Immediate hair loss after bleach and dyes: What I recommend

Hair loss after leaving the salon.

It's not so uncommon nowadays to get calls to our office from patients who have lost hair or have scalp symptoms after having their hair highlighted, bleached and dyed. I don't know why these calls are increasing in recent years, but they are increasing.  

I can't emphasize enough the importance of seeing a dermatologist when this occurs. A full exam is needed. For the most part, what has been done has been done (and all that's needed now is time) EXCEPT if there is inflammation remaining in the scalp.  The whole reason for seeing a dermatologist is to evaluate if there is inflammation still remaining and if anti-inflammatory treatments would be necessary. These treatments include:

topical steroids

steroid injections

oral prednisone


Only an experienced hair specialist can gauge whether inflammation is present.  Vitamins won't help that much, nor will hair supplements. 

Washing the hair after injury

Touching and washing are fine, and please don't be worried to do that. Nothing in that regard can affect your final outcome. 

What's the normal course or "story" for the vast majority of individuals? 

For most people with hair loss after leaving the salon, this hair loss is usually temporary. The hair falls out for the next many weeks (up to 6)  and 2-4 months later starts growing in and one year later you're back to where you started. It's quite unlikely (albeit not impossible) that a patient will have permanent hair loss.

Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Whistler office at 604.283.1887

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