My hair has started falling out

Lakegirl
Lakegirl Member Posts: 15
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
I knew this was coming but I'm still scared and in denial. My hair has started to come out. How long will it take?
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Comments

  • zahalene
    zahalene Member Posts: 670
    It can be different...
    for everyone. Generally, it comes out rather quickly over a few days. Lots of women go ahead and shave their head so they don't have to deal with it all over the place. It helps if you have a good friend do it for you, or family member. Then have a good cry. Then mark it on your calendar or write it in your journal as the day you took charge of this part of the battle instead of letting it take charge of you.
    God bless.
  • Moopy23
    Moopy23 Member Posts: 1,751 Member
    Hair
    Lakegirl, I lost my hair back in January, after my second chemo treatment. Like you say, it is hard even though you knew it would happen. Suddenly, the reality of the cancer diagnosis and chemo are starkly evident.

    But, honestly I can tell you that your hair does start to grow back very quickly at the end of chemo treatments. You will be hirsute again sooner than you think.

    As far as time for hair to fall out, I had my hair cut short in November 2008, knowing what was to come. A few days after hair started to come out, I just asked my husband to give me a buzz cut. That way, I had control--and avoided seeing my hair falling through my fingers.

    I can't tell you then, how long it will take if you just let it fall out. Others did let the hair just go and can tell you how long that process took. We all just handle the trauma the best way we can, in whatever way is easiest for us. You will be hearing from others soon, I'm sure.

    My best to you, Lakegirl.
  • Akiss4me
    Akiss4me Member Posts: 2,188
    Sorry, Lakegirl
    I am so sorry that you, or anyone, has to go through this part of the journey. We will be here to walk you through it. Hang in there and be brave, then do what I would do.....sit down to your favorite pint of ice-cream without guilt!!! Pammy
  • mlmjt1
    mlmjt1 Member Posts: 537
    HI Lakegirl
    I remember when my hair started falling out...even though I thought I was ready, I dont really think I was. Somehow its easy to deny the diagnosis when you look in the mirror and you look the same. But once the hair goes then you cant deny it anymore.

    On the positive side...My hair was so thin and ugly, I may actually look better bald! Im lookiing forward to seeing how it comes back it cuz it really has to be better than before.

    Hang in there

    Hugs
    Linda T
  • redbobb
    redbobb Member Posts: 8
    Hiya Lakegirl!!!
    Hiya Lakegirl!!! Girl....it's OK...it's true that it's realy hard to lose the hair, but I have found that I love my new bald head. I lost all my long, thick red hair in May. It started to thin out a little at first...but my hair was really thick. So, that happened over 2 weeks. I cut it into a short sassy bob...that I would have never tried unless this happened... and I found out I LOVED it!!!! So, if you have long hair...get it cut short and and have fun with it. It comes out faster and looks like more is coming out when it's longer.

    So...about a week after that I noticed it was getting thinner and thinner...mostly on the top. I hated that look and it made me feel like I looked sick. I probably should have shaved it a week earlier...because at the end it came out fast!!! So I gathered about 15 of my good girlfriends and family...got a few bottles of wine and we had a shaving party. It was awesome!!! Take control of your own hair and don't let it take control of you. I am still rocking the bald look!!...I love it, but not everyone feels comfortable that way. Work with it and see what you feel like. I bought 2 wigs and have a bunch of scarfs...never used them once. You'll know what is good for you.

    Some people I know have waited to see...I never lost all my hair and it never stopped growing...I just choose to shave it. I have a friend who just comb her hair around the thinner spots and that worked for her. Some ladies just wear a hat to cover up the thinning part on top and still have plenty coming out at the bottom. Everyone is so different.

    I wish you peace with everything....Laura
  • Alexis F
    Alexis F Member Posts: 3,598
    redbobb said:

    Hiya Lakegirl!!!
    Hiya Lakegirl!!! Girl....it's OK...it's true that it's realy hard to lose the hair, but I have found that I love my new bald head. I lost all my long, thick red hair in May. It started to thin out a little at first...but my hair was really thick. So, that happened over 2 weeks. I cut it into a short sassy bob...that I would have never tried unless this happened... and I found out I LOVED it!!!! So, if you have long hair...get it cut short and and have fun with it. It comes out faster and looks like more is coming out when it's longer.

    So...about a week after that I noticed it was getting thinner and thinner...mostly on the top. I hated that look and it made me feel like I looked sick. I probably should have shaved it a week earlier...because at the end it came out fast!!! So I gathered about 15 of my good girlfriends and family...got a few bottles of wine and we had a shaving party. It was awesome!!! Take control of your own hair and don't let it take control of you. I am still rocking the bald look!!...I love it, but not everyone feels comfortable that way. Work with it and see what you feel like. I bought 2 wigs and have a bunch of scarfs...never used them once. You'll know what is good for you.

