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How long before hair starts to grow after chemo?

october7
Posts: 9
Joined: Sep 2010

Hi,

Can anyone tell me their experience about how long it takes for hair to start growing back after chemo. I had my last chemo treatment 6 weeks ago and still there is no hair growing, no fuzz either and I am starting to get really worried. My Dr. has giving me different answers about this. First she said 3 weeks after, then 6 to 8 for it to start growing and now she is saying it could take months for the hair to even just start growing back. What is your experience? I don't have anyone to talk to about this and it is starting to freak me out. I have eyebrows and eyelashes left but nothing new on my head. Please advise. Thanks.

calvertcrafts
Posts: 93
Joined: Oct 2009

After chemo, I had 36 rad treatments finishing up the end of March 2010. By May 2010 I had enough hair to "carefully" style and feel OK to go out without a hat. Today, my hair is still coming in. In some places it's still uneven, but it's getting back to the way it used to be. Before all my treatments, I could'nt go anywhere if my hair didn't look right. Now, I'm like, "who cares, at least it's there." I'm sure your's will begin to come in soon and you'll be making an appointment with your stylist before you know it. Keep happy thoughts!!

october7
Posts: 9
Joined: Sep 2010

Thanks for the info. I was wondering when the hair actually started to growing after the last treatment?

Cat64's picture
Cat64
Posts: 1192
Joined: Aug 2009

2 rounds of Chemo before my surgery and my hair seemed to grow back quicker then. Now after 4 more rounds (finishing June 15th)& losing it again, it is still only about a 1/2 inch long, maybe longer in some spots. The hair everywhere else has made me feel like I am becoming a member of the primate family! Peach fuzz, thicker hair on legs, etc...Don't freak out, it WILL grow back!
♥ Cat

Rague
Posts: 3645
Joined: Aug 2009

All my hair has come back differently. The only hair I lost while on A/C was my head hair. Had 5 weeks between the end of it and the start of Taxol (had surgery 2 weeks after last A/C and then 3 weeks before starting Taxol). Had no signs of it 'thinking' about growing back during that time. When Taxol started - everything fell out. Last Taxol was Jan. 28 '10 followed by 25 rads. About 2 weeks into rads, brows and lashes came back, then hair 'down-under' started back about the time rads were over but only about 1/4 of it has come back and is grey (which wasn't before). In May, head hair started back but is growing incredably slow - it's only about 1 & 1/4 inches long now but is still as dark as ever. (I'm 64 so I should have some white/grey in it but I still don't - just genetics I inherited from Daddy's side of the family.) Leg and arm hair finally started back about a month ago and is only a very light short 'down' now.

There is a shampoo and conditioner that is supposed to be designed for those on 'heavy; medical treatments but as it's more than I'll pay for shampoo, I've never tried it. I don't remember the name but its Nax-something, Nox-something or Nex-something.

carkris's picture
carkris
Posts: 4554
Joined: Aug 2009

Its hard to remember I finished at the end of jan 2010. it seemed it took a while for it to grow perhaps 6 weeks, then I noticed it down there and was so mad, then all the sudden it started to grow really fast , like a light switch had been turned on. I grew back curly and dark. with some gray. I had it trimmed once to even it out, but it is now staring to reach my ear lobe, but very close to my head, I tuck it behind my ears and and right at my neck in the back. biotin is supposed to help. I think others have longer hair than me at this stage as I always had slow growing hair. One thing that I hate is at my temples I had like a male pattern baldness that is starting to grow in. made me very self concious.
so how does your hair usually grow? My eyebrows and eyelashes grew in quicker, then fell out in June now back hopefully to stay. so dont panic if this happens, they grow baCK REAL QUICK.

rene9
Posts: 214
Joined: Nov 2009

I haven't posted in a while since I've started back to work and everyone was soooo cool with responding when I did post. Well, I finished chemo on May 7th. I was told 6 weeks after chemo I would see hair. Well I didn't. Then, I thought I would be able to go wigless on the 4th of July. Didn't happen. I thought when I went back to work August 3 I wouldn't have to wear a wig...Not...So, about 2 weeks after returning to work, my husband cleaned up the hair on my neck and side burns and I liked it and I've been wigless since 16 weeks after chemo to be exact. It is short but it covers my head. It is growing even and people think I have good hair. I have been told I can rock this short do, but I am going to let it grow as long as it will. It was shoulder length before chemo. But, I know I watched it everyday! It will grow. I was very worried at six weeks because I still had a clean head. I took biotin at first then I realized it was going to grow without it. I have eye lashes but my thick eye brows are coming in slowly. I have no complaints, just watching my hair grow...Good Luck! It's coming!

rene9

october7
Posts: 9
Joined: Sep 2010

Its good to know it took more than 6 weeks. What week did you first see hair and did it grow pretty fast after that? Did you have any hair by the 4th of July? Its not so bad wearing the wig. I just want my hair back!

