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by: Better Not Younger
June 24, 2021
Are you finally done with chemotherapy and ready to take on the world, but don’t know what to do with your new post-chemo hair as it grows in? We’ve got you covered.
It’s perfectly normal for your new hair to regrow in a different texture or color than before. Your baby hairs will likely grow in as soft and fluffy as a newborn kitten. These changes are usually temporary—but even if they’re not, we’ll be here every step of the way.
Need some inspiration on how to rock your new locks? Try searching #chemohair, #chemocurls, and #hairgrowth on Instagram, Pinterest and other social media sites to see how other women are styling their post-chemo hair.
Your new hair may be thinner, thicker or even a different color than it was before treatment. You might even be able to finally live your dream of having naturally curly hair, as the altered follicles that grow after treatment may have a different structure than before. This change in wavelength could be temporary or permanent. Post-chemo hair is different for everyone!
Your hair is likely the shortest it’s ever been, and if you’ve ever considered trying one of those new, popular short hairstyles, now is the perfect time. Want to see what you’d look like with a buzz cut? Do it while you wait for the hair at your crown to grow in. Ever wondered if you could sculpt the perfect faux hawk? This could be a great style while you wait for everything to lengthen out. The six-month mark might be the perfect time for you to try out a daring pixie cut.
If you’re not happy with the color of your new hair, then you’re probably wondering when you can begin dying it again. For the first four to six months, your new baby hairs will be very fragile and will need to be handled gently. So treat your new hair with care, and avoid dyes, bleaches and other chemical treatments. After the first few months, you can consult with your hairstylist and see if they can find a gentle dye that’s right for you.
Did you know the hair along the sides of your head and nape of your neck can grow faster than the hair along your hairline or on top of your head? Don’t be afraid to get your hair trimmed from time to time to keep everything even. It might seem scary to cut your precious new growth, but it will allow you to maintain an even shape as the rest of your hair grows in.
Although your hair regrowth will be slow at first, the speed at which your new hair grows will likely speed up once your body has stabilized and recovered from the chemo treatments. In the meantime, there are plenty of things you can do to enhance the best parts of your new growth. One of those things is not incorporating hair extensions or weaves, as both of those styles can put a strain on your existing hair and damage the follicles.
If chemotherapy is a ways behind you but your hair still isn’t growing back, or has grown back much thinner than it was before, consider consulting a dermatologist or “onco-dermatologist.” This way, they can give you their professional opinion as to whether there are outside factors that might be contributing to your hair loss, other than chemo.
Hair coverings are an extremely personal decision. Some may believe scarves and other coverings are a signal to the rest of the world that they’re sick. Others relish in the personal power a head covering can give them. Scarves and hats are also said to be one of the most comfortable options for covering and protecting your scalp. Not to mention they keep your head warm, since you lose a lot of heat from your scalp.
If you choose to rock your beautiful bald head without a covering, just remember to wear a hat or put on sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher when you go outside. Your scalp is sensitive, so give it a little extra TLC.
For those who fall somewhere in the middle, wigs are a great alternative. They can also provide you with a sense of normalcy and privacy. Not to mention, trying out all the different styles and colors they come in can be great fun!
Wearing a wig does not delay or prevent your hair from growing. Remember, it’s perfectly normal for your hair to grow back slower at first, while your follicles recover from the treatment. If you decide that wearing a wig or two is the right decision for you, then that’s great! Not sure what steps to take or how to manage and care for your wig? Cancer Hair Care offers a great, all-encompassing wig guide to help you with any questions you may have.
And when you’re ready to ditch the wig? Consider donating it to WigBank, an organization that specializes in affordable wigs.
We’re here to help you along the way. Cancer, chemotherapy and all the side effects they can cause bring enough stress and worries into your life. Wondering what to do for your hair shouldn’t be one of them.
From what to expect to how to prepare your hair for chemotherapy, Better Not Younger is here to help in any way we can. Have a question about one of our products and how it can best work for you? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us on Facebook and Instagram—we would love to hear from you.
Tell Us: Are you or someone you know a survivor who’s overcome hair loss related to chemotherapy? We want to know your story—share in the comments below.