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Round three and the hair is falling

toddi1973's picture
Posts: 41
Joined: Oct 2011

OK, I was hoping to keep my hair during the 12 rounds of FOLFOX but I might have been wrong.
Started the third round on Monday and today I noticed the hair coming out.
Oh well.... Now it's just a question if it's a little bit or enough to warrant chopping it all off and going bald.
How did you fine folks deal with this ? I understand it's different for everybody, I am just curious.
I also understand it will eventually grow back, right ?

Thank you,

th_in_canada's picture
Posts: 46
Joined: Nov 2011

Mine didn't come off until I was put on irinotecan. It started thinning in the first cycle and gone on the second. It came back (although very slowly) once I was off the iri. It took about 4 months before I was comfortable going wigless and hatless.

westie66's picture
Posts: 642
Joined: Jun 2010

Hi: I have just finished 12 treatments of oxaliplatin + irenotecan + 5FU + leucovin (after 12 treatments of cisplatin + gemcitibine). My hair didn't fall out but it did break off. For awhile it was much thicker and even curly (my hair is fine and straight) but the texture changed to almost frizzy and the hair broke off. It is particularly thinner around the sides and front and top back. I can still go without a wig - now that it is cooler, I can wear a beret! or other type of hat! I keep my hair as conditioned as I can with overnight leave-in conditioners (but still colour my hair!).

golf_gal's picture
Posts: 69
Joined: Dec 2011

My Oncologist said no coloring hair while in folfox6 + avastin. I had six cycles beginning June 21 then removal of nodes, then folfox w/ o avastin. My hair is coming out. It's not too bad, but I'm just waiting to see if I warrant a buzz cut. LOL

Posts: 520
Joined: May 2011

The chemo nurses told me not to buy a wig. With Folfox I had thinning on the sides and the top near the back. As it grew back it was finer and white. I was expecting dark, thick and curly but that was my friend who had chemo for breast cancer. I did not need a wig, I just wore my hair "bob" length and did a slight comb over the part on the top of my head. When I finished Folfox the stylist suggested I highlight to blend the white and brown hair.
Good Luck with chemo.

LAF53's picture
Posts: 61
Joined: Sep 2011

I seem to always have a hair in my mouth from it falling out. But after 5 rounds of Oxaliplatin it has just thinned and much has broken so i kinda have a shag hair cut again.


plh4gail's picture
Posts: 1238
Joined: Oct 2010

Hi Toddi, My hair thinned on folfox. When I was 3 months into it, my onc changed me to folfiri because of my symptoms on folfox. (A whole nother story right?) Right away the hair came out more on the folfiri. At least thats how it went for me. I felt like shaving it off at times but ended up with shorter and shorter cuts (and thinner and thinner hair). Even my eyebrows! lol And man did I stress! It was actually seeing it in my hands and places like the hood of my jacket....I remember my scalp hurting at times. I wore cute caps until I finished chemo. I was so afraid it wouldn't come back in. Vanity? Cancer is very humbling. Especially crc. Then...I figured my new hair cells needed all the oxygen, circulation, and sunshine they could get to grow in fast and healthy so off came the hats. And I also took Biotiin 5000. It came back different, straight(er)and soft. It used to have curl and texture. And you know what? The short hair has been fun to watch come in and I just embrace it because it is what it is. After chemo I found a young hair stylist who had never seen me to begin a new cut and colors and styles. I just wanted her to do what she thought would look cute with what she saw at the moment and go by with how someone else remembered me wearing my longer hair. You can look at my pictures and see the change to the shortest cut. And its hard to tell in the picture just how thin it really was because of the things I did and used.

Good luck and remember that it will come back in :)

Hugs to ya, Gail

Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6650
Joined: Feb 2009

Mine never really came out it just thinned and my hair is thin to begin with but no one ever noticed. Everyone is different and yes, it will grow back.


Eltina21's picture
Posts: 174
Joined: May 2010

Hi, I know it is hard not to realize that your hair changes while going through chemotherapy, but it will get better. I am an African American and mine thinned out and was just about gone in the top, after my surgery and 12 rounds of chemotherapy. Since my chemotherapy I have tried to go as natural as possible with foods, cosmetics etc. I refuse to add chemicals to my hair anymore so now I am sporting a medium sized afro (mixed gray). Many people stop me to tell me how beautiful it is and I everytime I look at it, I feel so thankful. I call it my crown of life. So believe me, it does come back. Mine came back even thicker than it was before. So keep happy thoughts and remember that it will get better.

Peace and Blessings,

Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

I had hair thinning on Folfox but never lost it all and never really got to the point where I had to consider cutting/shaving it all off and/or getting a wig. Most folk seem to be the same for folfox. (Folfiri, or Irinotecan, is a different story -- I had to enter wig-land with that....).

I wear makeup under the best of circumstances and found I needed to do a little more on the eyebrow/eyeliner/mascara front -- but I'm fairly fair/sparse to begin with.

Big earrings and bright lipstick help (if that is your thing). (May I assume you are female?)

Good luck! Hang in there!


tommycat's picture
Posts: 790
Joined: Aug 2011

What helped me was when I noticed it falling out, I went and got a super short haircut....by the time it grew back out, my hair had started coming back in. My eyebrows and lashes thinned too, but using smoke and mirrors, don't think anyone noticed :)
Cutting my hair also gave me a sense of control.

plh4gail's picture
Posts: 1238
Joined: Oct 2010

Yep!...I ditto what tommy said. (and all the others too) Even though I put my two cents in already.

Kathryn_in_MN's picture
Posts: 1258
Joined: Sep 2009

I'm one of the oddballs that lost a lot of hair on FOLFOX. I lost about 90%, but it was gradual. I started with very, very thick hair. People that didn't know me wouldn't even realize I lost hair most of the way through. At the very end it was very thin though. I pulled it back into a ponytail all along, and finally had to cut it short when it started growing back in when I stopped FOLFOX. It looked silly with the very thin ponytail and a thick head of hair on top!

I had to shave my head on FOLFIRI. A few weeks after starting it, my hair was coming out in big chunks. After a couple cycles there was no choice but to shave it off. I've been off Irinotecan for a couple months now and I have hair again! I'm excited to have hair for the winter. (Last winter I went on maintenance of 5-FU and Avastin for two months and my hair started growing back, but I had to go back on Irinotecan, and there it went again.)

If you think a lot of hair is coming out, you'll probably want to cut your hair short if it isn't in a short style now - at the point when it starts growing back in, it will look funny if you have some long thin hair, and some short thick hair. But you might get by just fine until that point of regrowth.

Posts: 2
Joined: Dec 2011

I lost half of my hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes. I never had to shave my head, but I did have it cut, so that it was about 4inches everywhere. It did help it appear fuller. Take care of what hair is there...no heat!

Have a "scarf day" if you need to.

It's been ten months since my last chemo. I now use Latisse, and my eyelashes have never been so long, nor my eyebrows so thick.

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