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Hair Coloring

ggcs111
Posts: 11
Joined: Feb 2008

I am also Her2+. At this time, my hair has grown out a little more than one inch now after my chemo, radiation and breast mastectomy. I am on Herceptin infusion every three weeks and will be until November 2008. How have you all decided on coloring or not coloring your hair. Also, I am 53, 170 lbs, newly married. Prior to December of 2007, I have been coloring my hair since I was 35 years old. I don't mind seeing the gray, goodness there is so much. Except sometimes I catch myself in the mirror and say, boy you look old. But I do know, that on other women, it looks great with the right cut and style. Would love to hear what you have to say. God bless.

Jadie's picture
Jadie
Posts: 727
Joined: Mar 2004

Hi ggcs111

I have also colored my hair for years. (I am now 54 dx at 49) After chemo mine came back almost completely white. It did bother me so I colored it when it was about one inch long. I died it bright red and spiked it allover. I had a little fun out of it while it was growing back out.

The gray made me look and feel old "er". I felt much better about myself after coloring it. If it bothers you I say go for it.

ggcs111
Posts: 11
Joined: Feb 2008

Thanks Jadie. Obviously, you are very brave and full of adventure to go with a spiked, red haired look. Good for you. Spiking mine--that's just not me. But good for you to do what makes you feel good and back to your old self. Also, did you go with permanent or temporary hair color. Did you use permanent or temporary haircolor?

Jadie's picture
Jadie
Posts: 727
Joined: Mar 2004

Hi ggcs

I'm not very brave or adventurous. Just crazy.

I used permanent color. I always use Garnier Nutrice (sp?). It might take a couple of applications to cover the gray completely. This works great for me.

Eil4186's picture
Eil4186
Posts: 967
Joined: Dec 2007

You are only 53, I doubt you look old! I too had been coloring my hair for years before cancer. My hair came back in with a lot of gray and I started coloring it again once it grew to about 3/4 of an inch. It was still very short, but it looked better in my golden brown:o) I say do what makes you feel better and more like your old self. Eil

acorn
Posts: 6
Joined: May 2008

I agree, color your hair if you want to, have fun.

My 39yr old daughter was diagnosed last year and when her hair came back in it had a little grey and she began coloring hers as she had been for years.

I'm 61 and of course my hair came back salt/pepper and just a couple of days ago I went and got my hair colored and styled. I am now a blonde, lighter than I colored it before. I thought about this for quite awhile and decided to go with the blonde as we know life can be short or long for that matter so do what you want to do so you'll feel better after going thru the journey that we do.

Good luck to you

ggcs111
Posts: 11
Joined: Feb 2008

Hi Acorn. Thanks for your encouraging words and yes, I am very much inclined to color it but to tell you the truth, it does feel so nice and healthy right now in this pre-color state. I am telling myself to grow it out shoulder length gray and then if I don't like it, color it. But, it's very hard when everything in your being says to dye it. Most of the women on tv are with colored hair, hardly none have it naturally gray. Pity--it could be the new fad. Good luck to your daughter and to you.

ggcs111
Posts: 11
Joined: Feb 2008

Hi Eil4186,

Your picture is beautiful. Thanks for your encouragement. What did you buy, permanent or temporary hair color? Did your doctor have any comments about it? My oncologist said she never tells women not to use hair coloring. So, I guess that's a yes from her. But, I would like to buy a coloring that is not so harsh on my body if there is such a thing.

mmontero38's picture
mmontero38
Posts: 1523
Joined: Dec 2007

Hi ggcs, my hair came in totally white after chemo. Granted I had been coloring my hair for a while prior to being diagnosed, but it wasn't that white. So, if you want to color your hair go for it. After all, you are the one that has to feel good about the way you look. Hugs, Lili

ggcs111
Posts: 11
Joined: Feb 2008

Hi Lili, You say your hair came in totally white? That must have been a surprise. I was certainly surprised to see more than a few gray or white hairs. I always imagined that if I did let it come in natural, it would be a lot less than what it actually is. I'm Hispanic and my natural color is dark brown or black depending on how much sun I have had. Some Hispanic friends of mine, once their hair comes in so gray or white, they go lighter brown, frost, or totally blonde. On some it looks very good, on others you don't know how to tell them that it just isn't that flattering on them. But the color change they make, if it makes them feel good, it doesn't matter what anyone thinks. My opinion is just that, an opinion and it could be dead wrong.

