Hair:to dye or not to dye that is the question

I was diagnosed with BC in January, had a lumpectomy in February, then FEC X 6 until July. I t often took 3 or 4 goes to cannulate pre chemo, so I had a central line put in. That made the chemo sessions much easier and the district nurses came to flush out the line each week.
All was set for radiotherapy to start in August but I had a set-back. 2 paramedic cars and an ambulance certainly brightened up our normally quiet road when I was rushed to hospital with pulmonary emboli and pneumonia! I strongly suspect that the central line added to that risk but have no proof.
For the past 3 months I’ve been jabbing my tum with clexane injections whilst I waited for the warfarin to do its job. I aslo started on Arimidex and completed 3 1/2 weeks of daily radiotherapy.
And now for the topic of this post - my hair! Before I lost it I rescued enough to make 8 fringes by sandwiching the ends between ribbon or tape with UHU glue. They have been wonderful! I just popped them under ny scarf or hat and looked normal. For high days and holidays - and hospital visits I wore my lovely blonde Revlon wig from USA.
I have waited in vain for my hair to grow. Chemo finished in July but it’s still under an inch long. How long does it take to grow? The zebra black and white colour was not fit for human view -. Though in my seventies I have never let my hair be grey so on Sunday I did my hair with Clairol ash blonde Nice and Easy Level 2 dye [up to 24 washes and no ammonia]. Result - my hair is soft, dark patches are light brown but the white is barely covered. [As my hair is so short I did in fact save half of each chemical for another time.] I liked the easy to apply gel once the 2 were mixed but I shall have to get something a bit darker for next time, and eventually I will have to go back to my normal routine of Preference Recital and Pink Foam perm. My OH says it looks fine - but noone else will see it in commando mode.
I don’t know whether Arimidex is slowing down the hair growth - the main thing is for it to zap any remaining cancer. Hair care is a diversionary tactic and the least of our worries and we must all live in hope and get on with things.
I am full of admiration for all the brave ladies with BC with far more gruelling treatment than I have had. My younger sister had to have a mastectomy a year ago and after chemo and radiotherapy faces another year of herceptin, so I give her all the encouragement I can.
Love and best wishes to everyone.

Hi Feistysister,It’s still early days for your hairgrowth -I should think an inch is a good average and with a bit of luck by Christmas you’ll have a good head of hair! If you want to try a permanent dye I’d recommend Naturetint.It’s chemical free so no amonia,covers grey really well and comes in lots of different colours.You can buy it in Holland&Bartlet.I’ve been using it for past 3yrs and my hairs in great condition.Good luck with the arimidex -being triple neg I’m out on my own and thankfully doing well.

love Josie x

Thanks Josie. Just done a store search and have found an H&B store in the shopping centre I visit once in a while. I’lll ring to get more information - and to find out exactly where they are as I’ve never seen the shop!
Hope you continue to do well Josie with your triple negative diagnosis. None of us really know what the future holds so we must just take each day as it comes and try keep a positive outlook and boost morale every way we can.
The good news is that new drugs and techniques are being discovered all the time. Mind you most of the drugs and treatments have challenging side effects! Yesterday I had a DEXA scan to get a benchmark for bone density as Arimidex can deplete the bone strength. Hey Ho! Anyway the machine was ‘real neat’ as my Canadian niece would say - no tunnel - just a big arm that moved back and forth, clicking away. Much love Josie and thanksxxx.
PS Talk about coincidence I’ve just switched on the tele to watch the news - and there was a Holland and Barrett advert! Odd.

Hi Feistysister,you’ll have to get down there and buy that hair dye - They should be giving me discount because of the amount of people I’ve recommended it to!! I had waist length hair prior to chemo and ended up with not even an eyelash! 4yrs and 3mths later and its back down to my waist again and in better condition than ever.You are so right,none of us know what the future has in store for us.I was given a 35-45% chance of 5yr survival-infact because of the nature of the tumour they expected it back within 10mths,and here I am 5yrs this Christmas and not only still here but still cancer free! I’ve never been lucky in my life - it must have been all saved up for now!..May I wish you all the luck I’ve had!

Love Josie x

another good dye is the organic range from Sainsbury, with no nasties in it. There is a choice of about 6 colours, I just used a copper one on my very short first pixie cut (and still on chemo). It covered the grey badger look really well and twinkles like I have highlights. One word of warning, I got a mobile hairdresser to do it and she said it is very runny and would be tricky to do alone. Lovely condition though. Good luck to you all x

Hello again Lily
I believe we last communicated when I was wondering about whether or not to have a central line. As you’ll see from my first post I did get a line - and pulmonary emboli and pneumonia - for my trouble! Anyway all is quiet now and I’m wondering whether or not to have all the family here for Christmas - now that I’m feeling almost human!
Re my hair it’s still not long enough for public revelation but I want to get a good permanent dye ready. I’ll have a look in Sainsburys - some distance away - to see what colours they have. I must say I liked the Nice and Easy gel after it was mixed as it was so easy to apply. I’m not sure what consistency Naturtint is after mixing. These two do seem to be the best as far as conditioning the hair is concerned.
xxx Love to you and all

hi i was told couldnt dye hair at all for 6 months after chemo… luckily i used cold cap and didnt loose any hair but its very grey with no dying. i am seeing consultant next fri and will ask again. take care all.

Naturetint comes in two bottles that you mix together(colour and developer)If your hair is stubborn grey and wont take a dye easily you can use less developer.It mixes to quite a thick creme and is easy to apply.It comes with its own conditioner as well.

Thanks Josie - I like the idea of it being a cream. I’ll have a look at colours next week and hopefully get a suitable one to have by me.

feistysister I posted twice and lost it and got cheesed off and went to bed, sorry! I was shocked to hear how ill you had been. I would have died of fright! I am hoping you are recovered now. My port and central line are coming out very soon. I am glad as they seem to be trying to fight their way to the surface and I am becoming increasingly aware of them. Sainsbury have 2 blonde, a copper, a dark brown, a burgundy and black dye in my nearest store, it is not their own make. They are in brown paper bags and mad eof all natural ingredients so no peroxide or ammonia to worry about. I am looking forward to everyone coming here for Christmas - I prefer to be able to sneek off to my own bed and loo! Still chemo will be finished then so perhaps the loo won’t feature quite so much in my life as it has for the last 7 months!!
I finish chemo on Tuesday, after 12 visits!!!
Take care
Lily x

Hello Lily I hope you managed to have a good Christmas break. We had a marvellous time at my son’s where all the family joined us. I now feel so much better and today we walked for 3miles in the New Forest. It was a good job streams and bogs were frozen over or we’d still be in a wilderness. I’m pleased to say I don’t seem to get breathless although the PEs were supposed to have done some damage to the lungs.
Anyway re my hair it’s still barely an inch though I stopped chemo in July. I still wear my wig except at home with my BH. I think the Arimidex is slowing the growth.
I couldn’t get any Naturtint suggested earlier - just black, dark brown and copper so I’ll have a look in Sainsbury’s for their blonde dye. Meanwhile I’ve used 24 wash Nice and Easy - which is easy to use and covers the zebra look adequately.
The fringes I made with my own hair before I lost it have been invaluable. I just pop them under scarves and hats so no one could tell I was bald.
All the best for the future. xxxxxfeistysister