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Keeping our Hair Healthy while taking anti hormonals

I have always had thick and luxurious hair, until now. After radiation, I started having hair come out at a faster rate than what I was used to. I have tried several types of shampoos, conditioners, hair mousses, sprays, thickeners, and treatments. I have used Nioxen #2 and #4, Matrix Oil Wonders Volume Rose, and now Living Proof full shampoo/conditioner/thickener. I have air dried my hair, had my hair roundbrushed at a salon, and recently found my daughter's hair round brush/dryer. Inquiring minds what to know: what do you use? I have just over 4 more years of Tamoxifen and I want decent hair. I know some women who have purchased hair pieces and the hair halo to add volume. Is this an interesting topic across the board for women who have to take anti hormonals? I want to hear from you!!! I will be compiling a list, as we go, so that others coming along have a starting point.

1. Nioxin products - I have used #2 and #4

2. Living Proof Full product line - shampoo, conditioner and full thickening cream

3. Matrix Rose Oil Volume shampoo, conditioner, mouse

4. Pureology strength cure - treatment leave in product

5. Kevin Murphy - shampoo, conditioner, and leave in Shimmer Shine

6. Amika Balancing Shampoo and Hydrating Conditioner (I am using and it smells good.)

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Comments

  • claire_in_seattle
    claire_in_seattle Member Posts: 2,793

    One of the life benefits of having gone through chemo is that I now entrust my "crowning glory" to the professionals, with the result that it's far more glorious than previously. So while my hair is less thick and luxurious than before, it looks far better.

    I still color it myself using Feria. I get it cut regularly in a chic style. This makes the difference between chick and scraggly. The hair color adds texture and volume, and then I use "product" to enhance the volume and shine. I use Purology Strengh Cure which adds texture and volume after I shampoo. A few months ago, I switched it up to Kevin Murphy shampoo and conditioner which is what my salon sells. Just the best ever, and well worth the $$$$. Smells delicious as well. What a treat!!!

    My final discovery is Shimmer Shine, again from Kevin Murphy. This goes on just before I finish drying my hair (with an ionizing hairdryer - again an upgrade the last time around), and adds texture. Plus the most amazing shine. My hair stylist is in her 30s and just swears by it. For me, it is a godsend. No need to have dull hair just because you're older.

    In your case, I would start with a consult at a good salon. My stylists worked with me, and I didn't go back to the one that didn't. My latest stylist is a woman after my own heart as she hates running, but says she needs to if she wants to be able to drink beer. She gave me the most fabulous cut.

    Good luck with all this. I think you will be pleasantly surprised once you connect with the right stylist. And when they use something you find really fab, make sure you figure out how to replicate at home. Plus buy the products. - Claire 

  • claire_in_seattle
    claire_in_seattle Member Posts: 2,793

    Forgot to mention. I swear by my Mason Pearson hairbrush. I have used these since my early 20s. Very pricey, but again worth every penny. Gentle, and at the same time, get at all the tangles. I will replace next year when I finally get to London once again. - Claire 

  • Peetie1
    Peetie1 Member Posts: 8

    Michelle,

    Your comment about losing your hair after radiation is really interesting to me! I noticed that my hair was falling out at a faster rate after radiation as well! I thought that it was due to severe anemia after radiation treatment, but maybe it is something else. I have been taking Biotin and I have all of these scraggly hairs growing back in. I also do not know what to do with it...

  • Michelle_in_cornland
    Michelle_in_cornland Member Posts: 1,233

    Thanks Claire, Busom and Peetie,

    Peetie, I have alot of hair regrowth as well, and some of it is a bit fine. I took Biotin for a while, and actually just forgot to continue purchasing it. I really do like the Living Proof full thickening cream. It tends to "fluff" up the top layers of my hair, incorporating the regrowth. If someone met me on the street, they would not know that I lost any hair because I keep it either up (it is longer) or thickened. There is also a "Full Dry Volume Blast - by Living Proof" that does a great job of extending a blowout and gives me volume on top.

    I wonder if between the surgery and radiation, if our bodies are just under so much significant stress? But it was definitely right after radiation that I noticed the shedding. That was several months before I started taking Tamoxifen. I had another surgery in between. I think the shed rate has slowed down, and I am going to do everything to keep it looking good.

