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Topic: does everyone get curly hair after chemo?

Forum: Chemotherapy - Before, During, and After —

Regimens, side effects, and support from others going through chemo.

Posted on: Jan 19, 2008 10:56AM

cc01 wrote:

I have long straight hair and I am getting a human hair wig to look just like I do now. I am hoping to get hair extentions once my hair is long enough. I am hoping my hair grows in straight. Is there any chance of that? How long does the curly hair last? Will my hair ever be straight again?

Dx 11/1/2007, IDC, 1.5cm, Stage IIa, Grade 2, 1mic/20 nodes, Oncotype Dx 23, ER+/PR-, HER2- Dx 11/1/2007, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/20 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jan 19, 2008 01:48PM my3girls wrote:

I think most people have curly hair initially.  Mine is very curly. It started out coming in straight, but then changed to curly.  Mine is about 1 1/2 inches long.  I have always had straight long hair too.  I am not minding the short cute style I have now.  However I do plan on growing it out.  I think it will be fun experimenting with different styles and looks.

I have heard from other people, that there hair eventually went back to it's natural state.  A friend of mine said hers returned to what it was, but it still has allot of wave, and in never did before.

All the best to you!

xoxo

Lisa

Worry is for "shit"! Live, Laugh, Love! //unilateral mast//reconst. 2/4/08 Dx 3/6/2007, IDC, 3cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 0/22 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 19, 2008 01:57PM Caya wrote:

I am 8 months out from chemo, and my hair is growing in straight.  I know most women have it grow in very curly, and eventually it relaxes.

My hair before treatment was curly.  However as a child I had straight hair, it got curly after I had my daughters.  I guess now since this is essentially "virgin"hair it has reverted back to my original straight hair. It is also much softer, less coarse than before chemo - hey whatever it is, it's hair!!

Dx 10/16/2006, IDC, Right, 1cm, Grade 2, 0/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH)
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Jan 19, 2008 02:21PM Harley44 wrote:

So far, my hair is STILL STRAIGHT!  I had been hoping for some body in my hair... but oh, well!  At least I have HAIR now!, even if it's gray!!!  It isn't growing very fast! 

Did anyone else's hair grow so darn slow, that it will take 10 years before it reachs my chin?!

I can now pull some hairs down to just over the tip of my ears... that is an improvement, I guess...

Harley

P.S.  Oh, and it is REALLY SOFT!

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Jan 19, 2008 02:31PM ravdeb wrote:

Mine came in curly and my mom said it looked just like when I was a baby. It lasted about half a year and then relaxed. I trimmed off the curls and they never returned. My hair is pretty much the same texture it was before chemo. 

I read somewhere on here that your hair grows in the way it did when you were a baby and lasts for as long as you had curly hair (or straight) as a baby before returning to your regular texture. Have no idea is if that is true but I didn't have curly hair as an older child..just as a baby.

IDC, 2cm, triple negative, grade 3, node neg Dx 9/5/2005, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Jan 19, 2008 03:16PM LisaSDCA wrote:

I think it's a roll of the dice - mine never got tight curls, I have a friend who has ringlets two years out and hers was straight, another friend had curls but they went after her first haircut at about 9 mo. out.

Mine, at 6mo. has some curl and wave - pretty much as it did before, if I wore it short. Which I hadn't for years - I wore it well below my shoulders and the weight of it (very thick hair) and blow-drying kept it smooth. But if I were to let it dry naturally, say at the beach, scrunching it in the meantime - people would ask me if I had gotten it 'done'. So the wave was always there.

Now, if I gel it lightly and scrunch it while it is wet and do not comb or brush it at all, it stays looking curly. I wear a narrow headband so the sides don't wing out too much.Cool But having it gelled makes it look three shades darker and my blonde is coming back slow enough as it is! I'm grateful it didn't come back white, but it's now a med.- darkish brown - a color I have never been! So, who has my med. golden blonde with dark blonde undertones and is missing their brown hair?

But, as my daughter astutely pointed out, whenever I wore my hair up in a french twist ( pretty often) it was always a little darker underneath, so maybe it'll just take a while for the top layers to get 'sun-kissed again. phooey.