    Some people I know have waited to see...I never lost all my hair and it never stopped growing...I just choose to shave it. I have a friend who just comb her hair around the thinner spots and that worked for her. Some ladies just wear a hat to cover up the thinning part on top and still have plenty coming out at the bottom. Everyone is so different.

    I wish you peace with everything....Laura

    So sorry lakegirl. I know
    So sorry lakegirl. I know it isn't easy, but, you have lots of supporters right here!

    Lex♥
  • mberg
    mberg Member Posts: 62
    Hair
    I started losing mine at about 21 days after starting chemo. I ignored it for a week or so, then was finding hair in everyone's dinner GROSS! I had my sister come over and she shaved mine , then my husband volunteered (he looks kind of silly, he was a skateboarder back in the day he has lots of scars LOL). We shaved mine with the longest attachment i think a 6 and that was on the 10th and I don't know if its cause i have blondish hair or what but is still have enough to spike it up a little and go out Au natural. I have 2 wigs and a bunch of scarves, i haven't worn them yet. I keep telling myself its just hair. Try and enjoy it, then get crazy with the wigs and scarves! ps i highly recommend the acs look good feel better program they have them all around. they will show you makeup tips for eyebrows, where to get wigs free, how to tie scarves and when i went they gave a huge goody bag with all new makeup so you dont get germs from an of your old stuff. just search look good feel better, they are usually at hospitals.
  • DianeBC
    DianeBC Member Posts: 3,881 Member
    Akiss4me said:

    Sorry, Lakegirl
    I am so sorry that you, or anyone, has to go through this part of the journey. We will be here to walk you through it. Hang in there and be brave, then do what I would do.....sit down to your favorite pint of ice-cream without guilt!!! Pammy

    Hey
    Hi Lakegirl. I am so sorry that you even have to take chemo. There have been several sites on here advertised where you can get free scarves, hats and other stuff. The ACS even gives free wigs from what I have heard. Good luck!

    Hugs, Diane ♥
  • KAF
    KAF Member Posts: 16
    mberg said:

    Hair
    I started losing mine at about 21 days after starting chemo. I ignored it for a week or so, then was finding hair in everyone's dinner GROSS! I had my sister come over and she shaved mine , then my husband volunteered (he looks kind of silly, he was a skateboarder back in the day he has lots of scars LOL). We shaved mine with the longest attachment i think a 6 and that was on the 10th and I don't know if its cause i have blondish hair or what but is still have enough to spike it up a little and go out Au natural. I have 2 wigs and a bunch of scarves, i haven't worn them yet. I keep telling myself its just hair. Try and enjoy it, then get crazy with the wigs and scarves! ps i highly recommend the acs look good feel better program they have them all around. they will show you makeup tips for eyebrows, where to get wigs free, how to tie scarves and when i went they gave a huge goody bag with all new makeup so you dont get germs from an of your old stuff. just search look good feel better, they are usually at hospitals.

    Hair
    I was two weeks into chemo when I noticed mine falling out. I've heard when that starts to happen, just shave it all off, which I did. My hair was always thick with a little wave. It took me about 6 months till I could go anywhere without wearing wigs and scarfs. My hair came back in a little darker, and nothing but curls. Everybody thinks I got a perm, and I tell them that's the way it came back. I've had two cuts so far, and it's still curly. I've heard the good lord always gives you a nice head of hair, for what you been through. Has anybody else's hair come back curly?
  • TraciInLA
    TraciInLA Member Posts: 1,994 Member
    KAF said:

    Hair
    I was two weeks into chemo when I noticed mine falling out. I've heard when that starts to happen, just shave it all off, which I did. My hair was always thick with a little wave. It took me about 6 months till I could go anywhere without wearing wigs and scarfs. My hair came back in a little darker, and nothing but curls. Everybody thinks I got a perm, and I tell them that's the way it came back. I've had two cuts so far, and it's still curly. I've heard the good lord always gives you a nice head of hair, for what you been through. Has anybody else's hair come back curly?

    Hair, hair everywhere
    Hi, Lakegirl -

    My hair started falling out just a little on day 12 after my first chemo, and was starting to come out in clumps in my hand by day 16. By day 17, I was wearing a hat everywhere just to contain the fallout, which made me say enough is enough.

    We also started slow, buzz cutting it on the highest setting on the clippers, then working our way down over the next couple of days, until I also started finding hair in my food on day 19, and we took it down to the lowest setting on the clippers. I've just finished my second round of chemo, and am waiting to see if I want to go The Full Monty and shave it, or just let it fall out from here.

