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Hair changes after treatment?

Working at Live Better With I've been lucky enough to meet lots of our community members, and one of the stories that everyone seems to love sharing is how their hair grew back in a weird or different way after their treatment was finished. It's amazing how much chemo/radio can affect your hair even months after it's over!

Have you experienced any hair changes after your treatment ended? Different colour/texture?


  • CarolCarol Posts: 5
    After my first lot of treatment 5 years ago it grew back a totally different colour (grey!) but the same texture and with the same slight wave as I’d had before. This time it’s nuts ! Not as thick, same grey but corkscrew curls and frizz. As I’d nurtured poker straight blond in the interim it’s taking a little getting used to and apparently the life extending antibody treatment I have also plays a few games with your locks. 
  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,410 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Pre cancer I used to be very fussy about my hair. Naturally, wavy and curly and auburn/red,  but I wore it in a short style and hated how it looked wavy, so I would straighten it every day!! If it rained, or got damp, or I had to wear a hat....nightmare!!Hahaha!
    Funnily, now, after not having any for a long time,thank you chemo(!), I am not bothered about it. I love not having to think about what my hair looks like, I keep it very short, and the freedom from that is amazing. 
    The colour has completely changed, very dark at the back and lighter on top, but not red and very patchy. I think if I allowed it to grow it would still be wavy though. My hairdresser doesn't think I will get my colour back. 

  • Maggie1980Maggie1980 Posts: 6

    I lost my hair with chemo just got it so didn’t have to wear a hat and now i am completely bald after radiotherapy to Brain has anyone had experience of how long it will take to grow back again please

  • Alli123Alli123 Posts: 1

    I wore the cold cap for 6 Chemo, my hair went very thin and after surgery bald patches . It’s now looking awful, growing back grey and fuzzy , wondering if to have it all off and start again ?? I’ve still to have radiation does that affect your hair too?

  • LouiseJLouiseJ Posts: 772 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 2019

    Hi @Alli123

    I had heard that using a cold cap during chemo doesn't always have positive results. I am sorry to hear your hair is not in great condition at the moment. There are quite a few products available that can help with promoting healthy hair growth, perhaps try some of those?

    Radiotherapy can cause hair loss I believe, so maybe waiting until you have finished that before deciding to take it all off and start again maybe the way to go. Meanwhile try using a specialist shampoo and conditioner to help with the quality now.

    My hair has not returned to its pre-cancer state. It is quite thick and dark at the back of my head but on the top it is pretty thin and medium fair. Very weird, I used to be a redhead.! Haha! I tried growing it out but my hairdresser doesn't think it will change or improve much so now I keep it very short which actually works very well for me as I go swimming a lot and not having to fuss with my hair is wonderful. (I used to really fuss about it, it was a nightmare!) 😂.

    Hope you find something that helps.

    I hope you are recovering well after chemo, it does take a while, and can knock the stuffing out of you. Welcome to the community, lovely to have you here with us. Everyone is very supportive and friendly, please come and chat any time, it will be lovely to chat with you.

    Lou x

  • MaffMaff Posts: 1

    After chemo and radiotherapy straight after, i started losing my hair in patches so my hairdresser advised having it cut very short and also recommended using Nioxin which is a 3 part treatment (shampoo conditioner and a leave in mouse) and is recommended for chemo hair loss. Its about £27 online and lasts a couple of months. My hair grew back albeit grey in about 5 months. Would definitely recommend it.


  • hudspauhudspau Posts: 1

    I am having my 4th chemo tomorrow, my hair is quite long but is coming out everytime I comb it now,I have been very reluctant to have it cut very short ,I wear a cap when handling food etc otherwise the hair gets everywhere, I had really thick hair anyway so if you didn't know me you wouldn't know so we will see what happens next

  • LouiseJLouiseJ Posts: 772 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi @hudspau ,

    Welcome to the community, to hear you still have quite a lot of hair after 4 chemo's is great. Mine fell out 14 days after my first round of chemo! Yes, finding it everywhere when it is falling out is hard. Are you finding it painful at all? I know I did. I hope you are finding a way through chemo ok, it is very different for everyone, but at the same time, we can all have similarities too.

    Everyone here is very friendly, please keep in touch with how you are getting on, we all like to chat, and you are very welcome to join in with anything, or start your own discussion anytime.

    Take care,

    Lou x

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