Monday, 2 June 2008

Post Chemo Hair Loss (and Regrowth)

Number of months since finishing chemo: 5
Amount of hair growing back: enough to need it cut
Amount of hair falling out: enough to wonder what on earth is going on?!


It's been a while since I've written, mainly because I've been spending my time hanging around in this ever-continuing limbo and have no real developments to talk of. However, about a week ago something rather unexpected started to occur, and I thought that with no warning having been given to me about it by the hospital, it was well worth letting everyone know about this very delayed effect from the chemo:

As you all know I had the chemo and in the process lost all my hair, eyebrows, eyelashes etc. Then within 3 months of finishing the treatment they had grown back and I already had quite a reasonable covering of hair. Well, it's now 5 months since I finished chemo and my eyebrows and eyelashes are falling out all over again! At first when a few of each fell out I hoped it was just some freaky coincidence and that would be the end of it. However it's now a week later, and they are both still coming out in large numbers. No-one at the hospital ever warned me that this could happen, so I've been pretty surprised to say the least! Fortunately (at the moment anyway) it doesn't seem to be affecting my hair, which is still tightly fixed in - I have even pulled at it to double check, which was a nervous moment because for all I knew a big clump could have come away in my hands!

So, having had no indication from the hospital that the chemo could cause this reaction months after finishing treatment, I turned to the internet to see if anyone else out there has experienced a similar thing. And yes, it turns out that this can be a side-effect, and that for several years after chemotherapy your eyelashes and eyebrows can continue to fall out cyclically. I couldn't believe it! I had absolutely no idea that could happen, or that the chemo nurses and doctors could have failed to warn me and prepare me for it possible happening. I knew that the chemo could damage your hair follicles, which is why your hair can grow back a different colour and texture to how it was before you had chemo (for many their hair grows back curly, and although mine is pretty much still straight it definitely does have slightly more of a wave to it), but I just never translated this into it affecting your eyebrows and eyelashes too. Of course when you think about it logically it seems obvious that it could, but sometimes unless someone sits you down and tells you these things they just don't occur to you. I really never imagined having lost my eyebrows and eyelashes once from the chemo, that when it was over it could still keep happening. Even more scarily it seems from everything I have read that it can keep happening for several years, so I could be in a perpetual cycle of having my eyebrows and eyelashes grow and fall out again for quite a while to come! Let this be a warning for anyone who has treatment, or knows someone who is - eyelashes and eyebrows may not be as permanent as you expect when they grow back through after finishing chemotherapy!

The only good thing at the moment is that despite it feeling like so many eyelashes and eyebrow hairs have fallen out there can't be any left, in actual fact they just look a lot thinner, and to anyone who didn't know it would probably just look like I've decided to have really thin eyebrows. I'm actually not sure what is worse though, people knowing I've had chemo because my eyebrows have half thinned out, or them thinking I've chosen to pluck my eyebrows to within an inch of their lives because I think it looks good?! With my eyelashes I can already see new growth coming through, so I don't think it's going to be very noticeable to anyone that they are falling out, unless huge clumps start disappearing. However, I'm prepared now that anything new that grows through may well be falling out again in just a few months time...

Bizarrely, in complete contrast, my hair has now grown back sufficiently enough that I actually had to have it cut last Friday! It was my first haircut in almost a year, and it felt very strange to be walking into a hairdressers again. It also felt great, like another step towards getting back to doing normal things. I haven't exactly got long flowing locks yet, but it was starting to get a bit unruly around my ears and neck, so I got it neatened up a bit and thinned out slightly through the top. My hair has grown back very similarly to how it was before I had the chemo, except that strangely it seems to be thicker over the top. I don't know whether or not that's just because it's still so short, but my hairdresser was telling me another client of hers has had chemo, and her hair came back thicker on top too. Maybe it's another hair follicle anomaly that they don't warn you about?!

Em

200 comments:

  1. heidijena@comcast.net17 November 2008 02:38

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am facing regrowth and have had a hard time finding info on how to go about my first hair cut. I want so much to have a medium length hair do for my wedding June 2009 that I hesitate to cut at all...but like you said, there is an unruly amount of hair around my neck and ears. However, mine is super mega curly. I would love to hear more about your experience, God Bless...Heidi

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  2. Hi Heidi

    Thanks so much for your message. I'll email you privately so we can discuss hair!

    Em x

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  3. I can't believe this. I too am approx 5 months out and yesterday I noticed that my eyebrows and eyelashes are falling out again!!!!!!!! I thought I must have cancer again (ovarain) so I ran to the computer and looked online. It sounds like this can happen and I am just numb all over again. I'm trying to stay positive.....

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    1. I TOO HAD OVARAIN CANCER MY HAIR FELL OUT TWICE. WELL IT HAS BEEN A YEAR SINCE I HAD CHEMO AND MY HAIR HAD GROWN BACK NOW IT IS FALLING OUT AGAIN IN BIG BALLS AND MY YELASHES ARE COMING OUT TO. I FIGURED I WOULD JUST CUT IT ALL OFF AGAIN AND START OVER

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  4. Ah Renee, I so sympathise. Once your hair starts growing back after finishing chemo you really don't expect it to fall out again do you?! My eyebrows and eyelashes fell out twice after chemo, but now after the third time of growing in they seem to be pretty firmly in (touch wood!)

    Keep hanging on in there, they WILL grow back again, and soon your hair will get longer and you'll feel stronger too.

    If you ever wanted to contact me privately you can look me up on Facebook.

    Sending lots of love
    Em x

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  5. thanks for sharing your story. the exact same thing has happened to me and I thought maybe the eye makeup remover was too strong or I was rubbing too much! my husband thought I was imagining it but I know exactly how many eyelashes I have! anyway I'm glad to hear this is somewhat normal and I'll anxiously await the final return of my brows and lashes! by the way, my hair came in much curlier and my friends love the gray. I never knew how gray I was (I've been coloring for years!) but it came it great and I'm keeping it!
    mg 12/25

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  6. Good for you mg! I bet you look gorgeous with your new hair. I hope those pesky eyebrows and lashes grow back in soon...! :-)

    xxx

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  7. OMG I just read your story and I am going through the exact same thing. I really thought I was going crazy when I noticed my eyelashes getting thinner. I was diagnosed with breast cancer last year when I was eight months pregnant (with twins). I finished chemo in July and my hair started regrowing within a month. I thought it would be much longer by now but it is still short and choppy looking, but atleast I'm not wearing the scarf anymore. I was so excited to start wearing mascara again and start to feel (somewhat) feminine again. I'm relieved to hear that other women have experienced this. But why can't it be the hair on my legs or some other annoying area instead??? Leslie

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  8. Ha ha ha, you are SO right, it's never the hair you don't want that falls out first or grows back last - grrr!!

    It sounds like you are doing really well though. It must've been so tough being diagnosed while you were pregnant and having to go through treatment with not one but two tiny babies. How are you feeling now?

    Em xxx

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    1. It's been a while since you had that experience. But you don't talk too much about hair loss, only eyebrows, eyelashes, etc. 4-5 months after finishing chemo (Herceptin) I started losing hair in Jan 2012. I am still losing and it is mid June. Has anybody exprienced this?

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    2. Hi

      I didn't experience any hair loss after chemo, except for my eyebrows and lashes, so I can't offer any help or advice. Maybe someone else reading this could help?

      Well done on getting through chemo, and I hope your hair loss stops soon.

      Em x

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    3. I am a year out of chemo. My eyebrows and eyelashes cycle in and out every 3 months and my hair has started to fall out again. The doctors all claim that it can't be related to chemo this far out, but I have plenty of other side effects that I still suffer from because of chemo. For anyone who has experienced hair loss, other than eyelashes and eyebrows, had it grow back again? Or am I just out of luck?

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    4. I have also had the same problem with my eyebrows and eyelashes. I have also noticed that the hair on my legs grows back slower, which is a good thing. I have been told by doctors that this us nit from the chemo but I believe it us. It is like a cycle. My lashes are long and thick then in about 3 months they start falling out again. I have never had this problem before chemo so I think it is related. I was told by the NP at my oncologist office to take a multi vitamin with Biotin in it so now I am trying that. Good luck to you. By the way, I have been finished with chemo for 9 months.

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    5. That's really interesting about the multivitamin advice you were given. You'll have to let us know if you think the Biotin makes a difference.

      I definitely believe it's the chemo that causes all these hair/eyebrow/eyelash loss problems too, no matter how far down the line it is after chemo has finished. How can it not be?!

      Good luck to you all for your post-treatment recovery.

      Em x

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  9. I have looked all over the website for information on loss of regrowth hair. That is how I happened on your site. I would be interested in some of the websites you found. I am 6 weeks out. My head hair started coming in, but is now coming out again. I never lost brows or lashes, but now, they are coming out also. Did everyone notice they lost nasal hair? I didn't notice until I read some web articles and then realized I had a naked nose too! Thanks for your story. Judy

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  10. You're more than welcome! And yes nasal hair, leg hair, underarm hair, bikini line hair, the works - it all fell out..!!

    Em x

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  11. OMG! The same thing is happening to me too! I finished chemo for Breast Cancer in November 2007 and my eyelashes have grown back in and fallen out more times than I can remember. I've also noticed that my hair is thinning rapidly too.. I get it cut, it looks great for 2 weeks then bits start sticking up and I realise that I've lost some layers and it looks a mess again.. I get it cut, it looks great.. and so on. Trouble is it's getting shorter and shorter and thinner and thinner. I see a dermatologist at my hospital and not once has he suggested that it's a chemo thing. Does anyone know when the eyelashes stop falling out?

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  12. That must be so frustrating, I totally sympathise!

    From the things I read when it started happening to me, I think the cyclical falling out can carry on for a few years after you stop treatment, which hopefully means that yours are going to stick in permanently very soon!

    I still lose my eyelashes and parts of my eyebrows every few months, but strangely last time it happened it only seemed to affect my left side. I've no idea what that's all about?!

    :-)

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  13. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am 5 months out of chemo for breast cancer and almost started crying when I noticed a whole portion of my eyelashes were gone on one side and the other side is thinning. I was so afraid that something else was wrong! I'm not happy to be losing my eyelashes again, but I'm glad to hear that this has happened to others who have experienced chemo and that this is normal. I just praise God to be alive! Each day is a gift! God bless...Laura

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  14. Hi Laura

    I'm glad this posting has been reassuring for you. It would be nice if the doctors could warn us before it happened wouldn't it?! I really hope your recovery continues to go well.

    Em x

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  15. I'm facing my first loss in beginning of chemo and appreciate the info. Thanks.

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  16. I finished my treatment for breast cancer in Nov. 2007 and my hair started to regrow right away. However, spring of 2008 I started noticing I was starting to get thin on top. I mentioned it to my family doc and he just asked are you "stressed"? After another year of continuing to slowly lose my hair, I have resorted to a hair piece. I am hoping it won't eventually all fall out. From your other postings, the explaination is the result of the chemo. Why does it happen again? And does it grow back?

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  17. Hi, thanks for your message.

    I'm afraid I don't know whether or not your hair will grow back, I guess the best person to speak to is probably your oncologist, or maybe somewhere like Cancerbackup (if you're in the UK?) to see if they can offer any advice. For me the post-chemo hair loss has just affected my eyebrows and eyelashes.

    Apparently it is caused through the chemo damaging the hair follicles. That's the same reason why your hair often grows back curly, even if it was completely straight before treatment.

    I really hope your hair starts to grow back soon, and that your recovery continues to go well.

    Em

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  18. I finished chemo 5 weeks ago and now 2 weeks into radiation. I was prepared to lose my head hair but no one told me about eyebrows or eyelashes. Both hung in until about halfway through chemo but then pretty much disappeared! My head hair is starting to make a comeback with the odd hair in other areas, but my eyebrows and lashes still have absolutely no growth. After reading your blog I know now that this may take a lot longer. I'd never even heard of them falling out once, let alone two or three times but at least I'm slightly more prepared, plus a little disappointed I have to say. I'd love to hear how you're doing now Em, or anyone else on here for that matter.
    Hope all is well. Thanks, Fuzzy xx

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  19. Hi Fuzzy!

    I hope the radiotherapy is going ok, you must feel pretty exhausted after having gone through a course of chemo too. Having repeated hair loss can definitely feel quite demoralising after all the treatment, almost like a final kick in the teeth just as you thought you were finally free of all the effects of chemo! It DOES stop though, and it also doesn't happen to everyone, so you may not experience it.

    I hope your treatment is successful and you start to get your eyelashes and eyebrows back soon. Feel free to email me and keep in touch through the Contact Me link on the site, it's always lovely to chat to people who've been through treatment and to hear how they're doing.

    Take care
    Em x

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  20. Heidi, thank you so much for the info! I am 6 weeks out from my last chemo and very much eager for the hair to begin growing again. I had no idea that my eyebrows and eyelashes would fall out post chemo! I have been devastated this week with the loss of both lashes and brows. I was so proud that I had kept them. I know they will grow back but I got a little scared until reading your post. Every little bit of info helps! Thank you!!!!!
    Another Pink Ribbon Sister

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  21. I found this site today when I was searching for info. on eyelashes and eyebrows falling out for a 2nd time after chemo. Like Em and several others, I had finished chemo 5 months ago. At about that time, my eyelashes and eyebrows fell out, but within 6 weeks, they were back, the eyelashes fuller than ever. The other day, I noticed my eyelashes were thinner - was hoping it just meant it was time for a new tube of mascara. But it seems that this is a fairly common occurence. Oh well, not happy about it, but it's a small price to pay after being through chemo and radiation. On the bright side, I am going tomorrow to have my first cut and color in nearly a year!!!