rene9
Posts: 214
Joined: Nov 2009

Yes, I did have hair on the 4th of July because I was pulling back my wig showing everyone. But, it was very little fuzz, but it was there. Every week you can really see the difference. I have never worn anything on my head so I felt the wig was really hot and I always sweated. Now it's curly/wavy and I get a lot of compliments. It's growing and getting thicker. Luckily it is growing even all over. I am very happy for that. I know how you are feeling. I was in the mirror all upside down trying to find a hair and feeling it and massaging. It will grow...

rene9

pgrace35's picture
pgrace35
Posts: 122
Joined: Nov 2009

I finished my chemo in December, my hair started showing some "fuzz" late Jan and I really didn't see any real hair come in until Feb. Once it does come in it will be strange. I'm coming on a year since my chemo and my hair texture is still really funky. Keeping it super short till it starts to hopefully return to it's normal texture. But I'm told it may be different. Don't fret, it will come back.

putzie's picture
putzie
Posts: 66
Joined: Apr 2010

I finished chemo mid-July and figured I would have some hair by now. I spoke to my hairdresser and she said the hair growth cycle would be about 8 weeks for the new stuff to start. Funny....a day or so after I spoke to her I noticed I am getting fuzzy. It has been 9 weeks today. I am so excited!!!!! So give it time...it does happen...but I will say..I never thought I would be so happy to have 'mouse fuzz' on my head!!! Just the beginning for us so it will be interesting to see how it comes in. I think we are all happy just to have some hair, no matter what it looks like. Good Luck!!!

october7
Posts: 9
Joined: Sep 2010

I know I am panicked about this but I think it is because everyone gives these time lines and I look for hair every day expecting it to appear according to what the Dr. and others have said. Now that you say it took 9 weeks I am a little relieved. I have this fear after everything that has happened thus far that permanent hair loss is the next "thing". I can wait for it to come back as long as I know it will.

Boppy_of_6's picture
Boppy_of_6
Posts: 1138
Joined: Apr 2010

I am 11 weeks out of chemo. I have started noticing fuzz in the last 2 weeks. I look in the mirror everyday too just checking to see what is going on. I can tell that is growing now so I feel better. We will all just have to wait and be surprised to see what color and texture we end up with! God Bless
(((Hugs))) Janice

carkris's picture
carkris
Posts: 4554
Joined: Aug 2009

my second set of eyelashes are almost as long as they used to be. I love to wear mascara because i can!!!

Emilyfimily's picture
Emilyfimily
Posts: 141
Joined: Jan 2010

My last treatment was April 15th - right at 5 months ago. It took a looooong time for my hair to grow back. It was growing fuzzy and uneven, so I reshaved the fuzzies off at 11 weeks out. By the first week of August, I finally looked like I had a longer buzz cut with some thinning up top. Now, I'm finally looking like I have an almost normal amount thickness-wise, aka the thinning hair look is going away. And it's about 1.5 inches long, and darker, and the top's wavy but the sides and back have curls.
Just takes a long time. You'll get there, though. :)

VickiSam's picture
VickiSam
Posts: 9080
Joined: Aug 2009

now my hair grows back .. WRONG.. About 8 weeks, and you see spikes, or angel wings -- our hair grows back in different areas of your scalp - not all at once. In fact when I had my first trim/that turned into a cut, and I cried like a baby .. the back of my scalp was about 1 to 1.5 longer than the top of my hair. Werid .. before my trim/cut combo .. I looked like bozo .. longer sides and back, shorter on top.

Thinner than my normal thickness .. I've continued to wait for my lashes and brows to fill in .. still waiting .. tick tock ...

Vicki Sam

VickiSam's picture
VickiSam
Posts: 9080
Joined: Aug 2009

Good going - Girl!

Vicki Sam

Jean 0609's picture
Jean 0609
Posts: 2462
Joined: Jun 2010

I agree with VickiSam, I love your new picture. You look wonderful!

Emilyfimily's picture
Emilyfimily
Posts: 141
Joined: Jan 2010

Thankyou VickiSam and Jean!! That picture was at a St Louis Cardinals game Labor Day Weekend. I'm a huge Cardinals fan, and I was so excited - I got to go down on the field and meet some of the players. What a GREAT fun day!!

webbwife50
Posts: 395
Joined: Jun 2010

I did 4 rounds of AC and 4 of Taxol. I didn't hair a single hair anywhere on my body when I finished chemo. About 7 weeks after I had finished chemo I notice a very fine white fuzz starting to sprout. It's was slow getting going but it has been almost a year now and all my hair has grown back in. Please don't waste to much of your time and energy worrying about it, it will grow back.
God Bless,
Alison
ps I also had the same white fuzz growing on my face, but it eventually fell out and has not come back. Just be forwarned it's not exactly what we'd like it to be in the beginning. I am still having a difficult time with my eyelashes. The uppers are just not growing back. Oh Well, I'm here.

missingtexas's picture
missingtexas
Posts: 146
Joined: Jul 2010

I finished chemo on July 22nd. I am just now getting fuzzy baby-like hair and eyebrows. No eyelashes though.

pscheer
Posts: 56
Joined: Feb 2010

This video gave me comfort when I was waiting for my hair to grow. this lady took her picture every week after chemo ended. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOa1-5GTL0E

If the link doesn't work, google hair growth after chemo. It's a youtube.

