Growing your hair out - vitamins, and tigers and bears, oh my!

It has been almost seven months since I first sprouted tiny, budding peach fuzz mohawk regrowth on the top of my little head. My hair is now long enough to straight iron, pin up, play with and otherwise "style" in a way that is sort of growing on me (although I still don't really recognize my own reflections in mirrors, there's probably a blogpost in their somewhere I'm sure.)

Anyways, in an instagram conversation (where I post probably hourly updates on my hair regrowth, forgive me, I am just delighted and I can't help myself) I had an exchange with another woman (and then stalked her instagram) who is also about the same time post-chemo I am, but does seem to have less hair than I do.

Now I'm sure part of this is genetics (remember during my first 4 rounds of A/C when my hair would grow back in fast enough to fall out again every 3 weeks - leading to horrible folliculitis and my inability to wear wigs/hats/scarves?Trust me I DO, I still have nightmares about it, but anyways...)

I keep reading about how hair is supposed to grow about 1/4 inch per month. My hair is definitely growing faster than that. In fact, my hair is about 5 inches long in places, which ends up being more like .714 inches a month or 5/7 inches a month if you want to be accurate (ha!)

Have I warmed you up enough? Do you want to know what I am doing?

Well, one of my nurses told me the only thing clinically proven to help regrow hair was Rogaine, and 2,000mgs of biotin everyday, so I stopped taking all those other expensive supplements I was taking. For the last 5 months or so I have just taken the Biotin (plus my fish oil, a pre-natal vitamin for my skin, B6 & glucosamine for my neuropathy, but none of those have been linked to hair regrowth, I'm just over sharing.) I also use Rogaine, which I also cleared with my doctors first, and which I was (OVERSHARING AGAIN) already using before hurricane cancer because male-pattern baldness runs in my family.

Now I am sure there are just oodles of factors that contribute to hair growth, but I have some other friends who have tried Biotin (without all that other stuff) and swear by it. Maybe I am just willing my hair to grow. Maybe the extensions have been pulling it out of my head faster. I have an incredible imagination.

So if you try it, let me know how it works for you!

Dena, who is definitely obsessed with her hair and needs to stop blogging about it, and will soon, I promise

Growing Your Hair Out After Chemo + PICTURES

As many of you know I have a serious love/hate relationship with the Google. Sometimes it brings me lots of joy and good information - but sometimes (most of the time) I get crap or, even worse, nada. Try googling "grow your hair out after chemo" and you'll encounter a wasteland of platitudes and depressing information. Not cool.

You will also find lots and lots and lots of sad text descriptions.... and no pictures. I get it, you should see the pleading texts I send asking people to take down unflattering pictures of me on fbook.

Who wants to preserve on the internet, for all eternity, and current boyfriends ex-girlfriends to stalk and find, a time when they feel not-so-good about how they look?

Who wants to document the agony of regrowth, of chemo curl and baby pixie fuzz and all that other stuff?

Well I do.

Because (and obviously this is probably easier to say looking back at pictures now that I have my long, flowing extensions) it was pretty cute. It was definitely nowhere near as bad as I thought it was going to be based on what I found online before I started all of this.

These photographs document my hair regrowth between when I shaved my head in December and, subsequently, started on a kind of chemo that doesn't make your hair fall out as much (on your head at least) and this July, when my hair was long enough for the aformentioned extensions.

 Sadly, for those of you who are counting, that's a solid 7 months to get my hair to about 3 inches - which is way faster than the 1/4 inch per month you'll read about as the average. And yes, I used Rogaine, and took 2,000mgs of biotin everyday. And I'm sure all of those things, plus genetics and dumb luck helped (but in what proportion and was it worth the money? I don't know, and ask your doctor first if it's OK!!)

SO, without further ado.... Here are lots of awesome pictures of me regrowing my hair after chemo.
I will let the photos do what these words alone cannot.

Love you,

P.S. Some tips and tricks if you haven't seen them yet, How to Grow Out a Bald Head, my detailed product regimen for hair regrowth, and of course my exceptionally popular Baldspiration and Growing it Out pinboards (which I stared at all day everyday)

DECEMBER 10, 2013 

JANUARY 2, 2013 "Look! I have hair!!"

MARCH 1, 2013

MARCH 29, 2013

Welcome back eyebrows & eyelashes!! Time to say goodbye to the blonde :)

JUNE 8, 2013



________ UPDATE_________
More hair!!!!

I took my extensions out because we are finally going on that family trip to mexico that I had to cancel last year when I got sick... I am scared that the whale sharks I plan to swim with will filter in my fake hair 
and I will drown (j/k sort of not really)

So you get more regrowth pictures! 

August 26, 2013 

STRAIGHTENED August 29, 2013

APRIL 2014

APRIL 2015

APRIL 2016

And yes, if you follow me on instagram you can see almost daily photos of my hair regrowing! 

p.s. If you have cancer and you need a little help making ends meet, you should totally check out my new project Standbuy.  It's OK to ask for help when you have cancer, I did! #cancersucks 

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