Living with cancer
posted by 2022diagnosis
24 September 2022

Hair dye when on Chemo

Last reply: 2 months ago

I have just started chemo and will be on it for six months. I have been told the chemo I will be on that my hair won't fall out but may get thinner. I have been putting in hair dye for over 30 years in my hair now and go grey very quickly. Is there anything I can use in my hair to keep the colour safe and try and hide some of the greys or do I need to wait until after I have finished my treatment before even thinking about colouring my hair.

Thanks you.



commented by Cancer Nurse
05 October 2022

2 months ago


Thank you for posting your message on our online forum. I am hoping you will hear from others and what they did during treatment with their hair and what worked for them.


I am sorry to hear that you are going through treatment and we wish you the very best with it. Reading your message it sounds like complete hair loss is not expected from the chemotherapy you will be getting but that it will weaken the hair follicles and your hair may ‘thin’. As you can imagine any hair colour will be harsh on your scalp and weaken your hair even more. Some products that say they are natural do also have other chemicals in them that can occasionally cause an allergic reaction also-especially at a time when your scalp can be so sensitive. Unfortunately because of this it is not advisable to colour your hair while on chemotherapy. You could talk to your hairdresser and get her advice re styling your hair and various ways that might make the grey look less obvious. She will also advise you re what gentle products are best to protect the colour already there. Hair straighteners, curlers even hair dryers are also hard on one’s hair at this time. Your hairdresser or a business that provides wigs will also have products such as scarves/bandanas/sleep hats. Even ‘add on hair’ under hats or turbans can be effective.

Do keep in mind after your treatment and your hair is thickening, to test first even a product you used for 30 years previously in case you scalp is too sensitive for it now.  


It is hard going through treatment and having to deal with the side effects. It would be nice to talk to you on the phone about this and how you are. There is a nice programme called ‘Look Good Feel Better’ we could tell you about along with other supports. Our phone number is 1800 200 700 and we are here Mon-Fri 9-5pm. 


Wishing you the very best with your treatment.

Kind regards

Cancer Nurse  


commented by twig88
06 October 2022

2 months ago

Hi, sorry to hear that you’re going through chemo but I hope you’re doing relatively ok.
I am a hair dresser and what I would suggest but obviously run through it with your hairdressers is hi lights/lowlights. Not necessarily blonde if you’re dark, and want to stay dark but the colour you would normally put on your roots or a colour to camouflage the sparkly ones you could get your stylist to put it in as a highlight/lowlight in packets/meache/foil as it won’t be touching your scalp. Obviously you still have to take extra care with your hair, good shampoos, conditioners, treatments, limited heat but I sure this is something your own hairdresser can advise you on, or there are plenty of salons that would particularly specialise in the care of someone going through treatment.

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