Monday, 25 July 2011

To Dye For

The other day I gave myself a rare treat.

After two years of dull, beige hair I allowed myself a hair dye. I'd sworn off them just in case the chemicals were tipping the toxic balance of my body into infertility.

Being on an IVF-hiatus, and being fed up of my nondescript locks, I weakened. However, this is only temporary - I am not about to embark on the regular dying schedule I'd kept up from 1991-2009, as soon as the IVF starts the bottle stops (in more ways than one). But equally I don't want to condemn myself to terrible regrowth.

How to explain this to the hairdresser?

"I'd like highlights but can you start them at different points in my hair? Because I might not dye my hair for a while and I don't want a stripe of dark roots."

I was that intelligible.

She gave me an odd look and just got on with it.

We stuck to safe subjects. I mentioned my dog, she told me her sister had a greyhound too.

"She got him because she failed IVF" the hairdresser confided.

"Me too!" I squeaked excitedly*. This is a lie - I got him because I'd been trying to get pregnant for over a year and was worried it would never happen. But by agreeing I was telling her, in shorthand, that I had also been through IVF.

And it meant I could tell her really what was going on.

I explained the reason I didn't know when I would next be able to dye my hair wasn't because I was too tight to pay for it, but because I didn't want to do it whilst I was undergoing IVF or was pregnant. (The jury is still out about whether dying your hair has any affect on your womb/ unborn baby - probably not - but if I get that far I won't be taking any chances).

We ended up talking through the whole IVF process. Most unlike me, usually I bury my nose in a book as soon as I sit in the chair and do my best to discourage any kind of small talk from the hair-dresser.

Naturally I can now never go back.

*Turns out you don't need a miscarriage to get the Obligatory Miscarriage Dog. (From Uterine Wars, bought to my attention by Nuts In May).


  1. You have a greyhound? They're so sweet. A useless boyfriend I used to have got one, and she loved me best. But he couldn't keep her, and had to give her away.

    I always hated to go back to the same hairdresser. But I found one who tolerates that I get my hair cut once every 18 months...

  2. I think some things are necessary in life; pampering yourself is one!! Plus, in my (non professional) opinion, if you are highlighting, or low lighting with foil, the dye doesn't get on your scalp so its all good :) IF can't take EVERYTHING away from me! Plus, if i don't have a kid in tow to blame my bad, undone hair on, it at least has to be colored nicely!

  3. It does seem like once someone says "me too" when it comes to IF, the floodgates open. I think it's because it's so isolating, and although online support is fantastic it doesn't beat talking to a real live person. Good for you getting your hair done, roots suck as does beige hair.

  4. Getting your hair did is always fun and I asked my hairdresser about the dye thing and she said it doesn't hurt, because otherwise how would hairdressers stay employed while preggers? Good point! YAY for pampering!

  5. But did you like the end result or not?!

    I've kept highlighting my hair all the way through - I figure the stress of how I look from not colouring my hair is greater than the stress of colouring.... I know the logic is warped but I've been colouring my hair since I was 17 for a reason!

  6. I dyed my hair all through every IVF and both problems...just really cute kids..tee hee

    don't give up your pampering....I actually stepped up my pampering while doing fertility treatments and pregnancy...the only thing I really avoided was massage during the 1st trimester...there are pressure points in your legs that can cause uterine contractions so they just advise against it...but onvce 12 weeks hit....I was at the salon getting my massage every other week!!!

    Enjoy your pretty hair!


  7. I'm also careful with hair dye. I went prematurely grey in my early 20's. Not complete grey, but very concentrated areas of it. (Other people always like to say how attractive "skunk stripes" are but not many of them actually dye their locks into said stripes, so...). Between treatments - and even as we were trying on our own - I continued to dye my hair. I did scale back and turned to semi-permanent dye, but it felt like too much punishment (on top of IF and RPL punishment) not to. So, this is my long-winded way of saying that I think you were absolutely right to do it. In a way, you owed yourself that kindness. And highlights were smart. As they grow out, you're not going to have that harsh line.

    Had a good laugh when you said you can't go back, though. Also had a good laugh reading about the OMD. (Guilty. But glad about it.)

  8. An old fashioned idea but what about henna instead of dye - I haven't used henna since I was a teenager but it might be worth looking into if you want to keep colour without dye.

    Last time we ttc I was a bottle blonde, then a redhead and finally I had it dyed back to brunette at 11 weeks (and haven't touched it since). Most people have skin care routines that contain more toxic chemicals than hair dye.

  9. Good on you for pampering yourself, you deserve it! Hope you are loving the new locks

  10. I went back to my 'natural' brown after ten years of peroxiding joy, a few months back. Once smart arse at work asked me if I was 'getting natural to get pregnant'.
    Naturally, I had to kill her.


    Allow yourself some decisions based on what you want, not what you think IVF needs. This is what I'm trying to do. We're only human. We need things for us.


  11. LOL. understood. And I've been there too.


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