Are you looking for pictures of hair growth after chemo to get a visual timeline of what you can expect?
While I was in the middle of treatment, I loved looking at pictures of other women growing hair after chemotherapy. It really gave me inspiration and something to look forward to!
Call me crazy (or vain), but I couldn’t bring myself to take full selfies of my barely there hair. I’m not really into selfies anyway, but I also was never one to “embrace” my baldness.
So below you will see shots of half of my head, but hopefully you will get the gist of what each month looked like!
Also, I want to note that I did not use any products or supplements to help my hair grow faster. This was a personal decision for me, and you can discuss with your doctor what works for you.
- Before Chemotherapy Hair Loss
- Hair Growth 1 Week after Chemo
- Growing Hair After Chemo- Month 1
- Month 2 Pictures
- Hair Regrowth 3 Weeks after Chemo
- Photos from Month 4
- Month 5
- Hair Growth after Chemo Month 6
- Growing Hair after Chemo Month 8
- Month 9 of Hair Regrowth
- Pictures from Month 11
- Hats, Scarves, and Wigs
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Before Chemotherapy Hair Loss
I had such a hard time finding a decent photo of myself to show my hair before cancer. Like most moms I always seem to be the one taking the picture, so I’m never actually in the photo!
I finally found this one so you can see the color and style I had before chemotherapy.
This was taken at Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville in 2018 (about 9 months before my breast cancer diagnosis).
After learning that I would need chemo, I had my hairdresser cut my hair into a short bob to prepare for losing it. This photo was taken at my first chemo session.
A couple weeks after this chemo treatment, I ended up shaving off my hair. It started itching and almost even stinging, which felt really annoying. My scalp also started hurting. It felt like when you wear a tight ponytail all day long and then take it down at the end of the day.
It was just kind of a sore, uncomfortable feeling. So one day I called my husband at work, told him I couldn’t take it anymore, and shaved it all off. I felt like such a weight had been lifted off my shoulders once I accepted the inevitable and got rid of my hair.
Don’t get me wrong, I sobbed as I did it; but, once it was done I didn’t feel terrified of it any longer.
As emotional as the act of shaving it off was, it was sort of comical too. I took scissors to my hair first and just started cutting random spots. It got to a point where I looked so incredibly ridiculous I couldn’t stop laughing!
Hair Growth- 1 Week after Chemo
I finished Taxol chemotherapy this week! Yay!! I am so ready to move on and to start feeling like myself again.
So, I have been really excited that my hair is coming in AND that it looks blonde. This euphoria was short lived when I realized it’s actually not blonde, it’s grey!
Oh well, I’m so happy to have hair I don’t care if it’s green. I can always dye it eventually anyway! I know my eye looks kind of creepy in the shot above. Ha! I wanted to show that my eyebrows and eyelashes are still intact.
They aren’t as full as they usually are, but I do still have some!
Growing Hair after Chemo- Month 1
There’s not a big change between my last photos and these. It’s only been a few weeks though.
I am sad to say that ALL of my eyebrows and eyelashes did end up falling out. It’s weird that they survived 6 months of chemotherapy, and then they fell out a month after it was over.
Also, I’m sure you can tell that my hair is really filling in on the sides. The back is also pretty full. I’m not sure when the top of my head is going to decide to catch up though!
Month 2 Pictures
My eyebrows and eyelashes are back! They literally started coming back in within a few days of falling out. I think I had a full set two weeks after they were gone.
You can also tell that the top of my hair is finally starting to fill in. There’s some brown color mixing in with the grey as well. Growing hair after chemo is a slow process, but I’m so thankful to have hair again!
Hair Regrowth 3 Months after Chemo
This is the month I started noticing a big difference in my hair. I would estimate that I have about two inches of length throughout. I also finished radiation this month, which is super exciting!
You can see that I have some length growing down the nape of my neck and beside my ears. It even shows when I wear a hat with no wig, which is really exciting! The color is so blah though. It’s a dull mousy brown color with streaks of grey.
Even though I REALLY want to dye it, I’m trying to wait six months like my oncologist suggested. After finally gaining some fullness, I would hate for it to dry out and fall off because of hair dye.
Photos from Month 4
I didn’t really think I noticed a big difference in my hair this month until I looked at the photos from last month. It has definitely filled in and become thicker. I have started wearing a ball cap at times without my wig underneath.
This is a big deal for me because I feel super exposed without my wig. With a hat on, it looks like I have a short hair cut though. The top is still too short for me to feel comfortable without a hat. I’m hoping within the next month or two that changes.
So, I did decide to dye my hair this month too. I was going back and forth on the idea of doing it. My hair had so much grey I wanted covered, but I didn’t want the chemicals from the hair dye to make it fall out again.
I ended up buying this natural hair dye (Amazon Affiliate Link) off of Amazon to try it out. My hair is still no where near the blonde I used to have, but the grey is gone.
And my hair is still intact, which is most important! I’m going to try to wait a couple more months before having it professionally done.
This month I decided to completely lose the wig! It has been so hot and humid here that I just can’t bear to put it on and go outside. Plus, I’m still getting hot flashes from Tamoxifen, so I’m even extra hot.
