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    Slow and thin hair growth after chemo
    Janey108 posted:
    I finished chemo in August 2009 and radiation in November. My hair is still coming in but there are really thin patches esp. in the front. My bangs are slight and very curly. I am very anxious about my hair not filling in and I will need to keep wearing a wig forever! Has anyone had this problem and if so, did your hair eventually come in fuller and how long did it take? I am starting to think about Rogaine and Laser hair treatments but know nothing about them. Desperate!
    missedit responded:
    Hi Janey:

    While I am having that problem, it is because of the whole brain radiation I had for brain metasteses.- not your problem at all. Mine will not come back - your's probably will. Are you having Herceptin as one of your "chemo cocktails"? If so, it does slow down your hair growth. Good luck.
    kerry1849 responded:
    Hi Janey
    I finished chemo 1/13/2010 and radiation 4/5/2010. I also am having very slow hair regrowth with the hair being very thin on the top of my head. I was wondering if your situation has improved? Did you try rogaine and if so how long did it take to work? I also lost my eyebrows and they have not come back and it has been 7 months. I also do not want to wear the wig forever, I was so hoping for it to be gone by now.This is all sovery frustrating
    Beckyjodog responded:
    I know this is an older post but I was curious to know how it turned out. I have been finished with chemo for 7 months and am concerned about my hair growth. I have a couple of inches in the back but the top and sides are very short and very sparse. You can see my shiny scalp through the hair. Will it ever return? 7 months seems like a long time. I just want to know if anyone else has ever grown a full head of hair even though it took more than 7 months or so. Thanks!
    flowergirl0902 responded:
    Hello; I finished Chemo November 30/10, and it's now atleast one year since I have been growing my hair again, but I still have bald spots, and thin hair on top and back like in male pattern baldness. Looking like a man now! Anyways, I have next to no eyebrows as yet either, have to pencil them in. It's a little hard to take considering I use to have such thick hair before this. I have heard the drug Tamoxifen could be to blame, has anyone else heard of this? Curious,thx
    Stocka42 replied to flowergirl0902's response:
    I finished my CHOP-R chemo treatments at the beginning of June 2010, and my radiation towards the end of July 2010. My hair has regular growth on the back and sides but the top is very thin and also looks like the genetic male pattern baldness, and since I had a very nice head of hair before treatment, it can be depressing some times because it feels like I've already been waiting forever for it to come back! My Doc. tells me that I should wait at least one year from my last chemo treatment before jumping to conclusions, he said it took me 21 years to grow it so don't expect it to be perfect in less than 1 . You said that you finished your treatment in November of 2010, that's only 5 months. I'm sure you'll grow your hair back and I hope I'll do the same. Also if you do try Rogaine or any other hair regrowth products that work I would love to hear about it.
    cupcake_9898 replied to Stocka42's response:
    Hello - I had triple negative locally advanced inter ductal carc. ddiagosed in Sept 2009, started chemo Oct 2009, had Taxotere, Cytoxin followed by Andromycin finishing April 2010. My hair was like bird fuzz in March 2010... by Christmas it was over an inch long but wavy. It is now Sept, 2011. I had visions of it being below my ears. Although I am taking Biotin and Horsetail, the bottom keeps growing but the crown is taking forever. It IS thick however but not in any style. I keep getting the bottom cut off and wearing fun hairbands and using mousse. It's all I can do...
    brcansur replied to cupcake_9898's response:
    Hello, I had my chemo in 2008 and my hair came back nice and curly in the back and sides. But the top was a different story I just had a little peach fuss that just didn't want to grow. When it did finally grow it looks like male patterend baldness it never came back in fully. It is very thin and you can see my skin I still have some bare spots. I too use a mouse that makes your hair look thicker. But sometimes it just doesn't work and can be a downer when going out and your hair just doesn't want to do anything and looks very thin to nothing on top. I still don't have much for eye brows either or eye lashes for that matter. I had the same drugs as you and am triple neg also so am not taking any drugs for the cancer now. My hair is starting to get back to my normal thickness in the back and sides but not on top it is still pretty thin and it is 3 1/2 years since chemo has been done. I don't know how much longer it is going to take to get back to normal all over my head but I sure hope it does soon. Because this is sure well past the year they say that it usually takes for it to grow back. For all of us thin haired ladies wishing for a full head of hair may we wake up one morning with all our dreams and prayers answered and have our hair back. Have a great day angel hugs Roberta,
    cindy12345678 replied to brcansur's response:
    Hi! Ladies,
    I had 2 cancers and I had A/C and T/H. I finished chemo in Jan'11. I still get herceptin every three weeks. My hair is comming in pretty thick all around. It is alot darker and very curly all over. I have been putting mousse and strong hairspray just to get it to lay down some. I hope I can highlight it soon. I would say I have about an inch and a half length now. I am just starting to look normal. I went without a wig as soon as I got peach fuzz. I didn't care so much after that.I lost my eyelashes with the adrimycin and cytoxan. They grew back and the they fell out again. They have grown back I hope they stay. I kind of freak out a little when I loose one. I wondered if it was the herceptin. My fingernails are still really soft.I would love to wake up with a full head of hair.!
    jenna291 replied to cindy12345678's response:
    Hi ladies,
    I had adrimycin and taxol. The little hair I had left with the AC fell out with the taxol,and that is when my lashes fell out too.
    It took several months after treatment to see real growth. I had my chemo first, then lumpectomy, then radiation. Lashes started back about 6 months after chemo, hair about 3 months. It took a good year to reach my ears, probably another year before it was similar to before chemo, but definitely not as thick. I have a bit of thinning near my path, but I am also on arimidex which causes hair thinning. This I will take for another year.
    The person who discovers a treatment program that will not cause hair loss will be a hero for many people. Its hard enough to go down this road without losing hair. I had several people tell me "its only hair". Not when its happening to you. It ads to the horror of the whole situation. It does get there with time. I hopeyou are doing better now. I noticed the post was originally from last year, so hope you are reading this now and happy with the progress. best to you ~Jenna
    Spirette replied to brcansur's response:
    I was triple negative also, and it's been more than 3.5 years since my treatments were finished as well. I did develop hypothyroidism after treatment, but I've been treated for about 4 years now. Like most of us here, I don't have a success story --could someone please post a happy ending? I don't care how long it takes, I just want to have some hope that my hair will come in fuller some day! Mine is getting longer--past my shoulders, and even has some wave and curl at the bottom as it always did (which I appreciate), but it is so thin, my scalp can be seen from top (I'm short), sides, and back. Plus the ends are so straggly, I shouldn't let it get this long, but it's so depressing not having any hair after so long. Any one that can offer any hope, please post or email. Thanks And best of luck to you all. <3
    susan1240 replied to Spirette's response:
    Dear Spirette and others ... regarding hair .... it has been about 1 1/2 years since my last chemo treatment. (Feb. 25, 2010) My hair is just now at chin length and looking quite a bit better than one year ago. I have it colored because it came in "salt and pepper." It also came in wavy, but I had wavy (long) hair before the bi-lateral mastectomy. Everyone here mentioned the "bald scalp" situation. I can relate to that too ... but now my new growth seems to cover the "once thin" scalp area. Will be taking Arimidex for 3 1/2 more years ... have noticed a little bit of hair on the bathroom floor when I comb it ... but not much. Have always shed hair in the past though. My dark brown wig, with very straight hair, is on my bedroom shelf. I hope I NEVER have to wear it again ... but ... it came in very handy for holidays, shopping and family get togethers. At home, I usually wore a red "granny" cap ... much more comfortable. Hope this helps ... it is cruel that cancer patients usually lose hair with chemo ... hopefully, it is a TEMPORARY setback .... would like to hear how you all are coping.

