• How long do I have to wait before coloring my post-chemo hair?

    Asked by Joachima on Wednesday, October 31, 2012

    How long do I have to wait before coloring my post-chemo hair?

    So sorry if this topic has been covered, but I am new to this site. I am 6 months out of chemo & my hair has grown about 2 inches - a little less on top, and a little more in the back. My pre-chemo hair was thick, curly, dark brown with little gray, & very long. It is now thick & curly, but came in salt & pepper and very gray looking. How long should I wait before coloring? I hate the gray and want to shed the wig when going out. Thanks for any advise.

    17 Answers from the Community

    17 answers
    • teddyfuzz's Avatar
      teddyfuzz

      Girl, if you hate the gray and want to get rid of the wig then go for it! As the hair comes back in you can play with different styles and colors. I colored my hair at about five months out of chemo - just because I wanted to "zazz" it up a little bit. At six months out of chemo with 2 inches of hair you can do whatever you want!! So have fun and do it!

      over 4 years ago
    • Devon's Avatar
      Devon

      My mom is a hairdresser and I asked her this question just for you-she said doooo it! No reason not to!

      over 4 years ago
    • packerbacker's Avatar
      packerbacker

      I have colored my hair twice since starting chemo, last time being 3 weeks ago and I'm still getting chemo. I have kept my hair. There was no problem with the process. I got a body wave a few months ago and still have a wave (baby-fine hair)! That would be the change I think I see in the hair I have, because I don't think I normally keep the wave this long. So, go ahead and color! Good luck! I have brown with some red in it.

      over 4 years ago
    • Nancebeth's Avatar
      Nancebeth

      I colored mine during chemo. It was growing back in white so I colored it pink. Now I am 2 months out from chemo and it is indigo. Violet next :-)

      over 4 years ago
    • Harry's Avatar
      Harry

      If it makes you feel better, do it!

      over 4 years ago
    • Joachima's Avatar
      Joachima

      Thank you all for your responses so far. I was reading horror stories & warnings online of people who colored "too soon" after chemo and their hair was damaged & some turned orange ... halloween is over & orange is not my color. hahahaha...

      over 4 years ago
    • emnurse73's Avatar
      emnurse73

      After R-Chop chemo-my hair came in very curly white and some gray ash blond. My pre-chemo hair was ash blond, thick and straight so, I colored it at about 6 months with no problems. It has been 2 1/2 years since chemo my hair is now almost straight again. I had been trimming my hair and it seemed as I cut the curly ends the new hair coming in was straight again-I really enjoyed the curly hair.

      over 4 years ago
    • Carol-Charlie's Avatar
      Carol-Charlie

      You can call your oncologist and ask. If worried, just use a non permanent color that 'washes' out after a set amount of washes. It will take six months to a year for the color and normal texture to return to your hair. Seeing your picture, you'll look great with those new short spiked hairdos.... Have fun with it. Wear big earings... and smile. Hope you stayed dry last week-end!

      over 4 years ago
    • gogolf's Avatar
      gogolf

      Oh My Gosh, color it. My first time I had chemo I colored as soon as it was long enough and I felt better. This time is seems to be a pretty silver color so maybe I will not but if it has to much dark in it I will feel old and will color again because my hairdesser said he would keep the bottle for me, LOL.

      over 4 years ago
    • LisaLathrop's Avatar
      LisaLathrop

      Don't be surprised if your hair (color & texture) changes STILL! Initially, my hair grew in about the same color (without the grey) and texutre (straight and fine). However, about 1 1/2 years ago (I'm 4 years in remission) it suddenly changed! It's now very curly and lighter brown (again, no grey). If you've had enough of chemicals in your life (that's my new thinking) try coloring with Henna. All natural and if you don't mind being a brunette, it comes in various shades of brown - some with a reddish tint. You can get Henna on-line at Lush.com - about $25 for 6 blocks (treatments). And I agree with the rest of the bunch...if it feels good, do it! Good luck.....

