Hair after chemo?

Hi everyone
I am nearly half way through my six cycles of chemo, and just wondered about how your hair returns once it begins to grow back.

I am 38 years old and had dark hair before it fell out. Will it return dark or grey?
Is it finer than before ? Does it alter in texture after a while?

Many thanks.

Nasreen x


I’m a year past chemo. My hair was always thick and dark. It still is. It started growing immediately after chemo and has grown quickly.
I’m 59 and expected it to have much more grey and have been pleasantly surprised at the return to my usual colour.

The only downside for me is that after nearly 60 years of looking in the mirror and seeing me with almost straight hair, I now have the curliest uncontrollable head of hair.
I haven’t had a haircut since chemo. Tomorrow I’m biting the bullet and going for my first haircut in 18 months. It is beginning to straighten nearer the roots and I’m hoping I will soon be looking more like me.

The consolation is, I can see the effect of chemo on my hair. I hope it has had a positive effect on those cells they wanted the chemo to reach.

Good luck with the rest of your treatment and I hope your hair grows back just as you would like it to.


The curl in my hair was like an Afro when it was wet and I had to buy stuff to blow dry it out. However, once I was able to start getting it trimmed the curl eventually went after about 6 months or so and went back to being poker straight.

I’d started going grey in my early 20s and had been having it professionally coloured from my late 20s, so I had a rough idea what colour it was going to be when it grew back lol! It is now a mix of silver and pewter and whilst I’ve thought about dyeing it once or twice when I’ve had a wobble, the blokes in the hairdressers keep telling me not to; also my OH really likes it and thinks it suits me. I’ve adjusted my wardrobe and makeup to suit and I always have a short cut. Thankfully my hair is fine and soft, if it was wiry and unmanageable I would definitely colour it.

I must be wearing fairly well for all I’ve got grey hair because I’m 49 in a few months and have been asked by a lot of people if I’m about 42/43. I’ve always had a round baby face and freckles and I don’t go in the sun on account of my fair skin, so I don’t have crow’s feet and only have the odd very fine line under my eyes. OH is the same, he is about to turn 50 in May and is looking very handsome :slight_smile:

Hi Nasreen

my hair started to grow back within a couple of weeks, really fine and soft. I finished at the end of september and by christmas had hair all over my head. Thicker on top and fine down the sides, fuzzy and grey! I was white blond and now have black hair in between the white so I look silver grey. I’m also curly, look like I’ve had a finger wave on top! Didn’t like it at first but getting used to it now and I’ve been asked in the street a couple of times where I get my hair done as it always looks nice (hopefully they meant it and didn’t want to avoide the hairdresser!).

Good luck


I finished Chemo in Feb and by May had a respectable covering of hair same colour as before but with quite a bit of grey (I’m 37). I now have thick, shiny hair with little grey - it grew out - that grows as well as it did before. I’m just debating wether to grow it long again or keep it shortish. I really like my mod/pixie/bed hair crop!


I’m 2 years after chemo and have had my hair cut 3 times this year !! It’s always been curly but came back even curlier and minus the few grey hairs that had appeared - what a bonus !! I’m just turned 45 now and was 42 at diagnosis and lost all my hair everywhere - absolutely nothing stayed.

My hair started to grow early Jan 08 (chemo finished 7/12/07) while I was in hospital for my mx. Then I went to a friend’s wedding do at the beginning of Feb and I had a fine covering - loads of people just wanted to stroke it!! It’s just kept on growing and is really thick and in good condition - I’m so chuffed.

I have to say I was never bothered by my hair loss and never wore a wig (I regarded it as a sign the chemo was in my body) but one of the nicest things is seeing how delighted others are that my hair is back to normal - even the nurses and consultants always comment on it when I go for checkups and ongoing treatment and tell others that I was once bald.

The exciting bit is seeing what it comes back like !

I was so impatient, worrying whether it was ever going to come back. I finished chemo in August, and by December had a full covering - like fur! It does seem to be growing very slowly (possibly due to Arimedex) but is much the same colour and texture as it was before. It’s always tended to stick out in every direction, and it’s getting just long enough to do that now, but still a bit too short to cut. I’d had it long for 40+ years, but now I think I’m going to keep it short permanently - it’s so much easier, and actually looks OK.

Wow, thanks so much for your replies. It has been really interesting reading all of your hair experiences!

I am curious to know what colour mine will be later this year, as it was so dark, curly and thick to begin with…sounds like it could grow back similar!

I have to say, i really can’t wait for my hair to come back as it was one of my best features, but i guess i can hang on a bit longer !

