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Hair loss

Barb5454's picture
Barb5454
Posts: 63
Joined: Feb 2013

I finished radiation Jan 14. I finished chemo Dec 14 (went through 2 cycles) My hair is very very thin and continues to fall out. It is really dry. When my hair stop falling out. My pubic hair was completely gone but i's going back, but the hair on my head is still thinning. Does anyone else have this problem?  Thanks for your help

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2848
Joined: Jan 2010

My hair continued to thin for some time after my treatment ended--I would estimate for a couple of months.

LaCh
Posts: 509
Joined: Dec 2012

sorry, I posted a similar question a short while ago without seeing this thread.  I'm 9 weeks post chemo and the head hair is still falling at a pretty rapid rate.  Hair south of the naval is gone.  I'm not bald on top but at this rate, if the hair loss doesn't abate, I soon will be.

danchi
Posts: 4
Joined: Feb 2013

It was 3 months after my last chemo before my hair stopped falling out and started to grow again. It was so thin on top I wore a hair piece to cover a couple bare spots I had. My hair was very thick to start with.

Lime Flamingo's picture
Lime Flamingo
Posts: 15
Joined: Mar 2013

I am curious.  I had mytomicin and 5fu for 1 week.  Radiation so far for 3weeks.  I will go back to the mytomicin on April 8. Continuing radiation all the time for a total of 7 weeks.  What is it that makes your hair fall out the chemo or the radiation?

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2848
Joined: Jan 2010

It's the chemo.  However, radiation can cause the hair "down under" to go too.

Lime Flamingo's picture
Lime Flamingo
Posts: 15
Joined: Mar 2013

I did not see anything with hair on the first round of chemo.  With all the radiation burns, losing my hair doesn't come with pain, so not to worry.  The burns, itching, and general feeling like a truck ran over me kind of takes hair out of the worrylist.

LisaMMiles
Posts: 38
Joined: Mar 2013

Yes the hair down under does go... Will it come back, or be gone for ever?

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

For me, I never lost hair on my head, but am now sporting the Telly Savalis look down below. You are probably too young to remember him......bald as a bean.

LisaMMiles
Posts: 38
Joined: Mar 2013

Ha Ha I am older than you think. I do remember him. I lost no hair off my head but 1 month out of treatment, still no hair below? Not missing it though lol

 

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2848
Joined: Jan 2010

My hair came back, both upper and lower!

Barb5454's picture
Barb5454
Posts: 63
Joined: Feb 2013

My hair is still falling out after 3 months. My hair is really dry. Does anyone know of a good conditioner too

AZANNIE
Posts: 372
Joined: Mar 2011

A hair stylist suggested Nioxin shampoo and conditioner. It comes in a kit or separate. I used it and it seemed to help my thinning hair. My hair also felt dry.

Ann

 

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2848
Joined: Jan 2010

I used a shampoo and conditioner with a brand name of Jason, which I found at GNC stores.  It comes in a combo-pack.  I think it worked pretty well.

LaCh
Posts: 509
Joined: Dec 2012

 

Hair loss from chemo begins in the follicle so shampoos/conditioners don't help with that. Dryness might respond to topical treatments (shampoos/conditioners) but there are no guarantees. I'm 9 weeks out and still shedding hair at a pretty fast clip.  If this doesn't reverse course pretty soon, I'll be as bald up top as I am down below.

Barb5454's picture
Barb5454
Posts: 63
Joined: Feb 2013

I know what you mean. My hair down below is growing back but I'm still losing my hair on my head. It's really freaking me out. I guess I should have shaved it.

 

LaCh
Posts: 509
Joined: Dec 2012

Well, I can't say that I'm freaked out (my freak-out bar is set pretty high) but it sure is getting annoying.   People keep telling me that it'll grow back, and my response to that is, it has to stop falling out first. 

How long are you post chemo? 

Red Sox Fan
Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2012

I'm two and a half years post treatment.  I lost about half the hair on my head and it is now back to normal.  As for down below, I lost it all and only about 20% of it has come back.