Maybe I'll squeeze a lemon over my head and work in the garden.Laughing

Lisa

Stage IV mets to brain 11/2008 BRCA-1 positive Dx 1/24/2007, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Jan 20, 2008 06:15PM Bernadine wrote:

Hi there girls,

I'm out of chemo for 5 months now and my hair is so slow growing wow!!!!!  I was at the hairdressing every 3 weeks before this thing started. It's like one inches out and fuzzy I can't wait for a 6 inches. And mine are like salt and pepper and I hate that. Did some of you colored your hair or how long do you have to wait until dying it????? 

------------------------------------------------------------

Dx 3/07 IDC,3.2cm,stage1,grade2,0/19nodes,ER+/PR+,clear margin,HER2- 

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Jan 20, 2008 06:31PM otter wrote:

Just curious-- 

I don't know yet if I'll need chemo.  I'm just beginning to get some grey at my temples; otherwise my hair is dark auburn-colored (nearly brown with some reddish highlights). I've always loved my hair color and I've never messed with it. It grows straight and I generally wear it in a "bob".

So, if I need chemo and it falls out, will it be more grey when it grows back, or will the greying process take up where it left off before chemo?

otter

Dx 2008, IDC, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jan 20, 2008 06:34PM Harley44 wrote:

Bernadine,


I read that we should wait six months before coloring or otherwise processing our new hair.  But, having said that, I have read here that LOTS of women are coloring their hair as soon as it starts to come in. 


I am waiting... I have to wait til April to color it.  It is SO GRAY!  And it is also growing so slow!!!

Harley

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Jan 21, 2008 11:51AM Raye99 wrote:

I'm 13 months post chemo and still have curly hair - I had wavy hair before chemo, but nothing like this.

On the color front: about four months post chemo, I used a 28 day semi permanent color because my hair came back a leady looking black, very dull. It gave it some life.

Dx 7/14/2006, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 3/9 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Jan 22, 2008 02:55AM Diana63 wrote:

My neighbors (dx IDC) hair is growing back very curly, it is so cute I just love it. When mine grows back I don't care if its curly or straight, but it will probably be curly. Listen to me my hair has only been gone two days and I'm already missing it Cry

“Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). Dx 10/6/2007, IDC, 5cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 4/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 22, 2008 03:38AM anneshirley wrote:

It's now 14 months since I finished chemo (five months after herceptin).  My hair is starting to lose some of the curl, around the sides mainly.  It grows much more slowly than before.  I was always complaining in the past about how quickly my hair and nails grew--no more, but that may be herceptin.  However, I colored my hair as soon as I had enough (about 1-1/2 inch) and had no problems and was really glad I did.  Made me feel better.  I'm not sure why we're not supposed to color but if it makes you feel good, I say do it!

Anneshirley Picture of Mary & Sophie, my nieces Dx 6/10/2006, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Jan 23, 2008 02:54PM danmatt wrote:

Dear Cc,

My hair was poker straight my whole life.  I am now 13 months post-chemo and it has grown back pretty much the same.  When it first started coming in it had a little bit of wave to it, but now it is back to poker straight again.  The only difference I see is that it is a tiny bit thicker (which is a good thing for me because it was baby-fine before).  Other than that though, everything is the same...color, texture, etc.

Hope this helps.  Good luck!!

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Jan 23, 2008 05:36PM twink wrote:

My hair started sprouting while I was still on neoadjuvant Taxotere (after AC) and kept growing through adjuvant Carboplation.  It came back grayer than I like to think it was pre-chemo and it came back corkscrew curly (was mildly wavy).  I dyed it blonde as soon as it was about 1/4 inch long.  There was no way I was prepared to walk around with a head full of short, gray hair given that I also felt 100 years old.  It's now 8 months since I finished Taxotere, my hair is about 3 inches long, and still very curly (but I think the curl may disappear with the upcoming haircut -- my first real one since it came back).  Texture is about the same I think.

If you can't be kind, have the decency to be vague.
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Jan 23, 2008 06:01PM my3girls wrote:

I would have to say my experience is the same as Twinks.  I colored mine right away.  My hairdresser said it was fine, she used a non ammonia based product.

