Gaining the confidence to colour my hair
I first came across Cancer Hair Care in 2021 through their hair loss advisory workshops with Look Good Feel Better. I took part in one of the pilot Cancer Hair Care workshops, which are now attended by more than 100 women a month.
I’m living with Stage IV Neuroendocrine Cancer and I’ve had surgery. Unfortunately, the metastasis has progressed, so I have recently started on targeted internal radiotherapy treatment in conjunction with hormone injections to hopefully slow it down.
I’m so glad these workshops have been so successful because the advice from Cancer Hair Care was so good. Taking their time to explain everything in detail, the charity’s advisors empowered me to then colour my hair about two months after the workshop. Now, one year later, I have recoloured it in an even more vibrant colour!
Cancer Hair Care also gave me the confidence to use a home colour kit. The colour is a permanent ‘Vibrant Red’ and there’s no harsh smell or feel – it actually makes my hair look much healthier too!
Being able to colour my hair has made me feel ‘alive’, even when I am not feeling at my best. I also cut my hair which makes me feel sassy, confident and vibrant, just like the colour!
I have since joined Cancer Hair Care at both panel events and workshops. I support Cancer Hair Care to continue sharing their knowledge as it can empower so many people to love themselves during a difficult period. There are lots of myths and misinformation out there, but Cancer Hair Care’s team care deeply and expertly understand how to look after your hair whilst living with cancer.
How did you make a decision about cutting your hair?
My story is slightly different. My hair loss started just prior to the diagnosis of cancer. I went through a 2-3 year phase of my hair falling from the root which was deeply distressing. I had been wearing a very short hair cut for years but, when I decided to grow my hair, I uncovered an issue. A biopsy diagnosed it as Lichen Planopilaris with no cure. Alongside cancer treatment, I became very worried about how to manage my hair in the best possible way.
I then met the most amazing Dermatologist at an NHS hospital who would not give up on me. She took me through a series of supportive consultations and medication which not only slowed the hair loss but it started to grow! I had mild thinning whilst on the hormone injections and apparently I may experience the same with the internal radiotherapy treatment. As you can see from my photos, I have coloured my hair myself and had a good cut. It was all about having the confidence to work with the hair that I have.
What was your most challenging hair free moment?
Together with the scalp pain, seeing my hair falling out into the shower was tough. However, my mum was really supportive. I would ring her after each hair wash and share updates, especially when I had any progress.
We have a project called ‘Courage Crowns’: what was your moment of hair loss courage?
My moment of ‘hair loss courage‘ was in January 2021 during the online Cancer Hair Care workshop. It was when friendly, supportive professionals reassured me that colouring my hair was OK. I felt hopeful and really empowered to be courageous!
Colouring hair is daunting for any one who has faced hair loss.
It’s important to spend some time considering the health of your hair and scalp and working out what shade and product will work best.
The timing of when to colour hair can be very important – especially if, as in Cheryl’s case, you will be having ongoing treatments for cancer.
There are many myths surrounding colouring hair. Our experts are here to help you work out the best options for you. Take a look at our Colouring Hair Guides and do please contact us for a consultation.
You can also come along for a FREE hair loss advisory workshop. You can book by following the link below:
Cheryl has formed a fantastic support group called ‘Cancer Creativity’. Below Cheryl tells us all about it:
“Cancer Creativity was birthed during the pandemic in 2020. Being concerned about the isolation and fears of people living with cancer, I decided to start the online group. The sessions offer exercise and mindfulness led by qualified practitioners. The sessions are free and are available to anyone who is living with cancer, in remission and/or they care or previously cared for someone with cancer (Carers need TLC too!)”
To join the sessions please email: email@example.com