LaCh
Posts: 509
Joined: Dec 2012

20 % you say?  wow.  well, it doesn't bother me really that it's gone and I'm just 9 weeks post chemo.  I've lost a lot of head hair but I had a lot to start out with.  But ... well, I'm ready for it to reverse itself. 

islandgirlculebra's picture
islandgirlculebra
Posts: 135
Joined: Dec 2012

Barb: This chemo doesn't typically cuz people to lose ALL their hair....... I ended up with very thin hair with a couple of bald spots. It was ugly and I got my hair cut short and wore a wig when I went out in public for a while...... When the new hair filled in the bald spots in about three months or so, it just looked like I had a very short hair cut. I was really glad I didn't shave my head; it would have added more trauma to an already stressful experience!

Barb5454's picture
Barb5454
Posts: 63
Joined: Feb 2013

Thank you. I use to have extremely thick hair and now it is so thin. I will try and be patient. I did get my hair cut but not real short just enough where I can cover some of the bald spots. I think I might invest in a wig. Thanks again

jbug2
Posts: 42
Joined: Mar 2013

I had chemo the first week of Dec., 2012 and the first week of Jan., 2013, concurrent with radiation.  Radiation ended in January 18, my hair still didn't look to bad when radiation ended.  However, by end of March my shoulder length hair was getting pretty thin and stringy looking, however, I had about an inch of fuzzy WHITE growth near the scalp ... I ended up getting the shoulder length blonde hair cut back to nearly equal length of my new WHITE growth.  It doesn't look bad if I use a 3/4" barrel curling iron to curl the ends under occasionally. 

Oh, the WHITE pixie haircut is still a shock to see when I am washing my hands and glance up at the mirror, sort of like a stranger staring at me.  I am beginning to get a lot of black hair woven into the white.

I did purchase a wig, also wore lots of hats and scarves.  My balder areas near my old side part and the back of my head are pretty much covered with new fuzzy growth, so I can blend (curl) my hair and it doesn't look to bad.  However some of the new growth also seems to be falling out, now.  :(  I grieved the loss of my hair PLENTY!!!

 

jcruz
Posts: 214
Joined: Jan 2013

I grieved my total hair loss plenty also.  My hair has grown in curlier and grayer than before.  I am startled by my appearance sometimes because I think I just don't look like me.  It's hard for me to take compliments on how beautiful my new hair looks because I can't accept that it looks so different.  It's a struggle for me.

jbug2
Posts: 42
Joined: Mar 2013

It's hard for me to accept compliments on this new silver-white pixie cut, too!  I need to like it, myself!!!  HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GROW AN INCH OF HAIR?

My cut was supposed to look like Kellie Pickler's current haircut ... but it's taking abnormally long to just grow an inch.  I am pretty sure my hair used to grow faster than this. 

LaCh
Posts: 509
Joined: Dec 2012

My hair continues to fall like autumn leaves. Pretty soon I'll look like a bare winter tree but I don't really care. It's an irritation, nothing more.  I don't care all that much what I look like.  It's just hair. That's just my opinion, my feelings about myself, please no over enthusiastic criticism about it.

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2848
Joined: Jan 2010

I was determined not to let any hair loss bother me.  I must admit that when I first noticed fallout, I felt a bit of sadness.  However, I knew that any hair loss would only be temporary.  I was much more worried and concerned about the permanent effects of the cancer and/or treatment.  When I went out in public, I wore a pink ballcap, the color of which had no significance to me, other than I had puchased that cap in Key West on a memorable vacation.  When people saw me, I'm sure they assumed I was going through treatment for breast cancer.  I attended my husband's office Christmas party capless and just let it all hang out (or more appropriately, not hang out!).  I looked like I had the mange, but I didn't care.  All who were there knew I had had chemo and radiation and they didn't care.  My hair has always been very thin and hard to manage, so getting a very short cut helped make it look better when it finally began to grow back.  I have kept it short ever since.

