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CURLY AFTER CHEMO
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564deb posted:
Hi Everyone! First of all let me say that I am thrilled to finally have some hair:) Last chemo was March 20th and I now have a nice new crop of very short, very gray, very curly hair. After years of wearing a shoulder length bob, I am enjoying the simplicity of the short cut. I don't mind the gray at all. It is interesting to see what my true color really is. However, the curls are becoming really hard to handle. I am very curly (picture a poodle). My old hair texture had a lot of body and a little wave, but not these ringlets. Does your normal hair texture come back in time? If so, how long does it usually take? Can anyone suggest any hair products that tame the curl? Thanks ladies. Deb
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sams_mom2 responded:
Deb-

I think everyone's experience is a bit different. For me my very slightly wavy hair came back much more wavy...it took about a year to grow out and stop being wavy and over time has gotten increasingly straighter.

Other people have retained the curliness.

My color was different too but has gone back to normal, mousy brown.

Hugs,

Jennifer
 
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Nico1e responded:
Hi Deb,

I lost my hair through chemo nearly 20 years ago, at age 17. My hair came back with quite a bit more wave/curl than it had before (though sounds like nothing compared to what you have!) and quite a bit darker than the shining blonde I was previously. The waviness stayed for maybe 3 years, though I was living in humid Halifax at the time so probably the humidity made it stay longer. My hair colour has remained mousy ever since.

I'm now growing a second crop of chemo hair and it's poker straight!

Have you thought about checking out sites intended for African-American women who want to tame or relax their curl? They might have some great suggestions. Good luck with it! (Me, I think it would be fun to have Goldilocks curls for a little while, but maybe it's not so lovely as it seems....)
 
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miarka responded:
I hear you! My last chemo was March 10 and I think my hair is about 2" long now. VERY curly around the ears particularly. I have had my first haircut which only tackled the back and around the ears, which were decidedly poodle looking. In the research I have done, it eventually goes back to it's original self, but have not found out how long that takes. My hairdresser, who's sister is going through the same thing, says it's really just the first 'chemical' hair that comes in like this. It's also like straw - is yours? I have been conditioning every day. I would suggest a haircut which will get rid of the bad initial hair and that might calm it down again. I'm trying to hold off before another trim as I don't want it too short again. Hope this helps.

Miarka
 
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BrittaA responded:
Hi Deb,

Congratulations on completing chemo and your hair growing back! Your hair is still in a state of transition and a little side effect of your treatment. I am a 17 year survivor of Hodgkin?s disease and after I finished chemo, my hair came back very extremely curly as well (I used to have to get perms before with them only lasting a few weeks) Like you I didn?t know what to expect. There was little information about the side effects of chemo treatment when I was diagnosed with cancer and even when my father, battled colon cancer 2 years ago, so I started a blog, cincovidas.com to help fighters, survivors and caregivers understand the side effects of cancer treatment on their hair, skin and nails. I did a post on how to take care of your new hair blog.cincovidas.com/treatments-are-over-and-my-hair%E2%80%99s-coming-back-curly-will-it-stay-this-way . Remember to use a gentle and toxin-free shampoo and conditioner. Also, if you can, stay away from putting any heat on your hair to avoid damage, at least for now.

I hope this helps.



Love, strength and survival,





Britta
 
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123hope responded:
I loved this thread and it helped me today to find this... Today I lost all of my hair and have had to shave it for the first time. I have only had 2 chemo treatments and have 6 more to go. I am hoping to be in the same boat as you all in the coming months.... at this point I would not care if I looked like a poodle or not!!!!
 
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DiKay1024 responded:
I have poker straight hair, and mine came back in very curly after chemo. I referred to it as the world's most expensive perm! I normally wear my hair short, and after about the second or third haircut it was just a bit wavy, and then back to it's normal straight self, so I'd say 6 months to a year. Of course I don't know whether it would stay curly on the ends if it weren't cut off! It also went back to near it's normal color--which in late 50's was a bit grayer all the time!

Congrats on finishing chemo! Blessings, Di
 
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djmelt responded:
Hey Deb,

Congratulations on finishing up chemo. You get the happy chair dance with the feather boa! YEAH!!

I finished chemo in 05 and my hair is still changing! Mine was baby fine with a tiny bit of wave. After chemo, it came back the same color and texture, no curls for me I was so looking forward to thick curly hair. Well, when they put me on tamoxifen, my hair started to really thicken up, is turning more gray--old age-- and the back is getting curly and the top is board straight. Who knows what will happen next. I'll keep you posted on...."As Donna's Hair Turns"!!

I hope you are feeling well and still having fun! Love and big hugs,

Donna
 
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564deb responded:
I must admit I always feel guilty complaining about the curly hair because after all....it is hair. It was not that long ago that my husband was using his beard trimmers to shave what little hair I had on my head off. We both had big old crocodile tears in our eyes. Forgive me for complaining and thank you for reminding me how lucky I am!!

Praying that the remainder of your treatments go smoothly and swiftly. Deb
 
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564deb responded:
Jennifer and Nicole. Thank you for your responses. Mousy brown it is!! For me, I have mousy brown, dark gray and white. Quite a combination, but believe it or not I don't mind the color. Interesting to see what my true color is after all these years of covering the gray. In fact, I have had quite a few compliments on it...maybe they just feel sorry for me Thanks ladies! Deb
 
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564deb responded:
Hi Miarka, It seems like you and I have been going through this whole ordeal at about the same time and speed. (I think you were also diagnosed about the same time as I was.) I would guess my hair is also about 2" long and mostly curly/wavy around the ears and back. The top isn't too bad. It's funny you would suggest a haircut. I actually stopped in and saw my hairdresser last week and he also suggested a cut. Seems a little scary, but I scheduled one for next week. I hate to let go of what little I have...curly or not!! Mine doesn't feel like straw but definitely feels different than pre-chemo. I also just purchased Joico Smoothing Shampoo, Smoothing Conditioner and a balm that you put on before drying. The combination of all three has helped some and it smells real good Thanks Miarka for your help. Best of luck to you. Deb
 
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564deb responded:
Thank you Britta. I will most definitely check out your blog. Who knows what all I may be doing wrong Deb
 
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564deb responded:
Di and Donna....you two ladies always come through for me. You answer my questions and more importantly you make me laugh!! The best medicine by far!! Thank you both for your steadfast support and contributions to this board!! Deb
 
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miarka responded:
Fun isn't it? My hairdresser only cut a little off the back and thinned out the very front so it wouldn't sit like a hat! She did it for free as she has been very supportive - her sister has BC too. She styled my wig for free too. Mine is also straight on the top. I hardly noticed the difference except that it wasn't as frazzled looking. I think mine is like straw as I colored it, big mistake - went orange, and then covered it in lemon juice and sat in the sun! I figured it would all get cut off at some point anyway. I am forcing myself to stay away from another haircut for at least another month and then get 1/2 inch off all over. Very curly around the ears, but just wavy now at the back. I quite like short hair though
 
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123hope responded:
Thanks Deb.... I am happy for you that you are at the stage of having hair. For a person like me who is still at the "getting to feel comfortable bald stage" it helps to read posts like yours to have hope for the future days. Great luck with your hair and I know it will begin to relax soon. I bet it looks great right now!!


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