      over 4 years ago
    • Joachima's Avatar
      Joachima

      Thank you, Devon, for asking your mother for me .. means so much that you would do that.

      over 4 years ago
    • Joachima's Avatar
      Joachima

      Carol-Charlie - Yes, I am looking at the non-permanent kind. Of course, my pic was taken 2 years ago, pre-cancer, but I have NEVER had short hair - except when I was a toddler. How funny - I remember looking in a mirror at around 5 yo and told myself that I would never have short hair. I kept that promise until cancer treatment took it all. So grateful - chemo may have robbed me of my hair, but I will not let it rob my JOY !!! Anyway, it is difficult for me to face the world with a short style, but I am getting out those big earrings TODAY !!! We live just west of Atlantic City - the center of the storm went right over us, and we were spared the devastation that you see in news reports. Our church remains without power, however. Electric at our home was only out for a few hours.

      over 4 years ago
    • Carol-Charlie's Avatar
      Carol-Charlie

      Looking at your picture.. I would think short and very curly would be really youthful. It would bring out your eyes and your smile. Don't let the length inhibit you... if your head has two inch long hair. curled or not. Wear it. You are Woman...You are Strong. My hair didn't grow back on the top of my head. (two full years of heavy hard chemo)... I'm a tad dissapointed as I did want to try the spiked hair. HOWEVER... If you look closely at my pix... I got blonde with dark roots wig. (plural) I wore it spiked or not just depending on my mood, and the picture was taken 3 years after finishing chemo.. Have all blonde wigs now.. who would believe a 70 year old would have dark roots????

      over 4 years ago
    • Joachima's Avatar
      Joachima

      Thank you, Carol-Charlie, for sharing your story and for the encouragement. I'm sure you look great no matter what the color you are wearing - you're a beautiful woman - inside & out. Thanks again. As my son tells me, "Mom, you are more than just hair!"

      over 4 years ago
    • mjs24's Avatar
      mjs24

      My colorist said anytime is ok. But I have also read going a henna all natural dye might be a better option. I am 60 and colored my hair for years and it grew back dark salt and pepper. Everyone says I should leave it but really don't care for it. You have a wonderful, uplifting outlook! Let us know what you decide to do, it might give me the courage to start coloring mine once again.

      over 4 years ago
    • Joachima's Avatar
      Joachima

      Thank you to everyone for your wonderful responses. Well, I dusted off my courage & confidence that was sitting on a shelf in my mind (hahaha), and went to the hairdresser that used to trim & style my long pre-chemo tresses. She recommended a color rinse without chemicals, we picked a color together, she "mixed the magic" & I have my pre-chemo color back!!!! That gave me the courage to go out in public without a wig or covering for the first time. I "came out" to my church family at Wednesday Bible Study, delivered supplies to a community in Atlantic City that were affected by the storm, held my Christmas program rehearsal on Thursday, delivered Thanksgiving baskets to folks in need, and even led worship Sunday morning with my new short & colored do. No, it is not easy facing friends, family & church because my hair meant so much to me, but I am so glad I did it. I feel more free, faced the realization that things will never be the same as pre-cancer, and I'm ready to move on. I'm a Christian songwriter & my son says that he will help me with recording a new CD beginning in January (my adult sons have a recording studio in our home). Feels good to be making plans and fulfilling dreams once again.

      over 4 years ago
    • Joachima's Avatar
      Joachima

      Dear mjs24 ... my hubby & sons said that they liked my gray also, but I wasn't ready for it and did not feel comfortable. I went with my heart & colored my new hair ... I'm so glad I did!!! I started with a color rinse with no chemicals - I'll do this for a while until my hair gets stronger. Best of everything to you whatever you decide. At least with non-permanent color - it washes out if you don't like it .... and my hair did NOT turn orange or any other unwanted color that I was concerned about.

      over 4 years ago

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