Silver Belle

Shortly after my last Gemzar infusion I noticed I was no longer losing hair at an alarming rate. Within a month I was losing only a few strands a day, as is normal for me. I didn’t realize it then, but the regrowth must have started too.

My new hair is approximately 2.5″ long. It sticks out in unruly bunches despite my attempts to tame it with headbands and scrunchies. But that doesn’t bother me much – I’m glad to have it back!

That said, I’m very perplexed. An alarming amount has grown back as bright and sparkly as tinsel on a Christmas tree! It’s most noticeable at my hairline and part, but I assume it is consistent throughout my mane.

I started getting a few grey hairs in my mid twenties. I never really cared. It’s something that happens to everyone. Plus, with dark blonde hair a few grays don’t really stand out. I also highlighted for years, and some were probably randomly colored, too.

Even looking in the mirror last week, my reaction was aloud and with awe: “Oh wow! Would you look at that?!” I couldn’t believe that a lot of the new growth was bright silver. And while I’m not running to the hair dresser, I am curious to know what happened.

There was recently a feature on TV explaining why the president has greyed so quickly. It discussed how certain cells can age four times as fast when under great stress and cause premature graying in people who are already genetically predisposed to it.

But I wonder if my case isn’t more aligned with some of the opinions in a September 2012 Huffington Post article.

It notes how there are a series of processes that take place during hair growth. And an interruption in the process where melanin-producing cells are coloring the hair is responsible for non-pigmentation of the hair shaft. And an “interruption” could be a number of things; the article cites head trauma, surgery, nutritional deficiencies or “any other stress that the body perceives as a burden.”

I also wonder if I could have fried some of melanin-producing cells during my rounds of various chemo drugs. Or maybe by drowning myself with a trial medication whose complete impact on the body is not yet understood. It is also possible that my mental stress is causing this too: but I think that is less likely. I’ve managed a whole lot of stress long before cancer. Wouldn’t I have grayed then?

Those are two schools of thought, although I’m sure there are others. I can’t yet say how much of my hair has grown back gray. It’s also worth noting that the strands that never fell out have not turned gray – at least not that I’ve noticed.

I guess it will continue to be my own personal little mystery. And truthfully it really doesn’t matter. Whether it grows blonde, gray, blue, or green, I’m very glad to have it!

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8 responses to “Silver Belle

  • Barbara

    After chemo and radiation,, my straight hair grew back curly. I loved it but it went straight again in a year.

  • Ann Cowan

    After chemo and kind of a male balding pattern, my straight hair also grew back very curly. Mine is still curly (and frizzy) after about 2 years. It has it’s advantages and disadvantages but I’m like you, I was just glad to have some grow back

  • Bella and mommy Debbie

    This is normal for chemo patients. Mine grew back 80% grey and very curly. It will return to normal.

  • Sjoukje

    oooh Im glad your hair is growing back!!! And indeed, colour doesnt matter!!!! ;)
    xx

  • Deb J

    I was a natural redhead (with plenty of gray) before treatment…..When mine came back in, it was pitch black and a fro’. No grey at all, however, it was so curly I had to use a pick! The curl fell out about a year later and it has lightened up a lot now. Any hair is a good thing!

  • Lulu

    Jessica, your comments made me smile as I have been there, done that and got the tshirt too :-) Like you, I’m Stage IV and in my early thirties. I’m a redhead so we don’t normally go grey or white but a mucky blonde colour but, post-chemo when my hair re-grew, you guessed it – pure white hairs (which stand out against rest of my red hair let me tell you!) but do I care? Not a jot!

  • Kris

    Some say grey hair is a copper deficiency. People with menkes disease have a copper issue and their hair grows in white, and very kinky. So go enjoy some chocolate or beef liver, yuck….

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Silver Belle

Shortly after my last Gemzar infusion I noticed I was no longer losing hair at an alarming rate. Within a month I was losing only a few strands a day, as is normal for me. I didn’t realize it then, but the regrowth must have started too.

My new hair is approximately 2.5″ long. It sticks out in unruly bunches despite my attempts to tame it with headbands and scrunchies. But that doesn’t bother me much – I’m glad to have it back!

That said, I’m very perplexed. An alarming amount has grown back as bright and sparkly as tinsel on a Christmas tree! It’s most noticeable at my hairline and part, but I assume it is consistent throughout my mane.

I started getting a few grey hairs in my mid twenties. I never really cared. It’s something that happens to everyone. Plus, with dark blonde hair a few grays don’t really stand out. I also highlighted for years, and some were probably randomly colored, too.

Even looking in the mirror last week, my reaction was aloud and with awe: “Oh wow! Would you look at that?!” I couldn’t believe that a lot of the new growth was bright silver. And while I’m not running to the hair dresser, I am curious to know what happened.

There was recently a feature on TV explaining why the president has greyed so quickly. It discussed how certain cells can age four times as fast when under great stress and cause premature graying in people who are already genetically predisposed to it.

But I wonder if my case isn’t more aligned with some of the opinions in a September 2012 Huffington Post article.

It notes how there are a series of processes that take place during hair growth. And an interruption in the process where melanin-producing cells are coloring the hair is responsible for non-pigmentation of the hair shaft. And an “interruption” could be a number of things; the article cites head trauma, surgery, nutritional deficiencies or “any other stress that the body perceives as a burden.”

I also wonder if I could have fried some of melanin-producing cells during my rounds of various chemo drugs. Or maybe by drowning myself with a trial medication whose complete impact on the body is not yet understood. It is also possible that my mental stress is causing this too: but I think that is less likely. I’ve managed a whole lot of stress long before cancer. Wouldn’t I have grayed then?

Those are two schools of thought, although I’m sure there are others. I can’t yet say how much of my hair has grown back gray. It’s also worth noting that the strands that never fell out have not turned gray – at least not that I’ve noticed.

I guess it will continue to be my own personal little mystery. And truthfully it really doesn’t matter. Whether it grows blonde, gray, blue, or green, I’m very glad to have it!


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