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No haircolor or regular razors? Did you?

pamysue's picture
pamysue
Posts: 105
Joined: May 2008

My chemo nurse said I should switch to an electric razor while on chemo. I can do that, but is a razor nik that dangerous? I do cut myself every single time I put a new blade in.

I was also told not to color my hair. That means it will be December before I can color my hair. I haven't seen my natural haircolor since I was a teenager. Yikes! Nurse said a chemical burn is too dangerous.

I'm curious. Have you all heard these warnings? Did you listen to them?

pamness
Posts: 515
Joined: Nov 2007

I do not now, nor have every used and electric razor, I asked and it was deemed not a problem. I am a highlighted blonde - again, I asked and never missed an appointment. The one thing I was warned about was manicures and pedicures (possible infection) but when I talked to my health spa, they made sure there wouldnn't be a problem. I did talk my hair salon too. Check it out, but I was told by my oncologist it souldn't be a problem and it wasn't.

Pam

taraHK
Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

I continued to color my hair. Chemotherapy is a psychological battle as well as a physical one -- and I needed my bottle-red persona for that battle! About the razor -- I have never even heard a recommendation to forgo traditional razor. I have pretty sparse body hair anyway and with some hair loss during chemo found I hardly needed to shave at all (legs or even underarms). Good luck with your decision-making. Ultimately, we all have to do what is right for us.
Tara

apache4's picture
apache4
Posts: 272
Joined: Jul 2007

I didn't heed the razor warning either. Neither did I stop cleaning my cat box and picking up dog poop! That is one of the warnings also. I am one who doesn't believe in killing all the bacteria in the world. That is the cause of the "super bugs" we have now. My daughter, a PhD. in Microbiology is the same and doesn't have an ounce of anti-bacterial soap in her home. Her kids are healthy and rarely sick. I do wash my hands with regular soap more often then I used to, but I hardly ever washed them before except after the toilet. Oh! There is also the warning about not gardening and messing in the dirt which I could not abide by. If I cannot garden, I would have been really depressed. I think that they always have to speak to these hazards as some people might have a problem, but I do believe they are the minority.

apache4's picture
apache4
Posts: 272
Joined: Jul 2007

I didn't heed the razor warning either. Neither did I stop cleaning my cat box and picking up dog poop! That is one of the warnings also. I am one who doesn't believe in killing all the bacteria in the world. That is the cause of the "super bugs" we have now. My daughter, a PhD. in Microbiology is the same and doesn't have an ounce of anti-bacterial soap in her home. Her kids are healthy and rarely sick. I do wash my hands with regular soap more often then I used to, but I hardly ever washed them before except after the toilet. Oh! There is also the warning about not gardening and messing in the dirt which I could not abide by. If I cannot garden, I would have been really depressed. I think that they always have to speak to these hazards as some people might have a problem, but I do believe they are the minority.

betina61's picture
betina61
Posts: 644
Joined: Aug 2006

I never heard about the electrical razor and my Dr. never advised me about haircoloring, so I was not interested in doing any research on that for me was important to look good, I have a lot of gray hair.

davidsonxx's picture
davidsonxx
Posts: 137
Joined: Mar 2007

I colored my hair while on chemo. As a matter of fact it was my oncologist's nurse who told me it was OK. The only warning I got about the razor was to be more careful with shaving when I was on Lovenox. I think that a lot of the dire warnings exist because there are some people that just don't have any common sense. It's easier to tell people don't do anything than to try and explain to people to use their common sense. Chemo does reduce your resistance so you need to be more vigilant about avoiding problems. If a razor nick was that dangerous most of us wouldn't have to worry about cancer we would die from an infection during chemo. On the other hand if you are just starting chemo you may want to wait a while to see how you respond to chemo. For some reason my skin seemed to be much more reactive to things that had never previously bothered it. Thankfully my hair color wasn't one of them.

scouty's picture
scouty
Posts: 1976
Joined: Apr 2004

I was told by my oncologist in 2004 to not use a straight razor or dental floss due to Avastin making me a "free bleeder". I had to carry around a card in case I ever went to an emergency room so they would know what to do in regards to my blood not coagulating well. Avastin had just been approved back then so I am not sure that is the case anymore. I was also told to stay out of the sun while on 5FU much like I was told to stay away from cold things for a few days after getting oxiliplatin.