    Everyone feels differently, I know. For me, once it started falling out everywhere, I just felt it was more trouble and inconvenience that I don't need in my life to keep denying it than just to admit it, get rid of it, and move on to focusing on beating this cancer and not worrying about my hair.

    Traci
  • car57
    car57 Member Posts: 5
    Losing your hair
    Losing your hair can be traumatic or you can take control of it. About 3 weeks after my 1st chemo treatment mine started falling out and I couldn't stand the thought of it getting in my food or worse, someone else's food. So, I had my son to come over with his clippers and cut and shave my head. I went to work every day, so to keep down stares and confusion at work I wore a wig that looked just like my normal hair. For a long time no one knew that I was bald. I wasn't afraid for people to know that my head was bald, it was just less time consuming at work. When my hair began to come back, I quit wearing my wig and went natural. My hair originally was light brown, soft and fine, and stick straight. When it came back it was jet black and kinky curly. Everyone also thought I had gotten a color and perm. About three years post chemo mine has returned to its orignal color etc.

    There was one consolation not having hair. I could get ready for work in no time because I didn't have to fuss with fixing hair. Also, a number of times I had fun pulling my wig off and showing someone my bald head (can be a shocker and funny). Hang in there, this too will pass. Car57
  • MyTurnNow
    MyTurnNow Member Posts: 2,686 Member
    Me, too!!
    I know how you feel LakeGirl. Just this morning I noticed a whole lot more hair in my comb after getting out of the shower. My fear is having clumps come out. I've read on here in several posts that it's just a matter of days before I have clumps. I am actually hoping that I can make it to Friday (just 2 more days) and have my head shaved Friday night. That way, I figure I have the weekend to get used to it. I'm not super vain but I've tried on the scarves I have and I do look so different in them. I think the biggest reason is now there will be no question of what I'm going through. I'm not ashamed of it, I just prefer to be more incognito, I don't want to be the "sick" one. Good luck to you and let me know what you're planning.
  • padee6339
    padee6339 Member Posts: 763
    Oh No!
    When my hair started to fall out, I went to my hairdresser and had her shave it. I was fine at the start, but when I looked around the room and saw the pity on the faces of the other customers, I started to cry. She told me it would grow back.

    The clumps would be all over my clothes and pillows, and one evening at dinner without thinking I touched my hair and came away with a handful.

    I decided to have the beauty parlor do it, but she left stubble, so that night my brother slathered shaving cream all over it and used his razor. That was the beginning of December. I now have hair grown back in about 1/4 to 1/2 inches long. I am still waiting to see if it will be curly!

    Good Luck and God Bless!
    Pat
  • carkris
    carkris Member Posts: 4,553 Member
    padee6339 said:

    Oh No!
    When my hair started to fall out, I went to my hairdresser and had her shave it. I was fine at the start, but when I looked around the room and saw the pity on the faces of the other customers, I started to cry. She told me it would grow back.

    The clumps would be all over my clothes and pillows, and one evening at dinner without thinking I touched my hair and came away with a handful.

    I decided to have the beauty parlor do it, but she left stubble, so that night my brother slathered shaving cream all over it and used his razor. That was the beginning of December. I now have hair grown back in about 1/4 to 1/2 inches long. I am still waiting to see if it will be curly!

    Good Luck and God Bless!
    Pat

    hair
    the place that I go for the wig takes you to private room. She also buzz cuts it for you. she said I would Know when I needed it. Will I? I am afraid I will wait to long.
  • aztec45
    aztec45 Member Posts: 757
    This Will Pass
    Sorry you are losing your hair Lakegirl. This was probably one of the toughest things for me to deal with. I had long think locks. I had hair even as a newborn. So, yes, I was proud of my hair and very possessive of it. I did cut my hair short about the third week into chemo. I donated it to Locks for Love. I thought by donating it, this would help me deal with it. But you are right. It is another thing all together when it starts falling out in chunks and stopping up the tub. The major hair loss lasted probably about a week. Then it was just a little here and there. I did mourne my hair for about a week. I felt like crying but my head meds probably stopped that. Once it was done, it was done. I put on my caps and kept on trucking. There were some coworkers who tried to get a glimpse of my hair loss around my neck. Whatever. My buddies told me to "shave the **** off". One guy told me to "rock the cube" and tattoo my head. I just laughed at him. I am a bit stubborn. I am hanging on to my last whisps of hair. My mom calls me Pig Pen. We just laugh about it all now.

    Point is this is part of chemo. Everyone goes through it and they survive it. You will too. And you have the most amazing women on this face of the world to help you through it. Do and wear what feels right to you.

