BETHESDA, Md. (FOX 5 DC) - You may have noticed our Ayesha Khan rocking some colorful caps these days since she came back on air.
The FOX 5 reporter endured 16 rounds of chemotherapy to treat stage 3 breast cancer.
The aggressive treatment wreaked havoc on her hair, causing a lot of it to fall out.
Recently, Khan received some help for it and shared the experience of the transformation in Pt. 5 of the FOX 5 series, "Cancer: Fight over Fear."
I wore a cooling cap during my chemotherapy treatments.
When cooled, the blood vessels in the scalp constrict, reducing blood flow to the hair follicles. That means less chemotherapy medication can get into the hair follicle cells. The cold also makes those cells less active, so chemotherapy drugs don’t target them as quickly.
I believe the invention worked to preserve some of my hair, but most of that is just dead, cooked hair — until now, thanks to the amazing things, members of our community are doing to help women like me.
I documented the first time I saw my hair coming out in clumps back in January. At that moment, it felt like a complete out-of-body experience, and I was convinced, my hair will never be the same again.
Soon after I finished chemo in April, I began doing a ton of research on finding someone locally who could salvage whatever was left on my head.
Fast-forward to June 21., I was sitting in Eivind Bjerke’s chair. He is the owner of Eivind and Hans of Georgetown Salon and Spa on Wisconsin Avenue in Northwest, D.C.
"I have seen your hair before all this, and it’s gorgeous. But it’ll be that again," Bjerke said.
Once I heard those comforting words from a true hair expert, all hope was not lost.
"We are going to take care of you," Bjerke said as he examined my damaged hair.
Bjerke is a specially trained stylist who has been treating and styling chemo hair for more than 30 years.
It was also reassuring that I was in great hands. After all, Bjerke has worked on hair of some very notable women and political figures whose pictures can be seen all around his salon.
"I have seen it all, and I help a lot of people," he continued.
Even two months after chemo, the road to recovery has been a long and tough one.
My body took a hard hit with the harsh treatments, and it’s been difficult to see it change this way, while not feeling like myself.
"I am not speaking for everyone, but as a woman, beauty is important to us," I vented to Bjerke.
Cancer: Fight over Fear pt. 1 Fox 5’s Ayesha Khan shares ongoing experience with breast cancer treatment
"Being on television, being on the news, it was very devastating for me to see my hair come out in clumps, seeing my eyebrows disappear, seeing my eyelashes disappear."
Bjerke was gentle with my very fragile, frizzy and stringy hair.
"I was prepared to go bald today," I told Bjerke.
"If you had said, ‘We can’t help this hair, we are going to shave it all off,’ I was ready for that."
"No," he answered, "that I wouldn’t do. After all that you’ve been through? That would be crazy."
Bjerke colored, cut, tamed and styled what I have dubbed as my ‘bird’s nest.’
"I love to do this, in situations like this one when you can change someone, and they are happy, it makes me happy," Bjerke said as he put the finishing touches on a very chic looking bob cut.
I love my new look. I can run my hands through my hair and I really am feeling like myself again.
Prior to Bjerke working on my hair, I had been using rosemary oil and minoxidil in some of the bald patches. Both are ingredients that could help with the regrowth of hair.
I consulted with my doctors before starting this regimen and was given the "green light," so please be sure to talk with a medical professional before using any hair regrowth supplements or medications.
I am currently going through radiation, but I am getting closer to finishing the treatment.
FOX 5 will be present for the last treatment and air the story as Pt. 6 of the ‘Cancer: Fight over Fear’ series.