Saturday, December 1, 2012

Hair Growth After Chemo (Part II) - It's been Almost a Year

One of my most popular blog posts is the one I did in April, talking about hair regrowth. I remember doing search after search after search when I was bald, scouring the interent looking for answers or guides for what I might have in 2 months, 6 months, a year.

So, this post will be dedicated to giving you an overview of a year. (Well, almost a year.)

I finished chemo on December 20, 2011. Most people say hair will start to grow back 5-8 weeks after your last treatment. I had a bit of fuzz at the beginning of February but I wasn't going around without a hat or a wig until mid to late March. It is possible I started wearing my hair out much sooner than others would. I just couldn't stand the wig - even though I'm sure no one noticed I was always worried that they would. At least with my real hair, there was no lying or hiding. Plus, it was kind of liberating to wear short hair and so, so, so easy to do.

Since most of my photos happen on vacation, you will also be getting a small tour of my trips this past year.

April 2012 - 4 months after last chemo
It is short, it is still straight and it is maybe a tiny bit lighter than my old hair. (That is a giant panda in the background. We're in Hong Kong!)

May 2012 - 5 months after last chemo

I actually quite liked this length, though I do think at the beginning my hair grew more slowly than I was used to. This was mid-May, about 4 weeks after the photo above. I'd cut my hair once in between.

I've cut my hair about 4 times since it has started growing. Although I want long hair back I also want nice hair while it is growing. I'm willing to wait a bit longer for length if it means I take a more stylish path to get there. Obviously the choice is yours, but I'd recommend my approach.

June 2012 - 6 months after last chemo
Taken at an amusement park after riding many rides. Please note the carefree, windblown look. Also note, the hint of curls. There will be many more to come!

I'd had another cut in between here and the last photo. I don't know why but the hair at the back of my head grows way faster than the front. I guess I'm biologically prone to mullets? Luckily, I promise to fight against that nature until the day I die. Well, unless mullets become super fashionable again but man, I hope that doesn't happen.

August 2012 - 8 months after chemo
Curls! I have no idea how to deal with them. Here is my advice - find a good hair product (I use about 3) and find headbands. Headbands make a world of difference.

This isn't the best example, but it is one of the few sans-Paul. 

October 2012 - 10 months after chemo

I'm telling you - HEADBANDS! They manage volume and make the curls work. I go out without them, but I think I look better with them. At this point, my hair is still a bit too short to straighten.

November 2012 - 11 months after chemo
This was my first attempt at straightening my hair. I've managed to get it so it doesn't flip out quite so much but that really depends on how much my hair is willing to cooperate on any given day. This takes longer but I can get more days out of it. Curly-haired bed head is pretty insane.

So, there you have it. An 11 month overview of cancer hair. I think I thought it would be longer by now. Or maybe, more honestly, I had no idea how short five inches really was. I think my hair grows about half an inch a month. That is probably pretty standard.

Koreans say that if you want you hair to grow you should spend a lot of time thinking about sex. Seriously! They tease people who have fast growing hair, implying they are dirty minded. I don't know if this little trick works, but hey, if you're desperate for growth any thing you can do, right?