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  22. That's fantastic, enjoy every minute of it! :-)

    So pleased to hear you're out the other side of your treatment and doing well. It sounds like your hair is growing back really well even if your eyelashes are being a bit pesky ;-)

    Em x

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  23. First of all, can I start by saying how refreshing it is to know there are people going through the same thing, as rubbish as it is. I am 2 weeks out of chemo and am desperately checking my head every day. Just very fine fuzz at the moment and, though I'm trying hard to be patient, it's difficult. My eyelashes have gone very very short and stubby - strange as I didn't remember them falling out?! Eyebrows have virtually all gone but am getting quite expert at drawing them in. As with so many others, am finding the hair loss very traumatic. I had thick, long dark hair before and took it very much for granted. Now I look like a boiled egg and it's pretty hideous. It's my 30th bday next month and I cannot face a party of any kind, I just want to hide away. But I am very glad to have found this site and to hear that things do get better. Must try harder on the patience thing!

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  24. Hi Francesca

    I'm so sorry to hear you've been ill and can totally understand why losing your hair has made you feel like you want to hide away. I'm sure you look absolutely gorgeous though, and your hair loss is just a sign of how brilliant and brave you have been at fighting your illness.

    It's fantastic that you have finished all your treatment, and I really hope you continue to be well. If you want to email me directly for more of a chat you can click on the Contact Me link on this blog and email through to my personal address.

    Em xxx

    PS. Don't worry about feeling impatient, I think you're entitled to after everything you've been through! :-)

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  25. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I just started losing my eyebrows and lashes again after about 5 months post chemo (breast cancer). I, like one of your other readers was afraid that I too had cancer again, even though I am still on Herceptin until the end of Feb 2010. I will mention this to my oncologist's office and I am sure the nurses will be sure to make mention of this to others. They are sensitive to our feelings and do anything to make it easier on us!

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  26. Hi Keven

    That's a great idea about mentioning it to your oncologist's office - it seems that while our doctors and nurses are doing a great job at helping us through chemo, they're not quite so good at preparing us for what comes afterwards.

    Well done at getting through all your treatment. It sounds like you're doing brilliantly :-)

    Em x

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    1. So So true about that Em! I'm 3 months done Chemo and Two months done radiation and I just went through a whole month of horrible side affects! At least I say their side affects from chemo and radiation although my doctors (oncologist and radiologist both seem to disagree with me. It gets me so mad when they say " I never heard of such side affects happening this far after treatment" and I start googling the side affects and time limits and they both just look at Ang go "huh"!
      Not something you ever want to hear from you doctors!

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    2. Argh, it's makes me mad too that doctors are still ignorant of this issue when it seems so common.

      I'm sorry you've had to go through this hair loss experience as well. I really hope your side effects are over now.

      Well done on getting through treatment!

      Em x

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  27. I found your site tonight after doing a search on hair regrowth. I finished chemo two months ago and noticed my eyelashes were growing back curly! My eyebrows have hardly done anything. But my eyelashes seemed to be curling in clumps so I thought I would pull on a group to try and straighten them and the whole clump came out! I wondered then if this was a normal thing and I might end up losing any others that have grown. But to hear that it may happen again and again is a bit of a worry!
    Has anyone else had eyelashes growing back curly? I also had to pull three out with tweezers that were curling into my eyes (they did come out very easily too, now that I think on it). My hair seems to be growing back as it was before, thick and wavy, but not curly.
    Thank you for posting about this Em...

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  28. Hi Cheza

    You're really welcome for the blog post. I'm sorry to hear you're going through the same thing of losing your eyebrows and lashes after finishing treatment though.

    The fact your eyelashes grew back curly and have now started to fall out does definitely seem to suggest that the hair follicles were damaged by the chemo.

    Although my eyelashes never grew back curly they did go through 3 cycles of falling out (less and less each time). However after the 3rd time they grew back and have stayed firmly fixed in ever since.

    I'm sure yours will grow in permanently soon, it's just utterly frustrating in the meantime! I hope your post-treatment recovery continues to go well and you stay in good health.

    Em x

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  29. I'm 4.5 months past chemo, 2 months past radiation. I had curly eyelashes at first and worried but think they fell out as new ones were growing in. So sorry to hear about you who are losing them again. So far I haven't but we'll see. I'm going to go w/o a hat or wig in about a month or two and am loving having hair. Feels very sexy and strange, but more like me!

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  30. Hi
    So glad to read this,as I felt so fed up to notice the eylashes and eyebrows on the left side thinning again. I wish someone had told me, a warning would have been good!
    I typed in the question and it came up with this so Thanks Karen

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  31. You're very welcome :-)

    I hope your eyebrows and lashes don't come out too much, and that when they grow back in next time they stay firmly fixed in!

    Take care
    Em x

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  32. I am so glad that I found this website. I finished my last chemo on December 10th and have two weeks left of radiation. Last week I noticed every day my eyebrows were getting thinner and thinner. Now, I have lost my bottom lashes and still have some top lashes. My eyebrows are very spotty. I couldn't believe this delayed reaction! I was so hoping I was on the upswing! Did you all lose all of your lashes or did some hang on? Thank you for the info.

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  33. Hi slc

    I'm really glad you have found the blog helpful. I lost about 80-90% of my eyelashes, but had very short new ones grow back quite quickly in their place, so it didn't look odd for too long. I really hope the same happens for you, I'm sure it will.

    Sending you lots of hair growth and healthy vibes!

    Em x

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  34. I'm so glad I found this blog. I was diagnosed with breast cancer at 36 yrs old. I'm also BRCA 2 positive. I've had a double mastectomy & complete hysterectomy / oopherectomy. I'm now 10 months post chemo. I have been completely baffled by the hair loss thing. I didn't lose my eyelashes or eyebrows until after chemo. Luckily they grew back fairly quick. I finally was getting used to my "New" normal & it happened again! All of the hair on my body (except on my head, thank goodness)was going through some weird stuff at different times. There would be normal growth then patchy or no growth. My legs have been really strange. They would have little bumps all over & the hair growth would be patchy. I think the bumps are the hair follicles. Then after a couple of weeks they would clear up & the hair would grow again. This would coincide with the eyelash & eyebrow hair loss. First the legs, then the lashes followed by the eyebrows. This has happened 3 times. Seems to happen every 3 months. Definately cyclical. Initially I thought it must be a hormonal thing from having my ovaries removed? After reading all of these posts I know it has to be from the chemo. Hopefully it won't go on too much longer. The hair on my head is growing good with no issues (knock on wood). It is definately much thicker on top. Thanks so much for this website Em. It has helped out tremendously :). Good luck & God Bless everyone on this journey.

    ~ Kaia's Mommy ~

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  35. This was helpful reading. Six months after my last chemo treatment I too noticed thinning of my eyebrows and eyelashes near the edges. It appeared as though new growth was pushing out the existing growth as I could see short new hair. Also, I normally shave underarms and legs twice a week but can go well over a week before I have to shave again. Growth seems to have slowed in these areas. My hair however appears unaffected. It continues to grow nicely at approximately ½ inch per month and is coming in wavy. If there are other websites that address this issue, it would be appreciated if they could be posted. I can’t seem to easily find information on the topic.

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  36. Hi Kaia's Mommy :-)

    Wow, what's happening to you sounds so similar to what happened to me, even down to how your hair is growing back! My eyelashes and eyebrows came out 3 times, once every 3 months too, but I'm happy to say that after that they stayed put. I really hope the same happens for you.

    You sound like you've been through an incredible amount, I really hope you stay healthy and your recovery continues to go well. And thank you for leaving such a lovely comment too, it's great to know that my ramblings are proving helpful!

    Em xxx

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  37. I'm really glad you found this post useful too Anonymous. Unfortunately I didn't find any other resources on post chemo hair loss either, apart from the odd comment on forums. Everything seems to solely concentrate on losing your hair whilst going through treatment.

    I can say though that still now, 2 years after finishing chemo, the hair on my legs grows slower than it did before treatment. In contrast, I think my head hair actually grows quicker - how does that work?! :-)

    xxx

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  38. Thank you for your blog! I am 2 months post radiation and doing herceptin. My hair is growing in curly,but I am on my second cycle of losing my eyelashes and also hair on my legs and under arms have stopped growing. Very strange, but its good to hear that others are having the same issues!

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  39. It's lovely to get your comment, thanks for posting.

    I'm glad that you're out the other side of treatment now. Sorry to hear you're suffering the dreaded eyelash falling out like I did though.

    At least it's good news that you're not having to shave your legs or under your arms yet! ;-D

    xxx

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  40. Hi all,
    I finished my chemo a year ago last February. I have lost my eyelashes 5 times. About 6 months after treatment (my hair had grown back in by then) my head hair started falling out again. Right now I have SUPER THIN baby hair that doesn't really grow. Has anyone else experienced this? It's such a drag having to wear wigs all the time. I look in the mirror and it still looks like I'm sick. :(

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  41. Hello

    Thanks for leaving your comment.

    I didn't ever experience having my head hair fall back out, but someone else who has commented on this entry (see above) was experiencing her hair falling back out again after it had grown back straight away.

    I would guess that it happens for the same reason that your eyelashes and eyebrows can fall back out again, which is damaged hair follicles. Obviously I don't know that as a medical certainty though, and it would be worth speaking to your oncologist to get reassurance.

    It must be really frustrating to have finished chemo but to still feel that you look like you're ill. I really hope your hair starts to grow back in soon. Hang in there :-)

    xxx

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  42. I finished 6 months of chemo for breast cancer at the end of April 2010, had a double mastectomy May 19 and am almost halfway through my radiation. Big eyelashes was my gift pre-cancer, so I have been anxious for them to return. I have been using Latisse on my brows and lashes which seems to be helping a lot. My brows came in fast and thick and my eye lashes are about halfway grown back. I am kind of sad to hear they will fall out again and again. I have always had my eye lashes dyed monthly since I was a teenager (age 46 now) instead of wearing mascara. The tips have come in light as have part of my eyebrows. I was thinking about having them dyed next week as well as dying my extremely short hair, but I have heard that you should wait 6 months to dye any hair. Do you have a comment about the safety of dying hair?

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  43. Hello

    You sound like you've had a tough year going through so much treatment, I'm sure you can't wait for it to all be finished.

    I can offer you some hope though in that not all cancer patients experience post-chemo hair loss. I'm not sure why some do and some don't, whether it's to do with the drugs you are given, the doseages, or it's just simply individual reactions. With any luck you won't experience it though - I'll certainly keep my fingers crossed for you.

    With the safety of using hair dyes, as far as I'm aware you're right that you are recommended to wait for 6 months after finishing treatment. I'm not sure where you are, but there's a UK website called Cancer Research UK that has a useful page on using hair dye after chemo: http://www.cancerhelp.org.uk/about-cancer/cancer-questions/using-hair-dye-after-chemo

    I hope all of that is some help. Really good luck with the remainder of your treatment.

    Em x

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  44. Hi

    I am so glad I found this post as well, as I'm experiencing eyelash loss 6 months after chemo for breast cancer finished. I was taking my eye makeup off a couple of days ago, and noticed quite a few hairs. Yikes.........it's like having chemo all over again. I'm happy to say though that there are short lashes growing straight away, but it's very strange to feel like I'm at that early stage of growth like I was back in March this year.

    I'm really hoping this is confined to my eyes and not my head. So far, my head hair seems fine.

    I'm having herceptin at the moment, and am on tamoxifen which I hope aren't contributing to the hair loss.

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  45. Hi Sarah

    It's so frustrating when you start to lose your eyelashes again isn't it? I definitely agree with you that it makes you feel like you're back to where you started. It sounds like you've got new growth coming through already though, so hopefully you won't find you lose too much. The other good thing I found is that nobody else but you seems to notice it - I thought the whole world would be looking at me thinking I looked strange, but nobody seemed to!

    I didn't find my hair loss after chemo extended to the hair on my head either, it only affected my eyelashes and eyebrows. I did tug at my hair very nervously every now and again fearing that I'd come away with a handful of it, but thankfully that never happened! From what I've heard and experienced, and from what most people commenting on here have written, then post-chemo hair loss seems to primarily affect the eyebrows and eyelashes rather than head hair. I would guess it is something to do with the difference in hair follicles, but I might be totally wrong!

    I don't know whether the drugs you are having could be contributing to the hair loss, it would be best to check with your oncologist about that. You could always look up the drug side effects on a cancer site like Macmillan Cancer Care too - http://www.macmillan.org.uk NB. This is a UK website. I'm not sure which country you are writing from, but if it's not the UK there may be other specialist cancer websites in your own country that you could reference?

    I hope all this helps, and fingers crossed your eyelashes stay firmly fixed in from now on...!