    Pat
  • lolad
    lolad Member Posts: 670
    aztec45 said:

    This Will Pass
    Sorry you are losing your hair Lakegirl. This was probably one of the toughest things for me to deal with. I had long think locks. I had hair even as a newborn. So, yes, I was proud of my hair and very possessive of it. I did cut my hair short about the third week into chemo. I donated it to Locks for Love. I thought by donating it, this would help me deal with it. But you are right. It is another thing all together when it starts falling out in chunks and stopping up the tub. The major hair loss lasted probably about a week. Then it was just a little here and there. I did mourne my hair for about a week. I felt like crying but my head meds probably stopped that. Once it was done, it was done. I put on my caps and kept on trucking. There were some coworkers who tried to get a glimpse of my hair loss around my neck. Whatever. My buddies told me to "shave the **** off". One guy told me to "rock the cube" and tattoo my head. I just laughed at him. I am a bit stubborn. I am hanging on to my last whisps of hair. My mom calls me Pig Pen. We just laugh about it all now.

    Point is this is part of chemo. Everyone goes through it and they survive it. You will too. And you have the most amazing women on this face of the world to help you through it. Do and wear what feels right to you.

    Pat

    Lakegirl
    My hair started falling this past weekend and it was falling out so bad that i finally had to shave it. My kids helped me do it and it wasnt as bad as i thought. They say i look cool! I thought i would cry, but i was just glad to get it over with and get it to stop falling out all over the place.

    laura
  • VickiSam
    VickiSam Member Posts: 9,079 Member
    LAKER GIRL ... I am so glad you posted this subject
    I am a few weeks behind you in chemo. I am trying to be proactive by cutting my hair short, wearing bandana's (so my family and dogs's) don't freak out when I lose all my hair. I too, think that I am prepared ..but I am not. However, I have ths site to help me.

    I am enlightened by the positive support, and comments given to you regarding this subject.


    VickiSam
  • cats_toy
    cats_toy Member Posts: 1,462 Member
    so sorry Lakegirl
    it is always traumatic to start losing the hair, and it doesn't help to have someone say it will grow back. But what I found was the cutting/shaving gives you a sense (false?) of control over when and how, and it does help when the hair starts getting really thin. I mine went very soon after the second chemo (which was over two years ago), and now that it has grown back, I am very surprised to find that I like it short (never did before).
    So, this may not help, but hopefully you will have a bit of an easier time of it.
    Cat
  • Lakegirl
    Lakegirl Member Posts: 15
    cats_toy said:

    so sorry Lakegirl
    it is always traumatic to start losing the hair, and it doesn't help to have someone say it will grow back. But what I found was the cutting/shaving gives you a sense (false?) of control over when and how, and it does help when the hair starts getting really thin. I mine went very soon after the second chemo (which was over two years ago), and now that it has grown back, I am very surprised to find that I like it short (never did before).
    So, this may not help, but hopefully you will have a bit of an easier time of it.
    Cat

    My hair as started falling out
    Thanks everyone for your stories and comments. I know once this is behind me things will be better. I went today to the American Cancer Society and picked out two free wigs. I was surprised. I only expected one. One of them is new with the tags still on it. I also have a couple of scarves and hats ready.

    Went today for my second chemo treatment but my white blood cell count was too low. They have put it off until next Thursday.

    Thanks again.

    Robin
  • Briterstar
    Briterstar Member Posts: 2
    Lakegirl said:

    My hair as started falling out
    Thanks everyone for your stories and comments. I know once this is behind me things will be better. I went today to the American Cancer Society and picked out two free wigs. I was surprised. I only expected one. One of them is new with the tags still on it. I also have a couple of scarves and hats ready.

    Went today for my second chemo treatment but my white blood cell count was too low. They have put it off until next Thursday.

    Thanks again.

    Robin

    I cried
    My hair started falling out just before my 3rd treatment. It took 4 days of cleaning out my brush every time I ran it through my hair and filling up my bathroom garbage can before I decided I had to get my head shaved right away. I couldn't handle this part. (I think I cried more about losing my hair than I did about losing my boob!. This may sound shallow but in my eyes it says with capital letters on my forehead that I have cancer and I don't want any pity.) My sister is a hairdresser but it was going to be another week before I was going to be able to see her. I bought a wig for $269.00 a few weeks ago. They didn't shave it completly to the skull, I still have some stubble left but it is getting pretty thin. This past weekend, I found out about cancer centers that have new and used wigs that are donated and are free of charge. (Wish I knew about this before I paid good money I didn't have). On a positive note though, now I have 2 more and can experiment with different colors and styles.

    Just know that you are not alone in this. There are a lot of us in the same boat. Keep the faith and maintain a good attitude. I have a doctor that told me that medicine can only do so much. 90% is mental.

    I had my 4th treatment today. Good luck with your next one.

    Terry