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Chemo curl girls?

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cbk
cbk Member Posts: 323

I’m PFC 13 1/2 months. My new hair grew in with wild chemo curls and they don’t seem to be settling down. I had pretty much straight long hair prior to my chemo. Tiny bit of annoying wave!

I’m thankful for my really thick new head of hair, however I’m just curious others experience on how long, or if they ever settled down? Mine are not frizzy or dry either, but super curly.

Thanks ladies!





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  • cbk
    cbk Member Posts: 323
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    Hi Wrenn-

    I know what you are feeling a bit. Chemo curls gave me a lot of smiles and hope coming back!

    I wonder whether they will leave me?

    Thanks for your reply.

  • keepthefaith
    keepthefaith Member Posts: 856
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    my chemo curls regretfully disappeared within a year...


  • cbk
    cbk Member Posts: 323
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    Thanks for letting me know! They do put a smile on your face. Like what the heck am I supposed to do with this!

    Continued good health and peace to you!

  • elainetherese
    elainetherese Member Posts: 1,627
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    I kept my hair chin-length after chemo, and with every hair cut, the chemo curls comprised less of my hair. I'm good. I'm just happy that my hair grew back. Some hair > no hair.

  • bravepoint
    bravepoint Member Posts: 232
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    My chemo curls are starting to go after almost 20 months. It was ridiculously curly for a year and has started to straighten since then. I still have a lot more curl that i did pre chemo though!

  • cbk
    cbk Member Posts: 323
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    Did you cut Bravepoint? Or just let chemocurls grow?

    Thanks for checking in!

  • murfy
    murfy Member Posts: 254
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    Have really enjoyed my new curls (had stick straight hair) and have let them grow out. Regrettably, about 9 mos later I'm getting some straightening at the crown and along side of face. I so hope some stick around long term!

  • Flynn
    Flynn Member Posts: 208
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    I’ve been wondering the same thing! My previously straight hair is still curly, 14 months post chemo. I hear so many stories about hair changing back that i’m not sure what to think. I broke down and bought a diffuser and some product b/c my hair was looking really frizzy. Also, my previously brown hair came in salt & pepper. I had been dying it every 4 or 5 weeks but I realized recently that I haven’t dyed it since early Nov. I think I may have changed back to brown again. 🙃 Go figure!

  • NotVeryBrave
    NotVeryBrave Member Posts: 169
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    I always had some waviness - enough to just make your hair stick out mostly. I would use a hairdryer and brush to straighten it. My hair grew back with tons of curl.

    Going on two years since chemo ended - the newer hair is closer to my old hair, both color and curl. My hair is past my shoulders and the ends are still very curly. I almost never blow it out and have learned to embrace it.

  • bravepoint
    bravepoint Member Posts: 232
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    CBK- I have cut it several times now. Initially, the curls drove me nuts as I was used to "tidy" hair. I hated that the curls were so messy and if I got caught in the rain.... look out! A friend with curly gave me some product suggestions which really helped tame the curls. Then, just as I was feeling good about my hair, it started to get straighter esp on the top. The ends are still pretty curly. I am not sure if it will be as straight as before but time will tell. I have not gone back to coloring it either so I have salt and pepper hair.

  • cbk
    cbk Member Posts: 323
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    Murfy

    I like them too, I’ve always had this patch on the back of my head that is much flatter the the rest of the lid. I just pop some steam rollers on that part and actually throughout to soften and shape the curls.

    I hope you keep them too! 🤗

  • cbk
    cbk Member Posts: 323
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    Flynn

    🤣 That’s crazy about the color of your hair! Mine started to grow in a very light brown then weeks later I was salt and pepper.

    My hair guy says don’t wash too much and hydrate hydrate hydrate those chemo curls. I use different oils and my hair really sucks it up and keeps away the frizzies. Plus a curl cream!

    I was thinking about investing in a really good (yet expensive) diffuser dryer but if “they” left me I would be doubley crushed!! I just bought a cheap diffuser for my current hair dryer.

    I guess only time will tell on this one!


  • cbk
    cbk Member Posts: 323
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    Bravepoint

    But as they get longer they can possibly hold as much curl at top just with the weight I would think? They sound lovely.

    Any product suggestions welcomed?

    I’ve only “cut” mine once. Too scared to cut more. Welcome my beautiful hair! I thought I might never see you again.

