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Hair....

Kaleidoscope49
Posts: 24
Joined: Aug 2020

So, I'm looking for advice and/or opinions based on your experience. I had significant thinning of my hair throughout chemo and radiation. Finished that all up in mid-February and am now waiting for surgery to take place in mid-May. My question is --- how long until I can return to getting my hair colored? The gray is making me insane! Surprised Let me say that I have a hairdresser do the coloring professionally, it's not done with an OTC home kit. 

I've started taking biotin and collagen supplements to try and help it thicken up again, but don't want to color too soon and cause more damage than good. 
Anyone?

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 5389
Joined: Jan 2013

This is just my experience, other's may have had more luck; but my hair never went back to what it was before chemo. 

During chemo it got so thin and patchy, that I shaved it off.  After chemo, it started to grow back in, thick and curly. While I have always had a pretty decent head of thick wavy hair, thick and curly it wasn't. 

Then, about a year out from thick and curly, it gradually started to change, and now it is straight as a die and a helluva lot thinner.  It has been this way for two years, and I have finally reconciled myself to this new look - which is basically as short as I can get it, because I cannot do a single thing with it. 

I confess, this has not been an easy transition. 

OK, now I have rattled on, and not at all adressed your question, I will do so. I have no idea when it would be safe for you to start colouring your hair. I think the chemicals would not be healthy, during this transition time; but that is me saying 'I THINK', not I know. 

I personally lOVE my grey hair. I've earned every strand. But we are all different.  

I wish you the best as your hair finds its place, and I hope that soon you can get it coloured, so that you do not go insane. 

Happy I am that you are out of treatment, and wish you the best with your upcoming surgery. 

Tru

Kaleidoscope49
Posts: 24
Joined: Aug 2020

Thank you Tru for your input. I also had VERY thick hair prior to all the treatments and so the thin hair is not something I am very content with. I am hopeful that the biotin and collagen supplements will help with that. Crossing my fingers!

abita's picture
abita
Posts: 978
Joined: Dec 2017

I have no idea, but I would talk to my hairdresser about non-toxic dyes. Like I think aveda and paul mitchell make some salon quality, and of course there are box dyes like naturatint or something. I had chemo for a year and a half before I switched ot irintecan and lost my hair. The pic you see in my profile is in a salon chair. I think I was going every 6 weeks or so once I was diagnosed, but I went every 3 weeks before that because I hated my gray roots. And I am 90% positive that the dye had nothing to do with losing my hair, and that it was the irinotecan. Because once I started irinotecan, not only did I lose the hair on my head, I have zero hair below my head, and not to get into too much detail, I was never very hairy, but literally none now below my head. My eyebrows and lashes thinned, and it has been over a year since I last dyed my hair, and I still have a fuzzy chemo buzzcut that grows on my head.

Just curious as to where your hair is thinning. When I was diagnosed, it took 19 days in the hospital. Then 2 surgeries within a few months, so I spent a lot of time with my head against a pillow. My hair didn't thin at all on chemo, except for where my head rested on the pillow and it would get into a huge know that I was too out of it to brush out, and the nurses would make my guests brush my hair :) Anyway, I ended up practically bald in that one spot. Fortunately, I had thin hair, but tons of it, so I could wear barrettes to hide it. 

Kaleidoscope49
Posts: 24
Joined: Aug 2020

Abita, thank you for your response. I have an appointment towards the end of the month for my first haircut in about four months, due to it just not growing due to the treatments. I've also scheduled for a color, but then was questioning whether I should or not. 

As it relates to my experience with the hair loss, I had very thick , medium-length hair prior to starting treatments. I never got bald areas, but when I would brush or comb it each day, it would come out in droves. After brushing, I would run my hand over it and have a significant amount in my hand afterward as well as all over my shirt. I would estimate that I lost about 75-80% of the thickness. For context, I used to wear my hair in a ponytail quite often and it was difficult to wrap the hairband around it more than twice. Now if I put it in a ponytail, I have to wrap it around 6-7 times! It looks silly in my opinion. The texture has also changed. It's kind of fly away and frizzy until I try to style it. I'm considering cutting it shorter just to try to get it to look nicer, but I haven't had short hair ever in my life, so I'm still wrestling with that choice. 
I feel silly even caring about it because in the big picture, I'm on my way out of hell and hopefully to many years of NED and hair seems so trivial, but as Tru mentioned, it's hard to accept. 
Jenn

abita's picture
abita
Posts: 978
Joined: Dec 2017

which chemo?

yetti's picture
yetti
Posts: 42
Joined: May 2019

Dear Abita and Kaleidoscope49.  I'm Yetti. I'm Ned from stage 4b endometrial cancer dx2018. Had carbo taxol. Aug to Nov 29. A break in Dec. And then a robotic laproscopic hysterectomy.  And 3 more chemo with Avastin. Ugh!  I started to feel like a had a hot head and neck area after 1 st chemo then my bottom 3 inches of hair which was (just past shoulder length hair ) dried out like straw. I had it cut to a short bobb cut at chin length ! It was cute for a week then it started to fall out ! I could see my scalp it was so thin ! I had it shaved bald 2nd worse day of my life first day was Dx. my cancer is hormone driven, and Im er pr+ so I was prescribed letrozole a hormone blocker. Side effects "hair thinning ";weight gain muscle and joint and knee stiffness! My last chemo was March 2019, so I've been waiting anxiously waiting for hair growth. Not great. My already thin blonde hair is still short and coming in baby fine and thin!  So after waiting for hair to grow I have to take a med for life that thins my hair!  It's a cruel irony ! Cancer the gift that keeps on giving even after NED. I'll be Ned 2 years April 18, 2021 !  

SandiaBuddy's picture
SandiaBuddy
Posts: 1167
Joined: Apr 2017

I have no qualifications to speak to the issue, but I do not see how dyeing your hair at this point would be any more harmful than for any other member of the broader community.  Plus, it would likely help with your attitude and self-image and perhaps make you healthier.

abrub's picture
abrub
Posts: 2153
Joined: Mar 2010

was to not do it during my chemo treatments.  My onc was fine with it.

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6692
Joined: Feb 2009

My hair coloring was done by an Aveda Salon.  Somehow they were designated as safe for coloring during treatment.  They did my hair and although it costs more, it was well worth it and got me through treatment.  You just have to let them know that you are going through treatment and they will accommodate you.  Wishing you the best.

Kim

Kaleidoscope49
Posts: 24
Joined: Aug 2020

Decided to hold off another month after discussing with my hairdresser. She felt that it would be better to give it a little more time to repair. Using keratin shampoo and conditioner to help it along and then she is going to use a different coloring without the highlights as she said it will be less harsh. 
Got it cut short as well - still getting used to that but he definitely looks thicker now that the thinner parts are cut off. 
Jenn

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 5389
Joined: Jan 2013

Some times it is hard to 'hold off' - I have never been good at that, from chocolate to more things more serious.  What do they say 'Patience is a virture'/

At the end of the day, no matter what, you will just be happy to have hair and be alive; but you have to go through a certain amonut of time where you just wonder, why. And I think you actually mourn the life change, and that is a healthy process, a necessary process. 

Tru

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