When your hair grows back

Your hair will almost always start to grow back once your treatment is over, and sometimes it may even start to grow back before you finish treatment.

It may be weak and fragile or softer to begin with but over time the condition and texture of hair becomes stronger. Hair can sometimes grow back differently to what it was before treatment.

  • The colour may change.
  • The texture may be different.
  • It may be curlier.
  • It may be straighter.

This change may only be temporary but for some it will be permanent. For some women having hair grow back differently to what they are used to can be very difficult. You may feel it is another change to your appearance that you need to cope with especially, if in the short term, you’re not able to treat or style your hair in the way you always have done.

The rate of hair growth varies from person to person but most people will have a full covering of hair after about three to six months, although for some people this can be patchy. Many women wonder if there are any particular hair products that will speed up the growth. There is no evidence that supports any particular product or supplement for speeding up hair growth.

The condition of our hair is strongly linked to lifestyle factors including diet. A healthy diet that is balanced and varied provides all the nutrients needed for healthy hair. Find out more about a healthy diet you may also find our DVD Eat well, keep active and breast cancer useful.

Other hair, such as your eyebrows and eyelashes, may grow back more quickly or more slowly than the hair on your head.

While your hair is growing back it will be very delicate and liable to break easily. You need to treat it with care. You can also talk to a hairdresser about how best to look after your hair.

It’s best to wait until you hair is longer and your hair and scalp are in good condition before applying a colour or other chemical treatments to it. For some people this may be six months to a year, for others it will be sooner.

Before colouring your hair talk to a hairdresser about the best product for you. They may recommend henna or vegetable-based dyes as these are gentler on hair and scalp.

Any colour should be tested on your skin and (strand test) hair even if it’s a product you used before losing your hair. This is to make sure you don’t react to it and it achieves the result you want.

You may also find there is an in-between period when your hair is growing back but you aren’t quite ready to go out with your own hair. You may choose to continue wearing a wig or other headwear until your hair is longer.

Donating your wig

Once you no longer need your wig you can donate it to an organisation called Wigbank.

Last reviewed: Jun 2016
Next planned review begins 2016

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