So, hair loss is the most recognized and undeniable side effect of cancer treatment (chemotherapy). I didn’t think about it much before I started chemo because I was pregnant and planning for baby number 2. I wasn’t set on how I wanted to deal with it and just figured I would wait and see. It started falling out in clumps about 2 weeks after my first infusion, thinning noticeably first down the middle. I got a couple transitional haircuts as the clumps got bigger. I will add, it hurt. My head became sore to touch, well, the hair follicles did, i think. It was weird and uncomfortable. In hindsight, I kinda wish I had shaved my head before it got really bad, but I also didn’t want to let go of it and was hoping i could keep enough of it until after my baby was born. Instead my husband buzzed it off the night I began my induction because it got so itchy and I just didn’t want to deal with it anymore. The photos from my daughter’s birth i have a super awkward hair pattern. Yeah, I should have shaved it sooner. But even that hurt.
So my head was first, but what many might not think about is that ALL your hair falls out, everywhere! So very strange, especially next to my newborn. I was just like a baby, except she had more hair on her head than I did in the beginning. Yeah, unless you regularly shave your pubic hair off, that is the weirdest feeling, having a naked crotch. I felt pre-pubescent. My brows and lashes were the last to go, maybe 4 weeks in.
I was not opposed to wigs in the beginning, but I just never got around to getting one. I was fine with hats. Lots of hats. Layers of different types of hats. I now have a hat problem. They are still like a security blanket for me. And I also discovered I liked my bald head, so if I wasn’t too cold/hot, I rocked it bald on the regular.
Hair re-growing is almost worse than it falling out. It is long and slow and awkward. But also exciting. The weird patterns and fuzz. Mine started in during my second set of chemo drugs (Taxol), so only a few months later, but it took until rads (6-7 months) to have very short but full/even coverage. When I look at photos of myself in the midst of treatment (surgery phase) as my hair is coming back, I look a lot like an elderly man who is going bald. And then when it really starts to take off and it grows in longer on top/in the back. And mine came back in curly!!! A year out from starting treatment I was rocking a crazy, fluffy mullet, and soon after gave in and got my first haircut. Photos below.
Falling out and Growing Back
Still Growing back