CanadianGirl58
Posts: 10
Joined: Aug 2017

As with all you other wonderful ladies, I am worried about my hair regrowth.  I had 4 cycles of FEC, followed by 4 cycles of docetaxel.  My hair regrew instantly and thickly between the two cycles, but then I lost it all again with the docetaxel.  My last chemo was July 4th (I'm in Canada so it was not a holiday for me) and it is now almost 6 full weeks after I had the last treatment.  I have no hair on my head yet and am beginning to panic. 

I see from your posts I should be patient and it provides me with some hope.

I do have a question, though.... and at the risk of being indelicate please forgive.... my pubic hair has begun to come in fast and furious and thick! (Ironically all along the bikini line!) Does this heighten my chances of having my head hair grow in too, or are they unconnected?  

In other words, do those people who suffer permanent head hair loss also have no public hair.

Can anyone offer their experiences? 

PS - my chemo happened first to reduce the size of the tumour.  My double mastcetomy is in a few days, followed after healing by radiation.

Apaugh's picture
Apaugh
Posts: 502
Joined: Aug 2016

I dont think there is any connection.  Just just have to be patient.  It can take a long time. 

Hang in there.

CanadianGirl58
Posts: 10
Joined: Aug 2017

Thank you!  Just a bit depressed about it and worried.  At the moment I am as bald as an egg.  Hoping to see new growth soon!  Will post as I go along.

Apaugh's picture
Apaugh
Posts: 502
Joined: Aug 2016

Oh hon, I feel your pain.  It is a long journey and you are being brave.  It is ok to cry and be upset.  I hated it and still do when people say, well it is just hair, at least your alive.  To me, it is insult to injury.  Be kind to yourself and keep fighting the fight as all of us are.

hugs,

Annie

CanadianGirl58
Posts: 10
Joined: Aug 2017

Thank you for your response and hugs!  Hugs to you too.  Wishing you restored GREAT health and everything bright & beautiful.

Mariangel43's picture
Mariangel43
Posts: 68
Joined: Jul 2016

I agree with Apaugh.  People seems to forget that we are affected in all dimensions.  Really, I think that "it's just hair" with an air of lightness is like minimizing our ordeal.  But we must also remember that we discover this twilight zone once we are diagnosed, not earlier.  Cancer or no cancer, we care about our appearance.  We still are persons, changed persons with new set of priorities.

CanadianGirl58
Posts: 10
Joined: Aug 2017

Thank you Mariangel43 - this horrible cancer & treatment changes us forever... hope after upcoming surgery & radiation treatments (I had chemo first to reduce size of tumour) to be pronounced "cancer free", but will always be living under the shadow of another secondary cancer.   Hope to face my future will hair! 

CanadianGirl58
Posts: 10
Joined: Aug 2017

Are there people out there that were put on Anastrozole and have it NOT affect their hair?  I only hear of the ones where hair fell out/ thinned drastically? 

Apaugh's picture
Apaugh
Posts: 502
Joined: Aug 2016

It has caused my hair to be thin on top. 

booksandnumbers
Posts: 25
Joined: Mar 2017

I've been taking anastrozole for about a year now and my hair has started to look better. I still keep it very short because the longer it grows the thinner it looks. With it being short it looks pretty healthy. I did switch to a more natural shampoo, no additives. Overall it looks pretty good. Don't despair, you're hair will grow even if it's not as fast or as thick as before.

CanadianGirl58
Posts: 10
Joined: Aug 2017

Thank you Booksandnumbers for your encouragement.  This cancer journey isn't easy.

JKoehler25
Posts: 12
Joined: Sep 2017

My hair started coming back about 6 wks after last chemo. Last chemo was April. It's now Sept and I still have to wear turban or wig, but I have hair all over my head now and it's coming pretty fast now. I'm hoping by first of yr that I can at least show a short hair without covering it up. It looks now more like a man cut. It's not thin, but feels like my regular hair. They usually say about 8 wks or so. But what they won't tell you is that some women never get their hair back or it is extremely thin or patchy. I have met these women. So it is up in the air until you see how you reacted to chemo. I know hair is important, but that is least SE you should be worrying about. There are many more serious SE that you can have for life. I hope medical people informed you of those. They didn't me, I had to find out from research and other people. Hair is something you can control either by wig or other means. This other stuff you can't control. Be aware

CanadianGirl58
Posts: 10
Joined: Aug 2017

I am 15 weeks PFC - I have fuzz all over head, but much thinner on top and crown.  Is this normal?  (I was on docetaxel)  If so, how long before hair starts to grow at a more normal rate?  Will the thin patches fill in? 

My eyelashes are starting to come back but not eyebrows.  Thoughts anyone? 

CanadianGirl58
Posts: 10
Joined: Aug 2017

15 weeks PFC hair growth

My hair growth is very slow... see post just previous - is this normal?  (I had been bald as a billiard ball after finishing chemo) 

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