I still typically wear a ball cap to cover the super short top of my head, but it is slowly growing some length too. On another note, my eyebrows and eyelashes seem to be thinning a bit. I’m assuming the Tamoxifen is to blame.
I still have my eyebrows and eyelashes; but, they are just shorter than what I’m used to. Has anyone else experienced that with Tamoxifen?
Hair Growth after Chemo Month 6
This month I finally went to my hairdresser for a professional color and cut. It was such an exciting time!
My oncology nurse had told me to try to wait six months before coloring my hair so that I didn’t damage and break off what I had worked so hard to grow.
So, five and a half months later my hair seemed strong enough, and I was so ready for a change! My hairdresser lightened it up quite a bit; although, it’s still not back to the blonde it once was. She said it would be a gradual process but that I would get there.
She also cut off a TON of my hair even though it was super short to begin with. It had grown back really unevenly, and I basically had a mullet.
My hairdresser cut it to where the sides and back looked more evenly proportioned to the short hairs on the top of my head. She said it should grow out in a more uniform way now.
It was really hard to lose what little length that I had. When I put on a hat, it actually looked like I had a decent amount of hair at the bottom. After my haircut, though, it’s definitely more of a pixie style. It’s also super curly so I feel like I look like Justin Timberlake if I let it go natural. Ha!
Hopefully it will grow quickly!
On another note, my eyelashes and eyebrows are back to normal. I’m not sure why they had thinned out so much last month, but it’s nice to have them back!
Growing Hair after Chemo Month 8
These pictures are from month 8 of growing hair after Taxol. I had my hair highlighted again last week. The color is slowly getting blonder with each visit to the salon.
My hair is also gaining some length, which is nice! I have found that a 1 inch curling iron works best for it at this length because it grips it better than the flat iron.
Month 9 of Hair Regrowth
It feels great to be nine months out from chemo! I have to admit that it’s getting more difficult to remember to take these pictures. I think that’s a really good thing though. It means my thoughts are no longer consumed with cancer and hair loss!
The color and length are both getting better each month, and I continue to feel so grateful for what I have. This month I bought a new flat iron to help tame the curls. My fourteen year old niece received this straightener as a Christmas gift, and she let me borrow it.
It’s really thin and is good at clamping down on even the shortest of hair. My hair dresser uses this same one in her salon, and she said it’s a great straightener for long hair too!
This is the flat iron that I purchased. (Amazon Affiliate Link)
Pictures from Month 11
Well, it’s almost been one year since I finished Taxol. It’s crazy to see how much I’ve changed in eleven months time. I’m still loving my new flat iron, and I now need to section off my hair when styling it because there’s so much of it!
The length is also getting to the point where I can tuck it behind my ear. I’m really grateful that I can now go without a hat or head covering, especially since it’s already getting hot here!
I spent a ridiculous amount of money on wigs, scarves, and hats prior to shaving my head. Most of these completely went to waste once I was bald.
My head was really sensitive and itched when I wore most of the beanies that I had bought. And I looked like I was wearing a swim cap in half of them, which I didn’t like.
About mid-way through my chemo treatment, I found a few head piece options that I really, really loved and stuck with those. I also continued to wear them until I was comfortable with the regrowth of my hair.
The ironic thing is that these were the most inexpensive products I bought. The pricier things were the uncomfortable ones. Go figure!
Hat Magic Hair (Amazon Affiliate Link)- This is the wig I wore whenever I went in public. It doesn’t have a top to it…instead it has an adjustable strap that goes around your head.
The hair is on the sides and back only, so you obviously have to wear a hat (not included) with it. I liked this much better than my expensive wig because it didn’t itch.
This hair is SUPER LONG when you get it, but I cut it myself to be about shoulder length. The picture above is of me on my last day of chemo (yay!!!) with this wig on.
I believe the American Cancer Society may also provide free wigs for cancer patients. You can check out their site here.
Women’s Cap (Amazon Affiliate Link)- This is the cap I’m wearing in the photo above.
You can wear a cap you already own with the wig, so don’t feel like you need to buy a new one. I just wanted a solid color that went with almost anything I wore. And it’s super cheap!
I liked that it has the “tails” on it because it looks less like a swim cap on me. I bought two of these so I could always have one available while the other was in the washing machine.
Final Thoughts on Chemo Hair Loss
Losing your hair due to chemo is undoubtedly a traumatic experience. The journey of growing hair back after treatment is a super slow process, but it’s also an exciting one.
With each bit of hair that appears, you become more and more hopeful for what the future holds. I am currently two years out from when I started my very first chemo treatment, and as I read through this post I realized I missed a couple months in my timeline.
I’m really thankful that those two months must have been so busy and positive that I wasn’t dwelling on my hair growth. I want to leave you with my final photo in this hair growth journey.
I officially have a pony tail! Words cannot express how exciting this is. Only those who have struggled through this journey will understand.
I took this photo 15 months after finishing chemo. What a difference a year makes! I wish you all the best in your cancer and hair growth journey!
I hope you found these pictures of hair growth after chemo helpful!
Feel free to comment below to share your own experiences!