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Hair regrowth after chemo
Lefty2
25 Posts
Hi everyone, how has your hair growth coming along after chemo? My last chemo was August 28/20. Here I am 8.5 months later and hair length varies from about 2-3". It seems slow to me but maybe because I just finished my last (17th) Herceptin on April 20. Hair is very thick in the back and top middle, finer at the sides, however very thin with bare patches on the front sides in the triangle areas. Has anyone experienced thin or bare patches that grew in more slowly? I know I should be grateful to have hair but I am very impatient. Still only going bare headed at home, always with a wig or hat outside. Thanks for any input, I'd love to hear about your hair journeys.
14 Replies
K7698
42 Posts
Hi Lefty2‍ , my last IV chemo was June 2020 and I too noticed that the hair seems to grow very slow (might also be affected by 12 rounds of Capecitiban and currently the Exemestane) but it does grow... I had very thick and curly hair before and wore it long so it wouldn't be puffy. It is coming in thick too again and maybe even curlier. It goes straight up and out to the sides but does not really seem to get longer, currently at about 5 to 6 cm. I wore hats for the longest time and now I am keeping it sort of under control with about 10 - 15 bobby pins:-)
Lefty2
25 Posts
Hi, thanks for your reply K7698‍ ! Haha mine is puffy at the top too. Definitely different characteristics in different places. Some is curly, I would love that as I haven't had curly hair since I was a toddler. Hoping by end of summer, it will qualify as a "pixie". Not quite there yet!
Lulu Paris
29 Posts
Lefty2‍ I feel your pain. My DCH treatment finished in October 2020, on Kadcyla until August. My hair grew in unevenly too. Currently sporting an unruly pixie, thank you chemo curl!! LOL Had someone comment the other day...oh you cut your hair, seeing me for the first time since I abandoned my wig. Always a challenging conversation to say, "actually this is grown out...I did chemo last year". I too am impatient for a look that doesn't remind me everyday of the ordeal of cancer treatment. I don't believe in the adage "you should be happy you have hair". I am grateful to be moving towards recovery when I understand some do not have that outlook but it doesn't diminish my frustration and sadness from of the loss of my BC (before cancer) life. My oncologist has a saying "TTT" things take time.

Sending you all my good wishes that you find the strength and much needed patience so required for recovery.
Lefty2
25 Posts
Lulu Paris‍ I am a bit anxious about that question too - whether to just say "yes I did" to the "you cut your hair!" or giving them tmi about chemo "blah blah not my choice blah-di blah". 🤔 I had mid-back length hair so it's a radical change.
I have saved many screenshots of short haircuts and can't wait to be satisfied that mine has reached the cute stage that I will be ready to wear out in the world.
It's not something most people think about; growing hair from nothing to chin length, a good 8" or so from the top of your head, can take 1-2 years.
Essjay
1484 Posts
I’m two years post chemo and I’m happy to say that finally the thin patches have filled in. My regrowth was grey all over - a quite nice shiny silvery colour on top and sides and dark (almost black) at the back which is odd for a formally blonde person. My hair is thick and I absolutely hated the curl - I felt very old lady (52 now).I’ve kept my hair about 1 inch all over and rocked the pixie look while I decide what to do. It’s just growing out now and I can tell it still has a wave, whereas I was dead straight before, so I’m still trying to decide what I ask my stylist to do with it...
lost_soul
13 Posts
Lefty2‍ The famous hair growth.. For me it was a slow process had to keep them short for quite some time, that way it gave it time to grow properly with different cuts and styles to manage the spots that were less full and for the other ones that were thicker haha even now after 2 years since my last chemo treatment I still have some spots that are less full but with mid long curly hair and under shaved I manage to hide this areas..
Lefty2
25 Posts
Thank you Essjay‍ and lost_soul‍ for your replies. It"s encouraging to know you faced the same issues yet 2 years post-chemo it's more or less evened out. Tomorrow (May 28) will be 9 months since my last chemo and I have about 3" growth, some places are more like 2". I have the patience of a toddler, will work on that. 🤣
lost_soul
13 Posts
hahaha Lefty2‍ i so feel you.. try different hair cuts for now to even out the hair as much as possible 🙄😂 you'll be able to find a hairstyle as they regrow ( the first cut u do will help alot). since the beginning of my growth ive had like 6 different ones because i wanted to let them grow as much and as fast as i could. Good luck and keep me posted on your hair journey :)
Lefty2
25 Posts
Thank you lost_soul‍ ... I will eventually need a trim as I'm on my way to a.mullett! Hoping by end of summer I feel ready to go out without some type pf head covering. I still wear the braids I cut off saved after my 1st chemo a year ago. They"re still my "security blanket".
Hello Lefty2

I am now 10 years post treatment. I had long thick curly hair pre-chemo. It came in silver ( salt and pepper but with about 90% salt ha ). It was spiky then it went curly after I coloured it. No idea if it was related. I have had every cut/length since. I am closest now to my original hair those only wavy instead of curly and shorter. I reember I used to say, when asked about my hair - cut and colour by chemo lol.

I think I kept a couple of locks before we cut and then shaved my head after first chemo. I love the idea of your security blanket :)

Lianne
Lefty2
25 Posts
Thanks Lianne_Moderator‍ !!
All of these stories are encouraging. I must try not be so impatient, and just wear ballcaps and buffs and my braids till the hair on top is a bit longer. (Add a wide, high forehead into the mix and it takes even longer to cover it!) Thankfully my hair is as thick as it was before (except for thin triangles on top sides) and curly/wavy which should be really fun as it gets longer.
lol chemo, the gift that keeps on giving.
Runner Girl
1688 Posts
Lefty2

Here is a link to another hair regrowth thread. In it have posted a collage of my hair before, during and after.

https://cancerconnection.ca/discussions/viewtopic/39/65599?post_id=323027#p323027

Runner Girl
Lefty2
25 Posts
Runner Girl‍ thanks - your hair is absolutely beautiful now!
Runner Girl
1688 Posts
Thanks Lefty2

In a few months you will be well on your way as well.

I'm using a purple shampoo that deposits a bit of color in my silver to give it a bit more pizzazz.

Runner Girl
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