lajohnso4 Member Posts: 31
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
I a Black female, 47 years old I completed my chemo treatment in February and radiation in May.
I need some advise on how to care for my hair, it has started to grow out (about 2 inches long) but it has come back with a lot of gray and thick.
Is it to early for me to get a perm? Any advise will be appreciated concerning hair care.


  • ksfc
    ksfc Member Posts: 251
    I'm caucasian so my hair would probably be very different from yours although it is very curly.
    My onc recommended holding off on any chemical treatments, coloring or perms for about 6 months and you would be close to that.
    The hair is pretty fragile when it first returns.
    You might check with a salon. The hairstylists at mine had some special info/training in dealing with hair after chemo. Good luck and contrats on completing treatment! Diane
  • rizzo15
    rizzo15 Member Posts: 153 Member
    I agree with kfsc. The wig salon where I purchase my wig had a beauty salon on the other side. It turns out that the man who owns both businesses does a lot of work with men/women who have lost their hair due to chemo therapy. He is a cancer survivor himself, so also had a lot of first-hand experience with how to treat the hair that was growing in. He even suggested some products that he felt would keep the scalp nice and moisturized during the transition period.
  • inkblot
    inkblot Member Posts: 698 Member
    Hello lajohnso4:

    I agree with the other ladies on getting some expert assistance.

    I too have curly and wavy hair...before and after chemo. I'm caucasian. But, for what it's worth, here's what I did for my scalp during treatments and continued to do until my hair grew out enough to really cover my scalp well:

    I "misted" my scalp several times a day with a cucumber product which my cousin gave to me. She does makeovers, etc. and is a licensed cosmotologist. She lives several states away, so we burned the midnight oil on the tele, e-mails and chat, many times to say the least! My own idea was that before going to bed at night, I also massaged a bit of pure, from the plant, aloe onto my scalp. It felt good going on too. I kept the cuke mist in the fridge and since I had chemo during the summer months, it was such a refreshing thing to do! I was also advised to massage my scalp daily, which I pretty much did. (keeps the skin and pores relaxed and increases circulation for healthier hair) I don't think my scalp ever had it so good actually!

    After my hair had grown in a bit, I realised that I had a bit more gray than before (sound familiar?) so was advised to use one of the temporary colors (without peroxide). I did that but it didn't really cover the grey so well. Back to the drawing board. The next step was that when I put the color on my hair, to sit under a hood-type hair dryer for about 20 minutes, on MEDIUM heat, as this opens up the hair shaft and causes the color to be absorbed better. Worked like a charm and I didn't have to risk putting anything really strong on my scalp or hair. It actually shortened the time I needed to leave the color on too. I experienced no difficulties or discomfort from this process and my hair felt very healthy and normal. I used the temporary color for the first time about 4 months after completing chemo.

    Do consult with a pro because everyone's skin and hair is unique and certainly more delicate following chemotherapy. Hopefully you can locate a salon which has a specialist with experience in addressing hair/scalp issues post chemo. You want the best products/advice you can afford until your hair/scalp return to normal. I personally prefer natural products when I can find one that works just right for me, inside or outside my body. One bit of advice tho: If ANYTHING you put on your scalp makes it tingle, burn or itch, at all, wash it off immediately. And if your hair seems to be in poor condition, after trying anything new, stop using it and get more advice/options.

    Good luck and hope this may be helpful.

    Love, light and laughter,