    Em x

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  46. Thank you for responding so quickly Em. I do indeed live in the UK, so will check out the websites to see if I can find any info on my current treatments. I had a quick read (I'm at work at the moment lol), of your earlier posts, and I must say, what a brave lady you are. I'm so glad you were able to have a baby too. What a wonderful gift that was :-)

    Sarah x

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  47. Ah, thank you! :-)

    I hope you find some useful info on the websites. I had a quick scout around the Macmillan site earlier to find out about the side effects of Herceptin and they didn't list hair loss as one of them that I could see. I also did a search on the NHS Direct site (there's a link to it under the Useful Websites section on this blog) and again it didn't list hair loss as a side effect. I haven't checked on either for Tamoxifen though.

    xxx

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  48. Hello! How comforting to read this blog. Thank you all for sharing. I'm 6 months post chemo, 4 months post radiation. I had stage 2 endometrial and cervical cancer. I experienced total hair loss. The hair on my head started growing within 3 months, totally gray, and very curly. The exact opposite of pre-cancer. The hair all over my body grew back with a vengence, and then all of s sudden, nothing. No leg or arm hair. I've never heard of this, but sure aren't complaining. The hair on my head (which I'm oh so grateful for) is stranger than a newborns. Cowlicks everywhere, thick on the top, thin on the sides - just weird. But again, my thanks to all for sharing. I'm not alone! Wishing you all my best in health.

    Lynn xoxo

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  49. Hi Lynn

    Thanks for leaving your comment. You're definitely not alone! I experienced my head hair growing in much thicker at the top than at the sides to begin with too - it seems quite common.

    Plus, I guess the good thing about the rest of your body hair not growing in anymore is that you're not having to shave at the moment...! ;-D

    Sending lots of healthy wishes back to you.

    Em x

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  50. Thank you so much for posting this info. im just experiencing that these days! i got so scared when i found my eyebrows falling again even though its been 4 months and more since my chemotherapy ended... i hope it wont be my hair too! im happy it grew back i dont want it to fall again!

    anyway thnx alot for sharing your experience... doctors dont help alot in everything :)

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  51. You're really welcome, I'm glad you've found the post useful.

    It's horrible when your eyebrows start falling out again, just as you feel like you're starting to get some hair back. Hopefully your head hair won't fall out though.

    Take care, and I hope your recovery continues to go well.

    Em x

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  52. Lovely story and good of you to post. It allows others to see that they aren't they only one having to go through the process.

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  53. I never lost my eye lashes or brows. I did lose my hair and after it came back, I still experienced losses. I am now 2 years past and my hair is still curly (previously straight), but looks like it is starting to get back to wavy. My hair came in white, and I color it with no ill effects.

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  54. Thanks for leaving your comment. I'm glad your hair is growing in ok now and that you can colour it without any problems.

    I hope you continue to stay well in your fight.

    Em

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  55. Dear Sisters,

    As most, I stumbled upon this site, looking for information that no one would tell me. I was diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer in June of 2010. Just this past week, I finished what I pray, will be my finial chemo treatment. (I will know in approx. three weeks). Meanwhile, I too have hair issues. My head hair is growing in kind of weird. I'm all grey and now very wavy. I was wondering what the deal was about the regrowth for your lashes and brows. Now I know!
    With cancer in such epidemic happenings, I don't know why information regarding what one may experiance, is so hard to come by. I'm sad to say the doctor was almost useless, as far as getting information.
    Thank you for your precious time!
    To each and everyone of you. I send a hug. May God bless all of you and bring you peace and excellent health.

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  56. Hi

    Thanks for leaving your thoughts. I find it so sad and frustrating that 2.5 years after writing this post people are still having to go through cancer treatment with poor support and no information from their doctors.

    Cancer is a frightening thing to live with. Treatment for it leaves you exhausted and often with side effects that really affect how you feel about yourself, like hair loss. I really wish doctors would take the time to understand that, and to give patients more support. Sadly that very rarely happens, as you have experienced.

    It's great that you've hopefully reached the end of your treatment now though. I really hope your follow up tests show you're all clear, and that you continue to get stronger.

    Take care

    Em x

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  57. Dear Emily,

    I just found out that I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and I'm only 13. I'm honestly really scared and not ready to take chemotheraphy.

    My doctor said that it's rare to be diagnosed at such a young age but things do happen.

    I came upon your post when searching up hair regrowth after chemo and knowing that your hair is long enough to need a cut helps a lot.

    Eighth grade graduation is now something I'm not really looking forward to anymore but when freshman year comes, I'm ready for a fresh new start.

    -Aiden May

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    1. Aiden my prayers will be with you I am a ovarian cancer patient that is in remission after a 3 year battle 4th stage when i found out i had it but i never stopped doing are stop working as a nurse helping other people i had faith in God that he would heal me in his own time. I went on as a person without cancer and enjoyed life.Keep your head up and live life. You have a lot to live for Be Blessed in the Lord

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    2. after reading this account i am actually starting to be little disbeliever,its wrong...if i cudnt take it at 23 it, would be tough for you at 13.. i hate cancer .. hope for ur quick recovery

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  58. Hi

    I'm so sorry to hear about your diagnosis. It's always so shocking to hear about a young person having cancer, but I'm sure you're probably getting used to/tired of seeing shocked faces.

    Being scared of what's to come is totally understandable. And it's made harder when none of your friends can relate to what you're going through. Just remember that there are plenty of people out there who know what it's like though, and who offer you support and advice whenever you need it.

    Having an aim can really help you get through chemo, so your focus on your freshman year is really good.

    If you ever want to ask any questions about chemo, or message someone who's been through it and who understands, then please do get in touch. You can contact me through email, Facebook and Twitter through the links on this page.

    Sending hugs

    Em xxx

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  59. Hi there!I was dianosed with a rare blood disorder when I was 16 (on Valentines Day), went through chemo and a bone marrow transplant at seventeen, and now I am 19 years old. Chemo was certainly no walk through the park and losing my long,thick hair was/is devastating. Even though I've been done with chemo for two years, my hair is very thin. It's so thin that my scalp is still completely visible beneath my hair. All of my hair is pretty thin though; I don't even need to shave. Needless to say, I still recieve stares (if I'm not wearing a hat) everywhere I go which I'm getting used to. Anybody have any suggestions?
    Friends think this is wierd (then again they've never been in my situation), but sometimes I put mascara on my eyebrows to make them look a little fuller. There's my solution to the eybrow issue. I hope it helps somebody.

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  60. Hello

    Thanks for leaving a great tip on how to help fill out your eyebrows, I'm sure many people will be grateful for it.

    Unfortunately I don't know what to suggest for helping your hair re-growth. Has your oncologist been able to offer any advice? Or maybe a good hairdresser? A charity like Look Good Feel Better (http://www.lookgoodfeelbetter.co.uk/site/index.cfm) may also be able to offer advice if you are in the UK.

    Alternatively have you looked into any vitamin supplements you may be take to help hair growth? Perhaps somewhere like Holland and Barrett or Neal's Yard could offer some suggestions.

    It's fantastic that you're out the other side of your treatment and doing well though. I hope you continue to do well.

    Em x

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  61. Hi! This is the 19 year-old from earlier. I didn't have cancer but I still had chemo and a bone marrow transplant. My doctor told me that my chemo was so intense that I wouldn't see hair growth until six months after chemo. (She was right.) I will probably be starting a new medicine soon that has nothing to do with my hair but it's not gonna make my hair fall out. I do take multivitamins as well to help speed along the hair process.
    Thanks for mentioning those websites to me. I live in the U.S. Did anyone use any special shampoos that helped them? Mom says my hair is like baby hair so I use a baby shampoo because I know that it's gentle on the hair :).
    I haven't spoken with my oncologist about my hair growth (or lack thereof)yet(It's kind of embarrassing)and friends and family have been telling me that my hair will be growing in fuller soon. I'm just realizing that sometimes when people don't know what to say, they say something comforting even if it's not necessarily true.
    Some of the other girls I met in the hospital had hair that reached thier neck after two years. I will talk with my oncologist soon because I feel like I'm alone in this struggle for hair growth. Sorry, that sounds really superficial. I just want to feel somewhat normal. (It totally stinks when people mistake me for a male!) Let me add that this is the first place that I have really felt comfortable talking about hair growth struggles (post chemo). Thank you so much Em! I really do appreciate this!
    -Jaye

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  62. You're very welcome! I'm just glad this has given you a place where you can chat about it.

    You shouldn't feel bad that you sound superficial either. Hair loss can make you feel bad about yourself - the way you look and your self-confidence. There's nothing superficial about that, it can have a big impact on your life.

    Definitely speak to your oncologist and see what they say. They might be able to put you in touch with other patients who have experienced the same thing too. Feeling like you're alone and the only one going through something makes it even harder, and you get enough of that by being a young person who's been ill.

    With the shampoo I was told to use very gentle shampoos too, and no hair dyes, so I think baby shampoo is probably one of the best things.

    Keep in touch and let me know how you get on. Remember you're amazing just to have got through everything up to this point. And I have no doubt that with or without hair, you are beautiful.

    Em xxx

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  63. I too lost my eyebrows and eyelashes about 5 months after chemo. I also have periods when they continue to thin and fall out.

    I talked to a specialist who explained that because all the eyelashes and eyebrows came in at the same time, they were on roughly the same growth cycle. So they grew the same amount of time, went into a resting phase at the same time and then fell out at the same time.
    I was also told it takes several cycles and perhaps 2 years for the growth to be staggered enough to not notice this phenom.

    Don't fret, it should eventually even out. I am happy to BE ALIVE to have this "problem". Hope this helps!!!

    Dawn

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  64. After I finished Chemo, I spent many bald headed hours at my computer, researching what would make it grow back faster. There are a lot of hair grow-speed-it-up claims and they are all costly. I wanted to make sure they worked. I finally found a medical website explaining that what is going to make healthy hair is a healthy body. Vitamins, Vitamins, Vitamins. particularly, Biotin. My MD started ordering frequent blood vitamin panels, and checks to see which vitamins I am still deficient in. Sure enough, at first, Biotin, was at the bottom of the heap along with vitamin D and zinc. In the past year, my hair has grown in quite a bit beter, seeming to get fuller and healthier. It seems to just take time, and requires patience while our bodies heal from being poisoned. It is far from where it originally was, but there is hope and I no longer go to sleep with tears on my pillow. Good luck to all of you. Cancer isn't for wimps. marcia

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  65. Hi Dawn

    It's great to hear that you have spoken to someone who has been able to explain this problem properly - it seems most of us have encountered rather unhelpful doctors.

    I can definitely confirm that, in my personal experience, the specialist is exactly right. My eyebrows and eyelashes fell out at the same time twice. The third time around they thinned, but without completely disappearing.

    3 years on from finishing chemo I still have a small bald patch on one eyebrow that never completely grew back. But apart from that they're back to normal and I don't experience large-scale falling out like I used to.

    Your attitude to this is great though - we're all very lucky to be here and experiencing this problem!

    Em x

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  66. Thanks for leaving your comment Marcia - it's really interesting to hear your experience with hair regrowth.

    You're definitely right about it taking a long time to recover from chemo - but health and strength does come, with time.

    I hope you continue to feel better and have good hair regrowth.

    Em x

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  67. To Jaye (19-yr old from earlier): Not sure where you are in the U.S., but Google "Look Good Feel Better". We do have it here(at least in CA). I just went to a session this last Monday. They were awesome and were such a great help.

    I (like you) feel very vain. I can't stand for people to see my head without hair. I cried the other day when my sister insisted I take off my wig & show her my bald head.
    After going to the LGFB class it seems to be easier to look at my bald head in the mirror for some reason.

    And yes, people say some really dumb things when they don't know what to say. It helps me if I remember that when they care enough to say "dumb things" they still care.

    Good luck with your recovery!
    Collece

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  68. I am five weeks out from chemo and have four weeks of radiation left to go. My hair is about an inch long but I have a bald spot front and center that is a problem. Thanks for the great information here. A wig store here in Kansas City has a great gel that has kept my eyelashes and eyebrows from falling out all the way.

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  69. That's great feedback Collece, thanks for writing. Being bald definitely isn't easy, and people can easily upset you without realising when you feel sensitive about how you look. You're right that it's because they don't really know what to say - it's good to remember that.

    Anonymous, well done on getting through chemo! It's great that you're getting towards the end of your treatment. I'm sure your hair will soon start to regrow again in the bald areas. Good luck with the rest of your radiation.

    Em x

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  70. Hi, I had stage 4 hodgkins Lymphoma I ran across your blog trying to find info on hair return after chemo, I enjoyed your story..thanks for sharing. Its been a year for me and my hair came back but very thin. and I had very thick hair the more stories I read I'm starting to wonder if there is an actual cut off time to waiting..or if this is all I'm going to get back..?? who knows. health and happiness to you and yours.

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  71. Hello

    Thanks for writing. I wish I knew the answer to how long it can take to get your full hair back, and whether if it's thin after a certain period of time then that's all the regrowth you're going to get.

    I think it's only through sharing stories that we can find these things out - many people on here, including me, have had very little help and support from their doctor on this issue.

    I really hope your hair starts to grow back thicker soon. In the meantime, congratulations on getting through chemo! I hope you continue to stay healthy.

