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Hair return after chemo

carolyn45's picture
Posts: 100
Joined: Apr 2011

I was diagnosed with Stage 3C ovarian cancer last February (while in the USA) when a tumor perforated my colon during a colonoscopy. Luckily I responded extremely well to Taxol/Carboplatin. My CA125 went from 1587 to 41 after 3 rounds, and I was able to have the debulking surgery at that time. (BEST of all the emergency ileostomy was reversed!) I had 3 more rounds of chemo to hopefully deal with any microscopic remnants of cancer. We just returned home, to Scotland. It has been 6 weeks since my last chemo, and I'm just beginning to get a bit of stubble on the top of my head. Still no sign of eyebrows or eyelashes. How long does it take for hair to return? Does it come in patches or all over? I'm especially keen on having eyebrows again!

Posts: 1995
Joined: May 2003

Congratulations on your remission! You have come a long way, and been through so much, and now you must be so happy to be home again!

My hair (including brows) came back fairly evenly and pretty quickly after my first chemo treatments (in 2000). I really enjoyed my short new hairdo - it was so easy to take care of, and everyone loved it! I never would have gotten my hair cut that short, but I appreciate the regrowth and new style. From there it seemed like my hair just grew like crazy! What I especially liked is that my lashes were sooooooooo long! After my second chemo treatment (in 2006), it seemed as though my brows and lashes didn't come back as nicely. I do believe though it had more to do with my thyroid situation.

So, enjoy it! You can experiment with all kinds of new styles, new earrings, and more. Sending lots of hugs and prayers!


carolyn45's picture
Posts: 100
Joined: Apr 2011

Thanks, Monika,

Can you give me an idea of "pretty quickly"? It's comforting to hear that you enjoyed your "new look." I'm praying for thick, not too much grey, and curly. God, She owes me one, I figure--although being in remission is the best gift of all.

poopergirl14052's picture
Posts: 1185
Joined: Nov 2010

comes back about 2 months post chemo..brows and lashes about 6 weeks. Also other hair will return and you wont't even notice it until you wear shorts. Glad you are in remission and continue the dance of ned..val

Posts: 1995
Joined: May 2003

Looks like you received lots of great feedback. As you can see, it varies with everyone. My last chemo was in September. By November I had enough to ditch the wig/hat/scarf. It came back a little curlier than my already-curly hair, but salt and pepper and also very soft (what my hairdresser called 'virgin' hair). By our daugther's April wedding it was short, but plenty of hair their to work with and it looked like a classy new hair style!

Posts: 81
Joined: Dec 2010

almost immediately although it was about 6 months before I could go hatless again. My lashes and eyebrows grew back much faster. I can't remember exactly how long but just a few weeks I think

Tethys41's picture
Posts: 1229
Joined: Sep 2010

I think everyone is different. I lost my eyebrows and lashes near the end of chemo, and they took the longest to grow back. I think they were back two or three months after chemo...or maybe it just seemed that long. My hair grew in a different color and texture, but that was very temporary and within 8 months it was back to normal.

pattysoo's picture
Posts: 172
Joined: Oct 2010

My hair came in quickly, very silvery and curly. I like it, although it's a wild mop right not. I can't decide to cut it or not. My eyebrows and eyelashes came in about 5 weeks after my last chemo. My lashes have fallen out and regrown twice...so weird. I'd hoped they would come in longer and thicker than before chemo...no luck. But at least they are there.

carolyn45's picture
Posts: 100
Joined: Apr 2011

It has been great to get all this feedback. I think I'm like you. My eyebrows and lashes stayed and stayed--only came out after debulking and 4th or 5th chemo. I can live with them coming back slowly, as long as they return.

Posts: 60
Joined: Mar 2010

I finished chemo almost exactly a year ago and my hair is now a little over 7 inches long. I have always had quite long hair so I was so discouraged thinking about how long it would take me to get back to where I was before. But, I have actually been having fun with the shorter styles. I would have never done that on my own. There is a local salon where the owner is a cancer survivor so she has started a program where they help women going through this. They shave your head, fit you for a wig and then once you get your hair back they will do one hair style all at no charge. After they shaved my head they gave me a shampoo and conditioner called Nioxin (or something like that) and told me that it would help to keep my hair follicles healthy so that it would help promote healthier hair growth once the chemo stopped. They also gave me some mascara that had some ingredients in it that was suppose to do the same for my eyelashes. To be honest, I don't know if my hair came back any faster or not but people seemed to think it did.

Most of it came back my usual color except for one huge patch along the bangs where it was whiter than white. I got some help the first time I colored it and now it looks even.

Susan53's picture
Posts: 179
Joined: Jun 2011

My hair is coming in very slow as far as I can tell. My last chemo was mid Feb. and my hair is still only2 to 2 1/2 inches long. The color came in white , gray, lt. brown and some blonde. Quite the mixture although it looks mostly gray. It is straight but so very soft. I have a grandson that loves to feel my hair whenever he gets a chance. I never had my hair this short in my life so I never knew I had all these cowlicks lol. When my hair came in it kind of came in all over but got thicker. It felt like it came in maybe 3 different times. It had a strange feeling of like a burn when you touched your hair at times. As far as my eyebrows and eyelashes they just seemed to appear one day . My brows are not very pronounced. The hair on my legs seems to be the healthyest hair.

Hissy_Fitz's picture
Posts: 1869
Joined: Sep 2009

I had 18 consecutive months of chemo - first line and then a year of Taxol maintenance. I had the last treatment Jan 29, 2011 and my eyebrows and lashes grew back right away, as did the hair on my legs. My head is another matter. At first, I got patches of strange hair - like colorless cotton candy - and only on top. I don't know if that fell out or grew out, but now I have curly hair that is dark (for the most part) in back and gray around my face. My bangs are growing painfully slow. They nape of my neck is longest. It sticks out under my wig, but is fortunately the same color (or close to it).

If I go out, I still wear my wig, or a baseball type cap (of which I have dozens, I think). I have "sideburns" and might even try going wigless/capless if my bangs were a bit longer.

I still have no hair under my arms, and very little pubic hair, neither of which I mind at all.


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