    I used to go to Chicago to have my cut, color, etc. I am very blonde and use lowlights to give depth to my hair. I have found a really great hair stylist where I now live and she is great at cuts and color. She also recommends the "Monat" product, but it is a multi level marketing business - so, I have no interest. They have a hair oil that is supposed to help hair regrowth. I do like her using it on my hair, but it costs too much to get involved in.

  • Herculesmulligan
    Herculesmulligan Member Posts: 61

    I notice I'm losing more hair than usual since I started tamoxifen 8 months ago, and the texture of my hair is rougher. I still color at home because I like to do it every three weeks but I'm leaning toward letting my salon do it. Do you think I could color the roots at home at the 3 week mark, and go every six weeks for professional color? Or would that look bad?

    I like the thickening shampoo formulas. I use loreal ever pure which I like. Then I spray on loreals blow dry it spray which speeds up the drying process. That's important because tamoxifen makes me sweat like a bear when I get hot.

  • NikJ
    NikJ Member Posts: 4

    How long did you use Nioxin? There are 6 levels of Nioxin. If your hair is coming out a lot you should stay on level 6 for a few weeks, then go down to the next level as you see improvements to maintain. It takes some time but it works. My husband had sudden alopecia a few years ago and he used it and now has his full head of hair back. Good luck.

  • Michelle_in_cornland
    Michelle_in_cornland Member Posts: 1,233

    NikJ, I used Nioxin shampoo and conditioner, with treatment mouse from December until about April. Those were pretty tough months coming out of radiation and doing a hysterectomy/oopherectomy, before starting Tamoxifen. Did your husband use the monoxidil/nioxin treatment? I did not do that particular treatment, but will go back to it if necessary. Nioxin #4 for was for fine hair that was chemically treated. My hair has become finer, and I do lowlights on it as well. #6 is for medium to course hair that is chemically treated.

  • TWills
    TWills Member Posts: 509

    The only Nioxin product for regrowth is the actual Hair Regrowth Treatment which is the minoxidil. The shampoos and conditioners are to add volume and can not help with with regrowth. There is no "step down" method.

  • NikJ
    NikJ Member Posts: 4

    Well the shampoos and conditioner helped my husband who went just about completely bald. There are steps 1 thru 6 so I'm not sure what your talking about. Once his hair started coming back he only used level 1 to maintain for a while. He did not use any minoxidil.

  • TWills
    TWills Member Posts: 509

    Actually I do know what I'm talking about, I worked as a sales rep for the company for years and I'm a stylist. There are no levels or steps, there are systems. I could explain more but I don't think it would matter.

  • TWills
    TWills Member Posts: 509

    Actually I do know what I'm talking about, I worked as a sales rep for the company and I'm a stylist. There are no levels or steps, there are systems which are for different types of hair. I've explained it more in depth on the Hair Hair Hair thread if you care to learn more about it. Google works too.

  • Michelle_in_cornland
    Michelle_in_cornland Member Posts: 1,233

    Twills,

    What do you recommend, given that you have an education in this department? Have you heard anything about Monat (other than it is pretty expensive?) What do you take (vitamins, etc.) and apply to your hair? How is your hair after chemo and rads?

  • NikJ
    NikJ Member Posts: 4

    Wow, I was just trying to help Michelle. All I'm trying to say is it worked for my husband. Good luck all.

  • Michelle_in_cornland
    Michelle_in_cornland Member Posts: 1,233

    NikJ,

    I want your help. I want everyone's help. This is one topic we can all agree on. We don't want to suffer with bad hair!! If we can find remedies for sleep issues, hot flashes, bone pain, muscle spasms, surely we can find solutions to keep our hair healthy. :)

  • TWills
    TWills Member Posts: 509

    Hi Michelle, sorry this is so long and not all of this is specific to you but it kinda covers the basics.

    I don't know anything about Monat, sorry. I looked into it though and the price and the way it's sold turned me off, I don't think products have to be very expensive or sold in that way to be great. They might be wonderful products though.

