Yeah...have had songs from the Misfits stuck in my head while trying to come up with a title for this EPIC "How Long Will It Take My Hair To Grow Back After Chemo?" regrowth post. This is going to be long & I'm putting in lots of pictures that chronicle the loss & regrowth of my follicles, some never before shared with anyone....Today I am at the 2 years from last chemo mark. And while I still have a ways to go before my hair is "back to normal"...it's pretty much back. Still have some shorter top parts to grow out to catch up to the length. But for those who (like I did) are searching the interwebs lookin for info & photos showing the rate of hair regrowth after chemo, then this is the post you're lookin for. Now, everyone's hair grows at it's own rate, but I've been told my hair grows at pretty much the average rate....
1/4 - 1/2 inch per month. And of course I'm doin a post like this...even before I had the breast cancer, I was all about my hair...And I miss it...soooo Ok, so here we go.....
So here I am...June 2009, (above) celebrating my 40th birthday...& I have breast cancer, I just don't know it for sure yet. I knew about the lump at this time, but hadn't been to the doctor yet. In about 2 weeks from this day, I was diagnosed. So, this is what someone with very aggressive breast cancer looks like. Yep. Next:
Ahhhh, the shave day (above)....September 14, 2009...pretty much right at 2 weeks after my 1st chemo...the hair was comin out all over the place. I'm convinced that's what killed our vacuum cleaner! Anyway, yeah...I was more than a little upset about the havin to lose my hair part of this whole ordeal. And I'm not gonna lie...I had to get pretty well lit to go through with it. So after drinkin several Berry Skyy Vodkas with Diet 7Up back (was out of the good stuff lol)...we began the buzzin...Talk about Horror Business....
So I figure if I MUST lose my hair, might as well do a mohawk....And yeah, that's my personal message to breast cancer...eff you!
So we took a few pics...& then buzzed off the 'hawk & it was gone & I was bald (above).
And I plopped my wig on my bald head (above) & felt SOOO much better. And we went out to dinner. Took the new wig 'do out for a test drive lol...
Ok..so fast forward through 6 rounds of chemo to right about a month after the last chemo...January 2010 (above). We called this baby bird head. The longer hairs are what never fell out...Looks like a receding hairline.
February 2010 (above)...these are about a week apart. When I look at these it reminds me of a turtle lol! I didn't have any eyelashes or brows...Just using makeup as best I could to disguise that fact. I was finishing up with radiation around this time I think...I remember the excitement with every new bit of hair growth during this time.
March 2010 (above). It's startin to fill in. These are about 2 weeks apart. I was still wearin my wigs & bandanas when out & about, but SOOOO happy to see more hair growin in. Seems like you could almost see it growin...it was different every day.
Later in March 2010 (above)...The picture on the right is when I went out for the first time without anything on my head. Said I went topless! LOL! But was still doing wigs to work & stuff. Very butchy lookin...
And here is the pixie in June 2010 (above). Six months after last chemo. I finally stopped wearin wigs. It isn't a hairdo I would have ever chosen to do, but it sure was nice to not have to have something on my head.
July 2010, 7 months post chemo (above)...I've entered the "Headband Phase" of things. The second picture shows when the chemo curl started. These are about 2 weeks apart.
August 2010, 8 months after chemo (above). I called this my "senior citizen 'do" lol. I'm celebrating the end of Herceptin treatments. YAY!
October 2010, 10 months post chemo (above). I had gotten a tiny flat iron & straightened my hair in the pic on the left. Every time I see it I think "Activiaaaaaaaa..." On the right is not straightened, still in the headband phase.
October 2010, 10 months after chemo ended (above). I'm about to attend my very first "Pink Out" Pep Rally. And I need to learn to stop takin pics in here...SUCH bad lighting...Too much Horror Business...(Misfits fans get it...right?) Still in headbands.....I started callin the 'do the "chemo-fro" at this point. LOL!
YAY! A nubby ponytail! (above) And from the front, startin to look more like "ME" again. January 2011, 13 months after chemo ended. I had been able to do this for right at a month...remember when I got my mediport removed?
And when I just didn't feel like doin the nubby pony tail, it was chemo-fro in headband. Had to do the headband thing, cause it was quite the mullet! April 2011, 16 months of growin hair (above).
May 2011, 17 months (above)
June 2011, 18 months (above). This was my first "real hairdo" cut. But it wasn't really a 'do...just some blending. I never wore it like this again. Just kept doin ponytails, & the chemo-fro in headband thing. This was flat ironed.
This is August 2011, 20 months(above). The shag 'do is gettin mullety again. Not flat ironed, just round brushed while drying.
Early October 2011, 22 months post chemo (above). Round brushed left, chemo-fro right.
Late October 2011 (above). Now I can clip up the sides while they grow out & not be in the pony tail all the time. I've pretty much stopped wearin it curly at this point. When I round brush it while blowdrying, it's straight, just like it used to be. YAY!
And this is exactly 24 months from the end of chemo - December 2011 (above). Two years of growin. I wish these photos were better quality, but we were in a bit of a rush & I wanted pics taken on the anniversary of the end of chemo. Anyway, I still have some growin to do...gotta let that shortest top layer catch up to the rest....So, I'm still growin, but wanted to share this in the hopes that newly diagnosed people might see that yes, it sucks to have to lose your hair, but it does come back. I saw a similar post one day while I was bald in the middle of chemo, & it encouraged me & helped me so much...& that's all I'm wantin to do here...help others goin through the same thing. I realize that, as cancer survivors, we have much more serious issues & things to deal with, but if you're like me, the hardest part was the hair thing. So I hope that if you're checkin out this post because you are waitin & watchin for your hair to grow back, just know...it will be back. You WILL have your hair again.
*************Edit: Pics Added June 2012**************
May 2012 - 29 months post chemo
June 2012 - 2 1/2 years post chemo
I think I'm almost there. Still gotta keep the sides pulled up. Will check back in about 6 more months.
************************Edit: Pics Added December 2012**************************