    Em x

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  72. OMG! NO ONE tells you about the side effects are the side effects.....I too am experiencing eyebrow/lash re-loss being post chemo by 6mos and on Herceptin until May 2011. I have looked up thyroid disease, menopause, and other reasons to explain this loss and to my surprise, what the men/woman in white dont tell you is that you could cycle through hairloss again. UUGGHHHH. I take biotin, D3, and multi, plus use the generic of latisse to help, but I look in the mirror and dont see the same person and wonder if I ever will. It will be a year in a few weeks of my inital dianosis of breast cancer...yes we survive but its a struggle everday to deal. I am not being negative but realistic. The cycling of loss makes absolute sense, sometimes it seems difficult to convicne the docs.....maybe a dermatologist would be able to better answer the loss of lashes and brows vs the oncologist....? All in all I have to suck it up, gently clean my face and hope that it just thins and doesnt go for total loss...ladies I am tired of this battle and the toll it has taken...I just want to be feminine again. xo

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  73. Em,
    I'm 22, just finishing up treatment for breast cancer. My last treatment was almost 5 weeks ago. All i have on my head right now is this thinned out fuz that never fell out. I don't see any new hair growth and everyone told me I would see about an inch after my first month. 3 days ago my eye lashes started falling out! I was shocked. I thought I was supposed to be getting my hair BACK not loosing more! It was really encouraging to read your blog and find out that this can happen. Any advice on hair regrowth for the head? How long before you really started to notice the hair on your head coming back? thanks so much! You're a blessing :)

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  74. For the first anonymous post above - you're absolutely right, cancer SUCKS!! You might be right about a dermatologist understanding hair loss after chemo better than an oncologist too - anything's worth a try!

    Losing hair that's regrown after your chemo's finished really does feel like the final kick in the teeth. All you want to do is feel 'normal' and feminine again. Hold on in there - it WILL happen. You have done really well to get through all your treatment so far, and I'm sure your hair regrowth isn't far behind.

    I really hope the rest of your herceptin goes ok. You are so nearly finished...

    Take care

    Em xxx

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  75. For the second anonymous post - well done on finishing all your treatment! :-)

    5 weeks is still really early after treatment to be expecting hair regrowth, so try not to worry. The length of time it takes for your hair to start regrowing seems to vary from individual to individual. It also depends on the chemo drug(s) you had, and what dosage(s).

    For me, I started to get regrowth at about 5-6 weeks after finishing chemo. After 3 months I had a covering of hair, and a full set of eyebrows and lashes (although these went on to fall out, as I described in this post). You can read more details about my experience with hair regrowth here:

    http://emilymcarthur.blogspot.com/2008/03/hair-regrowth.html

    I'm sure you will start to notice some regrowth soon. If you have any worries or questions you could always check with your oncologist to see what you should expect?

    Em x

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  76. After two courses of chemo plus radiation, I finished my treatment on May 9, 2010. I looked like hell, and was bald bald bald. I looked around the web to determine how soon I could expect my hair to grow back. Remember that many people who post stuff are those for whom weird and unusual things happen. Therefore I was sure my hair would never grow back. Fast forward ten months, and I have A BETTER HEAD OF HAIR than before. It came in solid white, and curly but it is unbelievably thick and full. There is a silver lining....

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  77. YES! That is really great to hear. Thank you so much for writing and telling your story - it's good to remember the positives in what can be a very dark and difficult time for a lot of people.

    Well done on finishing your treatment, and I hope your future is now full of good health.

    Em x

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  78. Hi Em
    It is so good to read your blog. I finished my chemo on January 21st but I still only have wispy bits of hair growth on my head and about 4 eyelashes on each eye but no signs anywhere else! I did suffer from alopecia before I was diagnosed with grade 3 breast cancer in August 2010 but ironically it had just started to grow back again before the chemo. I guess I am perhaps being impatient but I thought I would have more growth by now. I am just worried that having the alopecia is going to stop it growing in places as have some areas which are completely smooth. Still I will be patient and keep massaging my scalp and hoping that soon I will be able to ditch the wig and headgear! I have become quite good with the eyeliner & eyebrow pencil now so that's not as much of an issue as the hair on my head! It's good to hear everyones stories and how they are all coping with everything. I wish you Em and everybody else on this blog all the very best with your treatment if you are having and also to everyone else who is post treatment. We are survivors at the end of the day and that is the most important thing!

    Best Wishes
    Heather

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  79. Hi Heather

    Thanks for leaving your story. Well done on finishing your chemo - that in itself is a massive achievement!

    I can completely understand your impatience for your hair to grow back. Once your chemo is over you just want to get back to normal. It must be extra tough with the uncertainty of the alopecia too. I hope you get some more signs of regrowth soon. It's good that you have some wispy growth and a few eyelashes already.

    You are absolutely right too - we are all survivors and we're teaching cancer a lesson to leave us well alone!

    I hope the rest of your post-treatment recovery continues to go well.

    Take care

    Em x

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  80. Hello, I am 2months out from Chemotherapy and still waiting for my hair to grow back. It did not all fall out, so it's hard to tell if anything is growing. I am finally getting eyebrows but my eye lashes are still too small to see. I am going to try Rogane and I hope it speeds it up a bit. I wish you all the best and Thank God we made it through.

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  81. Hi

    Thanks for writing. It's really good that your eyebrows are coming back. 2 months is still early days to see hair regrowth, so stay strong and I'm sure you'll see some more obvious growth soon.

    I hope you continue to feel stronger now that your treatment has finished.

    Em x

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  82. Hello everyone,
    These posts are very helpful. I am 22 months out from my last chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer. I lost ALL my hair by the sixth of eight treatments. Cytoxan and Adriamycin (first 4 treatments) took only my head hair. Taxotere took every other hair on my body. Losing my eyebrows and eye lashes bothered me more than any other hair loss. My eye lashes grew back very quickly and fully and have stayed with me. The brows are another story: slow to grow back, never really filled in, and now falling out for the third or fourth time. These cycles seem to correspond to periods when my head hair thins. The head hair regrows pretty quickly. I complained to my dermatologist, and she thought it was a thyroid issue. Testing showed no problems with my thyroid. She did say, though, that eyebrows are on a very slow growth cycle. So, perhaps that means that full regeneration is slow. I also don't have all my body hair back, but who cares about that.
    Good luck everyone.

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  83. Hello

    It's interesting that your dermatologist said eyebrows have a slow growth cycle. It explains a lot about the experiences we've all had.

    Like you, it's my eyebrows that have suffered the worst from chemo. Everything else has grown back pretty much as it was before I had my second course of chemo, but I still have a patch on one of my eyebrows that has never properly grown back. Luckily it's not too obvious, and I don't think other people would particularly notice.

    I hope that you get some permanent eyebrow regrowth soon, I know how frustrating it is. And enjoy not having to deal with body hair before that comes back! ;-D

    Em x

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  84. Thank you Em for keeping these postings going and for being so positive and helpful to us all. You are a wonderful person!
    I was prepared for my head hair loss but like many on here was shocked when 6 weeks after chemo, all my eyelashes and eyebrows fell out to add insult to injury! It is now a month later and my eyebrows are very short but here, and my eyelashes are not yet long enough for mascara to do any good but seem to be filling in. I thought I was so lucky and that I wasn't going to lose them too:)
    However, most people don't notice as I put eyeliner where my lashes should be - but I notice and agree that I also so long to feel feminine again.
    It has been 10 weeks since my last chemo for breast cancer (cytoxin and taxotere) and three since radiation and my head is covered, greyer than normal (I am just 49) and about half an inch long. I am not comfortable going out in public this way and really wish I was but I have always liked longer hair on me. I am hoping that now it will grow about half an inch a month as it seemed to grow fast before all this happened.
    I did hear about a $50.00 shampoo that some hairdressers tried on their customers and said they thought it aided in faster growth. However, I would really like to get my presciption for Latisse filled and the cheapest I can find for that is $104 and I am still trying to convince my hubby. A couple of ladies I know who don't have cancer use it and their eyelashes (and brows) are fabulous. I am thinking we can use it less often than it says on the bottle (maybe every other day) and it would be more affordable especially if we cycle through the loss 2 or 3 more times. One woman I spoke to today uses it very sparingly and so only goes through one bottle every three months and I saw how gorgeous hers are.
    I think I am learning patience through this. I have tried so hard to be positive during these last 7 months and then I look in the mirror and am reminded of it all. I want to look as well and as relieved as I feel.
    It is so good to hear from you all. My parents are coming to visit me from England tomorrow for the first time since I lost my hair. I think I am brave enough now to show them but I didn't show anyone, and didn't even look myself until I was through it all and it was finally coming back. How weird isn't it, but that is how I kept going and I know everyone has their own way of getting through the ordeal of cancer and the treatments. For me, I didn't want to see myself looking sick so I didn't -of course wigs and hats aren't normal for me but I tred to have fun with them anyway.
    SO grateful and glad to be here. SO grateful to my doctors and that I had my first mamogram which found it early.
    My best wishes to you all. I read every posting. You all helped me so much. I would love to hear how you are doing.
    you are in my thoughts and prayers,
    Lindsey

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    1. Hi, glad but scared to hear your story. I had last of 6 chemo treatments - cytoxan and taxotere, for BC, on Jan 16. lost all head and body hair, EXCEPT for eyebrows and lashes, but sure enough, those are starting to thin badly. I would love to hear if yours are back now. (I am writing Feb 26 2012) Kathy

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    2. My experience with Latisse has not been great. I did get longer eyelashes but they were unruly, went every which way and I could not even corral them with mascara. Also they were very thin and looked weird. Then to add insult to injury, they fell out just like many others have reported here and I have little stubby eyelashes again. May eyelashes feel out again about 5 months after I finished treatment (Taxol/Carbo). Initially, my eyelashes grew back pretty quickly (and fell out pretty quickly). Oh, well.

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  85. Hi Lindsey

    Thanks for sharing your story. I'm glad your eyebrows and eyelashes are starting to grow in again, and hopefully it won't be too long until your hair grows more too.

    I don't have any personal experience of hair growth vitamins or treatments, but I know others on here have thought about trying them. You'll have to post back on here and let us know how you get on if you do try them out.

    I really hope seeing your parents goes ok. If it helps, think about having short hair less as a sign of being ill, and more as a sign of how brave and brilliant you are :-)

    Stay well, and keep in touch.

    Em xxx

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  86. Hello Em and others going through the same,it's nice to know I'm not alone :) I was diagnosed with bone cancer at 16 and had 11 months of chemotherapy and finished in december 2010 with the all clear. 5/6 months post from chemo i am too noticing exactly the same. I cried my eyes out when i saw about 9 eyelashes come out as i was taking of my make-up. Everyone insisted i was going crazy (before then i've been worried sick about every pain,even ulcers! whatever it was i thought it could be cancer) But now my attention is on my eyelashes it's been about 2/3 weeks now and there still coming out ! I was just wondering how long did it take for yours to stop coming and for the regrowth to be happening without loads falling out ? I made my boyfriend look closely at my eyelashes the other day to see if he can see regrowth and he said he can so that's a positive:) just wondering when do the damage ones stop coming out ? i've been wearing false eyelashes instead so not as many come out but still about 3 or 4 eyelashes come out! But strangely enough you can't tell there coming out at all just look abit thinner !On the positive side i'm getting my hair done end of june by racoon hair recovery - if you know someone who's going through the stage of wanting extensions or you yourself would like SAFE extensions go on there website just type racoon hair recovery in google.It's made especially for those who have had chemotherapy they find the nearest salon near you and get you a consultation:) i literally can't wait i've been wearing my wig for 17 months.. and it will be ready just in type for my 18th :) hurray! Thankyou so much for posting this blog it's helped me so much:)I thought the worst when i saw eyelashes coming out even got a blood test but everythings fine so it must be damaged hair follicles. Thanks alot again your a lovely lady :) x
    X

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  87. Hello

    First of all, CONGRATULATIONS at finishing your treatment and being giving the all clear!

    Secondly, you are an amazing person! Being diagnosed so young must've been shocking, and very traumatic. I know it is difficult to get diagnosed at any age, but I have found the younger you are, the less you know others your own age who have gone through the same thing, so the more isolating it can feel.

    I can completely understand why losing your eyelashes made you panic you were getting ill again too. It's something so unexpected. I found the first time mine fell out pretty much all of them came out, but there was regrowth underneath, just like you've got. I think they stopped falling out after a few weeks.

    They went on to fall out a couple more times after that, but each time it was less and less. Now I just lose the normal amount that everyone does. Although I have noticed that if I'm particularly stressed then my eyebrows seem to fall out a but more than normal. Or maybe I just sit and pull at them more?!

    Take encouragement from the fact that yours are starting to come back now though. And it's VERY exciting that you're going to be getting your hair done for the first time next month - that is a major milestone and will really help you to feel stronger and more confident again.

    Keep in touch and let me know how you're getting on. And well done again for kicking cancer's ass!

    Em xxx

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  88. I am so thankful for finding this site. I also am 5 months out from chemo from breast cancer. I lost my lashes after chemo was over. I thougth at first I was not going to lose them, then it happened! The last few days I thougth I noticed my lashes thinning...now I realize they are coming out again! I had no idea this could happen! I now see I am not alone and am not going crazy. My head hair is grey, and curly, and is growing fast, but not fast enough! I have been taking hair nail vitamins, but who knows if they help! I have been wanting to color my hair, but this site has mace me want to wait at least 6 months. Thanks...and good luck to all of you! I am thankful to have some hair, it is better than bald!