Mine is curly...and may stay that way...but I don't mind too much...I am just grateful to have hair!Laughing

Worry is for "shit"! Live, Laugh, Love! //unilateral mast//reconst. 2/4/08 Dx 3/6/2007, IDC, 3cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 0/22 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 23, 2008 07:37PM - edited Jan 23, 2008 07:40PM by Curlylocks

I am 2 years post chemo in May, my hair was curly ringlets prior to bc, it came back even curlier and dark once the grey got some pigmentation.  After several hair cuts I can see the curls start to soften but it is still curlier than it was before and shows no signs of letting up....

I am happy to have hair again, being without it for almost 10 months sucked!

Your bc sister

Michele 

P.S.  Here is a picture of my hair taken pre and post chemo.

Dx 10/23/2005, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 3/23 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/9/2005 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary Chemotherapy 12/5/2005 AC + T (Taxol) Hormonal Therapy 5/1/2006 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 6/1/2006 Breast Surgery 5/3/2008 Prophylactic ovary removal Surgery 12/16/2013 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Dx 1/9/2014, IDC, <1cm, Grade 1, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 2/11/2014 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Jan 23, 2008 08:01PM twink wrote:

You look awesome sis!  Isn't it true... better curly or gray or whatever than being bald for months at a time.

If you can't be kind, have the decency to be vague.
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May 28, 2008 08:36PM twink wrote:

bump

If you can't be kind, have the decency to be vague.
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May 29, 2008 09:27PM Keenie wrote:

Straight before. Now very curly and much darker, almost a year out of tx. And just had second real haircut. Very exciting, really. My hair stylist thinks it will stay curly now.
Christine

Be still and know that I am God! Dx 12/6/2006, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 29, 2008 09:38PM jeanne46 wrote:

Mine grew in straight at first, then got very curly. It stayed that way, through various trims, until recently. It's beginning to relax. The color is also darker brown than before and the grey doesn't show much at all. Pre-chemo my hair was straight (even as a child) with a little wave.

As soon as I stopped chemo I began using NIOXIN - a total hair care product (shampoo, conditioner, and something else). The product was developed for people who've gone through chemo or who have alopecia. It really helped my hair grow faster and I think it also came in a little thicker, too. It's expensive, but worth a try. You can always get a traveling set and see if it works for you.

Jeanne

Dx 12/05, Stage IV, Grade 3 ER-/PR-Her2- YOU NEVER KNOW HOW STRONG YOU ARE UNTIL BEING STRONG IS THE ONLY OPTION YOU HAVE. -anonymous
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May 30, 2008 01:41AM oldcat46 wrote:

My hair has always been poker straight -- would hardly ever take a perm -- so I was wearing it long and straight to the middle of my back when I was dx'ed with bc.  Cut it off short and then buzzed it before it could fall out from chemo.  Everyone said it would come back curly and different.  Three months past chemo and it's a "crew cut" and straight, straight straight.  I like it though and I get compliments.  Don't have to blow it dry, use the curl iron, highlight it, etc.  It's soft as a baby's hair and brown, just like it was before.  So I guess some people's hair doesn't come back different.  Who knows...  I'll give that Nioxin a try to get it to grow a little faster. 

Mary Dx 8/27/2007, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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May 30, 2008 04:05AM kagaines wrote:

I think it's a crapshoot, to be honest.  I had straight hair pre chemo and now it's came in curly.  I had my last chemo at the end of Sept 2007, and after it coming in curly, it's now starting to go straight again.

"The greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall." - Confucius Dx 7/8/2008, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/0 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 30, 2008 04:05AM kagaines wrote:

I think it's a crapshoot, to be honest.  I had straight hair pre chemo and now it's came in curly.  I had my last chemo at the end of Sept 2007, and after it coming in curly, it's now starting to go straight again.

"The greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall." - Confucius Dx 7/8/2008, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/0 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 31, 2008 11:14AM pip57 wrote:

Mine started coming in straight and wispy. Now it is curly and thick. I love it like this and plan to keep it very short now. Something I never would have considered before losing it all.

A friend at work had very thick, curly hair that came back thin and straight.

