• Chemo curls?

    Asked by Clementine_P on Monday, August 29, 2011

    Chemo curls?

    So, my hair is coming in nicely now (for which I am very grateful!). It is about 4-5 inches long but you would never know it because it has come in in tight curls. My hair was wavy before but never curly like this. I know that getting "chemo curls" is pretty common, I was just wondering how long it lasts? When does your hair return to the way it was pre-chemo? I am not complaining but since I have red hair, all I think of when I look in the mirror is, "how did Little Orphan Annie get so old"? Ha ha ha.

    16 Answers from the Community

    16 answers
    • grams2jc's Avatar

      I am behind you, my hair is only about 1/2 inch long, I laughingly told my daughter yesterday that I will never know how long my hair is until I take the straightener to it because it is already really curly..even at this length. I have seen others on another site mention that the curls last about 3 years. By the way, I love curly, red hair...always wished mine was red but that is just 1 color that is hard to successfully cheat on.

      about 5 years ago
    • Clementine_P's Avatar

      3 years? Okay, well that gives me something to shoot for. I am sure you have gorgeous hair! I can't wait to see a photo of you au natural. I am sure that day will come very soon.

      Thanks very much!

      about 5 years ago
    • lynn1950's Avatar

      I loved my hair when it was short and curly. It's back to wavy know and it happened gradually as it grew out. If there's anything I miss about my cancer treatment, it's those nice cute curls. Enjoy them!

      about 5 years ago
    • Lighthouse_7's Avatar

      I had the same tight ringlets and it came in salt and pepper! I had to dye it back to brown even before I was supposed to. I am almost 2 years out of treatment and it is shoulder length and still curly but not quite so tight. Of course this is probably because it's longer and heavier. My hair before was just wavy too so I don't know if it will ever go back.
      Hope this helps. And I love Orphan Annie!!:)

      about 5 years ago
    • Clementine_P's Avatar

      Thanks guys, since from what you guys have said the curls are around for a while, I will embrace them like you guys did and, maybe, audition for the show, "Little Orphan Annie, The After Years". :))

      about 5 years ago
    • Nimet22's Avatar

      Before treatment my hair was long straight natural black but I dye it because some greys were starting to show ( genetics my father side). I'd experience hair loss two times. First time my hair came back straight but grey!!! completly white head!!! it did't grow to much before I went into taxol after surgery and hair loss second time. Now is growing black!!! and curly specially in the back of the head, some few grey show, and people asked me if I already dye it....... but no!! my natural black is back, go figure!!

      about 5 years ago
    • Brooklynchele's Avatar

      Pre-chemo my hair was stick straight and black. I lost my hair on my second and last chemo treatment last September (actually I shaved it because it was falling out). When my hair came back, it came back very curly and brownish-red. I'm just one year post-chemo now, my hair is not even shoulder length yet at it's longest part and it is just as curly as it was when it started growing. I've recently dyed it back to black and have started blow drying it as close to straight as I can get it - but it's still very wavy. My stylist can get it fairly straight using a flat-iron but I just don't have the time to do all of that. For me, I wanted to get my hair back as close as I could because the woman with the curly brown-red hair just wasn't me. The bc took enough of my identity I just want to claim back as much as I can. My best answer to you, is do what makes you feel good about yourself. :)

      about 5 years ago
    • Karen4's Avatar

      I got them and I HATE them, but happy to have hair again. I'm just 5 months of hair regrowth right now and I've heard that sometimes it goes back to normal. I'm ready! BRING IT!

      almost 5 years ago
    • mspinkladybug's Avatar

      my hair was naturally curly i was hoping for straight hair.... ughhh

      almost 5 years ago
    • Cindy's Avatar

      I have short curly hair too about 8 months after my last chemo. My hair was medium long and wavy before. My hair is normally straighter the longer it is. I didn't know if the curl was because my hair is short now or because of the chemo. I didn't know chemo curls were common. Anyway, I get lots of complements on my curly locks.

      almost 5 years ago
    • abrub's Avatar

      I didn't lose my hair with chemo (for appendix cancer) but the texture changed, and I ended up with dead straight hair for the first time in my life! I was born with a mop of curls, and our family has always had curly hair. Straight hair was quite the novelty (and I loved it!) It took over 2 years after stopping chemo before my hair resumed its natural curls.

      almost 5 years ago
    • catlady's Avatar

      My naturally stick-straight hair came back loaded with chemo curls. My last chemo treatment was July 2010 and I didn't need/get a haircut until the following July. At that point, much of the curl could be trimmed off, and the next cut in September took most of the rest. I'm pretty much back to my straight hair now, so the curls lasted around a year for me.

      almost 5 years ago
    • LadyM's Avatar

      I had naturally curly hair abour shoulder length prior to chemo. I had the chemo curls, had a meltdown one weekend and bought some terrible off the shelf straightner - bad move LOL!!! I burned my hair so try patience (not an easy task). I actually got so used to not having hair (Carolina Summers) that I completely forgot how "to do" my hair. BTW you look great in your picture. :)

      about 4 years ago
    • judijudijudi's Avatar

      My hair was straight, but it sure came back in curly. Mine is grey, so at 4-5 inches I looked like Mrs. Santa Claus. It won't be long now, and your hair is going to start returning to its pre-chemo texture. You won't have to be Little Orphan Annie for life.

      about 4 years ago
    • cathieb's Avatar

      When my hair came back it too was very curly and VERY grey! I couldn't take both at the same time since my pre-chemo hair was neither curly nor fully grey. So I colored it against my better judgement and loved the curls while they lasted. It was great for the summer - wash and go! It sadly did not last, and I have my old hair back again which at first was much like my pre-chemo hair, some grey and some body/curl. I had long hair before chemo, but cut it just before treatment. My profile pic is my pre-chemo hairdo, and I've kept a similar style, now 3 years later, to keep the cost of coloring down. I just do highlights and that keeps the chemicals I'm allergic to off my scalp. Now that I'm fully in menopause, thanks to chemo and Letrozole, my hair has a different texture, which I'm not crazy about. Any help there?

      about 4 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar

      My hair stayed curly (and before chemo was thick and wavy and coarse), but as it grew out, the curls were not as tight...but after 2 years on the AI's, my hair, thinned and went straight....after stopping the AI's, my hair got thicker again...its still not as coarse as before though...no more bad hair days (just days I don't like the way my hair looks)!!!!

      almost 4 years ago

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