Sunday, February 25, 2024

Stimulate Hair Growth After Chemo

My Tips For Hair Growth Post

How I Am Speeding Up Hair Growth After Chemo NATURALLY!

Im sure we can all agree that hair loss due to chemotherapy is one of the hardest aspects of going through treatment. We become unrecognizable to ourselves, to others, and even feel a loss of identity. On the flip side of this, theres the excitement of getting our hair BACK! But I think most would agree this feels painfully slow, and many can still struggle with their identity during this process. Im 11 months out of chemo, and while Im thankful for my mullet, Im still grieving the loss of my long hair. I long for the day that I will feel like myself again. In the meantime, Im sharing my personal tips and tricks at attempting to grow my luscious long locks back ASAP!

1.5 Months Post-Chemo

What worked for me was starting with my overall health. As a nurse, I know that proper nutrition is incredibly important. I personally go for lots of protein and chose some additional biotin/collagen supplementation. Check with your healthcare professionals if theyre OK for you.

3 Months Post-Chemo

Youve gotta take care of your scalp ! I found that a gentle shampoo and moisturizing plus massage worked well. I often used coconut oil, a leave-in conditioner or mask for this. There are some shampoos/conditioners/treatments for hair growth. Ask your hairstylist for some advice and be sure to check with your medical team, especially if the formulas include medicinal ingredients/chemicals. Personally, I liked the plumping line by Kevin Murphy.

6 Months Post-Chemo

9 Months Post-Chemo

/ My New Hair Has A Different Colour And Texture Will It Stay Like This

Good question. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesnt. Sometimes yourchemo curls will disappear after a few months. But for some women, the changes are permanent. It is a mystery why this happens. Not much has been written about this in medical literature. So all you can do is guess and wait. Sometimes your hair suddenly looks normal again after a year.

Remember that changedoesnt mean a drastic turnaround. We have yet to meet someone who originally had black hair and ended up with red hair after chemo. However blond hair does often get darker.

Pick Out A Wig Before You Begin Chemo

It is possible to hide hair loss with wigs and, depending on their style, length, and color, help you resemble yourself before your treatment or create a brand new appearance. Wigs can also act as sun and cold-air shields for your scalp.

When I shopped for wigs, I picked one long enough for my hairstylist to cut closest to my desired hairstyle. I didnt want to look too different from my usual self pre-treatment.

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Managing Ongoing Hair Thinning

Breast cancer treatments such as hormonal therapy, targeted therapy, and chemotherapy can cause some people to have ongoing mild to moderate hair loss. If youre concerned that your hair isnt growing back or is noticeably thinner than in the past, its a good idea to see a dermatologist. If possible, seek out one who specializes in hair loss or an onco-dermatologist who focuses on problems with the hair, skin, and nails that can develop during cancer treatment. The dermatologist will order blood tests to check whether there are other reasons for your hair loss besides the effects of breast cancer treatments. Thyroid problems, nutritional deficiencies, and other factors can play a role in hair loss.

For mild to moderate hair loss, dermatologists often recommend Rogaine , an over-the-counter medication that promotes hair growth. Its safe for people with a history of breast cancer and moderately effective. But check with your oncologist before you start using minoxidil. In most cases, you can use it while you take hormonal therapy or targeted therapy, but not during chemotherapy treatment. Look for products labeled 5% minoxidil foam that you apply to your scalp when your hair and scalp are dry. Its ok for women to use minoxidil products labeled for men. Minoxidil is thought to stimulate hair growth by, among other things, improving blood flow in the scalp and prolonging the growth phase of each hair follicle.

Radiation Treatment And Hair Loss

Hair Growth After Chemo: 5 Natural Things You Can Do

Radiation therapy uses a high-energy beam to damage quickly growing cells in your body. The goal is to target cancer cells, but some normal cells get damaged as well.

Radiation only causes hair loss on the particular part of the body treated. If radiation is used to treat the breast, there is no hair loss on your head. But there might be loss of hair around the nipple, if you have hair there.

Radiation to the brain, used to treat breast cancer that has spread to the brain, can cause hair loss on your head. Depending on the dose of radiation, your hair may be patchier when it grows back or it may not grow back.

Also Check: What To Expect During Chemo

Will My Hair Look Different After It Grows Back

It is very normal for you to have different textured or different coloured hair after chemo because the drug had attacked your hair follicles and it may take time for your normal hair to grow back. It is quite likely that straight hair may grow all curly and if you had curly hair before, they may become straight.

When Radiation Therapy Finishes

When you finish radiation therapy your hair will usually grow back. The time it takes and the way it grows back depends on the dose of radiation you received. Hair usually grows back a few months after treatment. Occasionally after a large dose of radiation therapy the hair may not recover completely, new growth can be patchy and there may be some permanent hair loss.

