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Hair loss

Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2004

Hi. I have recurrent ovarian cancer, stage 3, and lost all of my hair after my first round of chemo (taxol/carboplatin). I found an attractive wig, but it is very uncomfortable to have to wear it from morning till night. My last treatment is Monday. How soon can I expect my hair to grow back to a length of at least four inches or so?

Fran H.

Posts: 650
Joined: Mar 2003

I lost my hair after the first round, and cut and shaved what remained until 3 weeks after the chemo, then started letting it grow. My last round was Jan. 21, '03, and by early May I was comfortable to leave my wig at home and go to work without it. We had a hard winter last year, and the wig was warm and just a good thing to wear. I'm just guessing, but I would guess that 4" may take 6 or 8 months to grow-I'm sure others will give an estimate.

I interviewed at a few places (and hired) while wearing a wig (I was diagnosed after being laid off), and while I wasn't embarassed about going without one, it was a relief to get my own locks back.

Do you wear a turban or hat? The "Nancy's Notions" website has a "Chemotherapy Beret" pattern that's free to use, and simple to make. I made 3 for myself to wear at home, and have made them for a couple of friends being treated for OVCA. They are comfortable enough to wear while sleeping.

Have you tried a wig liner? I've read that they can make a wig more comfortable.

After being told my straight hair would grow back curly, I'm slightly disappointed that it only has a little wave, but I was happy that I didn't suffer apparent ill effects from coloring it when it was less than an inch long...

BonnieR's picture
Posts: 1549
Joined: Jan 2004

It takes at least 8 weeks just to have a fuzzy head. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. I quit getting chemo on july 17th and thought I had hair Sept but now pictures tell me otherwise. I now have a full head of curly hair, dark brown almost black with lots of gray. I was reddish brown some gray and a little wave. I actually went natural through my chemo so I guess what I saw as hair others saw as bald.

pshnyc's picture
Posts: 45
Joined: Feb 2003

Dear Veglady,

I had my last chemo Aug. 27, 2001. I had rescheduled my wedding (which was postponed when I was dx with ovca) for end of Nov. thinking I'd have at least short hair back, but alas, I did not! In my wedding pictures I look like GI Jane...a dark covering on my head, but no hair to speak of. And I think I look beautiful!

It took about 4 months for me to have enough hair to cut. I have never bothered growing it back in so I don't know how long it will take you to get it to four inches. I had shoulder length hair when I started and never, ever thought I'd want short hair. Now I can't remember why I wanted it long.

By the way, when I was undergoing chemo I never once wore a wig, turban or anything other head covering and never felt so strong in my life. Throw off that wig and let it all hang out!!!!


Denise_ov_canc's picture
Posts: 2
Joined: Oct 2003

I also have recurrent ovarian cancer stage 3 - the first time around, I stopped wearing the wig 3 months after the last chemo - again I look at pictures and it looks terribly short. This time I have waited four months - I just stopped wearing the wig three days ago - I think I look a little like K.D.Lang right now. But - it is my own hair

Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2004

Hi. I finished by last chemo treatment in January and ditched my hats and turbans 3 weeks ago. My hair is about an inch long now and was about 1/2 inch when I decided to let my head be free. I have never felt so powerful in my life. People know, people understand, and people enjoy seeing the strength of recovery. So be you, hair or no hair... you won't have any regrets! Diana

pdh0808's picture
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2004

Hi,I'm new and not sure how these boards work, but HAIR...that I can talk about! :)
Mine has been shed three times. Its been 11 months since my last treatment. The hair returned wavy, and is now 5 inches long.
Hope that helps. :)

Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2004

Hi Fran...I, too, had taxol and carbo for stage 3 O.C...lost all my hair and it started to grow back approx. 3 months after chemo ended. I've had curly hair all my life and always wanted straight hair...was totally thrilled when it came back in STICK STRAIGHT...but it started to curl up again after about 6 months. It's now pretty much the way it was before I was diagnosed. I opted for the "au natural" look, didn't feel like bothering with a wig or scarf. My friends told me I had a very nice shaped head:)

Posts: 6
Joined: Mar 2004

my last chemo was 12/12/ while i found the wig warm in the winter, i gave it up around feb. 1, o4
kind of liberating, it is now april 24 and i haven't worn it since feb. i guess i feel people should except me for who i am , they say i use to look like audrey hepburn, i don't know. i do know i am in 4th month of remission and nothing feels better than that, not even the 2 inch hair do that i currently have..good luck and god bless, even my brows and lashes are back ''''''

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