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Hair growth after chemo, tips/advice? (Before and after photo)

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  • Hair growth after chemo, tips/advice? (Before and after photo)

    Hi again all, I know this is another hair growth topic but wanted to ask a few questions of my own...

    I finally completed 3 x BEP 2 weeks ago, markers have normalised, scan this week, results week after. I've suffered terribly with side effects, and its only as of the past few days that I can feel myself getting better. The one thing I want to focus on more than anything is my self confidence which has taken a huge hit, and for me, much of it will come back when I finally have hair on my head!

    My hair started falling out from just a few strands to clumps within the last few days of the 3rd week of the 1st cycle, so I shaved it all off. Just before shaving I could literally grab most of the hair off my scalp manually! Shortly after, I was losing my body hair too, so had to shave some of that as well to look even. The only hair I didn't lose was on my arms, legs and eyelashes. My eyebrows thinned out to about 50% within the 3rd cycle, however I feel that they may still be thinning which concerns me.

    Interestingly, my facial hair started growing back on my 2nd Bleo (2nd week) in the 3rd cycle. However its been coming back very soft and bright blonde, so you can't really see it. Then, within the 3rd and final week, I could see some of my head hair sprouting up, but they're also bright blonde! My hair is normally dark blonde with a gingerish tone, although i was born bright blonde. As of now, I can see many blonde hairs on my head that are about 2mm on average, although theres gaps between each one, and I feel that the growth may have paused. I'm basically still bald which is expected I guess.

    After reading through forums and articles, I can understand that there's no average time for hair to return after BEP, although I've noticed many saw it started growing back after around 2 months. Although when people say this, do they mean that it started to sprout after 2 months, or started to look like a full set of hair was growing back after 2 months?

    I was wondering if anyone had any tips or advice in regards to this, and also any thoughts on the following:


    Biotin
    Has anyone had any luck or knowledge on using this as a supplement to speed hair growth?

    Thuymuskin or other hair growth serums
    How about using a hair growth serum such as Thuymuskin?

    Oils such as castor oil

    Minoxidil (Rogaine)
    I understand that this stuff works, although can take a while to work anyway, but more importantly, the hair gained will be lost once you stop using it. However, how would this work if I used it for a few months to boost my hair, then by the time my hair should be naturally growing, surely id still have a chance of keeping the hair? Or is that not how it will work?

    Other vitamins or supplements


    Of course the reason I'm keen to try everything to get my hair back is to regain my confidence. I split up with my partner at the beginning of chemo which got me down, but now I've started chatting to others on dating apps and I'm keen to meet others, but not really feeling confident enough to meet anyone with no hair as I cannot express how much I despise my current bald look.

    I've uploaded a before and after photo of myself before chemo and after chemo. You can see I look pretty ill and some of skin is quite sore too (although im cleaning and moisturising every day).

    Be great to hear everyone's thoughts, thanks! Be good to know anyone else's experiences too.

    Last edited by PixelGenius; 02-13-18, 10:49 AM.
    Diagnosed TC October 2017 - Left orchiectomy - 3xBEP - Awaiting results February 2018...

    Follow me and my journey: https://www.instagram.com/daleowendesign/

  • #2
    Hi Pixel congrats on finishing. I finished my course at the end of June 2017. I have been using Rogaine since well before I got TC and it does help. You do need to keep using it for it to work properly. I began restarting it as soon as I found out the masses had shrunk completely and though my hair has grown back, I am thining quite a bit more on my crown. I think this is normal anyways since I was beginning to thin years before. I buy the CVS brand generic which works fine for me, it is also $20 cheaper. But on the bright side, you look much better without hair then I did! I haven't tried any of the other supplements that you mentioned, however, there is a prescription med called Propecia (finasteride) that helps grow hair. It is normally used for enlarged prostates so check with your docs about it first. I was told not to take it, but your situation may be different.

    Good luck,
    Daniel

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    • #3
      My hair started to grow back about 2 and 1/2 months after i completed BEP. It grew back like a 70s perm, very tight curls and all.
      Then when i relapsed and went thru HDC it all fell out again it took probably 3 months to come back and second time it grew in like my hair was before BEP chemo. Honestly i wouldnt even concern yourself with being bald it will come back when it comes back. Look at the bright side of things. No trips to salon or hair cut place. Easy peasy to maintain and zero getting your hair ready in the mornings. So rock the bald look proud until it grows back.
      Jan 2012- U/S mass in Left testicle
      Feb 2012- I/O performed to remove cancer
      Mar 1,2012- pathology pure seminoma
      Mar 7, 2012 PET SCAN stage IIa
      April 2012 Mayo clinic carbolite.
      May 2012 carbolite failed, started BEP x3
      August 7th 2012- BEP complete
      April 2013 CT/PET show relapse
      May 2013 RPLND
      Aug 2013 Relapse again Started VIeP x2
      Oct 2013 HDC AUTOLOGOUS
      Dec 2013 HDC completed CT/PETSCAN 1.1 cm x .8 cm right lower lung lobe
      Feb 2014 confirmed false positive all clear FINALLY !
      Jan 2015 1 year cancer free Pet/CT scan
      Jan 2016 2 years cancer free "Pet/CT scan

      Comment


      • #4
        It's been a few years now since I was at the stage you are now. What I do recall is that around the 2 month mark it was starting to come back full-force. Before that it was just the "peach fuzz" that you seem to be starting into now. Even at 2 weeks post chemo I don't recall being at the peach fuzz stage....I think for me it came a bit later...closer to the 1 - 1.5 month mark.

