• Regrowing head hair

    Asked by nancyjac on Monday, May 14, 2012

    Regrowing head hair

    I had my head shaved shortly after starting chemo in Dec, 2011. My last chemo treatment was on March 21, 2012, or almost 2 months ago. My hair has started growing back but it is still pretty sparse and thin. It is almost a couple inches long in some places but no regrowth at all in others.

    I'm interested in other people's experience with new hair growth after chemo. How long did it take before you were comfortable not wearing a hat or scarf or wig?

    13 Answers from the Community

    13 answers
    • leepenn's Avatar

      Hey there -

      I think you're just about to turn the corner.

      I think my thickness started showing up right about 2 months out from the last chemo. I had my bmx three weeks after the last chemo, and I was still wearing hats to keep my scalp warm... Maybe about one month or six weeks after that, I felt like I had hair... But I feel like it was another month before my head was warm enough and "dark" enough that I'd just rock the head without a hat. Man - this makes me think I should have taken like weekly pictures or something. That would have been interesting, so see the progression of hair growing back. Hmmm - I do have a couple of pics.... OK - I just looked at my head in a photo taken almost exactly two months after the last treatment. I had baby mouse head. Just a very fine (and very soft) layer of hair with an average length of a few millimeters...

      Now, four months out, I have HAIR!!!! It's thick... and short.... and SUPER SOFT (feels like a baby bunny). But, I also have triple the grey. I do and don't mind this.... I seem to have some wave, but that straightens out when I sleep on it... I've always had very straight hair, and I hear getting curls is rather common....

      I have read that using rogaine can speed it up...

      Hope this helps....


      PS - I very clearly remember when my eyelashes started growing in. They grew in super squirrelly curly, and they were poking my eyes all the time over about 3 weeks. That was HORRIBLE!!!!!

      over 4 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      Thanks for the info Lee. My hair had always been fast growing so I guess I just have to be a little more patient. I never really had any change in eyelashes or eyebrows....but I lost body/facial hair every where else.

      over 4 years ago
    • mattsmama2's Avatar

      Hi, my last chemo (IV taxol/IP and IV cisplatin) in early April of 2009. Lost ALL my hair (EVERYWHERE). Fuzzy comeback at 2 months. 1 inch or more VERY CURLY growth at about 3-4 months. Curls lasted for 18 months. Then back to 'pre chemo' hair texture after that. This is my journey with 'hair'. My best thoughts to you.

      over 4 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      I've heard quite a few people mention that their hair came back curly and I assumed that it remained that way. Very interesting that original texture did return eventually.

      over 4 years ago
    • Carol55's Avatar

      I stopped 4 months of chemo late November of 2011. Now, six months later I have thicker, about 1 1/2 inch hair. It is extremely fine but has more wave than it used to. It sticks straight up in some places and grows sideways in other places. I feel it looks like a toddler's hair! But my scalp no longer shows through and am able to make it look like "normal hair." Hang in there and give it a few more months. I actually continued to lose hair for almost a month after my last chemo, even as it was growing in. Maybe that is also going on with you. I was most pleased about my eyelashes and eyebrows growing back. That was the most exciting regrowth for me. So glad that your course was so short!

      over 4 years ago
    • AbbysMom's Avatar

      Good morning! I had my last chemo Jan. 11th, 2012 and I got my first hair trim about a week ago (4 months out). It grew pretty irregularly - longer around my ears and nape of the neck and very short on the forehead area. It's steadily thickened from about mid-Feb. Though the bange area is still way behind the rest of my hair. I naturally have very straight hair and I now have some waves. I also am naturally blonde and now I have white hair with gray accents in the back. I'm going to leave it this way - I earned every one of these white hairs. One month out of chemo, my hairbrows and eyelashes fell out again - Yay! But they had been coming in initially all strange and inverted and have now come back in great and thick. I hadn't minded my leg hair disappearing during treatment but alack & alas, it has come in like normal. Good Luck!

