Beards--Post Radiation--Guys Weigh In Here

wbcgaruss
wbcgaruss Member Posts: 2,208 Member

My beard doesn't grow in consistently and evenly like it used to since I had radiation and I am pretty sure others on here have mentioned it so guys weigh in here and let us know did your beard change after radiation? Such as general growth, thickness, patchy growth, etc., or no changes.

«1

Comments

  • big G
    big G Member Posts: 174 Member
    Beard

    I used to have a beard but after 33 tx to the right side I have no growth at all on the right side from about even with my ear lobe down.

    So just a mustache and a goat for me.

    Russ looks like yours is doing well.

  • wbcgaruss
    wbcgaruss Member Posts: 2,208 Member
    big G That Is An Early Picture

    Pre-treatment picture, My beard will grow but Some areas are thinner and growth or thickness is not consistent. So it will grow to different lengths and thicknesses, not a presentable growth anymore. I believe it is like yours too one side is worse than the other. I remember after my radiation it was 3 or 4 months till I had to shave again. It sort of looks like a field of crops in a bad year. Definitely noticeable so I just shave mostly now. That picture is from August of 2008 which is 4 years pre-cancer.

  • Mattie65
    Mattie65 Member Posts: 82 Member
    edited December 2020 #4
    Okay. I see

    For me, at the moment, it's mainly the moustache that is gone (probably due to the OptiArc technique, which draws a 1/3 circle around your head), as well as most of the beard hair on the left side. I've been on and off with wearing a short beard, but I like to let it grow for a week or two and then shave it off. I suppose I'll have to shave more frequently in the coming year, and see how that all turn out.

  • ERomanO
    ERomanO Member Posts: 317 Member
    I've never been able to grow

    I've never been able to grow much facial hair, and the radiation pretty much wiped out any hair on the right side of my chin and jaw.  But it did slowly come back, just not as full as the left side.  I don't like the feel of a close razor cut (not to mention I don't want to keep up with it), so I keep a constant unshaven stubble but have to balance the right and left sides.  Sounds weird, but it's the easiest way to go for me. :-)

  • Logan51
    Logan51 Member Posts: 464 Member
    edited December 2020 #6
    Grizzly Adams?

    I've had a moustache for as long as I can remember, but did cut&shave it away before tx. Grew it back around 2 years, post-tx. ALSO, as a tradition I started where I worked to signify an animalistic winter coat, I have grown my goatee for the winter months (Oct.-March) starting again @ 2 years, post-tx. The worst part of it all are the gray whiskers the Rads MUST BE responsible for! 

  • motorcycleguy
    motorcycleguy Member Posts: 478 Member
    edited January 2021 #7
    Beard

    I normally work in food plants, and avoid beards - to keep from having to wear beard nets.

    However I'm on a Biofuel project, now - and I've had a beard for over a year now (my profile pic is 16 months after treatment...)

    It comes in pretty good, except for two bare spots on each side of my lower jaw. (It actually makes a goatee seem practical - but I haven't tried that, yet.)

    I don't think the blank spots look bad, and normally aren't noticeable .. except in some pictures, if my head is held just right.

    I guess a little missing beard seems like a small price to pay ... for more years of life!!!

    I hope everyone had a great Christmas; I spent time with my 2 Grandsons - and had a blast!!

    mg

  • Angio_Guy
    Angio_Guy Member Posts: 3
    edited January 2021 #8
    Heavy beard to not much

    I had an extremely heavy beard, like 4 O'clock shadow at 11 am.  Since RT the only place I grow facial hair is my chin, as it was out of the treatment field.  Kind of wish they had taken a few swipes across my chin, could have avoided shaving altogether. ?

  • kgasmart
    kgasmart Member Posts: 61 Member
    Can't grow a beard anymore

    Would love to in order to cover up the scarring, but the area under my chin where I got radiation for BOT cancer, there's no hair growing at all and my surgeon said it likely will never come back.

  • tbret
    tbret Member Posts: 71 Member
    edited February 2021 #10
    & changed color, too

    My beard and moustache were snow white before my treatment.

    Soon after treatment my beard was pretty-much gone from a base of my ear sideburn level to about where my moustache joined the beard.

    Now it's salt and pepper (again, like it was 15 years ago) but there is still a "hole" that almost won't grow hair just about the place where I was radiation blasted.  If you know what you are looking for and you know where to look it's obvious, but the brain is an amazing thing in that it sort-of ignores the thin area.  It isn't entirely hairless, just less hairy.

    I look at photos taken just before I was diagnosed and I looked like Santa.  The hair on top of my head was white, also.  Now It is salt and pepper.

    I guess I'm going to blame that in the Cisplatin because the top of my head wasn't irradiated.

     

     

  • Logan51
    Logan51 Member Posts: 464 Member
    Below the chin

    I have not shaved my neck below my chin, now, for 12 years. 60 Gys, there. Face and front-base of chin, though- whiskers Smile

  • The Cincinnati Kid
    The Cincinnati Kid Member Posts: 63 Member
    edited February 2021 #12
    Still in treatment but yeah..

    Still in treatment but yeah....used to be a stubble guy, shaved maybe twice a week but the facial hair isnt growing at all now with the exception of 1 or 2 small patches. I assumed this was a chemo thing but now you mention it, radiation makes more sense. Still got the hair on my head and body hair seems normal.

  • Logan51
    Logan51 Member Posts: 464 Member
    took awhile

    I assume the largest amount of Rads applied were to my left side of face, because it took many months for the whiskers on that side to start showing. But they finally did. Moustache was not a problem on the left side.

