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Date: 05.07.2013
From: Julie

Subject: Hair colouring while on Methotrexate

Hi everyone, now I know this probably sounds a silly question but please forgive me because I am still learning about RA and I dont know what things might cause me problems.

My question is will it be okay to have my hair highlighted while I am on meth, I am beginning to feel a bit better but when I look at my hair - gosh - I look awful,my roots are so grey, so thought would book in and try to get my hair back to how it used to be a few months ago (since being diagnosed the only colour that has gone on is a shop bought one which my hubby did for me because I was too ill to get anywhere, he did a great job aswell!)

As ladies know hair colourants are quite strong and as Im not losing much hair at moment I dont want to cause myself any more hair loss but am soooo looking forward to having it cut and coloured. Got grand daughters 18th to go to next weekend, Im trying to find courage to go because I am still a bit worried about going amongst crowds, if anybody sneezes I think I will faint, only kidding, but I know if anybody does my family will all look at me to see how I reacted, they are still learning about RA aswell but its nice to know they understand how I feel and I am sure I will get more confident.
Any advice would be appreciated. thankyou
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Date: 05.07.2013
From: Samantha

Subject: Re: Hair colouring while on Methotrexate

Do you lose hair on meth then? I haven't been prescribed this yet but I suspect its on the cards?
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Date: 05.07.2013
From: Eve

Subject: Re: Hair colouring while on Methotrexate

Aww, you're in the right place :) Don't worry, the more time goes on and the more you learn you will relax more about it and get to know the things you need to look out for.

I've put a hair colour on while on mtx and it was fine though it might be worth a patch test being done first, just in case, you never know with hair colourants these days anyway (she says and should probably take my own advice! :)) and it could make your skin more sensitive or make a difference if any reaction were to occur. It didn't occur to me, I must admit!

I'm much more chilled out now than I was. The one thing I always wondered about was why the chickenpox virus always popped up in literature. My GP rang me one day asking how I was feeling as my bloods had shown a rise in white cell count. I said a bit off but that wasn't unusual. I rang the surgery back later to leave a non-urgent message as I'd since had some spots appear that some of the ladies said looked like chickenpox. I had a callback 10 minutes later, was called straight in, an hour at the doctors while calls were made to the hospital then was sent to A&E, quickest admission ever! Was still stood at the reception desk when I was called through and was admitted for a few nights and put on antivirals by drip then tablets while they waited for my blood test to come back to show...it wasn't chickenpox... So now I know! :)

I find the more time you are around the rhumo team helps as you tend to see how much less bothered they are by certain things, I think many GPs are more nervous about mtx generally such as blood results, infections etc...

I've had colds and minor infections on it and have been fine. Getting a good dialogue with your GP practice is so worthwhile, mine have been fantastic.

My hair has gone really dry and unmanageable, wondering if that's the mtx though currently awaiting thyroid blood results.

Enjoy getting yourself spoilt, think we all deserve a bit of that.

RA is a bit learning curve for you and those around you. NRAS do some booklets you can order (and download I think) from their website, I picked up one for employers that I passed to my managers to have a look at the other week and they said they found it really useful. They do loads of other ones.
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Date: 05.07.2013
From: Eve

Subject: Re: Hair colouring while on Methotrexate

It's possible to lose hair though the dosage is so tiny compared with the kind of dosage they use for more serious conditions which are more associated with hair loss, I don't think it is a very common side effect.

Conditions like Lupus may make a difference (I am guessing, I'm RA) as that can cause hair loss itself so I imagine it would also depend what you are taking it for.

I haven't noticed any hairloss. I have very fine hair and have noticed my hair doesn't grow anywhere near as quickly (everywhere...yay!) so I'd be careful with things like eyebrows if you pluck, wax etc... if you go overboard it may take longer to fix.

