Beauty whilst counquering the beast
Before I started my chemo treatment back in October 2016, I would go on the internet and research hair regimes and beauty tips for during chemotherapy. I found many useful tips but not all of them worked for me.
Here are some very simple tips I found helped me during my time battling the C.
Once I eventually braved the shave because my hair was falling out rapidly and thinning, it did start to come back in the form of peach fuzz. This was around 4 weeks into my treatment and I found using coconut shampoo and conditioner every other day kept my scalp soft. Even with no hair, I still washed my baldy. Not going to lie, it helped me deal mentally with having no hair and the result was a smooth fragranced fluffy microphone.
I did have wigs which gave me some confidence when I was able to get out and about but I preferred to rock the baldy most days as the wigs irritated my scalp.
You can get so many different styles now with a variety of colours if your a daring soul.
My eyebrows lasted a very long time, very sparce but lasted right up until my last chemo. I used a dark brown eyebrow pencil to draw my eyebrows on so I didn't look too much like a thumb and I would look at old photos and try to mimic the brow shape. I did also try out many different shapes and found the one for me. You can also purchase stensils to help with the placement of drawing your eyebrows on.
I also found the funny side in this as you can see above. I would draw eyebrows very high and all different shapes. I guess this is my sense of humour and helped me deal with it.
My eyelashes didn't last too long. I tried fake eyelashes but they irritated my eyelid and looked pretty silly as I had maybe one eyelash to attach them to. My trick to give the illusion of having lashes was to use a black pencil eyeliner and draw a thin line along my lid where my lashes would be and smudge this with my finger which gave it that shadow effect. YouTube has many videos to help with this, so if you ever find yourself with no lashes head over to YouTube.
Your skin during chemo can get very dry and cracked. Mine was more on my hands which I used coconut moisturiser which helped my skin to remain hydrated and also smell nice. You can purchase cocunut moisturuser at most beauty stores.
Green tea was a saviour for my skin during treatment. I would have this along with my smoothies (Kale and Berries) to keep my skin clear. I can say with my hand on my heart, I never had one spot or dry skin on my face whilst having chemo and I believe this regime helped an awful lot.
I became very anemic through chemo which made my skin very pale in colour. I didn't like to wear foundation so to give my skin a sun kissed look I used blusher and bronzer.
My nails became very soft and broke as soon as I had some growth on them. My nan gave me some nail hardner polish which you can get at most beauty stores which helped an awful lot. This also helped with the colour of my nails as chemo did turn my nails a dark purple colour.
Your lips may get very dry throughout chemo. My lips did start to crack towards the end so I found Vaseline helped and if I wanted to use lipstick, I made sure it had a moisturiser in it. My fave was Rimmel London moisture renew lipstick.
I did tend to get chemo bags under my eyes a couple of days after a chemo treatment. They were very dark circles under my eyes and I looked like Uncle Fester. To camouflage this I would use creamy eyeshadows, it didn't give the creased effect under my eye. It was also more gentle on my skin.
This hack is for women who have had a masectomy and maybe awaiting reconstruction surgery. When wearing tops or bras you may feel conscious about the difference in how it looks. Before my reconstruction I never wore tops that showed much cleverage but with bikinis I would take the padding from my other bras and sew them into my bikinis to give it the effect of something being there. This helped with my confidence when walking around in a bikini and not wearing tank tops all the time to hide it.
I did a lot of experimenting with make up whilst I had a baldy. Some women prefer to wear more neutral colours to ensure their make up doesn't draw attention to their bald head. This applies to women who also wore wigs.
I found more neutral colours for my lips complimented my bald look and used slightly darker eyeshadow to show off my eyes.
Every women going through chemo will have their own tricks to help them feel more like a women and sharing these will help many other women going forward who have to face chemo treatment.