    Love, Hugs and Hair Growth!
    mhall6252 replied to susan1240's response:
    I just finished DD AC - Taxol this Wednesday. I held on to my eyebrows and lashes until the second Taxol treatment, then they fell out. BUT, I have "chemo" brows - you can see the transluscent hair where my brows belong. And I am starting to see the same with my eyelashes. And I have a scalp full of peach fuzz.

    Because I am triple negative, I won't be doing any anti-hormone therapy so that won't slow down my hair growth. Radiation can damage the thyroid and that can also slow it down.

    Did any of you do Taxotere? I have heard/read that as many as 6% of people have permanent alopecia from what some people call Taxoterrible.

    I have maintained through chemo that there is a pill for every side effect except hair loss and fatigue. The company that really figures out the hair loss thing will soar to success!

    GGrandmaJan replied to mhall6252's response:
    Hello Ladies, I had 1 dose of AC in Jan of '06 and in two weeks my hair came out in bunches. I was devasated. Because I only was able to tolerate one dose of AC I then went on to 6 weeks of radiation. It took 8 to 10 months for my hair to start growing back in. I kept it cut pretty short as to not put any strain on the follicules or roots of the hair. It was pretty thin on the top. I went to a good nutrition store, got a good mulit-vitamin with biotin in it. The biotin worked wonders.

    My hair came back in but was a horrible color of mousy grey and darker grey. I was told to only use a temporary hair color on it. One that washes out after about 3 months. I don't believe you want to put anything real harsh on your hair and scalp. Also do have your thyroid checked-- as low levels can also cause thinning of hair. Do not perm your hair until it has returned to normal. Just to hard on your scalp and hair. Before I had ca I tried Rogaine but you Must use it every day or it does not work. I would forget most days and didn't find it very helpful anyway.

    Remember ladies, we can see the top of our heads in the mirror but most other people don't pay any attention.

    Now, I am on my second go-around with losing hair since starting chemo June, 2011. Thank goodness, I saved my wigs. I splurged on myself and found the most awesome blonde curly synethic wig. I went to a "50" BD party last Sat. Almost everyone there knew I was doing chemo and one of my best friends had to ask me quietly "how come I hadn't lost my hair"? We both laughed when I said I had done a buzz cut in July. They could not believe it was a wig. Made me feel so awesome no-one could tell the difference. I find it very liberating to not have to worry about doing my hair.!!!!!!

    I hope your hair all grows back. Please, just give it time. Also do ask your Dr's about your concerns. He just might have some answers for you.
    rachael67 replied to GGrandmaJan's response:
    The loss of our hair seems to be, in so many cases, a more than difficult aspect of the illness...Perhaps because it is the most visible? ...A final humiliation that bc throws at us! Yes, if they could find a way around this problem, it sure could lift one burden from so many folks! But, if they must chose between a way to stop the loss of hair and a cure for bc, I know which direction we'd all choose!!

    It seems,however, that when we as individuals can find a way to make ourselves feel better about our appearance, it sure can help! Thanks heavens for programs like TLC and for wigs and scarves and all the other items that help us recall we truly are lovely women (or, in some cases, handsome men!) and very brave Warriors!

    It always makes me chuckle, however, when I hear of someone like you, Jan, who achieves total disception, having found the perfect wig and no one realizing it is a wig, that you are compelled to let the cat out of the bag, declaring that underneath it all, you are bald!! I guess we like to look "normal" but also can't help but take a bit of pride in the fact we pulled it off so well!! Whatever the outcome, let's hear it for our community of Warriors...and lovely ladies!

    Just when the caterpillar thought her world was over, she became a butterfly!
    Don't give up five minutes before the miracle!!

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