Ooh, I meant to say before (sorry, watching Murray match too), when I mentioned skin sensitivity, be careful of the sun especially, covering up, sunscreen etc...
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Date: 05.07.2013
From: bsk

Subject: Re: Hair colouring while on Methotrexate

My hair is very fine like yours Eve. It became very dry and unmanageable until I started using a rather expensive shampoo and conditioner. It made a huge difference. I do dye mine but not that often these days. I'm watching Murray match too, a bit tense!
btw, I don't take mtx any longer but the steroids aren't great in terms of hair loss though it's slowed down a bit now.A decent hairdresser worth their weight in gold.
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Date: 05.07.2013
From: Eve

Subject: Re: Hair colouring while on Methotrexate

I've had to reconsider my shampoo budget :) Currently on one of the argan oil shampoos and that extraordinary oil. Only a few days in but it's helping a bit.

I find it too much faff to dye it myself much, more having my arms up to get it through my hair properly and then trying to kneel in or by the bath to try and get it washed off after (my shower pressure is rubbish).

I cut my hair shorter to help (also have impingement in both shoulders), though typically miss having longer hair again now, can't win :)

Oh and wooooo Murray so far, it is a bit tense isn't it! :)
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Date: 05.07.2013
From: Julie

Subject: Re: Hair colouring while on Methotrexate

thanks Eve for all the info, I think your right I will go and ask if they will do a skin test, I have noticed it doesnt take much to damage my skin at moment, helping in garden to day (covered up but 3/4 sleeves)and caught my arm on piece of wire fence, skin peeled so easily, last week I was slicing onions on my slicer and yes you guessed it, didnt use the proper tool and sliced right through end of my finger, luckily my finger nail stopped it going all the way through, bled for England, hubby saw to it for me and put dressing on, but it healed absolutely perfect nothing to see, so one good lesson I know I can heal myself still!!

Although I do use expensive hair products my hair at moment feels lifeless and really needs a good cut, I find it hard to lift my arms to do back and have only just started to have the strength to lift hairdryer with one hand.

I have underactive thyroid, had it for 30+ years and it never affected the condition of my hair at all, in fact my hair grew quickly (like you now it doesnt - ANYWHERE) so it could be Mtx, I am in my 11th week, for past 6 been on 20mg, dont like it but I will persevere.

Clinic staff are great, my g.p. is too, but the blood nurse at g.p.'s not very good, I asked her if over time my pains would go, her answer was that 'well once you have it, it never goes away you will always have pain' she said her mum has it and is worse in the warm weather then she said 'but then again the cold gives her problems aswell' So wont ask her for advice again. I only just realised that the aim of the medicine was to try to get you into remission, before I heard that I thought I had been given a life sentence of struggling. So thanks for your advice a little bit more hope for me to cling onto if I do get a cold. Thankyou once again for taking time to read and post.
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Date: 05.07.2013
From: Eve

Subject: Re: Hair colouring while on Methotrexate

You're welcome. At the hint of the sniffles I get on the vitamin C tablets, especially as it's so restrictive what you can and cannot take when on mtx.

I'm lucky my hair is so fine that it dries quickly, especially as I won't go out of the house without a shower and washing my hair. I asked for something easy to maintain too to make it easier.

Hopefully get my thyroid results early next week, various things led to it but could be from the different conditions and meds etc... too. One thing I'm hoping is that it will give me hope I can get rid of puffiness. My weight gain has been ridiculous too though not helped by steroids and other meds.

I'm on 20mg mtx too, on the self injections now which are really easy. I had a bad time wide side effects though they seem to be settling a bit now, generally and with the help of other meds. My nurse said she could drop the dose down but I was determined to ride it through as I am starting to feel more of a benefit.

I had a slicing incident too recently, cucumber for me though. I do seem to take a lot longer to heal now which is not great with a cat with razor like claws who likes to jump up and hang on for cuddles, bless her.
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Date: 05.07.2013
From: Colin W

Subject: Re: Hair colouring while on Methotrexate

hi Julie , been on Mtx a long time , had hair thinning with it & since upping my folic acid to six days a week it has gone back to normal & thickin up

dont know about hair colouring but would have thought highlights would be no problem , upping folic acid can save you from most the side effects from MYX & would advice most people to request it
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Date: 06.07.2013
From: Linda

Subject: Re: Hair colouring while on Methotrexate

Hi Julie. I have Lupus/RA. I also dye my hair on a regular basis. It did go a little thin at one point. I asked the doctor if it was because of prednisolone and he said no. I'm not so sure he's right about that.

