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HAIR LOSS

pakb56
Posts: 141
Joined: Jan 2012

Having my first taxol/carbo treatment a week ago, I thought I had abbout 2 weeks before hair loss began. Running my hands through my hair, I noticed a couple hairs. Of course I couldn't leave it alone so I vigorously rubbed my head ovr the counter...yep hairs. I was expecting it but not this soon.

Pat

imackie48
Posts: 93
Joined: Nov 2011

Pat, I had waiting everyday for my hair to come out, on the 13th day, it started falling out so I went and cut it off, because it was everywhere.
It was very emotionally, but you get over it.
Irene

therevslittlegirl's picture
therevslittlegirl
Posts: 29
Joined: Mar 2009

Mine fell out about a week after my first treatment of Carbo/Taxol. I don't know about you but my hair hurt and I actually could feel every hair on my head. I cut it off before it had a chance to fall the rest of the way out. That way I could say I lost my hair on my terms.

pakb56
Posts: 141
Joined: Jan 2012

Now that you mention it, my scalp feels tender. Not liking this very much...

jazzy1's picture
jazzy1
Posts: 1387
Joined: Mar 2010

Had hair in my hands by the 14th day after carbo/taxol. Like clockwork, then I felt like a shedding dog. I went to my beautician and had her cut it very short, then let the remainder wash off as I shampooed in the shower each morning. Within another week I had all the hair gone. Yes the hair follicles are tender, just part of the process.

Do you have a wig or some nice scarves picked out? I wore a cute styled wig and as I gained comfort with no hair, went to stylish scarves and ball caps. I tried to make as much fun out of it as humanly possible.

Hugs,
Jan

FYI scares I purchased from this site...just loved 'em!!

www.4women.com

pakb56
Posts: 141
Joined: Jan 2012

My doc told me day 17 and the chemo nurse said 14. I didn't expect to see loose hairs after 7. Of course once I noticed it I keep checking. Not clumps but several per head rub! My eye was itching yesterday and I rubbed my eye and later saw a few eyelahes laying there.

Aside from losing my hair. I worry how I will deal with, how others wil deal with it, how I explain to my 6 year old grandson.

I have purchased scarfs, badanas, a wig. My husband doesn't understand why one is not enough!

I am sure I will get used to hit but oh that adjustment period.

I considered getting itshaved but, like you Jan, I think I will cut it to about an inch and let it come out. I wonder if shaving it, would not let it fall out right and maybe those hairs just under the skin would get stuck or ingrown. Weird, I know, but that is how I ade my decision to handle the hair loss process.

Going to walk off a a cramp around my ankle area.

Thanks!
Pat

jazzy1's picture
jazzy1
Posts: 1387
Joined: Mar 2010

What was suggested to me during the hair falling out times -- cut it short and DO NOT SHAVE!!! When we cut too close to hair follicles it can be more painful.

Yes it's an adjustment with all of us, but you do get used to it. Takes time!!! The most difficult part for me was seeing people I know for the first time and getting their reaction with new hair or scarves. I just told them my situation and once that was outside the box, it was much easier.

Good luck!
Jan

pakb56
Posts: 141
Joined: Jan 2012

I guess my thinking was not all that weird...it does make sense. I would hate to get ingrown head hairs as the follicles were tying to find there way out! Gotta find the humor....
Pat

Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2338
Joined: Jun 2010

I went a little overboard with the hats and scarves thing, but like Jan, I actually had fun wearing them. I didn't mind at all because I always felt I looked stupid in hats, and it turned out I learned to like me in them - and the scarves, well. . . I loved them. In addition to the beaubeaus Jan mentioned, check out Titillating Turbans online. I think I liked them better than the beaubeaus, or at least equally as well. Both are so easy to wear. I never learned how to tie a "real" scarf. Too much work.

I didn't wear a wig during chemo at all, but I do now because most of my hair didn't come back. My photo is a wig. I get so many compliments on my "hair". Frankly, my own hair never looked so good.

It's awful to lose your hear, but it is almost always temporary. Let "dressing up" in scarves and hats be an opportunity to try new things.

Oh, my 5-year-old granddaughter said I looked like an alien. When I saw her for the first time, I took off my headcover and let her pet my head. She got used to it very quickly. Of course, we told her the medicine that was going to make grandma better caused me to lose my hair and honestly, she was perfectly fine with it. I don't think grandchildren really much care how we look as long as they're loved.

Suzanne

CindyGSD's picture
CindyGSD
Posts: 191
Joined: Aug 2011

I was lucky (not) and got to loose my hair twice during the course of six rounds of chemo (took a little break for radiation). Both times my hair started falling out at 13 days post taxol treatment. The first time my hair was long and it became a habit for me to run my fingers through my hair pulling out strands of hair. I took pictures of the little piles of hair I collected and sent them to friends and family. I'm sure they just loved that. In the shower it would really come out and to keep it from going down the drain I would plaster it on the shower wall. I have pictures of that too. ;o)

It never came out in clumbs, just strands, but its amazing how it added up. By the time I completed my second treatment, I had bald spots, so I went and got it shaved to about 1/4 of an inch. I never got that smooth bald head probably because I had a break in my chemo. I always had a little bit of stubble.