        I just remember being a baldy for weeks after chemo, then the peach fuzz stage (which did not last long), and then bang, real/earnest hair growth.

        - Matt
        March 4th 2014: [AFP = 2.5; bHCG = 6; LDH = 618]
        March 13th: Left IO 100% Classic Seminoma
        6.3 x 5.1 x 3.8 cm, no invasion of anything
        LDH never fully normalized
        Stage: IS
        Watchful Waiting
        May 1st: promoted to Stage IIB with two PET active tumors in the para-aortic lymph nodes 2.5 & 2.4 cm
        May 12th: started 3xBEP
        Neupogen during Cycle 2 and 3
        July 8th: Last Bleo shot of Cycle 3 -- chemo completed !
        August 4th: Post Chemo CT/PET scan
        September 4th: Port removed
        January 8th 2018: 3.5 YEARS ALL CLEAR !

        Comment


        • #5
          I am now 2 months post bepx3. It started coming back in about a month after chemo, but me being a blonde it was super light only visible in the right lighting. Now I am 2 months post chemo it is very short still maybe quarter inch long , but very dark. Also my facial hair came in slightly darker but very close to normal color, it was fully grown in at about a month post chemo. I haven't used any products to stimulate growth

          Comment


          • #6
            The hair thing is weird. With me it's not identical to how it was before, and it changes every few months, still to this day, even two years later. Sometimes thicker, sometimes thinner. I have a kinda-sorta thin patch in the back that wasn't there before, but I'm 38, so who knows, maybe that was coming for me anyway. But yeah, no products here. I know psychologically it can help to feel normal, but the less you worry about your hair the better. You're ALIVE, yo!

            As for beard stuff, that's a roller coaster too. Mine came back red, got a random thin patch for a few months, then started coming in super thick like Mario but just on my moustache area. It's evened out now to just how it was before, but it took a year or so to calm down.

            My wife makes fun of me whenever I get grumpy about my post-chemo hair, and she's right to because I'm pretty sure no one notices the difference but me, and half the time I think I'm just projecting it out of worry. Psychological damage is one of the most lasting effects of this disease, and way more dangerous than hair loss. But they're related! I know how you feel, man. Just hang in there and let it do it's thing, you'll feel like yourself again soon.

            -C
            JAN.2015- mild pain/swelling in RT, spread to abd., GP misdiagnosed as orchitis. (SEE A UROLOGIST, GUYS!)
            JUN27- Diagnosed
            JUN28- AFP ~250, bHCG ~90, LDH ~1.6x
            JUL01- Right orch.; 4x3 cm tumor, 90% EC, 10% yolk), CT shows 2.8cm met in abdom. + smallish mediastinum mets including one 7mm; staged III-A
            JUL06- 3xBEP start
            JUL07- AFP ~225, bHCG ~110, LDH ~2.3x, LDH qualifies as stage III-B, upped to 4xBEP
            JUL28- AFP ~25, bHCG ~15, LDH normal
            AUG17- AFP, bHCG, LDH normalized by 3rd cycle
            SEP21- 4xBEP done, no complications; a few +2cm masses remain in retroperitoneum
            DEC02- RPLND, necrosis + bit of mat. tera., retrograde
            JAN. 2016- Surveillance, exercise, working, SIGUE!
            NOV. 2017- Retrograde improves. Still not normal but better.
            FEB. 2018- 26 MONTHS ALL CLEAR.

            Comment


            • #7
              I finished chemo 4-6-10, noticed some fuzz 4-22, first haircut on 5-26 ( not because it was long, because it needed to get evened up) Second haircut on 7-6-10. I have dark hair. Also It came back super curly for close to two years before it got back to normal.My advice is to let nature take it's course. If you meet anybody in the interim that cares about your hair more than you, you are better off not meeting them.

              Dave
              Last edited by Davepet; 02-16-18, 04:23 PM.
              Jan, 1975: Right I/O, followed by RPLND
              Dec, 2009: Left I/O, followed by 3xBEP

              Comment


              • #8
                Congrats on finishing your chemo!! It's not an easy road to go on... My hair went a lot darker and started growing quicker about two months in. I still shave my head though most of the time.

                Comment


                • #9
                  My 18 year old son finished 3xBEP in September. His dark hair started growing back pretty quick post chemo.He started attending University in January with a full head of dark hair much like his pre chemo self. His eyebrows hung on throughout treatment and he kept his arm and leg hair. Hang in there!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Good luck with getting your hair back - I'm just gonna put it out there, you're looking sharp without it!
                    Painless lump 5/18/2017
                    Orchidectomy June 2017 (4.5cm, rete testis involvement)
                    Chemo Summer 2017 (2x7AUC carboplatin)
                    No evidence of relapse since, but plenty of anxiety about it.

                    I'm also an epidemiologist, and a professor at a medical school (with NO training in oncology), oh, and gay, too.

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