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Hair Loss

chris8588
Posts: 56
Joined: Oct 2012

How did everybody deal with hair loss(if you even lost your hair at all) when you started chemo did you wait to get wigs, scarves and hats before you started chemo or once you started losing your hair. My NP told me i should get wigs before my first treatment. I mean is it for certain that i will lose my hair. Did you let your hair fall out itself or did you cut it.

Alexandra's picture
Alexandra
Posts: 1227
Joined: Jul 2012

I cut my hair short just to get used to the idea, and bought several wigs in different length and colors before starting chemo. I buy them online without trying, so it was hit and miss. By now I own 12 wigs and like maybe 4 of them. The ones I like are Raquel Welch, Rene of Paris and Henry Margu. Learn from my mistake: never buy $15 wigs from China on eBay or aliexpress - they use pirated pictures, it takes 2-3 months to ship and when they finally arrive, they look aweful.
Synthetic are easier to maintain and cheaper than human hair; short ones are more comfortable than long ones especially in summer, the closer to your natural color - the better they will look on you. If you can afford it, monofilament cap looks more natural and allows to part hair in different ways. If you like to wear your hair pulled back, buy lace front wigs.
I also got a few cotton sleeping caps and silk head scarves. I knew that hair falls out on day 11 to 17 after first chemo. I did not want to watch my hair fall out, so I shaved it off completely on day 11.
Eyebrows and eyelashes did not fall out till after the 3rd round, were gone for about a month and then grew back. I used stencil, brow pencil and Browderm powder for eyebrows and IdolLash for eyelashes. Several times I tried to glue false eyelashes on but failed miserably.

2timothy1 7's picture
2timothy1 7
Posts: 336
Joined: Jan 2012

I agree with Alexandra, the synthetic are best. In the winter I wore alot of different hats. Just bought them at walmart. I have allot of them. Taxol will make your hair fall out. Not sure if that is one of the drugs you are on. Also the American Cancer Society will give one free wig to cancer patients.
Hugs to you
Shawnna

ptharp
Posts: 190
Joined: Oct 2012

Hi Chris. I purchased one wig,a bunch of hats, and scarves before starting chemo. I have not worn my wig yet but probably will wear it when I go back to work. I have not worn the scarves yet but I wear the hats all the time. tlc.com have really cute hats.

I started to loose my hair around week 3 of chemo. I had my hair cut short before I started chemo. My hair did not fall out in chunks. It thinned. I did not shave my head because now after week 6 I still have a little hair around ear area so when I wear my hat it peeks out so I feel like I can pretend I have all my hair.

lovesanimals's picture
lovesanimals
Posts: 1256
Joined: Sep 2011

I bought a couple of hats and received several hats and scarves from family and friends prior to starting chemo. My hair too starting falling out about the third week in. Strands of hair would be on my pillow in the morning and when I washed and combed my hair, it would come out in handfuls. When it got really sparse, I had my husband remove the last remaining strands with an electric shaver made for the head. I have to say, I was fascinated with seeing the shape of my now-bald head. Big pluses: not having to shave my legs and armpits and saving on shampoo.

My oncologist said that my hair would start growing back one or two months after my last chemo treatment ended. Sure enough, my hair started growing back about five weeks after my last chemo session.

Kelly

seatown's picture
seatown
Posts: 220
Joined: Sep 2012

Thanks for this info about hair regrowth! I've been looking for specific info. Had my last chemo on 12/12/12 & am looking forward eagerly to having hair again. I've worn scarves & hats mostly; I only wear a wig at my volunteer job, where I want to look as normal as possible.  I retained a few wisps of hair, which I had shaved off to a 1/2" length, & would have been happy to go out publicly with that.  But my husband doesn't care for it.  He thinks my regrowth has already begun -- maybe wishful thinking on his part!

vanessamood's picture
vanessamood
Posts: 52
Joined: Apr 2012

My husband shaved my hair with some pet shavers. Only thing we had. I bought quite a few bandanas from Wal Mart(only one dollar ) and wore them a lot this summer. I ordered a wig from a catalog but did not like it. Found a wig I liked from a local wig shop,sythetic, that way I could try several on and get the one I liked best. Not too expensive either.
My last chemo was the last of August and my hair has grown back enough so I am not wearing my wig anymore. I wear big earrings,that helps, and have gotten a lot of compliments on my looks. People being nice. Think I will keep it short but not this short.
Time will go by fast and soon you will have your own hair.