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  89. Hi

    Thanks for sharing your experiences. It's great to hear that you've finished chemo now, but I know how disappointing it is to find your eyelashes coming out for the second time. Hopefully after this they will grow back and stay firmly fixed in!

    It sounds like your hair is growing well. And you're right, I think any kind of hair growth after being bald is a step in the right direction! ;-)

    And just think, in another month or so you can turn it any colour you like..!

    I hope your post-chemo recovery continues to go well.

    Em x

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  90. Hi Em and others who have posted. There are such fabulous women in our extended cancer community - it's truly inspirational. Stage 3 ovarian, finished chemo course 3 weeks ago with not a hair on my body. I have been shaving my head to even things up and too hot for a wig. Thanks for the heads-up everyone as to what might be ahead. This article might be of interest - spread the word about symptons www.listener.co.nz/commentary/beating-ovarian-cancer/ . There is a rather large picture of me very bald - clearly I am no oil painting but for anyone who's thinking about going uncovered I'd say go for it. Cheers Lisa

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  91. Hi Lisa

    Wow, you look fab! What fantastic pictures. Be bald and proud I say!

    I didn't go down the wig route either, but I did have to wear a hat because it was winter and freezing cold!

    I hope your recovery from chemo continues to go well, and keep going with your campaign to raise awareness. It is so important.

    Em x

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  92. Hello Em,

    I too am astonished at how little information there is about side effects AFTER CHEMO IS FINISHED!! There is plenty of info about what will happen when going through chemo, but nearly nothing afterward! Your blog is a testament to the fact that the medical field needs to help women deal with this time period as well!

    When I first began reading your blog, it was dated several years past, and I thought the posts would have finished long ago, and yet here you are!!

    I have the same story as most: chemo for breast cancer, lost hair, lost eyebrows and lashed AFTER chemo was done, and now 5 months after chemo, my brows and lashes are falling out again! And there doesn't seem to be any info out there about it, and no one warned me of this. So frustrating.

    Thank you thank you for your blog and keeping it updated! It has been a great help for me, and obviously for many others as well!!

    Jennifer

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  93. Hi Jennifer

    I absolutely agree with your post. It's because of things like this that we feel abandoned after treatment has finished. There's no support, and medical professionals really need to change that.

    It's been great to hear so many stories from other cancer warriors - yours included. It shows none of us are alone.

    Thanks again for writing.

    Em x

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  94. Hi, I am 22 and was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in January 2011, I started chemo in March and finished in May. I was happy it only lasted 2 months :) I lost my head hair (it was very healthy and down to my waist)... I decided to cut it short and donate it as soon as I knew I had to go thru chemo. I was lucky to keep my eyebrows and eyelashes although my eyelashes did get thinner. I noticed my hair started to grow back in about 4 weeks after chemo and now my head is almost covered with hair, I think it will be all covered in about a month. I still wear a wig but am anxious to stop wearing it very soon! I take ORGANIC vitamins everyday called "Every woman's" and my nails are soooo strong and long people think they're fake. I am sure they have helped a lot with my hair re-growth. I also use Folicure shampoo and I massage my scalp everyday. This seems to help a lot too. Ladies please remember we are lucky to be alive, and if you find yourself facing cancer and chemotherapy is because YOU CAN DO IT! and what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. God Bless all of you.
    -C

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  95. Hello

    Thanks for writing and leaving your story. Sorry to hear you were diagnosed so young, but it's great that you're finished treatment now. I hope you continue to feel stronger, and it sounds like you'll be able to get rid of that wig in no time :-)

    Em x

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  96. hello all...just started losing my eyelashes again also. after 16 weeks of chemo and 33 days of radiation for breast cancer i am ready to be finished. hair started growing back but its curly and not like my old hair. was proud of my long new lashes...now out they come again. frustrating. helped to hear all of your stories. thanks for sharing. stay strong...fight like a girl. deb xo

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  97. Hi Deb

    Sorry to hear you're going through losing your eyelashes again after they had grown in. I know how frustrating it is. Take heart that they WILL grow back again, and hopefully this time they'll stay in. I'm sure you'll be back wearing mascara in no time ;-)

    Well done for getting through all your treatment too - it takes a heck of a lot of strength to do that.

    Em x

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  98. I'm experiencing this right now and, while it's always disheartening to see the sheer number of women who endure cancer and cancer treatment, it's also comforting to hear I'm not the only one. I finished my chemo at the end of December and my eyelashes are coming out now for the third time. My theory is this: Your eyebrow and eyelash hair doesn't grow indefinitely, the way the hair on your head does. How crazy would that be...if you had to trim your eyelashes? Your eyelashes grow to a certain length and then they drop out and a new one grows in behind it. Since ours are all falling out at once, the new ones are growing together on the same cycle, so to speak. Hence, they all reach their full length at the same time and fall out at the same time. A few of them stick around longer and over time, the growth cycle of all of your eyelashes becomes staggered so they are falling out just here and there, rather than all at once.

    Thanks to all of you for sharing your stories.

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  99. That's an excellent description of the process of losing your eyebrows and eyelashes after chemo. You've given a great explanation about why this happens, and why it eventually stops.

    I'm sorry to hear that you're experiencing it too, but hopefully this time around you won't lose quite so many eyelashes.

    Thank you for leaving such a descriptive and positive comment. I really hope your recovery from chemo continues to go well.

    Em x

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  100. Happy to report all the eyelash and eyebrow baldness has resolved finally. I have some serious eyelashes going at this point :)
    The hair on the top of my head......another story. Still thin and wispy but improving slowly. I am taking Biotin, MSM and iron for the hair.
    I just started a section for cosmetic issues on my blog, for cancer patients. www.cancercuredmylife.com under "Smoke and Mirrors" tab. Trying to pass along info and tips.

    PS....I still have a bald spot in the middle of one of my eyebrows. I actually do an eyebrow combover......lol!! I let the adjacent hairs grow a little longer and push them over to cover the baldspot :) Hey, we do what we can!!

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  101. Hi Dawn

    That's great to hear! I really laughed when I read about your eyebrow combover :-D

    We have to make the best of what we've got, and it certainly sounds like you're doing that. I still have gaps in my eyebrows too - a fringe and a bit of eyebrow makeup hides it well.

    I hope your head hair continues to improve soon. Thanks for posting your comment.

    Em x

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  102. Hiya, i was diagnosed with hodgkin lymphoma 4 months ago and just finished OEPA chemotherapy 7 weeks ago. How quick did your hair start to grow back? I'm panicking because its been 7 weeks since my last chemo and there's still no sign of hair regrowth! Just turned 18 and i had very good hair growth before chemo. :(

    As for my eyebrows, they've just this week started to grow rapidily! They didn't fall out over chemo they just stayed how they we're!

    Some of my eyelashes did fall out and certainly did thin but i have stumps where new ones have started to grow!

    All of my other hair has started to grow back just not my head! gutted!


    Emma xxx

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  103. Hi Emma

    I had a reasonable covering of hair 4 months after finishing chemo (it was probably about a centimetre long), so it did take a while. My eyebrows and eyelashes had already fully grown back in that time, so they definitely grew in quicker - although they did go on to fall out again several times!

    If it's any consolation, once my head hair started growing back in it grew a bit quicker than it used to before it fell out. It's just so hard waiting for it to come back - I think you feel like a cancer patient the whole time you've got no hair, even if you've finished treatment.

    If you're concerned about how long it's taking you could always try speaking to an oncology nurse at your hospital, or your oncologist. Alternatively someone like MacMillan might be helpful in providing reassurance. (http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Home.aspx)

    I hope you return to having luscious locks soon, I'm sure you will. Stay in touch and let me know how you get on - you can always look me up on Facebook or Twitter.

    Em x

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  104. Hi Emma, I have enjoyed reading the discussions.. I was diagnosed with a triple negative breast cancer in 2008, and had a double mastectomy/tram flap reconstruction. This year, 2011, my breast cancer returned in an aggressive form in the old breast tissue they were unable to take during my reconstruction in 2008. I found 2 new malignant tumors, for which I have had a lumpectomy, 4 rounds of TC chemo, and 35 radiation treatments.

    I had lost all of the hair on my body after the 3rd week of chemo. I have just finished all of my treatment 3 weeks ago, and my hair is coming back quickly, wavy, and a salt and pepper color. The stylist that shaved my hair when I started losing it all recommended the Brian Joseph shampoo for chemo/radiation hair loss.

    This product was fantastic..I used it all through chemo treatment, and still use it now.. It offers unrestricted hair growth, and it keeps my scalp moisturized. I also purchased their eyebrow/eyelash conditioner, which has caused my lashes and brows to return full force, and thick!

    I take Biotin as well every day, which I think has also helped..

    2 questions I do have:
    1. How soon can you start safely coloring your hair without damaging it? How long does it take for your hair to change color if you don't color it at the salon?

    2. If I stop using the conditioner on my lashes and brows, will they start falling out again? The Brian Joseph conditioner is all natural, with no chemicals..

    I feel like I have a new lease on life now that I am cancer free, and returning to normalcy again. I walked 3-4 miles every day after radiation therapy, and now continue to go to the gym every day to exercise. It has done wonders for me! I feel blessed to have been able to survive this journey twice!

    Thanks for your help!!

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  105. Hi

    Wow, it sounds like you've had a quite a journey. Well done for battling through and beating cancer for a second time - a double fantastic achievement!

    I'm afraid I'm not best placed to answer your questions. With hair colouring it may depend on the type of chemo you had. Generally I think they recommend you wait at least six months, but that may not be right. The best thing to do is to ask your oncologist or oncology nurse for advice.

    I don't know about stopping using conditioner either. I didn't use any products like that so have no experience of them. I would imagine that because your eyelashes and eyebrows fall out again after growing back because the chemo has damaged the hair follicles (the same reason that your head hair often grows back curly), then conditioner may not be enough to stop that happening. Maybe others who've used these type of products could say whether they found this to be the case?

    Whatever happens, I bet you look fabulous. And well done again for getting through two really tough times in your life.

    Em x

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  106. Hey Emma :)
    Since we last spoke i had no hair on my head and now its not calming down, i have loads! Was just being a bit inpatient i think haha!

    Anyway thank you so much for the advice! Off for my first pet scan since gettiing the all clear on 1st November. Fingers crossed everything will go well!

    P.S Eyelashes are really short and stumpy atm!


    Love xxxxxxxxxxx

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  107. That's great to hear! Good luck with your scan, I'll definitely keep all my fingers and toes crossed for you :-)

    Emily x

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  108. Diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer 11/01/10. Finished chemo on 3/10/11 and radiation on 5/03/11. My oncologist said shaving my head would help my hair grow more evenly. Daughter shaved my head on 1/22/11.

    Since my treatments began in the cold of winter, I got a wig (similar color to my old hair) donated to my chemo dept. My stylist did a fantastic job. Many people thought it was my actual hair.

    By August the hair was only 1 1/2 inches long - mousy brown and gray. Today it is nearly 4 inches long and very curly. Last month my stylist did highlight my hair and NO MORE WIG. I am now enjoying my new hair and feel normal again.

    My question: When will my pubic hair grow back? It is very sparse. Will it be the same as before? Should I just wait or should I shave?

    Otherwise, I am feeling GREAT!

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  109. WOO HOO!! Go you! It's a great feeling when you have your first haircut/colour after it grows back.

    I'm not sure on the pubic hair front. From my personal experience I imagine it will gradually grow back until it's pretty much the same as before. I bet you'll be back to waxing before you know it :-)

    So pleased to hear you're feeling so good and recovering well after all your treatment. Long may it continue!

    Em x

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  110. Hi Em, I am sure your site has helped many women. I also had breast cancer and finished my chemo back in March. My hair has grown back well, very wavy and grey.....it was straight before. My lashes are falling out again for the second time.....it makes me sad because a month ago they looked normal and now they are nearly all gone again. My poor eyebrows have hardly recovered at all since Chemo.....very thin and gappy. I really want to put this all behind me but am reminded every day when I get ready for work and try to apply mascara. The eyes just look so odd without lashes.
    On the up side I do feel well within myself so am happy about that........bring on my new lashes again!!
    Thank you for all the feedback this has been an interesting read. Annie

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  111. Hi Annie

    Thanks for sharing your story. It's great your hair is growing back well, but I completely understand your frustration that your eyebrows and lashes still haven't come through properly - it's a reminder you really don't want about what you've been through.

    It's fantastic that you're feeling so well though, and I'm sure your eyebrows and lashes will come back through (and stay in!) soon. Enjoy getting stronger and stronger now you've finished treatment.

    Take care
    Em x

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  112. I am amazed at how many posts this has and the time frame it covers! I finished chemo (Taxotere) 4 weeks ago. My hair started growing back after I finished my AC combo so it was thick and grey. Well, a couple of days ago it started falling out again. It is really thin now and you can see my scalp. This loss has been harder for me than the first round of hair loss! My eyebrows and eyelashes thinned during chemo, but now there are not many left. I was so surprised that there wasn't much info out there on what to expect after treatment - thank you for your blog! I think I felt as though I should be back to "normal" now that treatment is over. Similar to how a woman thinks she should be able to get into all her clothes immediately after having a baby....