      over 4 years ago
    • PinkD's Avatar

      Adriamycin/Cytoxan was what did my hair in--had my last round of that around Thanksgiving, and finally put my wig away at Easter. I washed my bald head every day with Nioxin shampoo. I don't know how much of a difference it made but it made me feel like I was doing something. I had started going grey really early (like age 15!) and have colored my hair forever, so I don't know for sure how grey I was, but my new hair was white! And it's always been straight, but the new hair looked like a poodle. I loved it and was sad when it went back to being straight--straighter than ever, actually! I had decided I'd spent way too much of my life coloring and blow drying my thick, long hair, so my "survivor 'do" was going to be short and that I was done with coloring. But when some old dude came up to my sister and me at my nephew's football game and said, "Oh, mother and daughter--I can always tell!", I was immediately on the phone making an appointment with the hairdresser! Now I'm blonde and while my hair is still pretty short, about a year ago I let it get long enough that I have to bust out the hairdryer every day again. But as I have said since the beginning of this journey--every day with hair is a good day!

      over 4 years ago
    • Tammygoals' Avatar

      I lost about half of my hair and the rest got very thin. I finished chemo and radiation in July 2011 and a few months later started taking Biotin 5000 mg. My hair is back although the texture is thinner than it used to be and I still see some new hair growing. But nails and hair are stronger now. God luck!!

      over 4 years ago
    • mysecondchance's Avatar

      I had my last infusion on 9/16/2010 and around February of 2011 my hair had grown in but was thin and scraggly. I went to my hairdresser just to have her shape it up as best she could. I wear my hair short anyway. Well, to my surprise once she cut it, it was almost back to my normal style. Before that I had seriously considered shaving it off again. Being bald never bothered me; in fact I kind of liked how I looked (call me crazy). For a few months my normally straight hair had a bit of a curve and the texture seemed coarser and thicker. In time it went back to its normal texture.

      over 4 years ago
    • Cindy's Avatar

      I had my last chemo treatment on 17 March 2011. I stopped wearing my wig and hats about 5 months later (about 18 August 2011) when my scalp was no longer visible (about 1 inch long or less). My hair came in slow but evenly and was very curly. I normally have wavy hair but gets curlier the shorter it is. I have not cut or trimmed my hair since I had chemo 14 months ago and it is now about shoulder length in the back. It is still curly. I use curlers now to tame it, otherwise, it gets very wild looking.

      over 4 years ago
    • car092360's Avatar

      I had my last Taxotere/Cytoxan round on March 16, 2012. Prior to that I had 3 rounds of same then almost two months off chemo to prepare for surgery/then surgery. My hair started growing back during those 2 mths off chemo but it was sparse. I had orginally buzzed my head when hair started falling out and when it started growing back, the gray came back full force. I looked like Yoda for awhile. After the 2nd 3 rounds of chemo, I lost a little bit but the back of my head kept growing in. Mostly I lost along the hairline, so when it started coming back for good, it didn't take long. Last chemo was March 16 and I was able to go out without a hat at the begging of the end of April/beginning of May - right when it started to get 85 - 95 degrees - whew. It didn't come in curly but came in 90% gray (before chemo it was only 15% gray. Dagnabbititalltoheck! BUT because it's so short, it's a heck of a lot easier to color.

      over 4 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      Not a lot of change since I first posted this thread. So far, the hair that has grown back seems to be pretty much the same color and texture as it was before, light brown and straight. It's longest at the crown, but thickest around the back, and sparsest on the right side from above my ear to the front of my scalp.

      over 4 years ago
    • Joachima's Avatar

      Hello ... I just read through all the responses... so helpful. I finished chemo on April 20, 2012. My hair before chemo was very long - mid back or longer, very thick and wavy to curly. The color was dark brown with about 10% gray. Now, at 6 months post chemo, my hair is 1 1/2 inches long on top, and 2 inches at the sides & back. The color is salt and pepper with some white - with remnants of original color in the back. It is very thick and curly, just as it was before. I am still wearing wigs and may venture out as a short haired chick once I can color it - I have more gray now than my mother did when she passed away at 80 years old. I am a musician at church and in front of people so I do feel very self-conscious. No one except my husband and two adult children who live with me have seen me without a head covering or wig. I have never had short hair before and this is upsetting, too ... so my plan is to let it grow out again ... praying for fast growth!!!

      about 4 years ago

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