Alexandra's picture
Alexandra
Posts: 1227
Joined: Jul 2012

You can order free Silk Headwrap or Scarf from http://www.franceluxe.com/i/goodwishesscarves/GoodWishesScarves.html

You select the type of the scarf and fabric.
The headwrap I received was beautiful.
I send them a picture of me wearing it and they asked to use it in their promotional materials.

Marnel's picture
Marnel
Posts: 41
Joined: Mar 2012

I bought one wig before my hair loss but never used it. My doc said my hair would start to fall out 18 days after starting chemo. The night of the 17th day it started coming out in handfuls so I had my husband shave it. I had cut it quite short a few weeks prior just to get used to it. I know it sounds funny but I kinda enjoyed being bald. It opened the door to many conversations when I was out in public. I had several women come up to me, give me a hug and tell me their stories of survival. I welcomed that and I think it empowered me. I never felt ashamed or like I needed to hide my cancer/baldness. I guess it depends on how private of a person you are. I'm sure you can tell I'm not really very private. I did wear warm hats occasionally when my head got cold.

Good luck to you on your journey,
Hugs...Marnel

kikz's picture
kikz
Posts: 1275
Joined: Jun 2010

I had ordered 18 different colored paisley cotton scarves...the ones I used to wear in the seventies. My hair began to fall out 13 days after my first chemo. I hated the shedding. Everywhere I sat or laid my head looked like a dog had been there. I called my hairdresser who had told me she would come when I needed her. I cried when I realized the time had really come that I was losing my hair. Once it was shaved off I felt amazingly free.

I ended up not wearing the scarves at all because I found them unflattering. I never wanted to wear a wig. I didn't want to get into the thing, where everytime I went out or someone stopped by I had to hurry and put the wig on.

I never had anyone out in public say anything to me positive or negative. I never noticed any looks or double-takes, even from children.

When I would get ready to go out, it was great to get dressed, put on makeup and be done. I didn't have to fuss with my hair...therefore, no bad hair days.

It's funny because I think the bald look is becoming a fad. There are two girls at Macy's who are bald and neither has cancer. They just like the look. I only saw one but she sure looked beautiful. I showed her a picture of me bald and we high-fived each other and I said, "sister!"

For me losing my hair was a minor thing in my journey. At the first visit with my surgeon he said I would look different the next time I saw him. I gave him a quizzical look and he said, your hair will be gone. I told him I didn't care if I was bald the rest of my life, I just wanted to live.

Karen

lulu1010's picture
lulu1010
Posts: 367
Joined: Feb 2011

I had my hair cut to about 1/2 inch and had my wig ready. When the stubbles started to fall out I wore little fleece caps from Wallmart especially to sleep so the stubbles were in the hat and not on my pillow. If I do it again, I will have my husband shave it. When my Taxol was changed to weekly to tolerate it better my hair started to grow back in a very little bit so by the time I was done with chemo I had a little headstart on my hair. It wasnt long before it was long enough to go out without a cap or wig. Next time if it happens I will try scarfs as well and maybe a wig that is a little different just for fun!

wholfmeister's picture
wholfmeister
Posts: 260
Joined: Dec 2012

My hair fell out right on schedule. It came out very quickly: noticed handfuls coming out on a Friday morning, and by Sunday, I was bald. I had prepared with several scarves and a couple hats, but my daughter really wanted me to have a wig. My sister went with me on that Saturday to buy a good quality synthetic wig. I actually really liked it and wore it everyday. Just bought a second one, a little more expensive, monofilament with a "scalp." I REALLY like this one. I'm a generally private person, so I like being inconspicuous in my wig. When I have worn a scarf or hat in public, I feel like it is shouting, "Look! I have cancer!" I know that is just me and my psyche, but I love my wigs and I feel great in them, so that is my preference. I have lots of knit caps I wear at home, in the kitchen especially: no heat or steam around the wig!

Alexandra's picture
Alexandra
Posts: 1227
Joined: Jul 2012

I read this tip on another board and have not tried it myself.
If you shaved your head before chemo, short stubble is itchy and does not come out by itself.
Use lint roller with silicon tape (like Schticky) several times a day on your head to pull the short hairs out.
Also use any over-the-counter lidocaine gel to cool and moisturize tender scalp.

kimberly sue 63's picture
kimberly sue 63
Posts: 396
Joined: Apr 2012

Losing hair was really difficult for me. I never adjusted. I had a human hair wig which I did where to work in the summer. It was great, but I never got use to it either. So I wore scarfs a lot. I struggled with the hair loss, I felt robbed of my identity. I envy all of you who could embrace it!!! My family and friends were great and really complemented me on what ever I wore. Kim

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