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  113. You're very welcome, I'm glad you found it useful :-)

    I absolutely understand the feeling that you should be "normal" as soon as treatment has finished. What surprised me was that I swung between being desperate to be back to normal, and being annoyed when people stopped asking how I was and treated me as if I was fine. A very unfair reaction really, but you can't help how you feel!

    Losing your hair again only adds to the frustration that you can't push cancer out of your life as quickly as it seemed to come in. Stay patient though, hopefully it will start to grow back soon.

    Em x

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  114. thanks Em for sharing ur story. i am 22 years boy diagnose with testicular cancer 1 and half year ago for which i did chemo for 5 months.from which i loss my all hair from different parts of body except my eyelasses and eyebrows. come back again after few monts. again from few monts before my hair, arms hair and pubic hair start failling out again.now my arms hairs and pubic hairs stop falling out. but hair is still falling rapidlly. its already been 2 months that i am facing this problem.i don't know how long does it still goes on.do have any idea about that?. does it grow back again?. my hair is going thinner and thinner day bay day. i feel so sad about hearing 'oh u getting older', from my friends.
    rosso

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  115. Hi Rosso

    Sorry to hear you've been ill, although it's great you're finished treatment now. I'm not sure how long hair can continue falling out for. You're probably best speaking to your oncologist to see what they say.

    I really hope it starts to get better soon.

    Em

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  116. It's so good to hear from other women going through the same thing as I. My hair is coming in nicely, too dark for my taste, (I'm a blonde at heart) but just so thrilled to have hair and be alive. I plan on getting some highlights next month. I am close to six months being finished with chemo. I had 16 treatments with 30 radiation for breast cancer. My eyebrows and eyelashes were the last things to go and when they decided to take a vacation from my face they were outa there in no time. My hair fell out 2 weeks after I started chemo and begun to come back in before I was finished. I'm now loosing lashes again but from what I hear they will return. But it is a bummer as I was so excited to finally start feeling like "me" again. Hang in there girls, we'll get thru this!!

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  117. It's been 6 years since chemo for me. I still have to wear a wig. I have just enough hair to cover my head from about an inch above my ear and down. From there up is thin enough to see through to my head from the front to the back. Almost like Bozo. Depressing doesn't begin to describe it. I hate how the docs and nurses all assure you that it will come back when they KNOW there is that slight chance that it might not. They should prepare you but they never do. It doesn't matter if it is about hair or anything else they never want to tell you the truth.

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  118. Thanks to you both for sharing your stories.

    I completely agree that doctors and nurses should be upfront about what we're facing when we go through treatment and come out the other side. I would've liked someone to warn me that it wouldn't be my head hair that fell out first, but something a bit further south - that really caught me by surprise! Going through treatment is tough enough, without those extra little surprises along the way.

    We've got through it though and we're still here, which is the most important thing. And it doesn't matter how much hair we have or we lose, we're all fantastic cancer survivors and we should be incredibly proud that we've come out the other side.

    Hugs to anyone who's feeling low. We are ALL amazing fighters.

    Em xxx

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  119. I have just finished eight months of chemo for Leukemia and am now in remission. I lost all of my body hair, including the nasal hair. My final treatment was two months ago and my hair started to grow back during that treatment. My eyebrows, eyelashes and nasal hair grew back at the same time. I was so relieved to read your blog, as about a week ago, my eyelashes all fell out again, but I can see the new growth now. I was concerned because nobody at the hospital tells you these things, but now I can see from your blog that it happens to lots of chemo patients. Thank you so much for that! My hair is now thicker than it ever was, although it's very curly, which it wasn't before, just wavy.

    Anne xx

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  120. You're very welcome Anne! Glad the blog has been helpful and reassuring for you. Huge congrats on getting into remission. Long may it continue! And fingers crossed your new eyelashes stay well and truly put now too :-)

    Em x

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  121. Hi Em!

    I am going through treatment right now, I am about half way done at the moment :) But, at the beginning of treatment my hair was thinning a lot. I am lucky I had so much hair to start with because I probably wouldn't have any now if I didn't. But, after my second cycle it kind of just stopped. Is it possible for it to start coming out again during the next cycles? Or does this mean I lost all the hair that I will!

    Thanks!

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  122. Hello

    I'd love to say you won't lose any more, but I really don't know to be honest. It probably depends on the type of chemo drug you're having, and the dosage level. You're best off asking your oncologist or oncology nurse, they should be able to advise you.

    I really hope the rest of your treatment goes well, and that it isn't making you feel too awful.

    Em x

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  123. Hi!!

    I don't know if this experience happened to you, but right now my hair is at the point where it can be pulled out very easily without pain because my follicles are dead. I think that I am almost becoming obsessive with pulling it out. I try not to, but the fact that I can tempts me. I have looked all over the internet to see if this had occurred to others, but couldn't find any matching experiences! I feel like at this point I am going to pull all my hair out, and might as well shave it now!

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  124. Hello

    Are you in the middle of treatment or have you finished? I pulled out some of my hair once it started to fall out during treatment - once it started coming out I just wanted it all out!

    I don't have any experience of head hair coming out after treatment has finished though, although I know others who've commented on here have. It might be worth speaking to your oncologist to ask whether you should expect all your hair to come out if this is what you're experiencing.

    In the meantime, you could always try something like a hair net so you can't get to your hair to pull it out?

    Em x

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  125. I have to say that in light of what we've been thru or are still going thru that someone is out there posting some information. I suppose the doctors don't really think of these post chemo side effects, but it is good to know we can at least learn thru other experiences similar to our own. I am almost 5 months post chemo and 3 months post radiation for Non-Hodkins Lymphoma, diagnosed at 34. I was searching on why my hair has suddenly stopped growing, it made me so nervous. No armpit hair or leg hair growth for 2 weeks and it seems like the hair on my head has come to a complete stand still. I assume that it probably would be a similar cause of the hair falling out (a late side effect of chemo) I have noticed that my eyebrows have been itching, so maybe they are getting ready for a shedding cycle. I will follow up with my oncologist next week, but reading your post and responses, it does set my mind at ease that it is probably a typical side effect and not a reoccurrence. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

    Jen

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  126. Hi Jen

    It's great to hear this post has been helpful for you. Anything out of the ordinary once you've finished treatment can be really unnerving. If only doctors realised that warning us about a few potential post chemo side effects could stop a lot of worry!

    It sounds like a good idea to speak to your oncologist. I'm sure it's nothing to worry about at all, it definitely sounds very similar to the experiences a lot of others have posted on here.

    I hope your recovery continues to go well, and your hair starts growing again soon.

    Em x

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  127. hi, i went thru lung surgery, the drs. were soo good and the cehmo people> i thank them all,but the one that i give the credit to is jesus he saved my life!im all clear of canser and i got the news at xmas it was the best xmas present i could ever gotten at the age of 69. my wishes and prayers go out to you all. god bless and hang in there never never give up!!

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  128. Hi,In Dec 2011 I was digonised with ovarian cancer in Jan 2012 I had a hysterectomy to remove a large tumor the doc told me it was a low grade cancer and I didn't need chemo everything was removed, which I was very grateful. Now three week after the op, I have been told that cancer cells were found in the wash and they upgrade the cancer as the tumor also had a higher count and chemo was need. I was feeling sorry for myself, but after reading the blogs from other women I am counting myself very lucky, I am 42 and have had the chance to have 3 beautiful children, it sadens me to see all these beautiful young women going through this horrible disease. I start my chemo in three weeks and it is great to be able to read other ladies experiences about hair loss, I'm not worried about lossing my hair I just wanted to know after how many treatments does it start to disappear. I'm going to wear my baldness proud as a reminder to other wommen to have health checks and that we are survivors!! Shaz

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  129. Hi Shaz

    Thanks for sharing your story. You're perfectly entitled to feel sorry for yourself! I understand full well how much your life will have been turned upside down over the past couple of months, and how much you will have suddenly had to take in. Being given a cancer diagnosis comes with so much information and confusion.

    You have a fantastic attitude towards it though, and I've no doubt that will help you get through chemo. It's great to think of baldness as a badge of pride as well - that's how I think of my surgery scar.

    In terms of hair loss, mine started coming out 3-4 weeks after my first dose of chemo. My scalp was really painful for about a week before my hair actually started coming out, and that's the point at which I shaved it (I cut it short before I started treatment). When yours falls out may well depend on the chemo drug(s) you're given, and also the doseage. A little tip too, it won't necessarily be the hair on your head that starts to fall out first. I first realised my hair was coming out when it started thinning somewhere a little further south... ;-D

    Em xxx

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    1. Hi Shaz i am a ovarian cancer patient 4th stage as of January 18,2013 I am in remission after a 3 year battle. MY hair fell out in a week the first time then my cancer came back after 8 months i had a stomach reconstruction and a hysterectomy and my doctor gave me a free tummy tuck at the time i had lost over so much weight i had a tumor that was so large i had to have chemo for almost a year before they could operate . I was started on a experimetal drug the second time around my hair fell out in two days. I had a lots of fun with my grand son when my hair fell out when he would start acting bad i would start sliding my wig off my head and he would start getting scared he would say neenee please put your hair back on your head he was afraid of my bald head. so that is how i kept him acting good. It would be so funny when he see me trying to pull that wig off. I made the best of everything and had fun. valorey

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    2. Ha ha, I love that Valorey! Good for you for keeping something that can be so difficult to accept, so lighthearted. You have to laugh whenever you can when you get a cancer diagnosis.

      So pleased that you're in remission now. Long may that continue!

      Em x

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  130. I am 27 yrs old and was diagnosed with breast cancer in July/2011. I had a bilateral mastectomy in Aug/2011 and started TAC chemo in Sept/2011. I started losing all the hair on my body (except my eyebrows and lashes) about 16 days after my first chemo so I finally had my husband shave it for me. After 6 treatments and many shed tears over my lost hair, I was looking forward to it all growing back after my last chemo on Dec 23rd, 2011. I'm now 6 weeks out from my last treatment and the hair on my head is finally coming in. It's dark and kind of fuzzy but it's coming back and that's what matters. The weird thing is that now that the hair on my head is coming back, the eyebrows and lashes I've managed to keep all through treatment have started to rapidly fall out. Thank you for your postings that have helped me to realize that this is normal and I'm not the only person going through this. I've started my tamoxifen therapy and hear that it can also thin out your hair so I'm hoping for the best. Thank you again. :)

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    1. You certainly had a difficult year last year, well done for getting through it.

      It's great that your hair is starting to grow back, and hopefully your eyebrows and lashes will regrow soon too.

      Good luck with the tamoxifen therapy, and keep remembering that you're definitely not alone.

      Em x

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    2. Hi girls it is so hard for all of us, I too was diagnosed July 2011 with breast cancer invasive ductal carcinoma and had a masectomy on right breast in August. I started chemo November and finished in March. Now I am doing radiation and taking tamoxifen. My hair fell out on the 17 th day after first chemo. My lashes and eyebrows fell in Feb. I was so upses for my hair and lashes.I am finished chemo 6 weeks ago and no lashes or eyebrows and little hair is coming back like a fuzz patches. Why is it taking so long. I wander when are my lashes coming back. It's been a long road. Good luck to everyone.
      Ann.

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    3. Hi Ann

      Hang in there, I'm sure your lashes and eyebrows will make a reappearance soon. Cancer diagnosis and treatment is definitely a long, hard road. But it's great that you've completed one of the most difficult parts of it. I really hope the rest of your treatment goes well, and you start to see more hair regrowth soon.

      Take care

      Em x

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  131. hey this is jenny im 15 years old and i just finished my chemo two weeks ago i was so anxious for this to be over but now that it is im not happy or excited idk what to think and i feel awkward when ppl are congratulating me and im not even smiling i feel so confused i feeel like ppl might think i dont care but i obviously do i never want to have another chemo again so shouldnt i be more excited?

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    1. Hi Jenny

      I wasn't excited when I finished chemo either. I felt exactly the same as you - I was desperate for it to be over, and then when it was I just felt lost. Suddenly you don't have the security of the hospital anymore or of seeing the doctors really reguarly. And not only that, but you have to try to pick up your life again and get back to "normal", which feels impossible after such a life-changing experience. I felt like I was having to slot back into a world where everyone else's lives had moved on, yet mine had been on hold and stood still for months and months on end.

      It's something other people just can't understand, no matter how hard they try. They're excited that you've finished treatment, but you just feel deflated. There's nothing wrong with you for feeling like that, I know lots of other people who've all felt exactly the same way.

      Getting back to "normal" is a gradual process that doesn't happen overnight as soon as chemo is over. You have to recover physically from the treatment, as well as mentally take in all that's happened to you. Give yourself time, and if people ask why you're not jumping around for joy that your chemo's over, explain to them that you're trying to take in all that's happened to you, and that you've still got check ups to worry about.

      I hope you continue to get stronger after your chemo. Take care, and keep in touch.

      Em x

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    2. Hi Jenny & Em

      Just a very quick word for now (heading out for my first mammogram post surgery, chemo and radio). I will take the time to write more in full a little later. Firstly, thanku Em for having this site ... I found u as 5 months post all treatment, my eyebrows r thinning again! But for now Jenny, so sorry u have to go thru something like this so young, life is terribly unfair at times.