So, yes, it seems like a crapshoot!

PIP - multi focal, FEC100/Tax, rads, dble mast with no recon, ooph/hyst, arimidex Dx 2/1/2007, DCIS/IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, 9/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 6, 2008 05:07PM zschweeb wrote:

right now i have very fine white hair growing back in they mentioned in the chat rooms that this also falls out before regrowth has this happened to anyone else??? how long before the real stuff gets here???

Susan Dx 11/27/2007, IDC, 1cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 14/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 6, 2008 05:47PM mer1957 wrote:

Susan, my hair had no pigment, white/gray when it came in.  It took about a month to develop color and a year later it's back to its natural color.  Mine too came in really curly whereas before it was only curly in the back but not the front.  I am one year past chemo and it is not relaxing any although I am trying to grow it out.  I heard that if it's longer it will lay down straighter...only time will tell about that.  I look like Kramer from Seinfeld when I wake up.  I have just learned to go with the flow..Whatever it is.  I find not blow-drying it helps since when I do it frizzes. 

Mary Dx 11/25/2006, ILC, 6cm+, Grade 2, 0/13 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 6, 2008 05:48PM mer1957 wrote:

Susan, my hair had no pigment, white/gray when it came in.  It took about a month to develop color and a year later it's back to its natural color.  Mine too came in really curly whereas before it was only curly in the back but not the front.  I am one year past chemo and it is not relaxing any although I am trying to grow it out.  I heard that if it's longer it will lay down straighter...only time will tell about that.  I look like Kramer from Seinfeld when I wake up.  I have just learned to go with the flow..Whatever it is.  I find not blow-drying it helps since when I do it frizzes. 

Mary Dx 11/25/2006, ILC, 6cm+, Grade 2, 0/13 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 6, 2008 05:48PM mer1957 wrote:

Susan, my hair had no pigment, white/gray when it came in.  It took about a month to develop color and a year later it's back to its natural color.  Mine too came in really curly whereas before it was only curly in the back but not the front.  I am one year past chemo and it is not relaxing any although I am trying to grow it out.  I heard that if it's longer it will lay down straighter...only time will tell about that.  I look like Kramer from Seinfeld when I wake up.  I have just learned to go with the flow..Whatever it is.  I find not blow-drying it helps since when I do it frizzes. 

Mary Dx 11/25/2006, ILC, 6cm+, Grade 2, 0/13 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 25, 2009 05:30PM boobandahalf wrote:

I am 10 month out from chemo. I have about 4.5 inches of curly, curly hair. I try and straiten it but I look like a q tip........really fuzzy. I would like to get extentions or put a hair relaxer........Help.

My hair was wavy but nothing like this before.

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Feb 25, 2009 05:34PM kimbly wrote:

mine came in wavy but not curly.  It has straightened out with more growth and a few haircuts.  I did have quite a bit of body before.  It does take forever though. I am 10 months out and it's just now covering  my ears. 

Dx 11/21/2007, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Feb 25, 2009 06:03PM bourscheid wrote:

Mine is coming in board straight so far and gray!  I broke down this weekend and colored it with Clairol Root Touch Up - just enough for my inch long hair.  It's still thin but I am still on chemo.  Hoping when I finish chemo it will thicken up.

Lori Dx 8/18/2008, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IV, Grade 3, 27/29 nodes, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 8/18/2008 Mastectomy: Left Targeted Therapy 10/2/2008 Avastin (bevacizumab) Chemotherapy 10/2/2008 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Chemotherapy 1/9/2009 Xeloda (capecitabine) Chemotherapy 9/10/2010 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Chemotherapy 1/18/2011 Xeloda (capecitabine) Chemotherapy 11/19/2011 Halaven (eribulin) Chemotherapy 4/24/2012 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Hormonal Therapy 1/10/2013 Faslodex (fulvestrant) Chemotherapy 1/10/2013 Doxil (doxorubicin) Chemotherapy 8/26/2014 AC Chemotherapy 8/26/2015 Ixempra (ixabepilone) Chemotherapy Gemzar (gemcitabine) Chemotherapy Navelbine (vinorelbine)

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