It did thicken up when I started taking magnesium supplements. Magnesium helps counteract some of the effects of pred, i'm not sure about Mtx.
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Date: 06.07.2013
From: Julie

Subject: Re: Hair colouring while on Methotrexate

thanks Colin, I am now taking folic acid every day instead of 2mg once a week!!! Hopefully it will do my hair a bit of good, it certainly took away a lot of the nausea which I now only have the day after, we just class the day after mtx as a no go day for anything, its my 'slobbing' around day.

You have been on meds for a long time now do you still have pain and find things difficult? Reading other posts I consider myself lucky really and if I feel down I just remember what it was like a few months ago, then I couldnt even stand up from the bed let alone worry about the hairdressers!
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Date: 06.07.2013
From: Julie

Subject: Re: Hair colouring while on Methotrexate

Hi Eve, usually thyroxine does take down puffiness after a while and weight gain is a symptom. Its hard when you have RA because some of the symptoms like tiredness and aching joints are part of underactive thyroid aswell. I am lucky as I am on T3 only, normally they give you T4 and your body has to convert to T3, for some reason a year ago I had all sorts of probem with T4 so went private to see endo and he let me have T3 and I havent looked back since, plus it is great for weight loss, but then again so is RA, I lost 2 stone since February and now need to iron my saggy and wrinkly skin on my arms I look like a dried up wash leather yeuk.

I might be going onto injections soon, it has been suggested, not looking forward to that. Does it hurt?
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Date: 06.07.2013
From: Eve

Subject: Re: Hair colouring while on Methotrexate

Thanks for the info. I feel like whatever I do the weight just won't come off at the moment. Even serious dieting and a rather horrible week when I couldn't keen anything in my system, nothing. My skin is really dry at the moment.

No, the injections don't hurt. I can hardly even feel them going in! I might get a slight stinging feeling for a minute or so, probably due to the alcohol wipes.
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Date: 06.07.2013
From: Julie

Subject: Re: Hair colouring while on Methotrexate

Eve drink loads and loads of water, people used to say that to me and I just used to think yeah yeah but it really works, okay you might pee more but it flushes out all the bad stuff, skin really looks fresher aswell - I am not someone who believes all the natural remedies and things but honestly give it a try, I used to drink 11 glasses of water a day - you notice I said water!! dont add alcohol to it.
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Date: 09.07.2013
From: Rachel

Subject: Re: Hair colouring while on Methotrexate

Hi Julie, I work in a salon (but not as a stylist) have RA and I'm on Meth, leflunomide and waiting to go onto infliximab. Make sure you get a skin test before having your hair coloured. I also found I did lose quite a bit of hair and have gone shorter and it has now settled down. It may be worth investing in salon shampoos and conditioners but if you search online you will find them a lot cheaper than in the salon. As someone else said, be careful in the sun as well.
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Date: 11.07.2013
From: Julie

Subject: Re: Hair colouring while on Methotrexate

thankyou Rachael. I have been today and had it done and I am so glad I did, if I didnt feel so rubbish today I would say it makes me look normal again, but today (past 4 days actually) my hands are swollen my knees are hurting everytime I get up and coming upstairs is too painful so I come up on all fours - not a pretty site. Tuesday was mtx day and so today feeling nauseaus and down, folic acid didnt stop it this time, also I have started to bruise really easily. Blood nurse said to ring helpline and tell specialist nurse, only thing is they wont get my message till Tuesday so will just have to curl up in bed till then - waste of time having my hair done really wasnt it!!!! But I do like colour and the way she cut it, lets just hope it doesnt fall out - sorry feel pretty negative at moment.
thanks for your advice though I appreciate it.
xx
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