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Hair resorting back to pre-chemo texture

Penny67's picture
Posts: 65
Joined: Sep 2011

When I found out I had to do chemo last September, I prayed that I would end up with better hair after the ordeal. I had very fine, straight, silky hair that lacked body and didn't hold a style. Well, after chemo, my hair came in very thick with a light wave. I actually laughed when my stylist said the last 3 haircuts that she had to thin it out. Since I had shoulder length hair before, I decided to keep it short because it was thick and soooo easy to take care of. I would never have been able to wear my hair this short before because it was too fine and thin.

It's been 7 months since I ended chemo and it seems that with each haircut, my hair is resorting back to the pre-chemo state of fine, straight and silky instead of thick and wavy. I am a little irritated because I feel like if we go through the horrors of chemo, at least we should end up with great hair and be able to keep it! Just wondering if everyone's hair eventually went back to the pre-chemo state or if some of you kept the hair that grew back after chemo. I'm also feeling like it is getting thinner even though I can never actually see any hair come out when I shampoo or comb through it. I've been on Tamoxifen since March and I know that thinning hair is one of the side effects that I hoped to avoid.

ksf56's picture
Posts: 203
Joined: Apr 2012

I had heard all the stories of your hair turning curly and thicker too. Mine did at first but as time has gone on, it seems to have gone back to the straight, fine stuff I fought with my whole life. The only thing that changed was the color - it has stayed white/gray. I'm leaving my hair short - I love not having to fuss with curling irons and all. I put a small amount of gel in when it's wet. If I need to I use a spritz of hairspray too. Off I go for the day. It's a relief not to spend so much time on my hair. I guess something good did come out of cancer.


GrandmaJ's picture
Posts: 209
Joined: Nov 2009

My hair came back pretty good until I started Femara. Very thin on top now, but I am 68, so maybe its just old age !!!


AnnieTherese's picture
Posts: 67
Joined: Aug 2012

When my mum's hair grew back...she was totally white before the chemo, she was very upset that some colour also grew back, she was very proud of her pure white hair. LOL.

Angie2U's picture
Posts: 2992
Joined: Sep 2009

I didn't have chemo but it seems like many on here have said their hair comes back curly after chemo.

lynn1950's picture
Posts: 2574
Joined: Jun 2008

Yes, my hair has returned to normal, but thinner - perhaps because of the AIs I take.

TraciInLA's picture
Posts: 1994
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi, Penny -

My lifelong hair texture sounds just like yours -- very fine, stick straight, no body or texture of its own at all. Every hairstylist I've ever had has exclaimed, "You have hair just like a baby's!"

After chemo, my hair grew back exactly the same texture -- I was SOOOO ready to have fun with the "chemo curl" for a little while, but nope. The only difference is that it grew back about a shade or two darker, which has turned out to be permanent. For most women, any hair color difference after chemo is temporary, but it's been 3 years now since I finished chemo, so I probably should stop waiting for it to change back...:-)

I've been on Tamoxifen for close to 3 years, and haven't noticed any thinning of the hair on my head at all. The hair on my legs and underarms definitely grew much more slowly for the first couple of years or so, but has now gone back to normal.


debi.18's picture
Posts: 850
Joined: Jun 2011

Pre-chemo I also had super fine, straight thin hair. After chemo it grew back a lot thicker, different texture and now has waves/curls to it. It also came back salt and pepper - that part I really don't like. Of course I colored it as soon as I could! It's at the odd short length right now where I really don't know what to do with it. I've heard from several that after a few haircuts, it returns to the way it used to be - except for the color of course!

One of my chemo buddies also had straight hair and her came back white and super curly.

Hugs, Debi

salls41's picture
Posts: 340
Joined: Apr 2012

Seems like thin, straight fine hair is a common ground for us BC gals...

natly15's picture
Posts: 1941
Joined: Sep 2009

My hair was always thick, corse and very wavy. I wanted that sleek, silky, straight look, well after chemo I now have it. Initially my hair grew in very curly, but it is much straighter now, soft to the touch and it is definitely thinner on top. I started life as a natural brunette, eventually became an unnatural blonde, and now I'm all gray and that is the way it is gonna stay.

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

I was excited to finally have some body and curl to my hair. Still have a little wave in the back. Didn't last long. Back to being thin and straight. It came back gray. I didn't die it until this year.

By the way, if my hair would have looked like Natly's, I would have kept mine gray!

sweetvickid's picture
Posts: 459
Joined: Nov 2009

Texture stayed the same but it came in white! Mine all fell out and then I got a fine growth of hair like you would see on a new born that stayed the same length until I finished chemo. Now it has turned to salt and pepper which I really like.

It is also not as thick as before chemo but luckily I had really thick hair to start with.

carkris's picture
Posts: 4554
Joined: Aug 2009

MY came back curly and dark. still has a wave. I have had several haircuts. I think it is thinning per the tamoxifen. I am suprised as I always had hair as you mentioned above.

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