    I lost all of my hair during chemo, and it didn't start growing back until about 5 weeks after I finished. During that time I alternated between Nioxin shampoo and Nizoral(anti-dandruff shampoo) both help to keep your hair folical clear of oils and other things that can build up in the folical and inhibit hair growth. I also used a moriturizer on my scalp every few shampoos. I truly believe that during chemo there is nothing besides cold capping that can compete with chemo induced hair loss, which is why I didn't use anything else during that time. Just my opinion. I started biotin after chemo, I also started Nioxin Hair Regrowth Treatment(minoxidil) and Lattisse then. My hair has grown in fast and thick, but it always grew fast and was very thick before. So did the topicals work, who knows but there is a science to why it would which is all I can go by. I try to keep my regimen simple and keep in mind that there are no miracle products out there. Rads hasn't seemed to effect my hair, just finished last week though. I've been coloring it since it was 1/2 an inch long too.

    Your are so right in your statement above about all of the surgeries and everything we go through effecting the hair. Anesthesia is really really rough on hair. Everything we put in our mouth effects our hair, medications and hormones do as well. If thinning is an issue, minoxidil can stimulate new growth and slow down the shedding by elongating the growing phase. For dull hair, try using Kenra Clarifying shampoo every few shampoos to eliminate anything that might have built up on the hair, even meds. Otherwise, using professional products that are balanced and generally sold or recommended by your stylist that knows your hair can be so helpful. If they don't sell a particular product they can get it for you at a professional beauty supply(if their salon allows that). I work for myself so I've always done that for my clients. Nioxin systems(shampoo, conditioner, and scalp treatment) can be good because they make the actual diameter of the hair larger thus making the hair feel and look thicker, the conditioner conditions, lol, and the scalp treatment helps with scalp buildup, kinda like an exfoliate. Basically the system creates an environment the give the hair the best chance at growth. Nioxin Hair Regrowth Treatment(minoxidil) is the only product that has the medicinal ingredients for actual hair regrowth though.

    Oh lordy, I have went on and on. Lol Good luck everyone, hope I didn't add to any confusion. We have enough of that with BC!





  • TWills
    TWills Member Posts: 509

    This might would have been easier and less wordy:)

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  • Michelle_in_cornland
    Michelle_in_cornland Member Posts: 1,233

    Twills, thanks for that explanation. I wonder if there have been any "hair studies" for people on anti hormonals that compare treatments/shampoos/conditioners? I am experimenting with Living Proof, but may add the Nioxin minoxidil treatment to that regime. I also wonder if anyone has approached Nioxin about giving their product to a small group women who are currently taking an antihormonal, to see if it makes a difference? I have done a little recon on the internet, and did not find much data, except for one small study using minoxidil. Has anyone else found literature on the subject?

    Our hair is a large part of our identity as a woman, and it is one of the greatest fears of breast cancer treatment - am I going to lose my hair? I think it would behoove oncologists to work with dermatologists for those patients who want to retain the majority of their hair.

    The main oil ingredient in Monat's rejuvenique is abyssinian oil. I wonder if anyone has tried that particular oil in hair regrowth?

  • Michelle_in_cornland
    Michelle_in_cornland Member Posts: 1,233

    Today, I used PHD dry hair shampoo (spray) by Living Proof. It goes on as an aerosol powder. I first worked with my roundbrush/hairdryer gizmo and tamed my mane. then, I sprayed PHD - Perfect Hair Day dry shampoo on my hair, while upside down. I don't wash my hair every day, but 2x per week. I like to supplement my soap/water shampoo days with something else. I have tried Living Proof's Full Volume Blast spray, which I think I like better. The PHD dry shampoo had a bit of a floral odor to it which dissipated. By the end of styling today, it looked pretty good and I had good volume.

  • Michelle_in_cornland
    Michelle_in_cornland Member Posts: 1,233

    Today was day 2 with the PHD dry shampoo in my hair. I ended up round brushing/drying it, it was dry to begin with, and fluffed it up. It looked good for second day dry shampoo. Tomorrow, I will use some type of treatment product/moroccan oil and shampoo out. Thursday, I will have lowlights, etc. put in my hair, which should last until January. I have some samples of other types of Living Proof that I am going to try at a later date. Peace out, everyone....going to see BOO 2 with Madea. Shocked

  • P23
    P23 Member Posts: 1

    I started taking anastrozole almost a year ago and my hair is noticeably thinner. I am achy and sore all the time, but losing my hair is the worst part. Seeing my shiny scalp is depressing. I have been reading up recently about Biotin and Minoxidil and was wondering if it was safe for breast cancer.