Did you have a single or a double mastectomy? Are you done with your treatment Lili? Thanks for writing and God bless you.

mmontero38's picture
mmontero38
Posts: 1523
Joined: Dec 2007

Hi ggcs: On June 1, 2007 I was dx with invasive ductal carcinoma. I had a right radical mastectomy June 7, 2007. They removed 7 lymph nodes and all came back clean. I started 8 rounds of adriamycin, cytoxan and 5FU on July 16, 2007 and finished Nov. 16th 2007. I did my tram flap reconstruction this February. I am also hispanic, gg, though of much lighter skin since I am of european descent. So, when I started going gray at 25, I started coloring my hair. As I got older and the grays became more stubborn, I started coloring my hair lighter so that the grays wouldn't be so noticeable. When, I was dx in June, I stopped coloring my hair since I knew I would lose it anyway. At that point I noticed I was gray but not as bad as when my hair grew in after chemo. I also have to say that it came in very curly. It is now, not as curly but I do have waves that I didn't have before. It's been a roller coaster of a year, and I have to say I am glad it is over. I have met many wonderful people on this site that I wouldn't have, had I not been diagnosed. This is a special sisterhood (and we do have a brother also, our friend Bill S) that only those that have gone through this can understand. Welcome to the club gg, Hugs, Lili

Joycelouise's picture
Joycelouise
Posts: 493
Joined: Nov 2007

I was so excited to read this post! I have one and a half inch hair. I used to be a bleached blond, a trashy look I am very comfortable with and was not happy to see that grey and dirty dishwater blond come in. Color my hair...you bet! I've worked too hard not to look and feel like a champion. But it sure is tough when I am coloring roots, and roots is the whole length of my hair! I used to bleach it and now I have to dye it. What dyes have others used at home that work well to cover grey with blonde?
By the way, WE ARE GORGEOUS! love, Joyce

ggcs111
Posts: 11
Joined: Feb 2008

Hi Joyce, Thanks for you comments. Yes, I'm still waiting for more info from all the experienced women on which coloring brand they used. I want to use a temporary hair color but they don't stay on too long and it just feels like you are having to dye every two weeks just to get the color vividness you desire. I don't want to put harsh, strong dyes on my head in case it triggers the cancer to come back. What do you think about that? God bless, Elsie

mmontero38's picture
mmontero38
Posts: 1523
Joined: Dec 2007

Hey Joyce: Having a hard time finding any permanent hair color that will hide these grays. So far, I have tried Revlon, L'Oreal, Garnier, and the grays all start showing within 2 weeks of coloring and that's why I decided to go much blonder than this picture. I have had it colored at the salon, and it does last a little longer, but frankly, I can't afford having my hair cut and colored every 4 weeks and paying upwards of $100.00. So far, Garnier has worked the best, so if I have to color my hair every 3 weeks, I guess I will. Hugs, Lili

Joycelouise's picture
Joycelouise
Posts: 493
Joined: Nov 2007

Dyed mine yesterday! I used Loreal Dream Blond, which is an amonia hair dye and not just a grey coverer. I will let you know how I fair (lol). If it doesn't work, I will try Garnier. Remember the old days when we used to worry that mistreating our hair would make it fall out? Don't know why, but that gave me a chuckle. Bring on the dyes and pass the blow dryer...love, JOyce

NorcalJ's picture
NorcalJ
Posts: 192
Joined: Feb 2008

I had asked my hairdresser about the hair dyes being toxic, or a problem, and she said that it was in the men's dye, but it was taken out long ago. I'm still not sure, but it doesn't matter since I've got 3 more Taxol to go, so there's not exactly "hair at the end tunnel" yet.

Which brings a thought to my chemo brain, (a good feat in itself), Joyce please remind me what a blow dryer is???? ;>}

mmontero38's picture
mmontero38
Posts: 1523
Joined: Dec 2007

Lol Norcal: I couldn't remember what a blow dryer was either. Took me a whole year before I even had to use one. Hugs, Lili

ggcs111
Posts: 11
Joined: Feb 2008

Hi NorcalJ, Toxicity would be an important factor. I tried dying my hair last night with a semi-permanent, beauty salon grade coloring, and it did not take. Obviously I'm going to have to use the big guns--ammonia and or peroxide hair coloring. My husband, God bless him, says he thinks I'm beautiful either way, with dye on or not. Thanks and God bless. --Elsie

RE's picture
RE
Posts: 4606
Joined: Feb 2004

Well, I must say that when my hair grew back in I discovered that I now had a white streak about an inch or better wide right smack dab in the front of my hair line! You better believe I decided to dye it! I liked the curliness that came after the chemo however I could do without the skunk look! Glad your hair has returned and you now can decide to dye it or not to dye it! Many happy wishes to you!

RE

ggcs111
Posts: 11
Joined: Feb 2008

Hi Re, Thanks for your input. I did go to Sally's beauty supply and bought what I thought would be a gentle, effective hair coloring: "Ion Color Brilliance--semi-permanent hair color, no amonia, no peroxide, made with jojoba, vitamin E and aloe vera." I was to put it on for 25 minutes. If I had stubborn gray, to sit under warm dryer 10-15 minutes. What does that mean under the dryer 10-15 minutes--after the 25 minutes? I don't have a warm hair dryer to sit under. Anyway, so I just kept the dye on 25 minutes and it was a flop. I still had gray hair showing, it was of course tinted a little, but you could tell it was still gray hair. A friend of mine says it looks a little like a frosting. I think she was being kind. Anyway, Re, thanks for your encouragement. I will think about what I will do next. Good luck to you too. By the way, beautiful picture of you and your husband.

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