  • cbk
    cbk Member Posts: 323
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    NotVeryBrave

    From what I read at about 18 to 24 months the hair reverts back to its original texture! But I’m sure that’s not the case for EVERYONE!

    Sounds like you are starting to experience that shift. I’m still trying to understand why some of our hair comes back so crazy. My dermatologist told me it’s the way the follicle decides to open (round or more slit-like). I found nothing to support that claim

  • ingerp
    ingerp Member Posts: 1,514
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    This has been very much on my mind, CBK. I've read on other threads everything from six months to three years before something closer to your old hair grows back. I'm trying to be grateful that my hair has come back well but I HATE the chemo curl. I can see how it might be kind of fun grown out but if mine gets longer than about 1/2-3/4 of an inch, I start to look like a poodle. I just do not have the patience to go through that phase, so my solution is to keep it *super* short until straighter hair starts to grow back. I'm only 5 months PFC--I'm hoping maybe this summer some time I'll start to see a change?? (Re: color, mine is mostly brown with some light blond/white around the edges. I won't even think about color until my hair changes back. Saving money there!!) (And FWIW, my hair always grew relatively quickly, plus I started taking Biotin even before dx--I'm hoping maybe that'll help the chemo curl grow out sooner???)

    In the meantime, it sure is quick getting ready in the morning!! ;-)

  • bravepoint
    bravepoint Member Posts: 232
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    CBK - True. My hair stylist tells me that naturally curly hair is straighter on top and curlier at the ends. I have very thick hair and am happy it came back the same that way. The products that I was using are Marc Anthony Strictly Curls Curl Envy Curl cream and Aussie Scrunch hair spray.


  • pingpong1953
    pingpong1953 Member Posts: 274
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    I'm 14 months PFC and I would love to have chemo curls. My normally thick, coarse wavy hair has come back straight and fine and thin. The only thing that has stayed the same is the colour - still white. And I swear it's getting thinner thanks to the letrozole.

  • cbk
    cbk Member Posts: 323
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    interesting. Bravepoint!!

    I’m going all sulfate Free and lots of natural oils. I’ll check these out.

    Thank You!

  • cbk
    cbk Member Posts: 323
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    Hi Ping Pong

    Tough ride with your chemo and hair return. Are you allowed any supplements go forward?

    I’m on Arimidex, I know I hold my breathe with hair loss. I don’t think I have it yet. But still could come.

    I supplement and use lots of organic topicals.


  • cbk
    cbk Member Posts: 323
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    Hello Ingerp!!

    You indeed made it through... great to see you here. You are entitled to any hair frustrations you wish!

    You always hated the chemo curl... mine did come on until much later than yours. My curls start didn’t until aboutmonth 4 PFC!

    Think about hydrating that lid with organic black Jamaican castor oil. It will soften the curl and speed the growth. Win/win

    Best !!



  • Flower216
    Flower216 Member Posts: 87
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    keepthefaith….Hi! I see that we were on a very similar time schedule-just a few years apart! My first two chemo treatment were also with taxotere-but on the second one, I had a severe allergic reaction, so today I had my third treatment with abraxane in its place. I was wondering, do you remember approximately when your hair started growing in. I assume at first its more like peach fuzz than hair. Hope you are doing well now!!!

    This is a great board...I am not at the point you guys are...but I am learning a lot. Be well everyone!!

  • debal
    debal Member Posts: 600
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    great thread! I pretty much embraced each hair stage from bald to 7 months PFC now. I was so darn thankful to not be sick with chemo that the hair thing has never bothered me much. Its thick, mostly brown, wavy curls, and so soft. Grateful to have it .Not even been trimmed yet. I found each stage was fun in a way. A little taffy and off I go!! I get many compliments that really are sincere that maybe I should consider keeping it short. I can look like don king or lyle lovett if I try lol. I hope everyone is doing well!!

  • cbk
    cbk Member Posts: 323
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    DebAl-


    I waited until about a year for my first “haircut”. I was dreaming I would just never cut my hair until it reached it’s pre-chemo medium long length. But the chemo-curls and thickness definitely required a shaping and trim. Now I’m going to see how long I can go and just grow, grow, grow!!!


    Glad and to hear you are feeling better post-chemo and enjoying your new locks. Don King or Lyle Lovett never looked so good!!




  • ingerp
    ingerp Member Posts: 1,514
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    CBK--I'll give it a try.