  • Michelle_in_cornland
    Michelle_in_cornland Member Posts: 1,233

    P23, I feel for you, sister. I saw a stylist today, who told me that I do have hair regrowth - about 2 inches, just radom on top of my scalp. She used KMS Add Volume liquid dust, which thickens the scalp hair area. My MO told me that I could use Minoxidil and I am going to verify that on Monday during my appointment. I think that thinning hair or bald patches, is depressing too. I plan to ride this out and see how my hair regrows, then try the monoxidil, then add other products. If it gets too bad, maybe a hairpiece or wig. It is not falling out as much, but feels thinner and fine. Furthermore, I plan to dig around the internet and see what others have used to get their hair mojo back!! I am determined to find a solution.

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  • Michelle_in_cornland
    Michelle_in_cornland Member Posts: 1,233

    Anyone read or try something new on their hair? I am going to try either the rose oil volume shampoo by matrix or the living proof timeless shampoo. I have heard that the rose oil dry shampoo is also good for volume. I tried the PHD - perfect hair day dry shampoo, and it was okay. I like the other Full Dry Blast better. Thank God that I have a niece who is the business, because this could get very expensive otherwise!!! I hope everyone is having a great hair day!!

  • Michelle_in_cornland
    Michelle_in_cornland Member Posts: 1,233

    I used the Perfect Hair Day shampoo and conditioner today, and added the "Full" texturizer/leave in fluffer. It looked pretty good. I had my lowlights done last week and my hair is much darker than even my natural color. My stylist is on maternity leave, and another one filled in for her. I told my stylist that I would not ask for a redo, because I don't want my hair messed up anymore than it is. Hopefully, my stylist can take care of my hair needs before my birthday in December.

    Our hair is so important to our overall self esteem. There has to be ways to increase the density of our hair. I saw a gal today that I chemo last year and her hair was thick and curly. You would never had known she had chemo.

  • Michelle_in_cornland
    Michelle_in_cornland Member Posts: 1,233

    After doing a little bit of reading, I am going to try minoxidil 5% to see if I can get my hair to regrow faster. I plan to buy the generic version at CVS, per my readings on this website. It is cheaper and worth a try. I am not shedding as much, but my hair does seem to be a bit finer texture. I will report anything new that I discover.

  • Knitpig
    Knitpig Member Posts: 6

    I've been taking a biotin supplement. It's supposed to help with hair, skin, and nails.

  • Michelle_in_cornland
    Michelle_in_cornland Member Posts: 1,233

    I had my hair colored earlier this month, and they turned me into a darker than my own haircolor. I could not stand it, so I found a new person. She gave me my contrasting blond with dark lowlights, and put a toner on it. Then, she used Monat and my niece, an esthetician, commented on how healthy my hair looked. Well, today I broke down and purchased samples of the hair oil and shampoo/conditioner on Amazon and Ebay. I thought I would give it a try for a while and see how it goes. If you look close, you can see all that new hair growth. I have a feeling that the jolt from the surgeries and radiation triggered my initial fallout. So thankful for new hair growth and looking forward to seeing what happens on the Monat. I am going into this very skeptical, so I will give an honest opinion. I had been using living proof full shampoo/conditioner/thickening cream and Matrix rose oil shampoo. My hair is very important to me, and makes me feel good about myself.

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  • Icietla
    Icietla Member Posts: 321

    I would be happy about having hair like that too! So glad for you!


  • Michelle_in_cornland
    Michelle_in_cornland Member Posts: 1,233

    Ice, it looks like we had a similar surgery, with the oopherectomy. My hair started shedding alot after radiation, but could have been stressed from the lumpectomy too. I lost about 1/4 of my hair, which is finally coming back. My hair just kept coming out and I have a cowlick in the back which is disguised with hair pulled over it. Thank you for the compliment.

  • Michelle_in_cornland
    Michelle_in_cornland Member Posts: 1,233

    On Tuesday night I used the Monat hair oil, to see if would condition my hair. It definitely made my hair look healthy. I only purchased samples from Ebay, because a bottle of that is so expensive. One sample will last several applications. Also, I purchased the masque, shampoo, and conditioner in the sample size. I will try those in a day or so. My purchases should cover a month or so of use, so I will be able to see if it is something I want to continue for a longer period of time.

  • MeToo14
    MeToo14 Member Posts: 162

    I've been using Shea Moisture hair products because they are natural. My hair is so dry now. Is there any natural hair care line that anyone is happy with?