sephie's picture
sephie
Posts: 519
Joined: Apr 2009

my hair was thin to start off with but it did come out a lot...BUT there was no pain when it came out so i did not care... i hurt so much on the booty and in the arm where picc line was located that i really was grateful that the hair loss did not hurt.... i still have bald spot but it is the easiest side effect to deal with for me.....sephie

islandgirlculebra's picture
islandgirlculebra
Posts: 135
Joined: Dec 2012

It's amazing how your perspective changes regarding hair loss as you go through this whole process. I was devastated at first at the thought of it. It was a big relief not to go completely bald like some chemo patients do. The bald spots were ugly; I gradually got my hair cut shorter, then covered up with a wig for a few months. But it was hot in the summer; I wanted to go to the beach; so then I would wear hats. Then I got tired of the hats and just went natural. It was amazing how people really did not stare and after a while it just didn't bother me anymore. I was so glad to be feeling better and getting out of the house, I just wasn't as self-conscious as I thought I would be......And this new short haircut has no maintenance, which is nice.... Just my thoughts, for whatever they are worth.....Cool

Lorikat's picture
Lorikat
Posts: 555
Joined: Jul 2011

I tried to get Kellie Picklers haircut too!  BUT I didn't get the little pixie face to go with it, LOL!  My hair didn't all fall out but thinned severely...  I was always blond but now am DARK blonde with god given white highlights!  I just don't look...

jbug2
Posts: 42
Joined: Mar 2013

I went back to get my hair trimmed to night, it's been 5 weeks.  My husband now has more hair than I do, for the first time in the 24 years that I've known him!  All the long thin strands are off, and the bald spot in the back is filled in with about an inch of length.  My beautician (my niece) says that our hair grows about 1/2 inch a month ... slightly faster in the summer.  So much for my Kellie Pickler haircut, it just looks like a boy haircut now.  One good thing, I won't have to cope with thick hot, shoulder length hair this summer.  Also, no color touchups, I get so many complements on my natural color, I'll stick with that.  My hair is just dreadfully short now, but VERY THICK at the roots, that's nice! Amazingly, it only took a few months for the bald spots to fill in with thick hair, short, but hey, it's hair!

 

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2848
Joined: Jan 2010

I have said since having had cancer and losing some of my hair during treatment that there is NO such thing as a bad hair day as long as I have hair!  I bet you will like your new short cut and that it looks very nice.  I have had short hair ever since my treatment ended and I will never go back to a longer style, as I like the no muss, no fuss of a short cut.

eihtak
Posts: 818
Joined: Oct 2011

My hair has always been thick and naturally wavy. The years before treatment I wore it not quite shoulder length and it had been getting greyer every day! I lost a lot of it but never all. It got so thin that I could put it in a pony tail and double those little brace rubber bands, so probably should have shaved it off. I never gave it much thought and for some reason was more concerned with the PAIN I was in. (lol) Its been two years now and it is thicker, curlier and less grey than ever. Although I wear it quite short, it grows faaaast! It may be that I'm healthier all around, (nutrition, exercise, etc.) and thus my hair is healthy too. Its funny how it even matters to us, what if from birth we all, men and women just cut/shaved our heads??????????

jcruz
Posts: 214
Joined: Jan 2013

This is written by a woman who has ovarian cancer and whose essays I have really appreciated reading.

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/25/living-with-cancer-living-without-hair/

2tuff4you
Posts: 6
Joined: Apr 2013

My hair thinned out to and 5 weeks after treatment I can feel where new hair is coming in Have faith it will come back

jena58
Posts: 19
Joined: Apr 2013

Just had to jump in here! My hair fell out in handfuls in the shower but I didn't loose ti all, it just really thinned out. I used to have a mass of long red curls and during treatment the curls didn't curl anymore. It looked yuck! I lost eye lashed, under arm hair, pubic hair and leg hair. Once I was we'll enough to go to my hairdresser I got her to cut it all off short because it was just looking unhealthy and horrible. my hair is much healthier now, though I've kept it's short. My eye lashes grew back. My under arms, legs and pubic hair are still really thin. I consider this to be the one and only up side of treatment After effects!!!!! Don't have to shave my legs or under arms everyday and don't have to worry about bikini line spider legs in summer, woo hoo :)

Eliz3
Posts: 32
Joined: Feb 2013

My sister has beautiful shiny brown hair, just getting an odd white one, but very healthy hair at 57.  The Oncologist told her, at the first meeting, that she would not lose her hair, or he doesn't expect that she will lose her hair!  I can't figure this out, how could he guarantee that?  She apparently does not have the second round of chemo you all mention, can't figure that either.

