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does everyone lose their hair on Chemo?

Posts: 37
Joined: Sep 2011

I Am just wondering, if everyone that has chemo lose their hair? at the hospital when we went to a class they said for sure 99% of the people lose their hair,
my husband has had 5 treatments and his hair is still there, could it be that the longer you are on it the more chance of hair lost?

Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

It depends a lot on the individual, but also on the specific drug(s) he is on. For example, it seems most people on this board don't loose their hair when they are on 5FU, Xeloda although many experience some hair thinning. When I was on those drugs I never lost all my hair, never wore a wig -- and probably most people wouldn't have noticed (just my hairdresser and me!). On the other hand, CPT-11 (Irinotecan - sp?) does seem to result in significant hair loss for many folk. I ended up wearing a wig when on this drug altho I went about 6-7 cycles before I needed to consider -- my oncologist had told me most people loose 50% of their hair by cycle #2 and 90% by cycle 4 -- I was lucky/unusual.

Good luck to you and your hubbie - -on the hair front and also on the health front!


Buzzard's picture
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

just a little more in the shower than normal but not able to tell it much...I am now on Folfiri and just finished first cycle...No loss yet but if it does, it just does...I am 57 and looks like the Chippendale dream I had of becoming one is down the toilet so hair loss now for me is the least of my worries......... :)


wolfen's picture
Posts: 1312
Joined: Apr 2009

I was just getting ready to go to the club to look for you. LOL



ddpekks's picture
Posts: 162
Joined: Sep 2011

Chemo prior to surgery, husbands hair started standing up in places that it didn't before and he did lose a little, but it came back quickly. This new round of chemo has not affected his hair so far.

Buzz...don't worry bout those Chippendale's.....you've got them beat by a mile! Just keep dancing when you can!


Kenny H.'s picture
Kenny H.
Posts: 503
Joined: Aug 2010

Didnt lose any hair, but noticed it quit growing as fast. Haircut lasts 4 months!

Main side effect Im dealing with (5fu folfox) still is numbness in hands/feet. Last treatment was in April & its still there.

Posts: 3
Joined: Sep 2011

Hi all,

Same here, had F5u folfox and didn't lose my hair, some thinning and ditto as Kenny H. neuorpathy is staying. Numb feet and hands.

abrub's picture
Posts: 1835
Joined: Mar 2010

and had minimal hair loss - mostly body hair. The hair on my head remained intact, tho it became straight for the first time in my family's history.

I lost some hair from the eyebrows down, nothing significant. Hair loss is not a given with Folfox.

westie66's picture
Posts: 642
Joined: Jun 2010

Hi: I didn't lose any head hair on cisplatin/gemcitibine but have lost about half of it on folfoxfiri (oxaliplatin + irenotecan + 5FU) and the texture has changed to something quite coarse. I'm heading in to my 10th treatment (of 12) so maybe that is it but I have wigs at the ready!

Posts: 28
Joined: Sep 2010

I haven't lost any hair, but agree with the others it grows slower. Just means I don't need to shave my legs as often.


steveandnat's picture
Posts: 887
Joined: Sep 2011

I just lost a bunch (not all) of my hair within the past month. I was taken off Avistin and given CPT which seems to make me loose my hair. It's strange because its not completely gone so I debating whether to shave it all off or see if it grows back.

herdizziness's picture
Posts: 3642
Joined: Apr 2010

I had thinning, although I had such a mane of hair no one thinks I lost a strand. I had been told that I would lose it, HAHA, all that crying for nothing.
Winter Marie

Posts: 44
Joined: Mar 2011

No hair loss after 9 treatments of Folfox and 1 treatment of Folfiri.

marqimark's picture
Posts: 242
Joined: Jun 2011

I had every evil side effect chemo dishes out.

The only one I didn't care about, I didn't get.

I still had to shave my head daily.

How messed up is that??

Posts: 31
Joined: Jul 2011

I just had treatment #5 and I haven't lost any hair. I made a conscious decision to shave my head after about 4 treatment not because I was losing hair I just wanted to be in control for a change and lose it when I want to not when chemo does.

Kathryn_in_MN's picture
Posts: 1258
Joined: Sep 2009

It really depends on the individual and the type of chemo.

Many people have their hair thin when on the typical colon cancer drugs. Most of them do not lose it all.

I lost 90% of my hair on FOLFOX, but I had so much hair to start with that it took a long time before it was noticable to most people. I had the summer off of chemo and my hair grew back. I had to cut it short because I had longer stringy stuff, and shorter thick stuff.

After two rounds of FOLFIRI and Avastin, my hair started coming out in big clumps. I had to shave my head because it looked really awful - the old-man combover just wasn't cutting it anymore. I went on maintenance of 5-FU and Avastin for a couple months and my hair grew back. But my tumors progressed. So I had to go back on Avastin - goodbye to my hair again. (Although it didn't disappear as fast this time.) I have a litte bit of hair - very short, and lots of bald spots. The last time I shaved my head was June, but I really need to do it again. It looks quite funny with so many bald spots and different lengths of hair where I do have it - from 1/8 inch to 1/2 inch.

Even though I had long thick hair my entire life, and had never ever had short hair - and everyone knew me by my hair - in the end it was no big deal to lose it. And I discovered my head doesn't look so bad, and I look better in short hair than long hair! I never would have known that. I was too scared to cut it before.

PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4837
Joined: May 2005

Mine thinned for a while but this profile photo was taken in July of this year.

mukamom's picture
Posts: 402
Joined: Oct 2010

was on folfri, he lost hair everywhere but his head and face. Now on erbitux and camptosar, hair on head and face was coming off in clumps. So shaved his head, and it looks good...but with the cold coming, he's trying to let some grow back for insulation. Don't know how that will turn out


thxmiker's picture
Posts: 1282
Joined: Oct 2010

I lost about 1" of my hair line. It is coming back after 3 months of being off of Chemo. Life is what it is. If hair is all that, your prioritites will change after facing chemo. I am happy to be NED and alive!

Best Always, mike

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