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LIVING WITH BREAST CANCER

My Tips For Hair Growth Post-Chemo

By Rethink Contributor November 21 2019

I’m sure we can all agree that hair loss due to chemotherapy is one of the hardest aspects of going through treatment. We become unrecognizable to ourselves, to others, and even feel a loss of identity. On the flip side of this, there’s the excitement of getting our hair BACK! But I think most would agree this feels painfully slow, and many can still struggle with their identity during this process. I’m 11 months out of chemo, and while I’m thankful for my mullet, I’m still grieving the loss of my long hair. I long for the day that I will feel like myself again. In the meantime, I’m sharing my personal tips and tricks (I’ve tried many!) at attempting to grow my luscious long locks back ASAP!

11.5 Months Post-Chemo

What worked for me was starting with my overall health. As a nurse, I know that proper nutrition is incredibly important. I personally go for lots of protein and chose some additional biotin/collagen supplementation. Check with your healthcare professionals if they’re OK for you.

2Three Months Post-Chemo

You’ve gotta take care of your scalp (especially when you’re bald)! I found that a gentle shampoo (sulphate-free) and moisturizing plus massage worked well. I often used coconut oil, a leave-in conditioner or mask for this. There are some shampoos/conditioners/treatments for hair growth. Ask your hairstylist for some advice and be sure to check with your medical team, especially if the formulas include medicinal ingredients/chemicals. Personally, I liked the “plumping” line by Kevin Murphy.

36 Months Post-Chemo

Certain essential oils, like rosemary, are said to help boost hair growth. I mixed it with a carrier oil (castor or coconut) and used it as a scalp/hair treatment. Again, check with your medical team before using anything new.

49 Months Post-Chemo

Something that I tried was to limit the damage to my new hair, (think dye/bleach/heat and over-washing–you need those natural oils!). I’ve tried to keep my hair at its healthiest so that I’m not forced to cut it. The ends came out lacking pigment (they look like frosted tips), and are a little dryer in texture, but most of my hair is feeling baby soft.

510 Months Post-Chemo

My last piece of advice, the hardest to take, is patience. It’s going to be a long process, and I’m trying to accept/embrace it. If you’re willing to cut/colour, try out some fun styles to keep things exciting. Try out a variety of accessories to change up your look.

 

 

In the meantime, I’ll be over here with my natural mullet, wishing you all magnificent hair growth! – Sarah Hillcoat


Want more post-chemo hair growth inspo? Click here.