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How Long Does It Take For Hair To Grow Back After Treatment

For most people who experience hair loss after starting chemotherapy, their hair almost always starts to grow back once their treatment is over.

Sometimes hair may even start to grow back before treatment has finished.

However, some people can experience permanent hair loss.

How quickly hair regrows varies from person to person but most people will have a full covering of hair three to six months after treatment. For some people this may be patchy.

Hair may be weak and fragile or softer to begin with but over time the condition and texture of hair becomes stronger.

Other hair, such as your eyebrows and eyelashes, may grow back more quickly or more slowly than the hair on your head.

Will Specialist Hair Growth Products Work

Products to Try After Chemo help your hair growth and health!

There are many ranges of products specifically designed to encourage new hair growth, however, it can be helpful to look at the words written on the pack carefully. For example, some product regimes are designed to help a particular type of hair loss issue, such as thinning hair due to age related hair loss or products targeted at male pattern baldness. When it comes to new hair growth after chemotherapy, treatment products that will clean your scalp and help to rejuvenate the scalp and hair are ideal. But you dont have to buy a specialist product. The key thing is to choose products best suited to your scalp and hair and that YOU feel are best suited to your needs.

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Intake Of Vitamins And Minerals

Your body is at its lowest and weakest point after chemotherapy. So intake of different vitamins and minerals is a necessity for your body to get back to its natural state.

You can do this by eating foods that are enriched with different types of vitamins and minerals, including fruits and vegetables, etc., or you can take medical supplements for such purposes.

For example, Biotin is a type of vitamin that is great for stimulating hair growth. Apart from this, vitamins B, C, and E are also known for stimulating hair growth and improving blood circulation in your scalp.

After Cancer Treatment How Can Diet And Vitamins Improve Hair Growth

The diet that you eat can play a huge role in recovery, particularly when it comes to promoting hair growth. Hair usually grows back within 6 months to a year, but focusing on getting the right elements into your diet can help this process along.

The best foods to promote hair growth after chemo are:

Also Check: What’s The Difference Between Chemo And Radiation

Important Things To Keep In Mind

Opt for a natural colour:

  • Avoid any dyes, perms, straightening or blow dries during the first 6 months. You risk to weaken your hair even more and damage the regrowth.
  • If having grey hair is not your thing, you can usenatural, organic hair dyesthat are free of ammoniac, parabens and resorcinol.
  • Do not use any hair dyes while you can still see skin on your head.
  • Do not shave your hair, or fuzzy body hair as it will disappear after 6 months.

Massage your skull to eliminate any toxins that may have accumulated:

  • Use castor oilto help with regrowth. The texture is quite viscous so you can mix with another oil to make itmore fluid .
  • At night, massage your skull to help boost hair regrowth or your ends to make them stronger and voluminous.
  • Leave on overnight. To avoid getting oil on your sheets, place a towel between your head and pillow.
  • In the morning, wash your hair normally. As the texture is quite thick, you will need to wash thoroughly to remove all remaining oil.
  • Repeat the process 1 or 2 times a week.
  • If you prefer to wash your hair at night, we suggest leaving the oil to sit for at least 30 minutes before washing.

Stop any misconceptions:

  • During hair regrowth, you can still wear yourwigas it lets your scalp breath and does not slowdown hairgrowth. Same thing forchemo turbansandheadscarves.
  • Cutting your hair will not speed up your hair growth.

For faster regrowth after cancer treatments:

And for lash and brow regrowth?


Are There Any Styling Techniques And Tricks To Try When Experiencing Hair Loss And Regrowth

TM Hair

Experiment with various wig styles. This is an opportunity to try hairstyles that you wouldnt normally be able to. Most people choose to wear wigs, but you can also step out boldly without a wig too.

If your hair has begun to grow back, you can colour it. There are lots of fun colours as well as ones you can rinse out which are less likely to upset your scalp. Hats, turbans, berets, scarves and headbands are something to experiment with. As is scalp concealer a spray that matches the colour of your hair and disguises patchy regrowth.

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/ Will My Hair Grow More Slowly If I Continue To Wear My Hat Or Scarf

No, that is definitely a myth! Hair grows from the inside outwards. Headwear does not prevent your hair from growing. The condition of your hair roots determines how and how fast your hair will grow again. Until you feel your hair is long enough to walk around without anything on your head, you can continue to wear your wig or chemo scarves and hats. Its up to you to decide when your new hair is long enough and youre ready to appear without a wig or headscarf.

Additional Strategies For Hair Growth

You want to treat your newly developing hair very gently. Dyeing it, straightening it or curling it can cause damage that makes your hair grow back more slowly that you want, so avoid those. You may find that your hair grows back substantially different than it was before, such as more curly. Its only natural that you might want to get your old look back, but avoid any rough heat treatments until your has come back all the way to make sure its as strong as it can be before you start making changes.

