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Chemo hair loss

light42day
Posts: 62
Joined: Mar 2012

I was wondering if there's anyone out there that has had Taxol/Carbo that hasn't lost their hair? I know that's one of the main side effects of Taxol but I thought that maybe there was someone who had beat the odds. I'm resigned to losing my hair and it's due any time now. Does it fall out all at once? Or does it take a few days? My next treatment is April 9th and I guess you usually lose it by your 2nd time.

snowbird_11's picture
snowbird_11
Posts: 160
Joined: Oct 2011

My head hair fallout did not follow usual pattern only gradually thinning over the first five cycles and then I cut and buzzed it. However, the rest of my body hair pretty much disappeared after second cycle including eyebrow and eyelash hair which was the worst. One can wear a hat or a wig for head hair but faking a 'normal' look without defining facial features was hardest. I had previously done heavy chemo that normally results in total hair loss for breast cancer treatment and experienced even less hair fallout then. Not sure what makes the difference as I had plenty of other chemo side effects.

bonniep's picture
bonniep
Posts: 36
Joined: Jun 2010

Dear Light42day,
I am so sorry you have to go through all of this as it can be so stressful. Cancer just changes every aspect of your life. I am currently on Taxol/Carbo Chemo for recurrence, but also went through it in 2010 when I was originally diagnosed with USPC. My doctor said my hair would start falling out on day 17. I didn't want to deal with losing my hair (too tramatic for me) and frankly the only control I seemed to have over anything was to decide how I would lose it. I made a decision to shave my head and get a wig. The week before chemo started, my daughter went with me to a place called Crowns of Glory - they deal with medical patients who loose their hair. I must have tried on 50 different wigs of all styles & colors. We laughed and we cried and took lots of pictures. Part of the service included shaving my head so I had it done and they trimmed my wig to go with my face. It was a great experience and we had so much fun.

Once chemo was done in Nov.,2010, my hair did start growing back in. It was thicker, baby soft, very curly(frizzy), totally gray and very unmanagable. I cut it, colored & highlighted it, but still could not achieve the hairstyles I loved when wearing my wigs. I have 4 of them - all the same color & same styles but lengths are different and some with root showing or not. No one can tell when I'm wearing my wig. I told my Dr. the best thing that came out of cancer for me, is that I learned I love wearing wigs & I would have never tried one, had it not been for cancer. I am wearing one of my wigs in my picture.

Even though I was cancer free for a year, during that whole time, I wore my wigs. After my recurrence in Jan.of this year, I started the Taxol/Carbo chemo, knowing I'd loose my hair again. This time my "Macho" Coach Son-in-law volunteered to shave my head so 'we could be twins'. He shaves his head. I agreed to it, so my daughter & granddaughters gathered around me to give him pointers, as my husband took pictures (which will never be shown to the public). It was another great time of fun and laughter.

I am not trying to make light or joke about our situation because it is totally life altering. But, by adding a little humor to the situation and including my family in this aspect of the cancer journey has removed a lot of the fear my family felt (me too). My granddaughters (6 & 9)are open and ask me lots of questions, love to rub my bald head, or give me consructive criticism if I choose the wrong scarf or head covering when I'm not wearing my wig.

Welcome to CSN because it is a great place to 'talk' with women who are going through exactly what you are going through. I've learned many things and even picked up some ideas or issues I've discussed with my doctor. At times it can be very overwhelming as some women have thoroughly researched everything and have dealt with far more than I have at this point. If it pertains to my situation, I'll post comments. When I get scared or depressed or have any questions, I'll post. The feedback from all the women are uplifting and caring and you don't feel so alone. I'll pray for you as you are going through this journey. HUGS! Bonnie

Ro10's picture
Ro10
Posts: 1579
Joined: Jan 2009

I do not know anyone either who has not lost their hair with Taxol/Carbo. I am on my fourth time of being bald. I must say it becomes part of the acceptance of the chemo working again..... I miss my eyelashes the most, although I seem to have some very light short ones still in place. I never did get them back full length and color from the first time losing them. I have never been able to have enough for mascara. I use eyeliner. I have a little bit of the eyebrows still left, enough that I can draw them where they were before.

It is traumatic to think of yourself as bald. But as others have said, you can have fun with wigs, hats and scarves. I never mastered the scarves though. Newsboy caps and baseball caps in bright colors made me most comfortable. Although I did wear a wig more the first three times of being bald.

My hair started falling out day 12 after my first chemo. It was always gone by the second chemo. Good luck with your adjustment. Take it a day a time, and cry if you need to. But just remember your hair will grow back again. In peace and caring.

LizGrrr's picture
LizGrrr
Posts: 124
Joined: Nov 2011

Hi light42day - Taxol has a 100% likelihood of hair loss. I cut my thick, curly, black shoulder-blade length hair to an ear-length bob before I started chemo so the loss wouldn't be so scary. It started falling out on day 14. It didn't come out in public or at mealtime or anything, just when I was in the shower shampooing or brushing my wet hair. With 3 treatments, I didn't go chrome dome but lost about 80% of my hair. I shaved my head when it started falling out because the patchy look wasn't for me.

Fortunately, I have been told by just about everyone that I have a great skull :) My hair's growing back thick and soft like puppy fur, but it'll all fall out Memorial Day weekend (I'm going in for my second round of 3 chemos).

