Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My hair

I think you all know that I dye my hair. Back when I first found out about the mets, I cut my hair and started dyeing it. At the time, I figured that as long as I have hair I would make it look nice - so I get it cut by a professional stylist every five or six weeks and have been dyeing it myself. I'd figured that I would have lost my hair due to chemo long before now (meaning that I wouldn't have to deal with this), but that hasn't happened yet.

Unfortunately, I've run into a bit of a snag as far as dyeing my hair goes: when I rinse out the dye in my hair, I develop a bad rash under my pain-relief patches. The rash lasts a few weeks and looks awful. Sigh. So far, I've just been going ahead and dyeing my hair in spite of the rash, but I know that's bad so I'm afraid to dye my hair again. And now I'm not quite sure what to do.

Right now I've got a half-inch of roots all over. The colour of those roots varies depending on where they are. On the top of my head at my part and crown, the roots are a light ash brown with silvery grey strands. The roots showing above my ears are almost translucent - I guess they'd be ... beige? ash blond? skin colour? And the roots at the back of my head are a light ash brown with no grey.

I talked to my hairstylist about my situation during my regular haircut today. I can't afford for them to colour my hair for me all the time (which would prevent the dye from contacting my patches - but doesn't guarantee that I wouldn't have another reaction) but I'm not sure how to go about growing out my roots... or if I want to do that.

One solution would be to somehow strip out the current colour in my hair and to cover it all with a semi-permanent colour that's close to either my natural colour or my greyer colour. Then I think I only really colour it one more time with a less harsh dye - after the bleach, of course. This is something that my hairstylist would have to do. But... I *like* my dyed hair, you know? 

My hairstylist suggested highlights in basically the same colour as my dyed hair to break up the root lines so that the growth is less obvious. They'd have to be touched up every few months but wouldn't be quite as obvious as the current hair. The highlights don't touch the scalp - only the hair - so a reaction could be avoided. Then at some point, when the growth has gone far enough I could just cut my hair into some cute pixie cut or something.

Of course I have no idea what I'd do once I had the current colour out of my hair, either. Stay with highlights? Highlight a different colour that worked better with light mousy ash brown?

I just don't know what to do. What do you think? I'd appreciate any thoughts, ideas, or recommendations you have. I'd like to go back to having pretty hair... right now, it's not at its prettiest.


Anonymous said...

Since you get the rash when rinsing your hair, I'm assuming the rinse water is running down your back which would happen if you rinse in the shower. If that's the case, why not try a personal shower that you can detach from it's housing and rinse kneeling down over the tub. You could also get a spray unit for the kitchen sink and do the rinsing bent over the sink. Just a thought.
Love, Mom

Anonymous said...

Go with the highlights for time being you can always change it again if you don't like it, or even lowlights..

Robin said...

Mom left the same comment I was going to leave :) When I dyed J's hair I had him lean over the tub and I rinsed it using the personal shower head. If you have trouble with the coordination of leaning over the tub and holding the shower head, maybe ask Ian for help?

Love you,

Kimberly said...

Why not cover the patches for the rinse? Your medical supply store should have that thin plastic like stuff that they use for holding IVs in place. I would think that could easily cover a patch. Place a piece of tissue paper over the patch so the cover can pull off and then cover the patch. Of course you will probably need help for that and it would be easier to ask someone to help you rinse. Good luck!

Tonnie LaRue said...

The highlights will breakup the line, but they really only last about 2 months. I am going to share a little SECRET with you. When you hair starts to grow out and you can see the grey, you can use eyeshadow or blush to cover the grey hair up. Natural and even professionaly colored hair(hi-lited)do not look like one solid color, so adding the eyeshadow to the grey roots should cover it and give a hi-lited look. The eyeshadow or blush needs to be a little darker or atleast as dark as your hair on the ends. I would just apply this to the areas that can been seen. I would not worry about the nape area and in the thickest part of the back. Use a small blush brush to apply and be sure not to get any on the scalp where there is no hair. You can get it on the scalp(skin) where you are covering up the grey...this helps. Do it dry. You may find yourself touching it up during the day, but it does the trick for me. WHAT EVER WORKS AND IS UNUSUAL IS CALLED A BEAUTY SECRET.

manchester fat acceptance said...

i've also been having a weird reaction to hair dye but it is not physical, it's sort of systemic (shaking, nausea, headache, frequent urination, lightheadedness). but what i do to avoid the reaction may also work for you.

first of all, i take a benadryl when i apply the colour to negate some of the reaction. don't know if you can take antihistamines, but they have helped me.

secondly, i use a more 'natural' hair dye when i can get it, as it helps to avoid reactions. it is also used in salons:


it sounds like a good idea to cover the patch in the shower too. however, it is possible that the reaction may be due to absorption of the dye through your scalp and subsequent emission through your skin, which could then react with the patch on contact. some experimentation to ferret out the cause may be in order.


Darling Jee said...

If you need/want a second opinion on the colouring, my colourist (who no longer colours my hair but still cuts it for me) is in Streetsville and her name is Jody. If you tell her that I recommended her to you, I am sure that she would be willing to just chat with you about your options.