      I was warned about the feelings u described whilst I was still in full treatment, and having sailed (optimistically) thru diagnosis and treatment, of course I didn't believe them. But it's like all of a sudden u crash and burn. Yes a huge part of that Em, is the sudden removal of ur support network, but I also have come to the conclusion (tho this is a personal thought), a lot of it has to do with the time u suddenly have. The year of treatment is a whirlwind of appointments to keep, treatment to undertake, side effects to cope with etc etc .. u just don't have time to breath let alone think. Then suddenly, u have all the time in the world, and suddenly it hits u, its a "shit, I have/had cancer" moment and that just opens the flood gates of doubts, insecurities and yes .. morbid thoughts.

      So its all perfectly normal Jenny but there is a wonderful book out there that I found extremely helpful "The Cancer Survivor's Companion" by Dr Frances Goodhart and Lucy Atkins, described as Practical ways to cope with your feelings after cancer ... ISBN 978-0-7499-5485-7.

      And to everyone on here, well done for fighting the good fight and coming out strong and smiling.

      I am proud to fight like a girl!

      Sx

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    3. Thanks for writing and sharing your thoughts. I completely agree that suddenly having so much more time on your hands to contemplate everything that's happened to you is a big part of why you feel low and a bit lost after finishing treatment.

      You get thrown into the world of cancer very quickly, but it takes a lot longer to come out of it. In fact, with continual check ups and worries about every little ache and pain, you never really do. You just ease yourself out and have to find your own balance between that and the day-to-day world everyone else lives in. It takes time, but you can get there.

      Keep up the fight!

      Em x

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  132. hi shaz just wanted to let you know that when i had my treatment my hair fell off the first chemo in clumps it was crazy so i just decided to shave it off and im really happy i did because i met other teenagers who wanted to wait and then they couldnt shave it anymore because of the blade and you can get infected if it cuts you. i like how your not worried about losing your hair idk if it was bcuz i was a teen but i thought loosing my hair would be the worst part of it all but after a while it doesnt matter though sometimes you will miss it i hope everything goes well for you(:
    stay strong

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  133. I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer during surgery on July 28, 2011 and began my chemo journey on Sept 9th.

    The hair on my head began to fall out 14 days after the 1st chemo treatment, exactly on cue as my hair dresser had predicted, and it came out fast & furious. That 14th day fell on a Wednesday & by Saturday I was ready to get it all off, which I did by letting my ex-Marine brother-in-law buzz it with barber clippers. My husband & I went to his house, I asked for a bucket since I was a little nauseous & we set to work. My husband had to go outside, he couldn't watch; my brother-in-law's hand shook; but frankly, it wasn't bad. I didn't throw up, I didn't cry, we cut it & didn't look back. (Just didn't think I could handle the emotions of my hair dresser if I let her do it.) We didn't shave my head, just cut it very close. The funny thing is, I never lost all my hair as I had been told I would and what didn't fall out turned white. As it's come back my hair is thicker & colored much like that of Jamie Lee Curtis in those yogurt commercials. It's about 1/2 as long as hers now.

    However, from my nose to my toes I went bald, and you're right, no one told me that would happen! I didn't lose my eyebrows & eyelashes until after the 3rd treatment & they came out all at once while I was in the shower - got in with both, got out with none. After the 3rd treatment one of my cancer treating drugs had to be changed & I was told my hair would come out all over again. Not on my head it didn't. Everywhere else, yes, including the brows & lashes & they are taking their own sweet time about coming back. My left brow came back thick the first time & my right eyelashes, hmmm. Now, I still have more brow hairs on the left & lashes on the right, but they are nothing to brag about.

    I finished chemo on Dec 28th and as I look back on those 4 months I can say that my hair was the least of my issues.

    Now though I'm getting stronger each day and trying to get my life back it sure would be nice to leave the wool scarfs & ball caps at behind when I leave home. (Note here, I tried a wig, actually bought a couple of them & just couldn't stand the feel of the things on my head. I donated them to the hospital.)

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    1. Thanks for sharing your story. It's great you're feeling stronger and getting better everyday.

      It sounds like your hair's growing back really well, which is great. And I'm sure your eyebrows and lashes will follow soon.

      I hope you continue to recover from chemo well, and that you get some "normality" back soon - it definitely takes a while.

      Take care
      Em

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  134. So glad to find this blog. I finished chemo - last "hit" of six, on Jan 16. Cytoxan and Taxotere for BC. fuzzy white hair and some black stubble coming back on head. Kept my brows and lashes but now they are thinning and no, the oncologist and nurse did not warn me. So I was glad, though somewhat discouraged, to read the posts on this board. I shall hope for the best. Meanwhile, I know I will be needing my scarves and wigs for a while. Kathy McD

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    1. Hi Kathy

      Losing your eyelashes and brows all over again is discouraging, but be reassured that they will come back. Hair regrowth is a slow, and often frustrating process, but I'm sure you'll be back at the hairdressers before you know it.

      In the meantime, well done for getting through chemo, and I hope you continue to get better.

      Em

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  135. i em this is rosso again.i already talk you about my problem. i was diagonised with testicular cancer. after chemotherapy it was cured. i notice my hair again start falling out after one year of its regrowth. now its already been more than half year but this process it has not been stopped.so to know about my problem i went to advanced hair studio where they had a programme for hair regrowth. according to my consultant it is because of something called DHT and to get rid of that i should go for the treatment which tooks around 3 months which include laeser programme and some other herbal medication. so i am in bit dilemma what to do and what not to . so i just like to request you if you got any idea about that.

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    1. Hi Rosso

      I'm afraid I don't know anything about the treatment your consultant has recommended. If you're uncertain about whether or not to have it then it might be worth getting a second opinion from another doctor? Then at least you can feel happier about whether it's worth going ahead with it.

      Sorry I can't be of more help. Good luck with whatever you decide.

      Em

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  136. Hi Em

    I stumbled across this site when I was looking for a friend who has finished chemo and her hair is growing back like a "poodle" (as she calls it). I told her I would do some checking on the web and I want to thank you for posting this. I just read the post about how difficult it is to return to life after chemo and as a person who hasn't experienced this, it is helpful for me to understand how my friend may be feeling. She is still suffering from some post-chemo things and I try to do all I can to support and help her but understanding how she may be feeling in the depths of her soul is key. Thank you again and I hope you are doing well. Donna

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    1. Hi Donna

      You're very welcome! I'm really glad the blog has been helpful for you. It sounds like you're being a fantastic support for your friend. I hope her recovery continues to go well - it takes time but she WILL get there.

      Em x

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  137. I have 20% of head hair with bald spot on top and very thin on sides and low back. Eyelashes, brows, arms and legs about 50% only.Head hair has grown to neck length but very sparse. It's been 1 year after chemo but I am still baldy. Can all my hair grow again?

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    1. Hi

      It's really hard for me to know how your hair will continue to grow back. The best person to speak to is probably your oncologist or oncology nurse - they know your medical history and details about the chemo drugs you had (every drug has different effects).

      Alternatively, if your oncologist is difficult to get hold of, and you're in the UK, you could try calling Macmillan and talking to someone in their team. They have a lot of expertise and may be able to offer you some advice. You can find all their details here: http://www.macmillan.org.uk/HowWeCanHelp/TalkToUs/Talktous.aspx

      Sorry I can't be of more help. I really hope your hair regrowth continues.

      Em x

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  138. Hi Em,

    Diagnosed BC Dec 2010 (Merry Christmas), after finishing chemo June 2011 I noticed eyelashes falling out for the third time in the last 7 months. I had really long lashes so everyone comments how different I look. Thank you for your comments maybe the third time is a charm.

    I am here alive and thankful for my life and my thoughts are with all my brothers and sisters fighting the brave & courageous fight.

    SG


    C

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    1. Sorry to hear you've been having trouble with your eyelashes falling out after finishing treatment. It's so frustrating isn't it? Third time proved to be the charm with me though, so fingers crossed it will be for you too.

      Congratulations on being nearly a year out of chemo :-)

      Em x

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    2. Hi Em,

      Thank you for your reply and your blog, funny reading your comments on the bum facial hair it's crazy where hair will grow, surely where we hoped it wouldn't. Eyelashes keep falling out but lord knows I can grow fuzz on my face!

      Glad to hear you are doing great. Thank you for allowing me someone to compare notes with.

      Blessings,

      SG

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    3. I know, I still have a thin patch on one of my eyebrows, but has my leg hair got less? Has it heck! :-D

      Delete
  139. Hi Em
    I was searching for tips on hair regrowth - should it be cut to encourage strong regrowth etc when one and a half inches long - when I found your blog. I "had" (optomistically) breast cancer, chemo & radio and am now having Herceptin. I have generally looked at these as tasks to get through. Couldn't cope with the side effects of the pills I am supposed to take for 5 years, so these are now being changed.
    One thing when I lost my eyelashes my eyes kept watering, my oncologist explained that my eyes were watering to compensate for the loss of the lashes - logical but we don't always think logically. I also seem to have more facial 'bum fluff' than ever, hope this falls out!
    More than anything else I wanted to thank you for your blog and hope that you are still well.
    Chris

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    1. Hi Chris

      Absolutely be optimistic, you've kicked cancer's ass! Glad your oncologist has been able to change the tablets you were on. I hope the new ones don't give you any horrible side effects.

      It's really interesting that you mentioned having facial 'bum fluff'. I developed exactly the same thing - I couldn't believe how much hairier my face became! I still have more soft downy hair around my jawline and cheeks than I did before chemo (although it has lessened a bit now). I just periodically use a hair trimmer to get rid of it. Why is it the hair you don't want that seems to grow back fine?!

      Em x

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  140. I thought that about when I lost my hair, everywhere was bare except the top of my legs .... Oh well. On a lighter note- I forgot to put my wig on when my 2 year old grandson visited 2 days ago but had a lightweight hat on. He knocked it off by accident and looked, I put it back on and 5 minutes later he knocked it off again (intentionally)and looked more intently. I said I'd had my hair cut very short. I now have to work out how to explain when he sees me in my wig again.
    Stay well, Chris

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    1. Ha ha, I can see how that would confuse him! :-D How did you get on explaining your sudden hair growth?!

      Delete
  141. Hi Em, I finished Chemo 8 weeks ago and my eyelashes started falling out about a week ago. Today is my first day to wear false lashes because there is almost none left on my right eye. So, my question is once they are gone, how long before they start growing back?

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    1. Congratulations on finishing chemo! Sorry to hear you're losing your eyelashes now though. Mine grew back within 3 months of finishing treatment. Hopefully it won't be too long until yours grow back through and you can bin the false lashes.

      Em x

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  142. Hi Em,

    thanks for sharing your story, I had chemo for non hodgkins malignant lymphnode treatment when i was 12 y.o and ofcourse I lost all of my hair , lashes and eye brows.now i'm 25 and unlike yours, my hair grew back a little bit thinner that its original form. I originally have thin shiny hair before the treatment but when they grew back, it's way thinner worst part is as the years pass bald spots are starting to develop specifically in the top part.

    Any thoughts on how i can address this issue?

    thanks:)

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    1. Hi Cathy

      I can't imagine how hard it must've been to go through all of that at 12 years old. You must be an incredibly strong person. I hope that you've been well since finishing your treatment?

      I'm afraid I don't know what to suggest for preventing the bald spots. Some people who've commented on here have tried shampoos and conditioners, others have taken herbal remedies. Maybe you could try talking to your GP to see if they can suggest anything?

      Em x

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  143. Hi Em, I came apon your site from searching about hair loss during chemo. I am a 42 year old mother of 3 with Ovarian Cancer. I had my operation on April 12. Im getting ready to start chemo in the next 2 weeks. This information is good to know because no one else tells you.I have stage 3. How are you doing? I hope well. Thank you for posting. I have a primitive blog at www.cancerandmydysfunctionalfamily.blogspot.com

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    1. Hello

      I'm so sorry to hear you've just been diagnosed.

      I'm sure your life is a whirlwind right now - being bombarded with appointments and information, and your mind flooded with worries, fears and a thousand questions.

      All I can say is hang in there. Yes, it's a tough road. But you CAN get through it and beat this thing. Above all, remember that you're not alone. There are so many people out there who understand exactly how you're feeling.

      I wish you so much luck for your treatment. Do keep in touch, and if you want to ask me any questions privately then just email me through the link under the 'Contact Me' section.

      Take care

      Em x

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  144. As time went on, I became increasingly surprised at the lack of information I received as well... I know how that feels. In my case, I had a paranasal lymphoma, so they targeted my throat, neck, and sinuses... It was never mentioned to me that this was going to destroy my saliva glands. It was not until the mucositis was diminishing that I realised my mouth really dry... When I enquired about this is when the radiation oncologist replied to me that "yes, this is permanent, and there is nothing we can do about it."

    Fortunately, my last PET scan came back clear, and at least I will have some life left, but I sure would have appreciated a little bit more condor early on.

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  145. On the topic of hair loss and regrowth, mine has been a little odd. I think that there are so many possible reactions by different people and the various chemo treatments, that Dr.s dont generally get to specific about the hair. In my case, I lost absolutely everything, but now after 2 months post chemo, my hair is coming back. The growth is uneven, though, as I am getting good brow regrowth on one side, but not the other. Eye lashes are also coming is better on one side, but at least bothe sides...

