Ask a nurse

Do you have a question about cancer? Our Digital Nurse Ellen or one of our specialist nurses will aim to respond within 2 working days.

Can I use chemical hair dye between treatments?

Posted by

After my last cycle of chemotherapy I have 4 weeks before starting 5 weeks of radiotherapy and chemotherapy tablets. Can I use chemical hair dye between treatments?

Sarah S-Macmillan
Posted by

Hi CazStoma

Thanks for getting in touch, and welcome to our online community.

Having chemotherapy for bowel cancer can affect your hair follicles and make your hair more fragile. The current recommendation is not to dye your hair while on chemotherapy and for 6 months afterwards.

Some people do make the choice to colour their hair against this recommendation. The advice would be to speak with your hairdresser and to look at more natural hair dyes with less chemicals. This is because your skin will become more sensitive and drier. Also doing a patch test before hand to avoid a serious allergic reaction.

My new hair also has a booklet which can be helpful to read, especially Pages 34 and 35.

You could contact look good feel better for advice and support. They have workshops held in hospitals and cancer centres across the UK.

Also joining the bowel cancer or chemotherapy group on our online community is a way to get support from others asking similar questions.

Hope this has been helpful.

Best wishes

Sarah S-Macmillan Cancer Information Nurse Specialist