If you ask many cancer patients what one of their main concerns are about Chemo, a lot will say hair loss. It is to be expected. I never thought about it before, but I took having hair for granted. Now that I have been bald before, I know that hair is just that hair. It shouldn’t define who I am as a person.
When I started my new treatment this year, the nurse told me I may have hair loss or thinning . Well, that brought up a bunch of questions. How likely was I to lose all my hair and if thinning how much to expect. I am not new to being bald. The first time I had chemo in 2014, hair loss was expected and I chose to shave my head before it fell out on its own. I didn’t mind being bald but I did like having hair better. I was lucky and my niece Kristi is a hairdresser and shaved my head for me. It was more of a personal feeling and family was there did not make the experience as dramatic. My husband Steve even shaved his head at the same time. I have never imagined what I would look like bald. I have to admit it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Steve would shave my head for me every week. It became a nice time where we would discuss things to keep our minds off the current situation. I was not an easy person to shave because I wouldn’t keep still. So kudos to Steve for being patient and understanding. I chose not to wear a wig. I had brought one but only wore it once or twice just to see how I looked. It was a very pretty and nice wig. The place where I got the wig matched my current hairstyle and color from a picture and it did look great. I just liked wearing it bald. I got many compliments on being bald but also some people were uncomfortable with my baldness. I did wear chemo hats a lot because it was winter time. As anyone who is bald can tell you, my head sure did get cold in the winter. There are other alternatives such as the cold chemo cap that can be worn during chemo to avoid hair loss. Not a lot of chemo centers offer the cold cap option currently. It is a nice option if hair loss is a major concern.
For more information about the cold chemo caps,
After my first set of chemo treatments in 2014, I waited for my hair to come back. I had heard so many stories about the hair texture and color changing after chemo. Well, when it started growing back it was gray very fine hair. I didn’t like it. I told Steve that we would keep shaving it until it either changed or I would reserve myself to being bald. After about a month of shaving the gray fine hair away, it finally started growing back brown and the regular texture. I was so glad.
So over the years, my hair has grown back almost the same as it was previous to chemo. So, facing losing my hair again did not seem as much of an issue for me this time. My hair did start thinning after a few weeks of my current treatments. Other survivors had stories of some losing all their hair under this treatment while others were able to keep their hair. Not many people even knew my hair was thinning unless I told them. The most noticeable for me was my eyebrows were thinning. So, I discussed with many people and even prayed to God about if I should shave my hair, The thinning for me just felt and looked weird. I would and still do ask Steve if he thinks if my hair is thinning.
At CTCA, I also meet with a neutropath specialist during treatment. A neutropath specialist to me means someone that can assist me with alternative means to combat a situation without relying on medication. It was recommended that I start biotin supplement. Biotin is used to strengthen brittle nails, hair and many other options. I started the biotin supplement and als started using ogx biotin and collagean shampoo. For, now I am happy to report my hair has started growing again and it has more volume than before. I still am prepared that other treatments may cause me to lose my hair and I may bald again. For now, I just enjoy what I have.