Post Chemo Hair Progress

My "pinned" haircuts are looking MUCH different than I would have ever expected these days....

I can hardly believe that hair this short required a cut--but it did!  I needed to shape it up a little bit, and try to create the illusion of length on top as I start the awkward process of growing out my hair from completely bald during chemo.  First phase -- the fade, which looks a lot like one of my brother Jake's best haircuts.

I'm pretty thankful that my hair is coming back in thick, but I'm still hoping it goes back to it's original dark color and gets curly again as it gets longer.  Though I'm not hating the natural silver highlights...

I'm tentatively planning for a progression that looks a little like this, keeping the sides shorter and growing out the top until it's long enough to start going back to my chin-length curly bob.

One thing I did NOT expect in all this hair-losing trauma -- is how much I don't miss the maintenance!  No scrunching, no need for 4 different products, no dry time, no brushing or braiding or bad hair days at all when you have a little pixie cut.  So, we'll see...maybe I'll stick with short?   I don't love the current look, but I like it well enough to work with it--and I absolutely appreciate no longer looking like a cancer patient.  I actually get a lot of compliments on my no-nonsense haircut, and it has taken me a while to not feel the need to give a long explanation for why my hair is so short and to just say "Thanks!"  I'm doing my best to work with what I've got!  It still surprises me when I look in the mirror though.

Though I didn't expect it to (my doctor had warned me otherwise), my hair started growing back about 4 weeks after I finished AC chemo and right before I started Taxol chemo in July.  Then, it just never fell out again.  I did shave it one last time in July, but it has been coming in pretty reliably ever since.  

My doctor looked surprised every couple of weeks when I'd walk into his office with a fuller head of hair than the last time he'd seen me.  I'm not an expert, but I kind of wonder how much Taxol was really doing for me, if I was having almost no side effects and my hair was growing in spite of it's presense in my body.  Hard to know, but it did seem to play at least a small factor in his decision to let me stop short of the full 12 Taxol treatments because I was having some issues with neuropathy (which by the way have seemed to go away at this point, thankfully.)

Watching my hair grow back feels kind of symbolic in this process.  It's a slow outward progression and transformation back to "me", which parallels the slow (and sometimes awkward) internal processing of what the heck I've been through in the past 7 months.

1 comment so far:

Susan said:

I was told all my hair would fall out on Taxol but halfway through it started to grow back when I took a few weeks off for personal reasons. I have 3 of my 12 12:doses left and it is still growing. I felt like it wasn't working since I wasn't having any side effects and my hair was growing back. Glad I am not sure he only one. I only wish they would change their mind about radiation and endocrine therapy....

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