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Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,885
Registered: ‎03-12-2010

Hair growth after chemotherapy

[ Edited ]

Wasn't sure whether to post this in "Wellness" or "Beauty."  What the heck, I put it here.

 

I have just FINISHED chemotherapy.  I will still be getting what they refer to as "targeted therapy" for up to a year.  Targeted therapy is for the HER2+ hormonal status.  It means my own estrogen is causing the problem.  I am not sure how/if that affects hair growth.

 

I admit losing my hair has been devastating.  I had lovely hair, and having it come out in clumps was very traumatic for me.  I did not become totally bald, but just have a slight covering of very short hair.  I cannot even stand to look at myself.  I have had my eyebrows and eyelashes thin and much of my body hair come out.  I think I may have some very short regrowth, but am not sure.  I feel like I look like a baby bird.

 

I am wondering if anyone knows when people get true hair regrowth.  Is there anything that helps?  I bought 2 wigs and haven't used them.  I have used head coverings.  I feel so awful much of the time that I don't have a lot of energy for my usual beauty regimes.

 

I stopped all skin care because my skin became so dry, scaly, and sensitive.  I wish to resume it when I can, and hope it isn't all undone!

 

I will be seeing the breast surgeon for a lumpectomy, and then radiation as the final (hopefully) treatment.

 

Would appreciate any information from anyone who knows!!

 

Hyacinth

 

 

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 134
Registered: ‎07-27-2018

Re: Hair growth after chemotherapy

My hair began to grow as soon as my chemo was over. I used Wen after my hair returned. My new hair was curly instead of wavy, much thicker and healthier. I am not sure if Wen played a part in it being healthier. I am 6 years now post Chemo and continually get compliments on my hair. Hang in there. You will get your hair back and most likely healthier than before.
Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,612
Registered: ‎03-13-2010

Re: Hair growth after chemotherapy

@hyacinth003 - don't worry, your real hair growth will start as soon as the chemo stops! My new hair came in just as nice,  and curly in the back, but alas the curls went away after my first haircut. 
Your HER2+ targeted treatments should not affect your hair at all. I was unable to get them because I was only a HER2+ plus one and they don't give it to you for only a plus one severity. Besides I had Triple Negative breast cancer and all they can do for that is chemo, lots of tough kinds of chemo and radiation also.  
But my workmate had the HER2+ treatments and they did not affect her hair, so you don't need to worry about that. 

My grown son kept telling me how cute and adorable my hair looked when it was in it's growing back stages! Just get yourself some good stiff gel!!

My hair had been my best feature and it was hard to go through being bald. I did NOT look good in scarves or head coverings of any sort. I mostly wore a cute baseball cap out.  And pretty earrings - always pretty earrings!

Hope all goes well for you!

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,828
Registered: ‎12-13-2010

Re: Hair growth after chemotherapy

Hyacinth, wishing the best in your recovery.

Two of my friends had their hair fully regrow after chemo. 

Best of luck!

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,024
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Hair growth after chemotherapy

@hyacinth003 

I just wanted to mention that there is a website where you can find answers to this question and lots more.  It's breastcancer dot org.  Under "Community" there are discussion boards similar to ours here, but the topics are all breast cancer related.  Any question or problem that you have, someone else has had it and probably posted about it.  Best of luck as you move forward to good health!

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,480
Registered: ‎09-23-2011

Re: Hair growth after chemotherapy

[ Edited ]

Hyacinth the first thing you'll noticed is the chin hairs. Then your on your way to hair growth. You will be amazed how fast it will grow in. I didn't go outside bald. I wanted to be like everyone else not to stand out. Hated the wigs but i wore them on a few occasions. Went with hats. And yes you will feel lousy for awhile. It will get better.

 

You will have virgin hair. Being all gray wasn't my idea of fun either but at least i had hair. yes it was very difficult. I used to tease that this was certainly low maintenance. Look at how much money I saved expensive shampoos and conditioners. 

 

Don't stress over it. Your hair will grow back sooner than later.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 31,126
Registered: ‎05-17-2010

Re: Hair growth after chemotherapy

@hyacinth003   So sorry you're going through this ordeal. It must really be so difficult for you.

 

Hopefully, the rest of the treatment, surgery, etc. will be effective. I can't imagine losing my hair, but I sympathize with you and hope your journey is an easy one for you. Heart

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,837
Registered: ‎11-15-2011

Re: Hair growth after chemotherapy

I agree with the other posters who said it will start growing as soon as you stop chemo.  My mother had cancer and hers starts growing right away after chemo.  She was in her late sixties so it came in gray but she was able to use a color rinse (not permanent dye) to cover it.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 12,793
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Hair growth after chemotherapy

@hyacinth003 --congrats on this part of your treatment!!! See--you did live thru it!!! Woman Wink--so many times you probably thought how could you survive all that--I did---I think the chemo was the worst part of the treatments I had--I had surgery, chemo than radiation for hormone positive breast cancer---I lost ALL my hair EVERYWHERE before the 2nd round of chemo---just picked it all out in clumps and let it blow in the wind---was a drag but also that worry was off my shoulders---I did wear my 3 wonderful wigs as well as hats and scarves---yes, my hair grew back fully--and very fast during the radiation part of treatment,  in fact. I was thrilled when it started out curly---I have very stick straight hair--but as it grew it went back to the straight stuff---boo, hiss !! But it grew fast and had more grey in with the light brown and is really an awesome color now. I continued my skin care tho---am a junkie for all that--but never had the skin issues with any of the treatments. My onc dr declared me cured of cancer this past  July!! Was dx April of 2012---you are on your way!! take things one day at a time and don't dwell on the next step until it is there!!  try posting on the cancer survivors board too--we can talk more specifically there---good luck and Bravo again!!!

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,152
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Hair growth after chemotherapy

@hyacinth003 I don't have any advice to add to the supportive comments others have left except to say prayers for your continued healing and strength.  God bless you.