Nasreen x

I think with me it was a case of asking myself did I really want to dump a load of hair dye chemicals on my head every few weeks. I had also been a very natural shade of coppery brown for a few years and my hairdresser has advised me I can’t really go back to being that dark, given the fact my hair is now completely grey. I’ve never wanted to be blonde through personal choice as I’m just not a fan of dyed blonde hair, especially if it starts to look dry or harsh (my SiL has been peroxide blonde since her teens and is now 42, it really ages her and she has it tinted dark underneath which I find looks awful). I’ve also seen a lot of really bad hair colour jobs when I’ve been out and about - you see an awful lot of burgundy and plum type colours around here; I loved that back in about 1982 when I was 21, but it would make me look vampiric at 48!

I wear contact lenses most of the time, but I also have glasses and have found silver hair is opening up a whole new fashion front there. My current pair are pewter rims with denim blue legs and I’m getting a new pair in purple. I would never have worn purple before and now I love it. I don’t look good in red, but orange is a good colour for me now (again I would not have touched this before). I’ve seen some metallic burnt orange frames at the opticians, so I might treat myself to them too. I kinda like getting into funky specs and accessories these days!

Hi Naz, had last lot of chemo in August 09 and the hair sprouted very quickly - this is a very recent photo. I am 49 - coloured my hair anyway but it came back almost pure white around my face! I found a natural dye on internet called Naturtint (veggie colouring) which took pretty well - as its recommended not to dye your hair for about 6 months after chemo. I too am now curly - especially at the back but I am getting used to it, having had very straight hair all my life. I want it to grow a lot more so I can choose a style rather than just go with what’s there, but I will deffo keep it shorter than I wore it before - get an extra half hour in bed in the mornings LOL - all the best xDebbiex

I’m being impatient I know but… I had EPI x4 last year and then 2 x Taxotere the last one was 1 Feb - after that I had a bit or a nightmare but result being CMF x 2 which ended last week. The hair that I had remaining is growing but nothing in the areas that went totally bald after the EPI/Tax - should I see some hair action by now ? I have no eyebrows or lashes and I guess that they take longer but it has been 6 weeks - am I being unrealistic ?

each day I stare at the baldy bits in the mirror and praaaaaay for hair !

Hi Recs
I know how you feel about the hair thing!
If truth be known, i cannot wait for my hair, any hair to return, i have got to a point where i cannnot stand looking at my bald head a minute longer!
All i want is to ditch the wig and go out with hair…not much to ask for is it now?

I really hope your hair comes back soon, maybe get some vitamin supplememnts that promote hair growth, massage your scalp and wait for that lovely hair to sprout uncontrolably (spelling is bad, sorry).

Naz x


I had last chemo feb 24th, and managed to save a full thin head of hair because of the cold cap,

I was just wondering what lengh of time anyone left their hair before applying a colour on it (veggie one), only a bought one from the internet and would love to put it on now, but is it to soon after chemo (3 weeks), and how long after the last poison did you notice new hairgrowth.

Thankyou ladies
ann x

ann I only left it until there was enough to ditch my wig as there was no way I was showing off the grey/white creation that sprouted ! So that was about 6-8 weeks from last chemo (hair seemed to start returning just before the last blast) but i would’ve used the veggie dye earlier if there had been enough to colour! The dye is extremely gentle and safe so when you are ready, you go for it! All the best xdebbiex

Thank’s Debbie

I am going to give it a few more weeks cause my scalp still feels a bit tender and it will give the remaining hair time to recover, then ask my friend who’s a hairdresser to put it on,

Are you pleased with your chosen shade,? I ordered a honey blonde colour but on the box it says it lightens up to two shades, just gotta be a little patient for the next few weeks.

Ann x

NAZ thanks - looking forward to be worried about waxing !! LOL would be great wouldn’t it. Still no sign but OH said last night “stop looking every day and one day soon it will be there” sensible of him so I’m gonna try to ignore it for a week or so.

difficult cause hats/caps and wigs are just so uncomfortable however with chemo over we are looking up :slight_smile:

Recs, just hang in there girl…i am exactly the same as you believe you me! I have come to the conclusion that ‘a watched bald head, never grows’! ha ha…

Seriously, this hair that we are going to get, it is going to be amazing…everyone says that the new hair grows quick and in lovely condition…so watch these heads! xx

Ladies your hair does grow like stink but be prepared for it to be wild and untameable curls…just thought id mention that as i was a bit gutted as i cant do a thing with it. Its also very grey (im 32) but it is soft and very thick so i think it will be nice given time!

Good luck


Hi all

Another one here watching her bald head in vain - ha ha

It’s not fair! it fell out so fast, but now it is only teasing me with a promise of it’s return.

Although I was ridiculously chuffed to have grown those little bits of hair that are just infront of your ears - don’t look quite so bald now (at least not with me hat on)

has anyone ever tried Revitalash ? My eyes are streaming all day cause of the lack of lashes and I am naturally sceptical that anything but time will make a difference but interested to hear if anyone has had a positive experience.

LR xx