the idea of....I might ask on the chemo unit next week when I go for FEC5 of 6, so I would like a definitive answer too.
I contacted my BCN and asked when it was ok to dye your hair after chemo, she said I had to wait about 3 weeks and then do a "patch test" - but I was already 4 months past chemo and my daughter is a hairdresser so went to salon and had a semi put on straight away, took great and felt soooooooooo much better xxxxxxxx
its been 3 months since chemo finished!! does anybody know if its ok to dye grey hair? would a semi permanent, wash in/wash out be better etc?? any advice would be greatly appreciated!!