October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Because hair loss and breast cancer are terms that go hand-in-hand, we are sure you have questions on what your hair will be like when it grows back after treatment?

Keep in mind that it can take six months to a year before your hair is back to what it was like before treatment. Here’s what you can keep in mind as your hair grows back.

Initial expectations
After about two weeks since your last chemotherapy, you should expect some hair to grow back, but it will likely not be the tresses you remember. There could be a change to texture and pigmentation, and it may feel almost fragile. In some cases, the best word to describe it is “fuzzy.” Embrace the fuzz for now – your hair will look like itself in no time.

Be gentle when washing
You should be careful when you start shampooing and conditioning your hair. Stick with shampoo for damaged or dry hair, and only use it twice a week. When it comes to conditioner, opt for one formulated for thin or fine hair. While in the shower, massage your scalp gently to get rid of any dead skin cells.

Avoid towel- and blow drying
Rubbing vigorously or blow drying your newly growing hair can damage the healthy tresses. If you do need to use a blow dryer, try to wait until your hair is barely damp to do so.

Avoid chemical processes (dyeing, perming, straightening)
Until your hair really grows out, it is advisable to stay away from hair dye, perms or other types of chemical processing.

Don’t fear trims
Even though you likely do not want to part with any centimeter of hair on your head, it will benefit you in the long run. By getting a trim, you are getting rid of the fuzzy or fragile ends, and making for a healthier head of hair.

Don’t style often
After chemotherapy, your scalp will be tender. Do not use heated styling tools like a straightener or curling iron and keep brushing and combing to a minimum. If you need to use some product, only use it every so often until your hair is back to its old ways.

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