Hair products

6 hair products I swear after losing all of my hair

Courtesy of Rachel Weber

bhg Available at Terapo Medik

bhg – 15 Available at Walmart

bhg – 31 Available at Sephora

bhg – 17 Available at Lush

bhg – 5 Available at Target

bhg – 5 Available at Target

bhg – 12 Available at Target

With the exception of an unfortunate haircut in my last year of college, I’ve had long hair my entire life. Some may call it consistency or even a signature style, but in reality it was my comfort blanket. And in the spring of 2020, my comfort blanket got lost in a dramatic and painful process. This time, I didn’t lose my hair from another regrettable haircut, but rather from the powerful effects of the chemo.

I will never forget when I was told I had to undergo chemo. It was April 2020, and a few weeks before I had found a small lump in my breast which turned out to be breast cancer. As I was only 35 at the time, the treatment plan was quite aggressive. I would need to do 20 weeks of chemotherapy, and while I was incredibly grateful for my healthcare team and their recommendations, I was heartbroken when I found out I needed to have chemo. I had no problem having a mastectomy, but the loss of my hair made the disease real. Losing my hair was making me sick, and it was a tough pill to swallow. My long beach waves would be a thing of the past.

William Yates, MD, a surgeon who has practiced for 36 years, said that I’m not the only one who worries about losing my hair during chemo. “Some patients are more upset about losing their hair than they are about having cancer,” he says. And although not all chemotherapy drugs cause hair loss, most patients lose their hair during treatment. “Chemo is a cellular poison and interrupts the growth of cells,” he says. “It selects cells that have a rapid rate of division: cancer, hair, and sometimes the lining of the stomach.” Yates said that between one and two months is usually when most patients experience complete hair loss during chemotherapy.

The chemo was a roller coaster, and almost nothing happened the way I had seen it on TV and thought it would happen to me. My biggest disappointment: I never went completely bald. Once I figured out that my hair was going to fall out, I had visions of a perfectly shiny head reflecting light in all directions … but that did not happen. After I lost the majority of my hair, I had a thin layer of peach fuzz on my head for about three months. And then came the awkward regrowth stage. “Some patients see growth about two to three months after finishing chemo,” says Yates. “And for some, their hair comes back in a different texture, however, most comes back to what it was before the chemo.”

I am currently in what some call the “chemotherapy loop” stage of my hair regrowth process. Before chemo, I had wavy hair with a lot of texture. When they first grew back my hair was pretty wild and I really struggled to style it. “When people first grow their hair, every strand of hair grows at the same time,” says Dani Neef, owner and stylist of Longevity Hair Space. “You’re going to have a rat tail and long hair around your ears, but you can do a lot with different shapes along the way as you grow them.” And that’s exactly how I looked the first time I sat in Neef’s chair.

“When you’re growing your hair out, you’re going to want to wait until it drives you completely nuts – around 8 to 12 weeks – between cuts,” she says. And she confirmed that my new texture was pretty consistent with what she typically sees in customers going through the same process. My hair regrowth rate was also in line with the average of about half an inch per month. “You can do a lot of things with different shapes along the way as long as you’re okay with removing that perimeter. Some people are afraid to do that,” she says. “You can make each length in between look very useful. “

In the past year, I’ve had three haircuts, and while the regrowth process hasn’t been easy, I’m trying to embrace this wild, curly step. A friend recommended the Curly Girl Method to me and I have to admit, I’m a huge fan. Curly hair is fun and makes me happy. So for now, I kiss her. Do I intend to have elbow-length waves again someday? I do of course. But while I’m growing my hair out, I’m all about bouncy curls.

Here are the 6 products that I have used and loved during my hair loss and regrowth process.

Well-being Care Kit

During the active chemotherapy treatment, I used this kit every day on the recommendation of the stylist who helped me get fitted for my wig. Once I lost all of my hair, I alternated between the blue and pink products on a daily basis. Made in Canada from natural products and available in some salons, I feel like this regimen has helped my hair grow back as thick as it was before I was bald.

Bumble and bumble Sumotech Soft Solid Cream

When my hair was first growing out, it helped me tame my hair as I learned that I had multiple cowlicks to deal with (something I had never even considered before hair loss). The super light cream was easy to use and I always love applying it to my ends to tame the days of intermittent wild hair.

Co-Wash Lawyer

After I ran out of the wellness care kit, I was looking for another product made with natural ingredients and super gentle on my baby hair. This shampoo bar ticked all the boxes and to top it off, it smells like heaven. The blend of avocado oil, lavender, rosemary and cupuaçu butter creates a delicious citrus scent that smells of lime sorbet. And what could be my favorite part: Because it’s so gentle and hydrating, you won’t need to use an extra bottle of conditioner (all of which are part of the Lush co-wash line). Not only is the two in one product bottle free, it also makes my shower smell amazing.

Johnson’s Kids Curl Defining Shampoo

When my hair was finally long enough that I noticed curls, I was looking for a low risk product that, if I’m completely honest, I could get with my Target street curb pickup order. This shampoo and conditioner was exactly what I needed at the time. The formula was gentle on my new hair and helped me start to embrace the bounce.

Odele Curl Defining Conditioner

Now that I’m fully embracing the curly texture, this conditioner is the only thing I use on my hair in the shower. Another affordable option available for curbside pickup, the formula is specially developed for curly hair and free of phthalates, parabens, sulfates, and synthetic fragrance.

DevaCurl Styling Cream Toucher Curl Definer

Moisture is a curls best friend and this popular product pairs perfectly with textured hair. I apply a dime-sized amount to my wet hair after getting out of the shower and crumpled it towards my scalp using an old t-shirt to soak up the water. When a naughty curl (or two) pops up, apply a tiny dot on my fingers and tame the curls in seconds. Unlike mousse or gel, this styling cream leaves curls soft to the touch.