Second time around, my hair was about 3/4 long (got to go 3 weeks with no scarves, YEAH). Started pulling it out at 13 days, but this time it came out much faster. I spent a Saturday afternoon watching TV and pulling out my hair. By the time I was done I had bald spots. Sooo...went back to my friend, had her shave it close this time. Big mistake. It was like a man's shaved face. The little stubble of hair would "catch" on the pillow at night or even on my hats and scarves and because the scalp is so tender at that point, it hurt.

Take care,
Cindy

pakb56
Posts: 141
Joined: Jan 2012

When I started trying to decide about shaving I started thinking about the kind of stubble you refer to. And the catching part did not occur to me, I wondered if those hair follicles were trying to come out, could they not make it out and become ingrown or infected. My first step was to cut it to about a couple inches. Now to decide when to take the next step.

I am also have the chemo/radiation sandwich. I didnt expect 6 weeks of radiation though. How long did you have to wait between your third chemo and your first dadiation and your last radiation and 4th chemo?

Pat

CindyGSD's picture
CindyGSD
Posts: 191
Joined: Aug 2011

The break between chemo treatments was longer than I anticipated. No one seemed in any rush which was aggravating when you're going through it, but given how hard your body is being hit, I suppose it needs a break.

My 3rd round of chemo was in the middle of October. I thought they would start radiation during the week of what would have been my scheduled 4th round, but he waited to the following week, so that was like the first week of November. I had 25 sessions that extended out because of Thanksgiving. A week after ending external, I had 3 rounds of brachytherapy, the last one being December 23rd. My fourth round of chemo started January 25th.

So that was about a three month, ten day break from chemo. Plenty of time to grow out hair, just to loose it again.

Oh the joy,
Cindy

Pat51
Posts: 111
Joined: Feb 2011

The hair loss is a devastating part of chemo. I lost my hair two weeks after starting chemo. It came out quickly. I bought scarves but never could get them tied so they looked good. I also had bought wigs which I wore when going out. Most people never suspected that I was wearing a wig. My hair started coming back about two months after my last chemo. It is now 7 months since my last chemo. My hair is coming in slowly, but it IS coming. I lost my eyelashes and eyebrows over a month after my last chemo. I was actually more upset about losing my eyelashes than the hair on my head. The eyelashes came back but then fall out again. The doctor assures me that they will return. The perk part is that my underarm hair never came back...no shaving!! The hair on my legs is sparse and slow growing...less shaving than before cancer. So there are some perks that can come from this devastation. Good luck with your treatments.

Pat

pakb56
Posts: 141
Joined: Jan 2012

Well if something does not come back, I hope it is those couple of peky hard black hairs that keep coming back no matter how much I pluck them I remember the first time I noticed one I was in a store looking in a magnifyning mirror and the darn thing was an inch long.

daisy366's picture
daisy366
Posts: 1493
Joined: Mar 2009

I chuckled reading about those pesky hairs. It sure was great to have baby smooth skin for months and no shaving. Hair returned and ....darn...so did those nasty sticks coming out of my chin. But small potatoes in the scheme of things.

Ladies, check out your local American Cancer Society. They may have a closet of free and beautiful wigs for you!!!! Mine did.

May the wind stay at your back. Mary Ann

bonniep's picture
bonniep
Posts: 36
Joined: Jun 2010

When I was diagnosed with USPC in 2010 my ONC told me I would start losing my hair on day 17 after starting TAXOL/CARBO chemo. That really scared me - the thought of all my hair coming out in handfuls. I decided I would shave my head before that happened. I figured that was the only thing I could control in this cancer experience. My daughter & I went wig shopping together & it was a very fun day. I went to a place called Crowns of Glory that caters to women who have medical conditions dealing with hair loss. Part of the experience involved picking out a perfect wig for my face and then going to a stylist to have my head shaved. Trust me when I say we had a lot of laughs! Sure enough on day 17, millions of tiny little hairs showed up in my hands when I showered. I was so grateful I didn't experience the devastation of my hair coming out in clumps.
My hair did grow back and it was totally gray, very soft, very curly and totally unmanageable. Nothing, including coloring, cutting, shampooing, curling, straighening, etc. made me like my new hair although I did seem to have more of it. The time alone to fix it was just like the olden days before I shaved it. It took an hour to get ready & there were many 'bad' hair days.
I told my ONC, the one 'good' thing that came out of cancer, is that I learned I loved to wear wigs. I bought 3 of them, one of which I have on in my profile picture. They are all the same color, except the roots show on two of them which really make them look natural. They are also in 3 different lengths. Since my 'get ready' time was reduced to 20 minutes, I found myself depending more & more on wearing my wigs. The great thing is that no one knew I was wearing a wig because the style & color I chose are exactly how I wore my hair before I lost it, just different lenghts. The wigs are even synthetic hair wigs which are so much easier to care for than human hair wigs and the price is so much more affordable. My insurace company (Aetna) even paid for my first wig.
My cancer recurred again in January, 2012 & once again, I started Chemo. This time, my Macho Son-in-law who is a Jr. High coach and who also has a clean shaven head, volunteered to shave my head so we could look alike. OMG - we made a family thing out of it with my granddaughters offering lots of ideas and styles to try before my head was totally shaved. Again we shared lots of laughs & pictures I'll never show anyone except those who were there.
I guess my main point is, Cancer is a devastating illness. If there's one thing that you can control is 'how' you lose your hair. You may even find you like it better than dealing with your own hair!

