Breast cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the UK. Men can also develop breast cancer, although this is rare. This group is for anyone affected by breast cancer to get together, ask questions, share experiences and support each other.

Colouring hair after chemo

Posted by

Daniel Field does organic hair colour.  It used to be sold in larger Boots - not sure if they still do but you can get it online and it seems reasonably priced.

Purple Fox
Posted by

Although this thread is over a year old, this is a question that I've seen crop up many times on internet forums.  When I was looking for answers, I also read that patients should wait at least 6 months, but I couldn't find the original source of this recommendation.

I also read that "natural" or "organic" hair dyes might be "safer" for chemo hair regrowth. However (as far as I could tell) the main ingredients in these products didn't seem very different from regular hair dyes in Boots or Superdrug costing a fraction of the price of the "natural" or "vegetable" dyes.

According to a review of "natural" hair dyes (not specifically post-chemo) n Choice (Australian equivalent of Which?), many of these natural/herbal dyes still contain plenty of chemicals, including the main allergy culprits". This article concluded that "The addition of certified organic ingredients and other plant extracts doesn't mean it's any better for your health".

I decided to colour my hair at 3 months because I just couldn't put up with the Chemo White any longer.  

Because my new hair was finer and softer and probably more delicate than it was before, I made a conscious decision to use a Level 1 hair colourant (lasts 6 to 8 washes).  Unlike the "natural"/regular hair dye divide, there really does seem to be a big difference in the sorts of chemicals used in temporary/ Level 1 dyes compared with longer lasting ones (Level 2 and 3). Temporary/Level 1 hair dyes typically don't contain peroxide, ammonia or chemicals such as PPDs and PTDs and their derivatives.  They are also generally cheaper than Level 2 and 3 dyes.

I used Nice N Easy Level 1 bought in Superdrug ( (normal price less than £4 and sometimes cheaper still when Superdrug has it on special offer).  If you decided to try it, you need to make sure you choose the Level 1 version.

It really does cover up all the yukky Chemo White and the new colour looks very natural.  Several people have complimented me on it.  The colour does gradually fade and after around 8 washes you need to redo it, but with short hair one bottle lasts several sessions.  Yes, unlike Level 2 and 3 dyes (which you have to mix and use straight away),  leftover Level 1 dyes can be saved for another day as you just use it straight from the bottle.

The results of my hair colouring "experiments" (with photos) can be seen on a page on my personal blog:

NB Always read the instructions and do a patch test beforehand.  Decisions about when and how to colour hair are a personal choice and what worked for me may not work for everyone.