You all seem to be coping, each in your own way, with the loss...and keeping your sense of humour along the way.

 

Thinking about you all. :)

 

 

LaCh
Posts: 509
Joined: Dec 2012

I don't care about my hair,

Whether it's gone or whether it's there,

Life's too short to think of that,

I have no hair? I wear a hat.

Beyond all that I just don't care,

If I do or don't have hair.

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2848
Joined: Jan 2010

I love that!  While I do kinda like having hair, when I finished up my treatment and had a really bad case of mange, I couldn't have cared less how my hair looked.  I was just so thankful to be done with treatment and the hell I'd been through.  I think a person realizes that lots of things are overrated in life once you get a cancer diagnosis and go through what we've been through.  Our hair does not define us.  If it did, I would be gray, thin and limp with no body, which doesn't sound too good!  Frown  I hope you are doing well.

LaCh
Posts: 509
Joined: Dec 2012

doing well, thanks, yes, but just as my hair loss doesn't define me, neither does the fact that I had cancer. I rarely think about it, and define myself as a cancer survivor  about as much as I define myself as a flu survivor. It happened, it's over and I don't give it a whole lot of thought, not as an accomplishment that I got through it, not that I was couragous or cowardly, weak or strong, good or bad, up or down, whatever or whatever else....  I really don't think about it much at all.  It was. It isn't any more. If I have a problem, I solve it, if I have thin hair, well, I can't see my own hair when I'm walking through Central Park, and my hair and cancer are about the farthest things from my mind when I'm walking through the Ramble with my dog or hanging out at Bethesda Fountain. It's just.... over.  On to the next thing. This is why I don't hang out on this website nearly as much as I used to. The past is past, at least to my mind. But that's just me.  Please no over-enthusiastic criticism; it's just my take.  Everybody's different.

sandysp's picture
sandysp
Posts: 743
Joined: May 2011

My hair is now long, thick and curly for the first time in my life. I lost most of my old hair right after my first chemo treatment and went through several phases of hair. I cut mine really short and died it bright red!

I come back on the site because others helped me along the way and I know something I say may be of help to someone going through physical and emotional pain.

Like you, there are times when I take a break.

My rule of thumb is "do what brings you life!"

(An Oncologist told me that twenty years ago when I was facing a different challenge).

All the best,

Sandy

LaCh
Posts: 509
Joined: Dec 2012

I just never think "I had cancer," when and if someone asks me to describe myself. It's not a part of who I am, it's a condition that I had. I equate it with the flu or a cold but with higher stakes.  I give it as much weight in self-identification as I do to my asthma.  It's not that I want to forget about it particularly, it's just that it takes more effort to get it to stick in my head than it does to let it slip out of my head.  It's more like, "Oh, yeah, that's right, I had cancer once...  hey, you want to go to the park?" As for helping others, I find that my views, my delivery and my words aren't always helpful, often create strife or discontent, and I'm not sure if I can add anything constructive to the dialogue anyway. In any case, there are plenty of other people here who can and do; one more (me) isn't necessary.  That said, I think that after a year (Sloan Kettering's criteria) I may see about volunteering there in a one-on-one capacity, not so much to help others, since I think there are plenty of people out there who "help" but because it might be a gratifying experience for me.

eihtak
Posts: 818
Joined: Oct 2011

I'm one of those people that has spent most of my life sitting on the fence and admiring both sides. I would NEVER win a debate. I think volunteering is a wonderful experience, weather you do it for yourself or for others.....both sides benefit. I love to hear your views, and the way you put your thoughts into words.

I saw the broadway musical production of the Lion King last weekend. Besides being an amazing technical masterpiece I have always loved the whole reminder of "the circle of life".........................it always gets me thinking about what I may have intentionally or unintentionally passed on or still can.

