Horrible horrible hair

Horrible horrible hair

Horrible horrible hair Oh I know I should be pleased that my hair is growing back, but although it looked quite sweet at half an inch, now at an inch long I bear more than a passing resemblance to an old toilet brush . It is horrible - it’s the wrong colour and it just sticks out all over the place.

What makes it worse is that I had a truly wonderful wig and everyone said how young I looked (I did, I really did). Now though I look about 90 and it feels as though this will go on for months. I haven’t been to the hairdresser - I don’t really know what they can do with such short hair, if anything.

Any tips would be most appreciated, and forgive my mis-placed vanity.


Me Too I too was dreading my hair growing back curly as lots of people had told me that you can get “chemo curls”.

When it first starting growing back and was very short it was OK but then as it got longer I noticed the curls arriving - don’t get me wrong curly hair is nice if you can control it. I was gutted but thought it would be ok when it was long enough to style but the texture was different too.

I had to put gel on it to keep it under control and since have tried various hair products including straightening serums. I thought it would be a good idea to try and grow it but a few weeks ago it was just driving me completly mad so I went to a new hairdresser and asked them to sort it out and said I didn’t care how short it had to be as I had been used to no hair at all. It was the best thing I ever did and although it’s really short at least it looks in a proper style (pixie crop) and is easy to manage whith a little gel to make it look a bit messed up.

At least I don’t have to worry about a hairdryer anymore and it takes less time to get ready to go out!

Go to your hairdresser (or even a new one) and they will be able to help you.


PS They say that after about a year your hair should get back to normal.

Hi Kate Hi Kate,

My hair has always been a little unruly (even pre-BC) and still is. I lost it all during chemo and when it first grew back it was extremely soft, had a stubborn kink and was completely unmanageable. My daughter referred to it as rabblit fur and kept stroking me on the head.

Your hair will keep growing and will have the great advantage of being strong and healthy, not having experienced years of shampoo, hairdriers, etc. You are allowed to be as vain as you want; appearance is important especially after all you’ve been through. Luckily the ‘sticking up’ phase is temporary. Take a deep breath - it’s just a matter of being patient. In the meantime things you might like to try are as follows:

  1. Put nice wig back on until hair has grown a bit more - you can tell people that it is because your head is cold now that winter is coming;

  2. Purchase elegant hat and scarf to frame your face - choose a bright colour that suits you;

  3. Celebrate return of cute eyebrows and eyelashes - have your eyebrows shaped and eyelashes tinted professionally;

  4. Be nice to new hair and long-suffering scalp - apply large amounts of good quality hair conditioner and body lotion;

  5. Think decoratlvely - short hair is brilliant for showing off dangly ear rings and isn’t there a gift-giving festival coming up sometime soon?

  6. If none of the above are of any use try completely changing lifestyle - dye hair bright purple, buy a motorbike, sport a nose ring, wear fashionable thigh length leather boots, take up sky diving, surf Hawaii rather than the internet, climb Mt Kilimanjaro, adopt an urang utan, invest in a tattoo of Cliff Richard on left buttock, play favorite rock album at top volume with every possible window wide open, burn incense in all the bedrooms, learn to play the saxophone, read Wuthering Heights, drink Bolinger champagne, challenge your nearest and dearest to an all night monopoly game, run up your local high street shouting “I’m alive, I’m alive” …

Sorry, got carried away there. I recommend everything except the nose ring and the Cliff Richard tattoo.

Good luck with the hair.

With very best wishes,


VO5 HOT OIL. its been two years with me and my hair is still very wild when left to its own devices!I havn’t had it cut and its grown like the clappers and is right down my back! After being bald I never want to cut it again.It’s not the same as my old hair which I must admit was my crowning glory.(d.brown and waistlength)Now its dyed d.blonde because its come back very grey. (I’m afraid to use a dark hairdye because of the connections with cancer)Its still a mass of curls and the only way I’ve found of tameing it is with VO5 hot oils. I use three and instead of putting them on first and then shampooing, I shampoo first, then the oil which i leave on for ages before rinseing out with warm water.I also keep a can of Pantene defrizz spray in my handbag - get through loads of it. Good luck with your tresses!

know the feeling Hi Kate,

Yes it definitely goes through stages doesn’t it.

Go funky…thats my advice. Put gel on then pinch it up. Some gels give a really good wet look.

My friends call be ‘buvver boy’ now…it was ‘tufty’.

They are good friends though!

Take care all

You have to be patient I know it is not a very ‘happening’ title’, but I am afraind it is the only advice I can give you. I’ve finished chemo Sept 05 and I’ve only now had what I would call my first ‘proper’ haircut. It did come back very curly and a completely different colour (I am normally a natural blonde). By Feb 06 it was only 1 1/2 inch long , so I went to a local hairdresser and just had a few streaks , with the cap method, put in. At least it did look a bit fairer, but it had no style, just bits of highlighted hair really. I then left it to its own devices, which meant it was growing very uneven and was very diificult to manage, because of all the curl.
My hairdresser then just took the ends off, which she desribed as having a burnt feeling to it, and it made a really big difference, as all the dried, fuzzy ends were cut off. I still did not have a proper style though and just persevered until I finally in Oct 06 had a proper style put in, and actually had the long ends trimmed. I felt very brave and also a bit emotional, as up until that point I just wanted it to grow back, not have it cut off again. I must say that my hair seems to grow very slowly and on the tope is still only 3 inches or so. My chemo nurse adviced that Arimidex (which I am taking now) can stop hair growing back strongly , so I am not that surprised. I am just glad it is not falling out again, which apparently is not uncommon when taking Arimidex.

And no, it is not mis-placed vanity Kate, for me the loss of my crowning glory was much the worst part of the whole treatment, but there is light at the end of the tunnel, so take heart.


Be patient Hi Kate
I can sympathise, I lost all my hair thro chemo in Sept 03, it didn’t come back until May 04. Now almost 2 years on it is thick and very fast growing, sadly the nasty grey, (salt & pepper as my friends kept telling me) has remained, I was blonde before, but no hint of blonde now. For the past year I have been having it dyed back to blonde, it took a long time for my hairdresser to agree to dye it.

If you decide to have it dyed, please have a small amount snipped off and tested, the first few attempts went orange. One hairdressers seemed to think that I was neurotic insisting on the test, but when they dyed the sample the refused to dye my hair after seeing the results.

Have a hair cut really early, it is amazing how much better you will feel with a hairstyle, even if it is very short. Dangling earrings are great to detract from short hair.

Good luck - it will grow back very soon.

Hi Kate My hair is about the same as yours! Like you, prior to chemo I really liked my hair. The thing about my new hair, besides being much darker and grey in parts (those highlights hid a lot in the past) is that I just don’t look like me any more. I still wear my wig when I go out which is similar to my old hair style so in a way I think it makes it harder. However I am seriously contemplating making Freda (my wig) redundant in the next few weeks. I certainly will be into the hats, and dangly earrings when I first show off my new hair.

Just wanted to say that I burst out laughing at Sue’s advice in her number 6 point. Thanks Sue, a Cliff tattoo on the left buttock … still giggling.


Thank you all Thanks for everyone who posted a reply - it’s so nice to know you’re not alone. I especially liked supersue’s ideas - I was howling with laughter. Also your description of hair being like rabbit fur with a kink in it is absolutely spot on - that’s exactly what mine is like. I even have, like you, someone who likes to pat me on the head - partner as opposed to daughter - he thinks rabbit fur is a good description too, but for some reason (probably because he’s just jealous of anyone with any sort of hair at all…) he seems to think rabbit hair is quite nice !!!

Anyway thanks again and best wishes to you all