Hair: Before, During and After Chemo

I am going to start this off by saying I am no expert when it comes to hair or lack of. These are just things I have learned along the way that I would like to share with you all. People that know me may laugh at this post because I can sometimes barely brush my hair. But I have come a long way in my 32 years and I can now proudly say that I can curl my hair with a curling iron and straighten it with a straightening iron all by myself 🙂 That is saying a lot for little old me.
This wouldn’t be right if I didn’t begin with the story of how my hair became a messed up, frizzy rat’s nest. It was the fifth grade and in fifth grade everyone wants to be cool. Middle school is coming and you actually care about what you are wearing. (For me anyway, I know now a days kids care what they are wearing in kindergarten) Anyway, the perm was in and I wanted one. Horrible, horrible decision. I was told that after the perm I could only use a pick. Well that didn’t go very well and we ended up brushing the whole thing out. Worst. Idea. Ever. It looked better snarly. Now I was left with a frizzy Afro. Not cool on a fifth grade girl in Wisco. It took years of bad haircuts and product to get it to its natural state. When I say bad haircuts I mean baaaad. I looked like a Amish boy my senior year. Of course I had the haircut for my senior pictures. Oh and the school I went to displays everyone’s senior pics by class in the hallway. Great. I am sure everyone is like “Who is that Amish boy with lipstick on?” Oh yeah I forgot I was wearing a gingham top. Good gosh I am surprised I didn’t have a horse or a pitchfork as a prop. I mentioned before that my hair was kinda my thing before I lost it. It definitely was but it took some time, lots of product and work to get there.
When I started chemo I was lost in the world of wigs and scarves. I hope this helps anyone who is looking for wigs, scarves etc. I have touched on this in a previous post (Chemo AKA Rat Poison) but I want to go more in-depth on the wigs and scarves I received and some tips and tricks I learned. First things first; get yourself a nice hat. I will post pics but the pink one that you can see below is my fave. It is light so you don’t get warm wearing it in the house. When husband shaved my head my scalp was very sensitive and I would wear that hat to bed. It literally hurt to put my head on the pillow. Even if you are brave and go out without a hat I would still get one because it does get cold. I know I would have showed off my head a lot more if I wouldn’t have been left with gray stubble. Kinda weird to think that after my head was shave the thing that kept me from showing it off was my gray. Now that I think about it I wish I would have just went out and about with my bald self. The next item on my list is some good scarves. I so wish I would have gotten more. The most special to me that I did receive was one from a wonderful little organization called Good Wishes. You can find them at The clinic where I received my chemo got me hooked up with them. I can’t say enough about this wonderful organization. They provide one free wrap or scarf to anyone experiencing hair loss or thinning hair due to illness or treatment. You pick three different fabrics and they send you whichever one that is available the fastest. They are very nice and fashionable. Of course I got black because you know how I feel about black; black is slimming even when it is your head 😉 I think the very best part about this is when you receive your scarf or wrap you also get a card signed by people who work for Good Wishes! It is awesome! They also have a wall of hope in their office that has everyone’ names, city, date sent and scarf number on plaquards’s. (I just found that out today) When you sign up for a scarf or wrap you tell a little bit of your story so they know a little bit about you. The card is so special to me still. All of the encouraging words were and still are much appreciated. I started looking in my special card box so I could take a pic of it but I can’t find it and looking in my card box started a cry fest so I had to quit for now. I save all cards that are given to us starting with my bridal shower so there is a lot of stuff in there. I received my special card box as a present at my bridal shower from my bestie’s mom. She said when she saw the box “It looked like me” So of course I had to keep it and put special things in it 🙂 Anyway back on task. The last thing I want to talk about is wigs. I have two. One was given to me by the American Cancer Society. It is a nice wig but a little itchy. The second my dad got me for Christmas from; Wonderful wig, it is long and beautiful. It is not real hair but feels close to it. When you do get a wig I suggest getting a cap to wear underneath. Wigs can be itchy and hot and a cap helps. I would also get a conditioner for your wig as well as shampoo. I got the shampoo but not the conditioner. I think I kinda ruined my wigs because they do get snarly and I didn’t have conditioner. I was definitely lost in wig world. I did get some help from a dear friend of mine who wears wigs quite a bit. She was so helpful on what wigs were good and so on.

After chemo I had to wait one month to dye my hair. I went blonde. I guess my thinking was I didn’t want to go brunette because I was left with some stubble and I thought if I went brunette right away my hair would by like “Boom here I am.” Since I am completely gray I had to do something. I know gray is not that bad but I am a little sour about it. “Bitter table for one.” My hair came back completely crazy. It is frizzy and very curly. Some kind of cruel joke is all I can come up with but it’s hair so I will take it. Last night I went to the salon to get my hair dyed. It got me thinking about all of the products I use now and products I used before that I still love and use. They also straightened my hair for me. A major task before I lost my hair and an even bigger one now. I was introduced to this magic brush called the Wet Brush. This brush is wonderful. I have very snarly hair and so does Avery and this thing plowed through my hair like a boss. Usually when I brush my hair you hear lots of ouches, bristles breaking and hair flying everywhere. I picked up a wet brush for me and Avery to share. I want to share a couple other products that work for me and I love and then I promise I will be done. The first has been with me for a long time it is Paul Mitchell Sculpting Foam or as I like to call it mousse. It is worth the money ten times over. I have tried multiple products and I always come back to this one. It works like a charm and smells awesome! The next is Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Tri-Wheat leave in conditioner. Awesome product; I have been using it for a long time and it has never let me down. Another product from Paul Mitchell that I love is Awapuhi Wild Ginger styling treatment oil. I use it when I straighten my hair. Put it on when your hair is wet. You really don’t have to use a lot so it lasts a long time. Last but not least is the hairspray I use. Again it is Paul Mitchell. It’s their Fast-styling sculpting spray. I really like it and it doesn’t make my hair really crunchy. I kinda have to use hairspray now with my mousse because of the way my hair is now. I will post pics of the products I talked about so you can all see what they look like. I also have some pics from my hair straightening process last night 🙂

P.S. I am far from a professional or even good photographer but it’s the best I can do with my camera phone since my cameras pooped out on me so bear with me. I am hoping the tax return fairy bring me a new camera 🙂 Sorry about the format of this post. It’s all messed up because I accidentally deleted it and then had to find it again and blah blah blah bad morning.

P.P.S. I got nothin’ I just always wanted to do a p.p.s. 😉

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Hair in progress 😉 Sorry guy in back round that I can’t get out of the pic
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Hair after straightening 😀
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Back of hair! I had personal trainer take this pic. I think it definitely cemented for him that he has a weird child 😉
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All of my fave products!!
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From left to right: Wig I got from the American Cancer Society, Good Wishes scarf, cap for underneath wigs and pink hat I loved 🙂