Hair dye for people living with lupus: Hello, I'm... - LUPUS UK

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Hair dye for people living with lupus


Hello, I'm new to the group and I would like to know what hair dye I can use with lupus, I tried regular hair dye but I get a bad reaction.

Thanks you,

14 Replies

Was it a certain brand of dye? I have lupus (SLE) and I use Garnier Nutrisse with no issues.

Barbara17 in reply to milkwoman

I had a horrific reaction to Nutrisse, scarlet from head to foot! I think it's a bit like tablets and you have to find the one that suits you so always do the skin test.

milkwoman in reply to Barbara17

Oh my! That's scary!

Ah yes, the skin test! (I've been using Nutrisse for so very long I'd forgotten a about that super important step).

One other thing that has occurred to me is that, just like tablets, dyes could also vary between countries even if from the very same manufacturer.

Best to test first!

Hello. I have suffered hair loss, scarring alopecia, sun sensitivty and active lupus rashes on my head for years - going back to 2008, way before my diagnosis. I had dyed my hair since my early twenties and always dyed it myself at home, with a box of various brands from Boots. I had to give up dying my hair in 2012. Oh my goodness it was so painful the last time I did it! I burned me. It aggravated the rashes and scalp issues I had and I had to accept that it wasn't doing me any good at all. I am now 42 and have a LOT of grey - fortunately for me I am blonde, if a lot darker than it used to be and people keep telling me they like my natural greying blonde look! And my hairdresser recently told me not to worry about it as all the youngsters are dying their hair grey. I think that was meant as a compliment! But I hate it. But I have no choice. I have a history of allergies getting out of control and so I also worry that I would have an allergic reaction if I tried again now. I also console myself with the fact that when my friends goes to fancy salons and pay anything from £75-£95 for a colour, that I am saving myself a lot of money. So my advice is to be careful. Do the skin tests. I hope you find something that agrees with you. I know that lupus can strip us of many things and sometimes a treat with our hair can give us such a confidence boost, these things are important to us ladies. Best wishes. Wendy

Barbara17 in reply to Wendy39

Same here, Wendy, I've had to go grey gracefully. I'm amazed at the number of my friends who say what a lovely colour my hair is! They never commented when I was bottle blonde!!! Although I still wonder who the old woman in the mirror is!

I have found back when I wanted to dye my hair, that henna worked very nicely, giving a reddish tone to my hair I rather liked. It's messy, but it also conditions the hair and scalp and it helped to clear up some psoriasis issues on my scalp I was having at the time. There's also indigo + henna (NOT black henna, be warned, black henna isn't safe) which gave me a rich blue-black, and also helped condition my scalp and hair very nicely.

My friend had a terrible reaction to hair dye and ended up in hospital !!! She also found that henna worked for her and she could use it safely

Olia from Garnier works for me as it is Ammonia free - I buy it and do it at home. Hope that helps!

I was warned some 25 years ago by a doctor not to dye or perm my hair as some patients had very bad reactions, possibly due to whichever drugs they were taking- it didn't really matter to me for many years as I had no grey back then and never wanted a perm! However, when I got into my mid- 40s the grey crept up on me so I looked at various herbal options and have been successfully using Herbatint hair dye( Google it, several on-line retailers sell it at various prices) which has fewer nasties in it and has always given my hair a colour identical to my own with good coverage.It is a bit fiddly to apply, not the shampoo in type, but lasts a long time.I get my husband to help with the bits I can't reach.I have very long hair, if I can manage it most people should be able to. People tell me my hair looks very healthy- wish the rest of me did!!!

I have my hair dyed at the Hairdresser, I have Anoa as it is oil based and does not effect my scalp, I wouldn't use anything else now.

Mustard oil, is readily available and cheap. Very popular in Asia for both hair and skin. Do a skin test first.


Hi MiriamR,

Welcome to the LUPUS UK HealthUnlocked Community!

Have you discussed this with your doctor or rheumatologist?

Exposure to certain chemicals can have the potential to trigger a flare in lupus, so it is often advised to be cautious when considering using products such as dyes or colourants. Speaking to your GP or rheumatologist about the use of hair dyes can allow him/her to refer you to a dermatologist who can advise you on the most appropriate types of hair products to use according to your skin. We published a factsheet on ‘LUPUS: The Skin and Hair’ which may be of interest to you:

We offer a free information pack on lupus which you can download or request here:

Please remember that everyone with lupus is different and what works for one person here could potentially trigger a reaction in someone else.

Hi Nice and Easy is good for me not so many chemicals like L'Oréal which is awful. Some use Henna but very messy.

I started noticing sensitivity to hair color back in the 90s, sometimes my head would "burn" when they put the color/highlights on but they said it was OK – what did I know back then 😖

Since I was diagnosed with lupus in the early 2000's, I started going with organic haircolor and that seemed to help a lot. But then that begin to hurt, and I ended up with a two month red rash that itched all over my head so I had to step out on my own and figure out what to do since I did not want to go "gray" yet 😫

These are the things I found out :

-- hair dyes with "no PPD" - i.e.-Sally's Ion Color line is PPD Free

--Add 2 packets of "sweet and low" to your hair color, it seems to neutralize the ingredients that cause irritation

--Add Sensitive Scalp Protector

--By doing all of these, together, it seem to make a big difference.

I do not work for Sally's, but there's is the most inexpensive product you can get that is PPD free, and they have the sensitive scalp protector, and it is for sensitive scalp is the color itself.

I did try one of Loreals products recently, and I added in the "sweet and low and the sensitive scalp serum" and that seem to take away the burning and itching sensation too.

--make sure your hair is extremely conditioned before coloring, Sally's also has a conditioner you can put on before coloring that saturates your whole head and therefore the scalp is not irritated as much either.

Sometimes I will sleep with conditioner the night before in my hair, to help protect the skin or throughout the month to moisturize the follicles and to help prevent hair loss and dry brittle hair.

I have always had thick, natural wavy hair that is so sparse in the forhead area now that it scares me. I feel the little nubby's growing back, and then I feel the little nubby's go away, basically I attribute them to how much "stress I am under at the time". If I am weak and stressed out and my Lupus is in gear, I can come out of the shower and hair comes off my entire body, not just my head.

And until I cannot go without coloring my hair due to my own vanity, and self-esteem when I feel bad, I will look to treat my head with all the items listed above before I color and I do not color as often as I used to. I have to let that gray grow out a good inch and use the haircolor sprays to fill in those last couple of weeks where it is so noticeable.

I hope this helps since these items did help me because I was frantic, my head hurts so bad for two months after one of my last hair coloring's three years ago that I never went back to a stylist again to get my hair colored. I had to take charge, even though she said she was using organic color. Something she used and changed just went wrong for me.

Living with Lupus, we do have to take care of ourselves. We have to research, bring the information to our doctors, share with each other what works and doesn't work, because each day is different for each one of us.

Here's to all of you and what is best for you, and may some of this help you that I have listed above💜

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