  • wbcgaruss
    wbcgaruss Member Posts: 2,208 Member
    edited February 2021 #14

    Still in treatment but yeah..

    Still in treatment but yeah....used to be a stubble guy, shaved maybe twice a week but the facial hair isnt growing at all now with the exception of 1 or 2 small patches. I assumed this was a chemo thing but now you mention it, radiation makes more sense. Still got the hair on my head and body hair seems normal.

    I Lost All

    The hair on my head and literally all of my body but that was due to heavy chemo I received also.

    Take care-God Bless-Russ

  • Larry449
    Larry449 Member Posts: 51 Member
    Well, they didn’t make me shave after all.

    Kinda late chiming in here but just browsing and ran across this thread. 

    I haven't shaved my beard clean for almost 48 years. It was a 1974 new year's resolution to grow it back after shaving while job hunting. New job, other beards in the machine shop, I'm a grow it back! Last clean shave - 12/31/1973 

    Prior to radiation they told me I'd have to shave it off and I panicked and protested! (Cancer in my mouth and I'm worried about my beard!). Radiation oncologist and radiation therapist got together and compromised. First, I could leave the mustache and the 'soul patch'. Then, well trim it down to 1/4 inch... then, my Profile picture is what we settled on. Just this little scrunchie and work around it. 
    About half way thru my radiation, hairs were combing off the right side of my face in what seemed like fistfulls! The 'ponytail' got thinner and thinner until not much more than a tiny knot that wouldn't even untangle. I'm talking maybe 6 hairs that if I pulled 'em straight almost reached my navel, let go and curl back up! Called my wife in, handed her the scissors! Bottom of the beard is now a thin 1/2 inch. Right side, radiation target, is thin up to about my ear lobe. The left side wasn't effected much but it'll need some more trimming. My doctor says it'll come back, but after reading some of these comments.... we'll wait and see. They did warn me! At least I can still say "I haven't shaved in 47 1/2 years and counting!  

    Larry

  • Larry449
    Larry449 Member Posts: 51 Member
    edited October 2021 #16

    Larry,

    I had a short-term beard, and shaved it off, when I started treatment. I grew them on and off through the years - but never had one more than 6 months, that I could recall.

    Until - AFTER, I finished treatment. Now, I've had this one for over 2 years.

    For the longest time, I had a couple 1" diameter bare spots, one on each side of my lower jaw.

    However, recently, I see those areas have filled in, and I now have more beard than I ever have!

    So - if you feel it's a little thinner than usual - just give it a little time....

    Best of luck, bud!!

    MG

    MG

    My 44 year old daughter has never seen me without a beard. I sent her a 'selfie' of the new thin me. She says I look like a Master Shifu! I don't think I'd go that far

    Just for the record, I grew my mustache the second week of AIT in the Army, mid September, 1968. Have never shaved it off. It wasn't affected by radiation at all.(at least so far, in 5 weeks out today). Strangely, at least to me, I just noticed yesterday that my nose hair is gone! None, nada! A quick search here, I found a comment "unfortunately, nose and ear hair have come back"

    Now, if my damn tongue would calm down.

    Larry

  • motorcycleguy
    motorcycleguy Member Posts: 478 Member
    Larry,

    I had a short-term beard, and shaved it off, when I started treatment. I grew them on and off through the years - but never had one more than 6 months, that I could recall.

    Until - AFTER, I finished treatment. Now, I've had this one for over 2 years.

    For the longest time, I had a couple 1" diameter bare spots, one on each side of my lower jaw.

    However, recently, I see those areas have filled in, and I now have more beard than I ever have!

    So - if you feel it's a little thinner than usual - just give it a little time....

    Best of luck, bud!!

    MG

  • motorcycleguy
    motorcycleguy Member Posts: 478 Member
    Larry,

    I've rarely had just a mustache. I feel like I look like such a smart@ss - that I want to kick my OWN butt ... when I look in the mirror!  LOL

    I remember the days, right after treatment. A person wants SO bad, just to get back to a normal life ... but, unfortunately, it takes a little while for the effects of radiation and chemo to subside.

    All I can tell you is that I don't have any problem eating, after 2+ years, (other than a little "hang-up" feeling, occasionally in my esophagus. I just keep water handy...)

    Hang in there!

    MG

  • wbcgaruss
    wbcgaruss Member Posts: 2,208 Member
    Well Larry Thanks

    For weighing in on this.
    I think a lot of this will it grow back or not is by each individual.
    Because each treatment plan is different in scope and severity and each person's heredity is different and some faces come back fine.
    Yours may come back completely and I hope so because it seems a full face of hair is part and parcel to you as a person, people wouldn't know you without it.
    I lost every hair on my body, nothing left.
    The funny part is my pubic hair was some of the first to go.
    So only time will tell.
    I used to have a full beard many years ago but have not had one in a while.
    I tried to grow one after treatment but it doesn't get full and looks like a bad field of crops in a drought.
    My last and greatest attempt was in June of this year 2021 as shown.
    I don't think I will bother again.

    Latest Beard Attempt

     

  • Logan51
    Logan51 Member Posts: 464 Member
    October

    is here, so it is time for me to start growing my goatee, which this thread has helped remind me of.

    Russ, looks to me like you suffered the same Rad side-effect as I did: the gray hairs!!!?

  • Robbie Lowery
    Robbie Lowery Member Posts: 24 Member
    Lost mine today

    Mt Goateee went away today with my fingers...Pulled right out..Oh well, still got my head of hair still....Mustache is still there and solid from what I can see......For now..