The acne and the hair dye

Every few weeks for the last five years, my mum has dyed my hair. We use Nice ‘n’ Easy semi-permanent. The stuff that’s supposed to last 24 washes, but actually lasts about eight. But it covers the majority of my grey and that’s all that matters.

When my skin started going really bad at the start of the year, my mum worried that it was due to the hair dye and refused to dye it until it got better. I didn’t think it was connected, but I couldn’t make her dye my hair. Luckily, thanks to some nasty, hardcore antibiotics, my skin started to stabilise and my mum dyed my hair before we went on holiday to Center Parcs.

And my skin started going downhill again.

Yes, my hair had been dyed, but my antibiotics had been cut to just one dose a day and I was also a swimming a lot (the chlorine could effect it, right?). So it almost certainly had NOTHING to do with the hair dye.

My skin continued to get worse and worse when we got home. And so did my hair.

I had a thick chunk of grey at the front of my hair. Kind of like Caitlin Moran, but without being remotely cool.

Having awful skin is sh*t. It really is. But if there’s one thing worse than having awful skin, it’s having awful skin and grey hair.

Skin of a teenager. Hair of an old lady.

That’s not fair, is it?

But my mum was on hair dye strike again, so what could I do? Yes, I COULD have done it myself/ got my husband to do it, but that would have been unfair. I would have been betraying my mum. She was only refusing to dye my hair because she cares.

There was only one solution. I would ask the dermatologist! So at my last appointment, I brandished my box of Nice ‘n’ Easy and said, ‘Is it OK to use this?’.

‘Yes, it’s fine. That won’t affect it.’

I practically punched the air right there.

My face might look like absolute sh*t, but at least my hair would be a normal colour.

I could barely keep the triumph out of my voice when I rang my mum to break the news. She came to dye my hair the next day. I told her she would be doing it again before Britmums Live. Now I’m free to dye my hair, it will be getting dyed as often as it blimmin’ well likes!

Two days later, my skin looked distinctly worse.

But my medication had changed again. And it was exactly a month since it last went really bad. Maybe a monthly cycle thing? It would probably clear up really quickly, wouldn’t it?

I don’t know. I really don’t know what’s causing it. But I realise I can’t take the risk.

It’s possible my mum has been right all along. So I’ll be going to Britmums Live with grey hair. I’m hoping my skin will have eased by then.

Grey hair is sh*t. Awful skin is a lot worse.

Skin, Hair, Acne, Rosacea, Selfie

The hair’s looking a lot better, but LOOK AT THAT SKIN! 🙁

Author: Sarah Mummy

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24 Comments

  1. Sarah have you thought of buying those colour in crayons that are sold in most chemists? i use them occasionally but watch out if it rains or you run your fingers through your hair as you can end up with it on you hands, face and transfer to clothing.
    Take a sneak peak around the room also, you’ll see all sorts of anxieties going on about clothing, hair, make up etc. you’ll have a much better day if you’re just yourself but I’m probably suggesting something you’re already doing, here aren’t I?

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    • Thanks! I know a lot of people will be anxious about their appearance. It’s weird, because it’s the first time in my life I’ve ever worried about the way I look (despite having acne since the age of 12 – I’ve never let it hold me back). I will look out for those crayons, they sound like a good idea!

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  2. You could try those henna ones I guess but I’m not sure what it would be like on top of already dyed hair. Colour in crayons sounds good though? Like a wand type one just for the day? I’ve not dyed my hair for about 6 months now because of the pregnancy but thinking once might be fine!

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    • Hair dyeing and pregnancy is always a difficult issue, isn’t it? I’m not sure how much more gentle henna would be, as I thought my dye was pretty gentle. I need to investigate further!

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  3. Oh Sarah, I’m so sad for you in all this. It just seems to be getting worse all round, doesn’t it? It sounds silly but some things are important for our own well-being and dying hair and having decent looking skin are two of them. I wonder what a hairdresser might suggest?

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    • They really are important! As someone who’s never bothered about my appearance in my entire life before, I never really understood why people got so stressed out about their appearance. I do now! I haven’t been to the hairdresser for well over a year. I probably should!

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  4. Oh Sarah I really feel for you. You sound thoroughly, and rightly, fed up with it all. I wouldn’t worry about Britmums I expect you will be surrounded by the least judgemental people going! I do hope your skin settles down so you can feel better in yourself x

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    • Thank you! I hope people at Britmums aren’t judgemental. I don’t think they are, but you can never be sure, can you? My skin is improving very gradually, but I really don’t dare dye my hair again in a hurry! x

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  5. Do you have any friends that have hairdressing knowledge. They could advice you on a gentler product maybe? Xx

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    • Thank you, that’s a really good point! My hairdresser friend lives a long way away, so she couldn’t look at my hair and skin, but she could still advise on gentle products. x

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  6. So sorry to hear this Sarah. Could it be worth going to a hairdresser to see what they say or perhaps trying a different brand

    Either way we all love you just as you are

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    • Thank you! That’s such a lovely thing to say 🙂
      I haven’t been to a hairdresser for over a year, I really should go!

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  7. It must be so annoying for you not know what will work to clear your skin. And having hair you’re not confident with is bad normally, let alone if you’re suffering bad skin too.

    Hope it all calms down for you soon.

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    • Thank you! My skin is getting better very gradually, but I think it will be a long time before I will dare to dye my hair again!

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  8. Oh Sarah, I’m so sorry that it isn’t clearing up as quickly as you’d hoped, and adding in your hair is just the proverbial straw really isn’t it! You know that none of us at BritMums are going to look twice, but I can understand how down you must be feeling x

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  9. Sarah there is a colour called Goldwell Elumen it is fine for people allergic to hair dye to use, I have client that breaks out on blisters terribly if she even applies a skin test yet she is fine with Elumen I will tell you all about it on Friday, but this may be your answer, it contains no paradye or peroxide x

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  10. Hi Sarah, have you ever been on isotretinoin? If you have never tried it please do. Dont be afraid of all the side effects they list. I’ve taken it a couple of time over the last ten years and it is incredibly effective and a life saver. My recommendation is to go to a dermatologist and see if its right for you. Dont be afraid and dont get scared off by people who dont know what they are talking about on the internet. See a dermatologist.

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    • Sorry just saw your other posts. You have.

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      • Yes, I’ve been on it a long time now. Strangely it seems to have made my skin worse than it was before I started, but it’s calmed down now and is looking flawless. Just a couple of months to go before I come off it. After my unusual experience of my skin getting so much worse, I’m not sure I would ever let my kids go on it.

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        • It does make it worse at first. It then slowly recovers. That just means that the pores and hair follicles which were about to become active were woken by the accutane treatment. But hopefully once you finish your treatment you never have to look back again.

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          • Also your skin continues to improve after you come off of it. In fact your skin will look best about three to four months after you stop. The redness will go away and your skin will return to its normal tone. 🙂

          • Thanks! It was unbelievable how bad it got (that’s a few weeks after a flare-up, it was actually a lot worse than that). I really hope never to have bad skin again!

  11. Did you try oil pulling? I had very bad cystic acne and it totally dissapeared with oil pulling. I highly reccomended it. After a month or 2 your skin will clear up. Water with lemon in the morning is also good. And eating organic with steamed vegetables and mostly vegetarian. This worked for me. I wish you all the best! And no face creams until your skin clears up. Good luck!

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    • I’ve never heard of oil pulling, but I’ve had acne since I was 12 (I’m in my 40s now) and have been a vegetarian since I was 17! It’s great to hear that it worked for you. Sadly, the only thing that would work for me is Roaccutane. I’d rather take that than have acne for the rest of my life.

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