Some of the chemo nurses seem to try to scare the **** out of us..........let's see some of the stuff I heard from them; no gardening/digging in the dirt; no cleaning out the litter box; you will lose your hair (mine thinned but I never lost it);no vitamins; and I'm sure I am forgetting some others. I would run all concerns by your oncologist (mine bashed all of the above)!!!!!! The nurses do not always know exactly what chemos do what to folks. There are dozens and dozens of different chemo drugs with all sorts of warnings involved so it's not surprising if they get confused.

I never heard the do not color hair and don't understand the concern. Did you ask why?

Lisa P.

winediva's picture
winediva
Posts: 26
Joined: Jun 2008

hey Pamysue,

I got a few warnings, but NOTHING about razors or haircolor. And I was on Lovenox shots for 30 days after surgery!

pamysue's picture
pamysue
Posts: 105
Joined: May 2008

It's interesting to see who has heard this and who hasn't. I actually bought a new electric razor yesterday and tried it out today. Got a really nice shave. So I may stick with that.

I will try a test spot the next time I color my hair, but color it I will if my skin doesn't peel off. :-) My roots drive me crazy and it's not worth the stress for me. Maybe I'll feel better if I look better; and gray is not my color.

Lisa, The no haircolor was because of a chemical burn. I've colored my hair for over 30 years and I'm not even sure what a chemical burn is. So I'm guessing I've never had one before.

winediva's picture
winediva
Posts: 26
Joined: Jun 2008

True dat. Grey is not my color either. I'm so greatful to HAVE hair during this process, that I think it should be colored, cut, and generally pampered as ususal. I vote you splurge on a fancy pants salon job. JMO :)

crg123's picture
crg123
Posts: 80
Joined: Mar 2007

My onc said to expect hair "thinning" during my FOLFOX treatment. He said that the ammonia or peroxide from traditional hair coloring could accelerate the process. I have LOTS of grey hair that I color dark brown, and wasn't willing to see how I looked "au natural". So ... I found a salon near me that used Aveda products. No ammonia or peroxide in their products. Just natural plant alkaloids. Google Aveda to find a location near you.
As far as the razor thing ... Many chemo drugs lower your platelet count. This means that if you just nick yourself, you can bleed and bleed. Using an electric razor can prevent this, but I was told that it was just a suggestion.
Good luck! Cheryl

alicia2006
Posts: 5
Joined: Jun 2008

Pammysue, My onc said yes to hair color and shaving but a big no to having my teeth cleaned. I really couldn't stand having my mouth looked at anyway...the neuropathy was too bad. Alicia

cjf2006
Posts: 84
Joined: Dec 2007

I was given written material that gave warnings about cuts, etc. But I shaved anyway with a blade. But after a while, I lost hair on my legs and underarms and didn't need to shave much. My hair thinned. I never lost it all, but I did quit coloring. I read that coloring could enhance hair loss. I must say, I lost less hair when I didn't color. (Also I take borage oil which is supposed to be good for hair and skin). I was already lightening up on my color so my roots wouldn't show so bad. So I just cut off the colored part and let my white hair show in all its glory. To me it is a reminder that I'm blessed to be survivng all this mess.

I agree about the over emphasis on germs. I grew up playing in the dirt, weeding gardens, eating an egg salad sandwich for lunch at school under no refrigeration and in a brown paper bag, no insulation or cooler pack. Since chemo, and spending a lot of time in the hospital infusion room, I can't stand the smell of antibacterial lotions. They make me nauseous. As for having my teeth cleaned, I read that it was important to keep one's mouth clean and healthy to help avoid mouth sores. Yes, once I flossed too hard and my gum got infected, but my doc gave me an antibiotic, and my dentist gave me a killer mouthwash and it all healed up fine. And I do take lots of supplements. I am a firm believer in fish oil, flax oil and borage oil. My skin is softer now than it has ever been (well, except when I was young) Wish I knew about this "beauty treatment" sooner.

winediva's picture
winediva
Posts: 26
Joined: Jun 2008

My dentist wants to see me every 3 months during chemo! He echoed the importance of dental hygine and keeping your teeth and gums in top shape to avoid bleeding in the first place. I got no warnings about dentist visits from my oncologist and I was on Lovenox (blood thinner) shots for 30 days as well.

alicia2006
Posts: 5
Joined: Jun 2008

My dentist was dx with rectal one month after I was dx with colon. She understood completely how the neuropathy made someone touching my mouth impossible during chemo. It also didn't matter to go two months past a regular cleaning...and it didn't. I am impressed that you were able to got to the dentist during chemo. My month and throat were very sore and sensitive which made it too difficult for me.

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