bonniep's picture
bonniep
Posts: 36
Joined: Jun 2010

When I was diagnosed with USPC in 2010 my ONC told me I would start losing my hair on day 17 after starting TAXOL/CARBO chemo. That really scared me - the thought of all my hair coming out in handfuls. I decided I would shave my head before that happened. I figured that was the only thing I could control in this cancer experience. My daughter & I went wig shopping together & it was a very fun day. I went to a place called Crowns of Glory that caters to women who have medical conditions dealing with hair loss. Part of the experience involved picking out a perfect wig for my face and then going to a stylist to have my head shaved. Trust me when I say we had a lot of laughs! Sure enough on day 17, millions of tiny little hairs showed up in my hands when I showered. I was so grateful I didn't experience the devastation of my hair coming out in clumps.
My hair did grow back and it was totally gray, very soft, very curly and totally unmanageable. Nothing, including coloring, cutting, shampooing, curling, straighening, etc. made me like my new hair although I did seem to have more of it. The time alone to fix it was just like the olden days before I shaved it. It took an hour to get ready & there were many 'bad' hair days.
I told my ONC, the one 'good' thing that came out of cancer, is that I learned I loved to wear wigs. I bought 3 of them, one of which I have on in my profile picture. They are all the same color, except the roots show on two of them which really make them look natural. They are also in 3 different lengths. Since my 'get ready' time was reduced to 20 minutes, I found myself depending more & more on wearing my wigs. The great thing is that no one knew I was wearing a wig because the style & color I chose are exactly how I wore my hair before I lost it, just different lenghts. The wigs are even synthetic hair wigs which are so much easier to care for than human hair wigs and the price is so much more affordable. My insurace company (Aetna) even paid for my first wig.
My cancer recurred again in January, 2012 & once again, I started Chemo. This time, my Macho Son-in-law who is a Jr. High coach and who also has a clean shaven head, volunteered to shave my head so we could look alike. OMG - we made a family thing out of it with my granddaughters offering lots of ideas and styles to try before my head was totally shaved. Again we shared lots of laughs & pictures I'll never show anyone except those who were there.
I guess my main point is, Cancer is a devastating illness. If there's one thing that you can control is 'how' you lose your hair. You may even find you like it better than dealing with your own hair!

Pat51
Posts: 111
Joined: Feb 2011

I must say that your wig looks beautiful on you. My hair is coming back a horrible gray color. Also softer and thinner than it was before.....I hate it!!! It is not coming in evenly...longer in the back and much shorter on the top/front so I cannot go without a wig yet. I agree it is so much faster and easier getting ready when wearing a wig. Good luck with your current chemo treatments.

Pat

RoseyR
Posts: 464
Joined: Feb 2011

PAT,

My hair too when it first grew back was an icky gray and fine as a dead dandelion. Dandelion head, I thought.

But two new friends I met in radiation therapy reassured me that their hair too was like that at first: fine and very grey.

Four months later, it is MUCH thicker (it may help to trim off the fine growth soon, allowig the thicker hair underneath to come in) and closer to salt and pepper, with darker hair coming in beneath. My friends say that this was also their experience.

Don't expect to be the vibrant dark brown color I was with the help of Aveda, but now see I will be at the worst salt and pepper, sort of sophisticated in its own way. I will color again ONLY if I find a truly nontoxic dye.

So just be patient.

Love,
Rosey

pakb56
Posts: 141
Joined: Jan 2012

double post.

pakb56
Posts: 141
Joined: Jan 2012

Alright ladies...everybody always talks about it coming in thicker, curlier, etc. Don't think I'm like the idea of gray and thin too much!

And, I don't want those rotten chin hairs back! The hair on my head should grow so fast!

I purchased a wig from TLC Direct. For $50 it looks pretty good. I keep thinking it is too light when I atch it against my hair but I was due for a highlight some time ago but put it off. Then I had it cut to about 2 inches so it's pretty dark...except, of course, for those hairline grays.

Noticed an interesting thing this morning. I had to scratch under my arm. Haven't shaved underarms for about a week...should have been stubbling...smooth as a baby's butt!

Pat

I Will Survive
Posts: 27
Joined: Aug 2011

I had my hairdresser trim my wig when it was on my head, to make it look more like my own hair. Also, the back hairline was too long and annoying.

It truly is amazing how fast those chinny chin chin hairs come back.

Hannah

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