    Considering the dry mouth and damage from tumours, though, the hair is really one of the least of my concerns.

    I found it very odd that there was never any attempt to figure out causation. I had several illnesses leading up to my lymphoma, but there was never any attempt to investigate to see if there some underlying cause, or if cancer was the underlying cause. I still feel as though there is a bigger picture being overlooked. I am told the cancer was a very agressive lymphoma, and that it was only there for as long as I was having the symptoms, so it would seem that it was not the cause of my previous issues... But I guess I will never really know.

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    1. Hi

      It seems unbelievable that your oncologist could've overlooked telling you the radiation treatment would affect your saliva glands. It's such a fundamental side effect to inform you about, especially as it seems from their response that it wasn't an unusual side effect. I can only imagine your frustration, but like you said, it's just great the treatment has been successful.

      It sounds like you've had a long tough road of illness, including before you were even diagnosed. I'm so pleased things are getting better now. It must be great to be starting to see some hair regrowth too.

      I hope your post-treatment recovery continues to go well.

      Take care

      Em x

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  146. Hi Em

    It's great that you've shared your story. It's a tough one, you never think it will affect you or your families life. I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer 5th april, successful lumpectomy & lymph node removal 16th April 2012. First treatment of Chemo 14th June by 3rd July my partner & 7 year old daughter shaved my head. It felt so much better after, was dreading looking at myself in the mirror but instantly loved it. The amount of time it saves getting ready ;-)

    It's tough, but it's everyone else that has the problem, family, friends & neighbours are cool, however when out and about I wear my wig and love it! I have my 4th treatment today & eyelashes and eyebrows def on the way out, I've used fake lashes & eyebrow pencil. Nobody gives you a second glance as lots are fake, whether hair extensions, nails, tan, wigs, eyebrow tattoo's, etc...

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  147. Helps reading all the comments guys.

    Keep posting Em xxxx

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    1. Hi Sarah

      It was lovely to read your post and hear your story. It sounds like 2012 has been a tough year for you so far, but you've got a great, strong attitude.

      You're right that hair loss is an issue for the people around you as well. I think it's such an outward sign of someone being ill, and has so many connotations with very serious illness, that it scares a lot of people.

      I never tried wigs or fake lashes when I lost my hair, but I think they sound great for giving confidence. And I agree that there's so many people wearing fake things now for fashion reasons that it's much easier to blend in.

      I really hope the rest of your treatment goes ok.

      Take care

      Em x

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  148. Em,
    I finished my chemo in January, 2012. Like everyone else, I had no idea that the eyelashes would come and go. Thank you for your website and all of this information! When you find out other people are going thru the same experience it helps so much to be able to deal with it. You are a blessing for all of us!
    Cindy

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    1. Ah, thank you so much! It's always lovely to hear that my posts are helpful to others.

      Well done for getting through chemo, and I hope you continue to stay well.

      Em x

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  149. Hi Em! My name is Cheryl. I'm 38 years old now. I havent created a blogspot yet, but I've been thinking about it for some time now, so I think I will! I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast Cancer (Invasive Lobular Carcinoma) in June 2011. I was 36 at the time. I had my last chemo treatment of TAC 4 days before Christmas last year (2011), a bi-lateral mastectomy and 6 1/2 weeks of radiation...oh, and my ovaries removed. I was searching online trying to figure out why my eyebrows are thinning and seemingly falling out altogether, that's how I came across your blog and I'm SO glad I did! thank you so much for the info! I called my Oncologist today and the chemo educator said she had no idea why! I've been stressing over it! I had never heard of the possibility for them to fall out once they came back in! I am SO happy to hear that this is pretty normal after seeing others' comments too. Why don't they tell us these things or even KNOW? It is such an important part of feeling feminine again. One question (b/c I couldn't read all of the comments lol)..Did you're eyebrows finally come back in for good? I hope so! I wish you all the best!!! I'll find you once I get my own blog started. I'm going to see if I can work on it now.

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    1. Hi Cheryl

      Wow, you've had a year that I know from experience will have turned your life upside down. I hope you're starting to recover from all the treatment now.

      I have no idea why oncologists don't seem to know, or just don't bother to warn us, about post-chemo hair loss. When I wrote this post I never expected to hear from so many people who have experienced/are all experiencing the same thing. It's both reassuring to know I wasn't alone, and frustrating that so many others are having to search for information for themselves because their oncologists aren't telling them either.

      It would be so simple to mention to patients before they walk out the door that this could happen. And it would stop us all worrying so much when our eyebrows and lashes suddenly decide to disappear again!

      The good news is that it DOES usually stop. How long that takes, and how many cycles of falling out and regrowing you have to go through seems to vary from person to person. I guess it's dependent on the chemo drug(s) you've had, what dosage levels etc.

      For me, mine fell out and regrew three times, but each time they fell out a bit less than before. The first time they went pretty much completely, but there was new regrowth underneath. The next couple of times they thinned, but not quite as much as the previous time. And after the final time they stayed put, and are now completely back to normal. Although, I do have a small patch that has never grown back since treatment, but only I would really notice it. And I've grown a fringe which pretty much hides my eyebrows anyway!

      I hope your eyebrows grow back in fully soon. And definitely write a blog too - I look forward to reading it... :-)

      Em x

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  150. Hi my name is Mike I'm 41 and I had Hodgkins Lymphoma stage IIIB diagnosed 11/17/11. Started chemo December 2011 and finished June 1, 2012. So it's been a little over five months now since my last chemo. I lost most of my eyebrows and eyelashes, facial hair, and the hair on my head didn't completely go away but it got very thin and sparse. About a month after finishing chemo my facial hair came back very thick and I was so excited. Then a couple weeks ago I noticed it thinning again along with my eyebrows and eyelashes. I got scared wondering if the cancer was back. So great to find this post and see how many other people have the same experience. I agree everyone is probably different and it also probably depends on the drugs you were on and for how long. Isn't it great though that we are all alive and can worry about these things?

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    1. Hi Mike

      Thanks for sharing your story. You're absolutely right that no matter how frustrating it is to lose your eyebrows and lashes all over again, we're just lucky we're around to worry about it!

      I really hope yours grow back again soon. In the meantime keep concentrating on recovering well from treatment.

      Take care

      Em x

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  151. Hi! Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post. Ive felt so abandoned since I quit my foxfire chemo 3mo ago. I had stomach cancer and a reoccurrence of kidney cancer in my pancreas. The Firefox chemo devastated me after 3 treatments. I was constantly passing out and dehydrated. Just these last few weeks my hair has come out in clumps. There is no one who knows anything. I hate that information at the clinic is so guarded. I'm ok learning that there are no real hard fact answers but please at least tell me that. I'm in the exact same situation as the other writers, easily freaked out, lost without my team of docs and nurseshating that one day is good and then another isn't. I had kidney cancer 25yrs ago and radiation, and went back to life. It's much harder this time. I'm an old hippie, I really do want my hair! I was told that CFO fire may cause me to loose half. Well I have noticeable bald spots now. But I have kept stubby eyelashes.
    Peace and love, Lina

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    1. Hi Lina

      It sounds like you've had such a tough time. I hadn't ever heard of foxfire, I had to look it up. Are you able to have any other chemo if you couldn't tolerate that one?

      It's rubbish that the clinic hasn't been forthcoming at providing you with any information. It makes everything so much more frightening than it needs to be.

      I really hope your eyelashes stay put, and here's hoping your hair grows back in soon too. Wishing you a very healthy future.

      Em x

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  152. Hi Em,
    I am about 4 months after chemo with my hair almost an inch long. They came out much thicker on the top and also in a strange pattern on the back of my neck. It looks like a little tail in the middle. The other unsual thing was, that I grew some fine hair under my ears, extending towards my cheeks. It looks like big sideburns, lol. I was fine with all that, just being happy that I have my hair back to keep my head warm and not having to wear caps. Couple of days ago I noticed that one of my eyebrows is visibly thinner than the other. It looks akward. I pulled on the brow to check and some hair came off. I freaked out. Nobody told me about this. I went online ang googled about this problem and came across your blog. I feel so relieved! Thank you so much for posting your story and giving me an answer! I feel much better knowing that it's normal and if they do fall out completely, they would grow back. Thanks again!

    Kat

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    1. Hi Kat

      It's lovely of you to share your story. I know what you mean about the sideburns - I got a lot of fine hair grow on my cheeks too, which I didn't have before the chemo. Typical to get hair back in the places you don't want it! Mine did eventually seem to lessen, although I have to admit to still using a beauty hair trimmer to remove it every so often :-)

      I really hope your eyebrows don't fall out completely. But if they do then you can be confident they will grow back in. I'm glad the blog helped to reassure you. If only these doctors of ours would tell us things like this then we wouldn't panic so much!

      Take care

      Em x

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  153. Hi Em, you are AmaZing to have this post running for so long; with a comment for almost every one of the people who are finding your site! You are a Godsend..
    I have read so many comments now; it's comforting in it's own special way; now here's what I'll share.. my story...
    Nov 21/2012 was last chemo (4 treatments) and I am almost complete with 6 weeks of radiation. Stage II grade 3 triple negative breast cancer, 2 lumps in left only.
    "Only" is such a powerful word. Yes I have lost hair everywhere..I have not shaved my legs\arms\bikini area since September last year. Joyous!! It was only in the last two weeks I have noticed my (almost white blonde anyways) eyebrows are thinning, especially the left side. And I am so fretful of my eyelashes (esp. left) falling like autumn leaves, this is so devastating to me right now.. Sooo grateful to find your site, and Yes, I agree as with many others; the nurses and doctors do not tell all, BUT THEY KNOW...
    I am proud of all of you ladies and gents (and your families) for the courage to keep going,, ((and sharing your woes,)) As I shall. Cheers!!

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    1. I love the strength and positivity that's coming through in your comment. I know you still have a little way to go in your treatment but you sound like you're kicking ass!

      The hair loss is really hard because it changes how you feel about yourself so much, and makes having cancer so obvious to the outside world. The good thing is that it WILL all grow back. Before you know it you'll be back to shaving again and cursing having hair in all the wrong places! ;-)

      Keep going, you can get there. And I really hope your eyebrows and lashes grow back properly soon.

      Em x

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  154. Hi,
    I was diagnosed with IBC Triple negative BC in July 2012. I lost my hair, eyelashes and eyebrows after my Taxol treatments ending in Sept. Everything started growing back until I started A/C again in late November.
    Again, I lost my hair, eyebrows and eyelashes. They started coming back one week after my last Chemo. I was told that you may lose your eylashes and brows several times before they come back for good. Eventually everything will be back where it is suppose to be. I start 35 Radiation treatments on Jan 28th. God Bless everyone fighting this uphill battle. Marianne

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    1. Hi Marianne

      It sounds like you've had a really tough regime of treatment. Keep holding onto the fact that it WILL all be worth it in the end.

      In the meantime, really good luck for your radiation treatment, and I hope your eyebrows and lashes stay firmly fixed in now they've started growing back.

      Take care

      Em x

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  155. I am Adeline, 41 yr old from Singapore, diagniosed with Stage 1C Ovarian Cancer on 12 Jan 2013. I've just completed my 4th Chemo with 2 more to go. Started dropping hair by the 11th day of the 1st Chemo and this went on for another week until my scalp could be seen. I still had hair but subsequent chemo sessions continued to take its toll and I am left with just whisps of hair on my head. As a woman, hair loss is harder to take I think and I really am looking forward to have my hair back again after chemo is over. I am a teacher and will be going back to school to teach in July and though I know I would have to face the kids without hair (just wearing my bandana) I hope my hair will grow back quickly. I am encouraged by all the posts here. This is so helpful because I feel less alone in this. I also want to encourage everyone to remain positive and enjoy life. It is very easy to feel down expecially if you have had an active and healthy life before cancer struck but let's not let this disease get the better of us. Cancer bows at the Name of Jesus and our inheritance from the Lord is health and wholeness that the devil cannot steal away.

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    1. Hi Adeline

      Thanks so much for sharing your story. Hair loss is definitely a hard thing to come to terms with, but hopefully yours will grow back quickly once you've finished treatment.

      Your positivity is fantastic, and it's brilliant that you're already looking ahead to returning to work and getting back to some kind of 'normality'. Keep strong, and hopefully you'll soon be out the other side of this horrible thing.

      Em x

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  156. Gals, from the many blogs I have read on hair loss after chemo, It seems the Herceptin they give after chemo had the effect of stopping or slowing the hair growth and may even contribute to the hair loss on eyebrows and eyelashes. Am beginning to think the oncologists may not realize this side effect, since drug companies may not up date them regularly!
    We take the Herceptin (supposedly with little or no side effects)for a year or so after chemo, but many people have reported slowing down of hair growth during Herceptin treatments. So,,.. take heart! This too shall pass! Best wishes to all of you sisters in common.

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    1. That's really interesting to hear, thanks for writing to pass it on. I didn't have Herceptin, but I know many others who've commented here have had it as part of their breast cancer treatment.

      I don't think post-chemo hair loss is specific to that drug, but it's interesting to know that there are others out there who've experienced it, whether from Herceptin or not.

      Good luck in your post-treatment recovery.

      Em x

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