We’d like your help getting CurlTalk back on its feet!

By participating on CurlTalk — posting, commenting, liking — in the next few weeks, you will automatically be entered to win amazing prizes.

Our latest winner is Savagegirl!

CurlyCanadian, Bomega and EllaJ have also won wonderful prizes! Will you be next? Post, like, comment, GET ACTIVE and help us get CurlTalk ENERGIZED again!

Learn more!

Chemo made me curly!

Hello! I'm new to the forum and new to curls!

And I'm LOST!

I'm in my late 20s. I had Ovarian cancer last summer and went through chemotherapy - and lost all of my (2a?) hair. It's been growing back now for about a year, and it's finally long enough for me to realize that it's coming in CURLY!

I'm completely new to having curly hair, and completely lost. I'm about to run out of my current product (Curls Rock Amplifier - creates stiffness and crunchiness, but great definition and hold). What I learned on my own is that I need to diffuse, and I need products! But which ones? Am I going to be stuck in an endless parade of buying and trying frustrating products? I wish I had the answers. I'm dabbling around the intro threads here and learning, I just wish there was a "starter kit". But I know it's not every day that curls sprout anew on someone!

From what I can tell, I have 3A (to 2 in some spots, like non-curling sideburns), very soft fine textured hair. The curls need some product to hold on to to form. Dirty is better, but flyaways common after a day if I don't use product to avoid the crunch.

I hope to learn a lot here! If anyone has any suggestions for some quick fixes while I'm in the learning period, please let me know, I could really use them!


  • curlypearlcurlypearl Posts: 11,983Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Hi Curlscout! Welcome to the crazy world of curls. First, (((Hugs))) to give you a little support after what you've been through. I had surgery on a brain tumor last year and my head was shaved in two places. My silly lovable brother said I looked like Clarabelle the clown (which may be before your time).

    Anyway, it is tough to find the right products for your curls. You may want to look at Kathymack's page (she's on this website) and she sends little samples of lots of stuff. That way, for very little cash you can try out many products.

    Also, you may want to post on the general board. You'll get more answers that way, and also post and read up on the 2 and 3 boards. A lot has to do with the dewpoint - which is a combination of the temperature and humidity - you may want to do a search for "dewpoint" and read up on that, and also what technique you use. In general, don't comb or brush your hair, shampoo as infrequently as possible and don't rub your hair in a towel. Treat it gently.

    Good luck with everything! I'll look for your posts. You may also find it fun to check out the non-hair board. :hello2:
    2/c Coarse hair med. density.
    Highly porous. Color over grey.
    I love all the Curl Junkie products. Still experimenting with gels and curl creams. Still hoping for 2nd day hair....
    Every day is a gift :flower:
  • anonymous_46846anonymous_46846 Banned Posts: 160Banned Users
    Hi CurlScout,

    The most important thing is that you are healthy now. Aesthetics become a secondary issue when one undergoes circumstances like yours. Now that you are back on track, you can focus on the small things of life but, surely, we sometimes don't realise how we take our health for granted.

    The formation of curly hair has been proposed with different theories, one being that the hair grows out in an asymmetrical fashion from the root. One plausible theory as to how you now have curly hair could be that the chemo has damaged or modified the hair shaft in such a way so that it starts forming new hair in an uneven fashion. I am simply speculating as you seem curious as to this new effect. Regardless, congrats on the curls!

    My only advice as you grow your curls is to take care of them with some oil (coconut oil is a good product) and make sure to remove any knots or matting as soon as you see them. Once knots are formed, they take a lot of effort to break if chopping the hair is not what you want.
    Pictures of my one year growth progress. From short to shoulder length. I don't care about profiling my hair according to some website's guidelines, it is curly and that is all.

  • Unexpected CurlyUnexpected Curly Posts: 53Registered Users
    Welcome to curliness. I can identify with you on the finding out recently that one has curly hair. I hope that the cancer is gone for good.

    I would suggest going without products with sulfates and silicons. I decided to do this after frying my hair with Herbal Essence shampoo and a conditioner from Suave that had silicons in it. This severely limits your choices, but I think in the end (often at least) it helps the hair to look better. For me, it has been fun. I decided to embrace it (as a guy this is not always a popular choice to hold on to, but women like it so here the curls stay). Have fun playing around with directing the curls. I found that they easiest thing to do was to just try to direct or gently tease the curling hair in a direction. Going with the flow on this curly hair is probably the best option. Have fun!
  • iowagirliowagirl Posts: 44Registered Users
    Best of luck to you, post chemo! I currently have 2a waves and will start chemo next week. I am petrified of losing my hair (just got it the way I want it!). They do say it will come back curlier.

    3A hair, fine and thin
    Current faves are: Giovanni Direct Leave In, Suave Cocoanut Cond., and the BEST gel ever, IC Gel with Sparkelites.

Leave a Comment

BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list
Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights
Drop image/file