Breast Cancer Survivor Blog Series: Medical Hair Loss

Writer, business woman, passionate traveler, and breast cancer survivor, Melanie Young is an advocate for the empowerment of women through education, peer support and mentoring… and now she’s offering her words of wisdom to Paula Young customers via a 10-part blog series.

This Q&A interview-style blogs series offers insight on Melanie, her book –
– and her battle with breast cancer.

I hope you enjoy the sixth installment of this series which touches upon handling hair loss.

PAULA: How did you handle your own medical hair loss?

MELANIE: Like many women facing cancer, one of the first questions is “Am I going to lose my hair?” I was no different. In my book I talk about how I prepared for my hair loss and what it feels like to lose your hair (tingly scalp). I also discuss scalp care and how to deal with the loss of eyebrows and lashes, another side effect no one tells you about.

I cut my hair to chin length before I began chemo. I was warned my hair would start to “release” after the second round. It started slowly, like snow falling around my shoulders, and then messy chunks started coming out in my hair brush. The release became messy and a bit inconvenient – hair was flying around my head during business meetings. I asked my husband to shave my head.

The good news is that hair grows back quickly and six weeks after my last chemo treatment I was already sprouting peach fuzz, then a wiry kind of hair that my beautician called “stick hair.” For about a year my hair was curly. It’s called “chemo curl” and it’s common. Now my hair is stick straight again. My hair grew back quite full, though some survivors experience thinning post cancer hair and continue to rely on hairpieces.

For more about Melanie or to order her book, please visit

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