 

 

 

 

LaCh
Posts: 509
Joined: Dec 2012

Thanks Eihtak,

Yeah, I've volunteered in the past and have found it very rewarding. With regard to enjoying my views, I thank you, but the truth is that people always like to hear anyone's views, as long as they agree or support their own, but when they don't, they're a little less enjoyable. The problem is compounded in a written  forum which is unavoidably what this is. I've pissed off more than one person, more than one time on this board, although it wasn't and isn't my desire or intention to do so. I seem to have a real knack, so I try to keep my input and opinions to a mimimum.

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

Hi. I just want you to know that it is possible to disagree, without being "pissed off.". I have disagreed with you once in the past, but with no anger whatsoever. I really don't recall anyone expressing anger at you at all.

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

Hi! Glad to hear you are doing so well and I hope you are enjoying this terrific Spring weather!

I really wish that I could say that cancer is in my past! It must be a great feeling. Maybe someday that will happen for me if thr scientists keep working towards a cure for me!

How is that book coming?

LaCh
Posts: 509
Joined: Dec 2012

oh, yeah, the book. I've put it away. 

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

Well, I hope when the time is right for you, you get back to it, if that is what you want to do. I understand the need to take a break from a project.

LaCh
Posts: 509
Joined: Dec 2012

maybe.

Lorikat's picture
Lorikat
Posts: 555
Joined: Jul 2011

You really think that your thoughts are different from everyone?  Causestrife, etc?  How about, they make (or help) people think?  Or help people realize they are not totally different on thought than everyone else...  You see, many people aren't bold enough to post beliefs and or feelings that are aren't main stream.  So thank you for that...

Me?  I wish I COULD not think of cancer.  It's with me everyday.  I still battle fatigue and bowell upsets.  I still fly to Houston every three months and either I am getting ready to go or resting up after having gone with a few weeks in between.

NOW that sounds like a pity party to me!!  But it ISNT!  I still do most of what I want to do, just not always WHEN I want to!  I am working at teaching my Grandson to ride a bike...  I can't run as far holding him up as I did his Dad, but run behind him I do!  

So pls keep sharing....  You would be missed...   Lorie

 

LaCh
Posts: 509
Joined: Dec 2012

Thanks Lorikat,

Those are kind thoughts, kind words.  I think that I sometimes post thought-provoking sentiments and sometimes simply provocative ones, although the latter isn't my intention. I can't say that I don't think about my situation but I can say that I don't worry about it.  My feeling is that no one lives forever and although I hope that my time isn't now, it'll be my time someday and now or later, what's the difference. (It's easier for me than it is for some others to say that since I have no family so the feeling of leaving people behind isn't a factor). Physically, I have bad days and less bad days but I can't say that I've yet had what I'd call a good day, not physically, but I try to ignore it since there's nothing that I can do about it. Digestion is a total disaster, fatigue is a real issue and so forth but I just try to ignore both. What I will say is that at a certain point, it's common to think in terms if the impact one leaves behind, the people one has touched, the better things one leaves behind and I can't say that I can yet name any of those things. So yeah, I'm not quite ready yet, but the reality is, ready or not, when your time's up, it's up.  

Lorikat's picture
Lorikat
Posts: 555
Joined: Jul 2011

Hmmmm... Thought provoking indeed!  You see, I HAVE family..  Husband, brothers, sisters, children and grandchildren..  I love them all sooooooo very much....  I want to see them, love them and help them.  I do not want to be an emotional,physical drain on any of them.  

 

As far as dying and leaving them, I have done my very best with and for them.  Will they miss me when I'm gone?  For awhile.   But they are strong independent people and as such will do just fine.  Do I WORRY about any of that?  Not really...l just live life to te fullest everyday.  Like you there are almost good days and not so good days.  However this is the only place I share that fact.  My granddaughter who graduates high school this year named me as her "hero without a cape" saying I never lost my enjoyment of life ethin though things were really bad at times.    If I can leave my family with thesethoughts I've lived well....

 

So you see, we're not so different at all...  I've never seen New York or central park so look through new eyes for me, ok?  In the mean time I will enjoy just how beautiful the mountains are here...  Lorikat

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