    Flower--I read lots of threads about timing of hair re-growth. I stopped wearing baseball caps at 12 weeks PFC. My hair wasn't quite where I wanted it to be but I had a business trip and decided I didn't want to bother packing head gear (plus I figured I was going to be around a bunch of professional adults who could handle it). I got my first trim around four months PFC--was heading into holiday party season and the girl just trimmed the longer hairs (the ones that had never fallen out), and cleaned up around my ears and neck. I think I'll just use clippers at home going forward for a while.

  • debal
    debal Member Posts: 600
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    CBK, wow a year is a long time!. I'm probably past due for a shaping and trim. The thickness is just crazy. Holding off till right before vacation next month. Stylist said it will give her more to work with anyway. Plus I wont feel like I'm wasting my money. I really am enjoying each stage since it's all temporary. I look like a poodle. But I'm a confident poodle! Hope you are doing well and grow your hair so long that you step on it ! LOL

  • cbk
    cbk Member Posts: 323
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    DebAl

    Ohhh I had major anxiety my first hair cut. I was pouring down sweat, couldn't tell if it was a legit hot flash or panic over my trim! 🤔 Losing my hair was one of the most traumatic parts of this entire process for me!

    I wish I be tripping over my locks. I'm like almost 14 months PFC and I'm still sporting my Lil Orphan Annie look. Ugh.

    I soften my poodle with steam rollers. Works really well so you get softer and looser curls. Funny the things I used on my wigs are coming in very handy for the chemo curls!

    I'm so happy you are growing in really thick. Makes you feel stronger after all we've been thru, right? I shared this on the Hair, Hair, Hair Thread. When I started showing photos to my brother when my hair really started coming in he remarked “what did they put fertilizer in that chemo"?

    Blessed Yes!

    Keep growing.

    🤗

    KC

  • debal
    debal Member Posts: 600
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    KC, awe...how traumatic. I'm sorry. Its like I want it trimmed..but not too much. It's short enough because it's so curly. I didnt love losing my hair by any means but adjusted much better than I thought I would.

    LOL..girl , you had me googling 'lil orphan annie" !! I forgot what she looked like. Hey, it's coming back so that works for me. I will keep that in mind about the steam rollers and I will also hang on to my wig products..that I only used twice.

    Yes, it definitely feels good. I noticed you are on arimidex too. Any issues with that as far as your hair goes? I've heard others mention hair loss and thinning but wasnt sure if that was immediately or down the road. I'm going to continue with the biotin and hair skin and nails vitamin and hope for the best.

    Stay warm! Deb

  • cbk
    cbk Member Posts: 323
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    Hey DebAl-

    Arimidex the other worst thing in this equation. So far. Shhhhhhh. Not a problem with losing hair so far. I’m concerned with that so I stay super focused with biotin and b complex and topical castor oil treatments. Which some say are of no help but I beg to differ.

    And diet for hair and health overall!

    Stay in touch. I’m PMing you my latest hair photo. You let me know if you think Arimidex is winning the hair battle. Ha!


  • Sassa
    Sassa Member Posts: 98
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    I had very curly and thick hair before chemo. It was dark brown and the gray was definitely starting to show up.

    The chemo curls were steel gray. Eventually, at about six months to a year after the end of my AC chemo (I also had a year of herceptin so hair growth was slowed down), color started to appear in patches. At one point I had areas of blonde, brown, gray, and red. I felt like a calico cat.

    Eventually, my hair became a lighter shade of brown with red high lights in the sun. The gray disappeared.

    Texture wise, it was thin and straight.

    It has now been eleven years since the end of chemo and herceptin. My hair is still straight.

    About three years ago, I had new growth come in all around my head so my hair is somewhat thicker.

    Interestingly, I also had new hair growth along the edge my forehead hair line. That hair did have my old wave and curl and the wave is still present.

  • trishyla
    trishyla Member Posts: 698
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    Count me as one who loves (loved?) my chemo curls. I've had stick straight hair, soft, but with zero body, all my life. My sister had thick, crazy curls. She wanted straight, I wanted curly. Go figure. 😏

    I'm almost 2 years PFC, and my curls are starting to go away. I'm so bummed. I've had my hair short, curly and purple since April 2017 (long story).

    I'm 60 years old and have never had so many compliments on my hair in my life. Apparently men love purple. Especially young men. I've had young guys yell "Dig your hair" from across a parking lot. Talk about an ego booster!

    I just hope I can keep some of the body, if not the curls.😁

    Trish