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Hair Loss

Posts: 30
Joined: Mar 2010

I was wondering: did anyone experience hair loss after the Mytomycin and 5-FU? I'm 3 weeks into treatment, and I just noticed that I'm losing a decent amount of hair. Hopefully, it's just thinning and it won't all fall out. I know it could be a side effect, but the doctors' made it sound like that wouldn't happen. Does anyone have any experience with this?

z's picture
Posts: 1407
Joined: May 2009


Yes I had hair loss at around the same time. Because my hair was down to the middle of my back, I chose to cut it to my shoulders. I had wanted to try a short haircut for a while. It was easier for me and I had to deal with less hair falling out. I did't lose all my hair, and I completed treatment 6-30-09 and have a full thick head of hair now. I think it was about 3 or 4 months before it started really growing back.


mp327's picture
Posts: 4124
Joined: Jan 2010

Hi Susan--

My treatment began on 7/28/08 and on day 21 I began noticing hair falling out. It continued to fall out for the rest of my treatment and for about a month after it ended. I did not lose all of my hair, but it got really thin and some spots were pretty bare. I elected not to wear a wig, instead wore a ball cap. It took almost a year for my hair to fill in completely again. I, too, got a short haircut prior to starting chemo, so the hair loss wouldn't be as noticeable or traumatic. It was fine and I didn't really get too upset about it. I thought if that was the worst thing I had to deal with, then I would be fine. To keep the hair loss at a minimum, you will want to shampoo less frequently and do not use a blow dryer. Also, using a shampoo that contains Biotene may help strengthen the hair that stays. I found a brand called Jason at GNC. It's true that not everyone has this side effect from this chemo, but I'm an example of someone who did. I wish you the best and hope you will just experience thinning.

Posts: 30
Joined: Mar 2010

I totally didn't expect to lose my hair and I'm completely not prepared for it. I don't have a wig or any hats or anything. I've only been shampooing every 2 or 3 days and haven't used a blow-dryer. I will try the shampoo you recommended. I'm pretty freaked out right now. I feel like I'm falling apart in so many ways. Every day is a new surprise. I guess I'll get myself some ball caps and suck it up. I mean, what else can I do, right?

pjjenkins's picture
Posts: 173
Joined: Mar 2009

I lost hair until it was quite thin and I normally have thick, fine, straight hair. I got a wig through an agency which provides wigs free and liked it but only played with it around my family. When my hair started to grow back, it came in with lovely curls, which, to my disappointment, have since faded out of the picture again and I am same old same old me. The timetable was I noticed a lot of hair after my very frequent baths starting in the middle of chemo weeks. My treatment ended in early March of 2008 and my curls started in the summer sometime and my hair was back to straight by the summer of 2009. Mind you, I have no desire to go through more chemo just to get better hair again!

Hang tough, you probably won't lose all your hair and it WILL come back.

JDuke's picture
Posts: 443
Joined: Nov 2009

my hair started coming out about the third week of treatment. I kind of freaked and got it got about collar length. Also bought TWO wigs, ended up wearing one of them once. It was the shortest my hair had been since 5th grade. It WAS quite alarming for me. I did not lose it all but it got VERY thin. I ended up getting it cut even shorter at the end of treatment. The good news is, my very fine slightly wavy hair ended up being replaced by thicker somewhat curly hair that was much smoother and more manageable. I would actually consider it one of the positives in this unexpected journey.
Blessings to all,

lil lady
Posts: 36
Joined: May 2009

I lost my hair with this chemo not totally but almost had to take the rest off and wore wigs the hair loss started at the end of my first chemo session I am now 9 months from the end of my treatment and have nice short soft curls. better hair then I had before so that is one plus to the treatment

Cheyenne's picture
Posts: 77
Joined: Apr 2012

I've had quite a bit of hair coming out the last few days (I just finished week 3 with first week being combined chemo and radiation) I will be going to Florida the last week in June so I'm sure my head will still be vulnerable to the effects of the sun. A friend of mine shared this link with me:


I ordered one in white. I like this better than even thinking about wearing a wig in June in Florida!

sandysp's picture
Posts: 862
Joined: May 2011

Looks like you have curly hair in this picture. I had totally straight hair. It thinned greatly and I had it cut very short. Now it is really curly and I am kind of enjoying it (not every day). Keep your head covered. Radiation makes us very susceptible to sun burn and skin cancer, according to my Oncologist. We are supposed to stay forever out of the sun. Looks like you are very fair and probably are used to that already. Take it easy. Traveling is hard on us. But enjoy Florida as much as you possibly can. It will get better. You are on your own very individual healing journey.
All the best,

Posts: 151
Joined: Jul 2011

My doctors also made it sound like I would not loss my hair, however, it thinned for four months after treatment ended and I had some bald spots. Now, 9 months out of treatment it is back- short and curly! I'm told it may not stay this way. I'm just embracing it...

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