Read Also: Does Heat Make Cancer Spread

Healthy Cells Vs Cancer Cells

Chemotherapy targets active cells. Active cells grow and divide following the average course of the cell cycle. Both cancer cells and healthy cells go through the cell cycle. The growth rate of cancer cells typically exceeds that of healthy cells, which makes it easier for chemo to attack them. Normal cells, however, may be damaged as well. Among them are the cells in your blood, mouth, digestive system, and hair follicles.

During chemo, damaged healthy cells result in side effects that include hair loss, vomiting, and nausea. Like a tumor, the hair follicle is a highly active structure with a host of cells that frequently divide to produce the growing hair.

/ Will My Hair Look Different When It Grows Back

Hair Growth After Chemo 6

This must be the most frequently asked question from women who lose their hair due to chemotherapy. And that is easy to understand, because you often hear people talk about chemo curls. It may be quite possible that the colour and texture of your hair is different to you had before your chemotherapy. Sometimes women with curly hair end up having straight hair or vice versa. And the first hair growth might be darker or lighter than your original hair colour. Sometimes your first hair might even be grey.

Dont forget that your hair started to fall out because the chemotherapy attacked the root, which was unable to produce new hair as a result. After your last treatment, it takes some time for your body to get rid of all the drugs in it. So your hair root will need some time to start working 100% normally again. Usually new hair appears after one or two months.

Do you feel that your hair is thicker and more difficult to manage? This is not unusual as short hair feels fuller. This sensation will usually disappear as your hair continues to grow.

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Does Massaging The Hair Really Encourage New Hair Growth

Gently massaging/shampooing your scalp can help the circulation of blood that flows to the hair follicle and helps to aid in stimulating the hair growth cycle. Use the pads of your fingers in gentle circular movements around your scalp to encourage dry skin to be removed from the scalp and encourage new hair.

At Cancer Hair Care we recognise that other cancer charities and organisations give different opinions about massaging the scalp. Our specialist charity services mean that we are one of the few cancer charities within the UK with hands on experience of hair loss and new growth after chemotherapy treatment. We have cut, coloured, styled and observed thousands of heads of new hair growth. It is our experienced opinion along with our expertise gathered from reliable technical sources that gentle massaging/shampooing hair is not only beneficial to your scalp but also helps you to emotionally re-connect to your new hair and move on from cancer treatment.

How To Prevent And Manage Hair Loss

If youre receiving treatment for breast cancer that can cause hair loss, its important to know you have options. Below, you can learn about ways to prevent and manage hair loss as a side effect of breast cancer treatments.

If chemotherapy medicines that will cause hair loss are part of your breast cancer treatment plan, there are steps you can take to prepare, possibly lessen hair loss, and protect your hair as it grows back. Learn more about Managing Hair Loss From Chemotherapy, including tips for hair loss on your head, eyebrows, and eyelashes.

Cold caps and scalp cooling systems are tightly fitting hat-like devices filled with a cold gel or liquid coolant. Cold caps and scalp cooling systems have helped many people keep some or quite a bit of their hair during chemotherapy. Learn more about Cold Caps and Scalp Cooling Systems

Many people find that wearing a wig is a good solution for them if they experience hair loss from breast cancer treatment. A wig can provide a sense of normalcy, consistency, and privacy during cancer treatment. Experimenting with different wig styles and colors can also be quite fun! Not sure if a wig is right for you or where to begin looking for one? Read more about wigs to learn about where to buy a wig or get one for free, how to choose one that suits you, how to care for a wig, and more.

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How Does Chemotherapy Cause Side Effects

Chemotherapy is a systemic medication. As it travels through the bloodstream, it reaches every part of the body. It is a form of cancer treatment that can cause hair loss. This is because it can damage the hair follicles and cause them to shrink. The hair may fall out in large clumps or be lost in small patches. Some people experience permanent hair loss after chemotherapy treatment.

Chemo may cause hair loss all over your body not just on your scalp. Sometimes your eyelashes, eyebrows, armpit, pubic and other body hair also fall out. Some chemotherapy drugs are more likely to cause hair loss, and different doses can cause anything from mere thinning to complete baldness.

This blog contains a first-hand interview with a breast cancer survivor of 20 years.

/ Will A Haircut Help My Hair Grow Faster After My Last Chemotherapy Treatment

How To Improve Hair Growth After Chemo

No, this is another myth. Again, it is your hair roots that make your hair grow. Hair is actually dead matter. Whether you cut your hair or not, this will not improve the vitality of your hair roots. It is nice to have your hair cut into a style once it is 1 to 2 cm long. A good hair stylist can definitely think of an interesting style and give you a good basic cut without removing more than a couple of millimetres, so it can grow. The advantage is that the fluffy, downy hair is cut short and you can enjoy a fresh, new look.

TIP: make your first visit to your hair salon a special experience. Treat yourself to a shopping spree, buy some expensive shampoo or have a glass of champagne. Another important milestone to celebrate!

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