While I have a wig and a bunch of bandannas and scarves and hats, I found that after I adjusted to the new look I preferred going bald. I feel like GI Jane except I'm UPSC Liz :)

My body hair and facial hair thinned, and once I waxed it didn't grow back for months. It's nice not having to shave my legs or underarms or wax my upper lip and eyebrows. While I miss having lush eyelashes (I still don't have enough for mascara) I can deal. You will, too :)

Liz in Dallas

light42day
Posts: 62
Joined: Mar 2012

Thanks for all your replies! I loved reading your experiences with your hair. I cut mine really short about 2 weeks ago. It used to be down to the middle of my back and it took years to get to that length. But I know it is going to fall out and I think I'm ready to deal with it now. If all of you ladies can do through it, I can too!

daisy366's picture
daisy366
Posts: 1493
Joined: Mar 2009

Dear Light,

You might consider donating your long hair. At first the hair loss was disconcerting. My head "hurt" when I showered on the 14th day and sure 'nuf came out in clumps.

I got a free wig from the local ACS - they were lovely about everything. And there is a cosmetic course that I never took advantage of but heard great things about it.

After trying the wigs and scarves, I ventured outside "commando" one day and never looked back. That became my preferred look and feel (wigs hurt and scarves looked stupid on me). Even though people were kind and said I had a nice shaped head, I really didn't, but it all worked out well. I just shaved it weekly to keep the stragglers in line and I also met many men that could have been my twin brothers!!

Best wishes to you. It will be OK. Hugs, Mary Ann

RoseyR
Posts: 471
Joined: Feb 2011

Know it feels traumatic at first to lose your hair, but cut my shoulder-length dark brown hair to a short punky cut two weeks before chemo and everyone loved it. Made losing it less dramatic.

My own hair loss started a few days after second round of taxol/carbo--not in clumps on my pillow but long strands that would come out every time I combed it. Just got used to it.

Bought one wig but found it unconfortable after two hours of wear--and wound up wearing lots of little turbans and scarves that were nearly chic, not bad at all.

Lost far less hair in SECOND round of chemo (last three treatments--seemed to come out only around the hairline) but the hair that first grew back was very fine and greyish (like a dead dandelion head!)

The good news: if you have that first baby fine layer of hair trimmed after two months, the newer hair will come back much healthier an thicker.

Just stopped wearing scarves for first time in ten months--and love my new short, fesity, thick hair. The "do" is like Halle Berri's--though only wish I LOOKED like her!

Best,
Rosey

Susanna23
Posts: 66
Joined: Dec 2010

Ladies
I have set April 13 as the day I am going to say goodbye to my two identical/alternating wigs!
During six rounds of carbo/taxol as adjuvant chemo for stage 1A uterine carcinosarcoma (MMMT) following surgery (last chemo April 27 last year) I lost all scalp hair, as predicted, between rounds 1 and 2. It started to come back around July and I had my first hairdresser appointment in December! It has come back thick and very curly. Most days I do go without the wig but sometimes I do resort to it as it looks much better than my new 'hair'. Eyebrows,eyelashes, body hair went too but were back very soon after last chemo.
Fourth check up coming up next month - so far all is well so hair loss small price to pay. I have become rather attached to my two wigs - was told they would only last two months (they are NHS subsidised and synthetic) and have lasted the course rather well.
Please take care everyone and let me know of any other hair experiences.
Susan xx

pakb56
Posts: 141
Joined: Jan 2012

I found many people telling me you may not lose your hair. When my doctor first told me about taxol/carbo, the very first thing he told me was "you WILL lose your hair". He told me day 17. I startrd noticing some fallout around day 14. A couple of days later, I had it shaved to about a half inch. When I began to look like a baby orangatang, I had it shaved off.

After he first shave my scalp was quite itchy and I used a bristle brush to scratch it. Probably not such a good idea, as I had a horribe case od foliculitis on my scalp. Still getting over that, have one bad area still.

Knowing I was going to lose my hair, I spent a small fortune on scarves and a wig. The scarves looked hideous on me and I ended up taking them to the infusion center for others. I mostly wear hats. I have a few chemo beabies that I occassionally wear and still have not worn the wig.

My eyelashes and eyebrows thinned but not noticeably.

As others have said, you do get used to seeing yourself bald. It seems unlikely, but it is true.

Take care,
Pat

debrajo's picture
debrajo
Posts: 1095
Joined: Sep 2011

Lost my hair right on schedule, day 19. I really didnt care, I just looked it as the chemo was working! I lost my lashes and brows also and fully expected to get them back since I had enviously long dark thick lashes and if I didn't keep them plucked, I had a Neanderthal brow thing going on! Two years later, no brows or lashes...learned me not to be prideful!Really miss the lashes and I never did get use to drawing on brows. Drew them on one day, looked like a hoot owl!!! Seems I unknowingly arch one brow when I concentrate, looked like I was permanently perplexed! You will do fine...just think, summer is coming and it is a heck of a lot cooler! Humor heals also, Best, Debrajo

Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2821
Joined: Jun 2010

Some of us (very few) have permanent hair loss. It appears I'm one of the not so lucky ones. My last chemo was 18 months ago. Only about 1/4 of my head hair returned. I have 2-3 underarm hairs, my eyelashes are short, light, and sparse, and no eyebrows. My pubic hair is consistent with my scalp hair - maybe 1/4 of it. I have patchy leg hairs. The only thing that's the same with me is the stupid facial hair! I'm wearing a wig - and I'm getting used to it, but it has taken me quite a while to get to the place where I can accept this fate somewhat.

Some things that have helped me: I like my wig (didn't have one during chemo), I got permanent eye makeup (i.e., tattoos), and sometimes I wear false eyelashes (I wore them constantly when my eyelashes were totally gone - they're very nice as long as they stay put). I really recommend the permanent eye makeup. The liner makes not having eyelashes less noticeable. I know a woman who had hers done before she even started chemo. It's amazing and I wish I'd done it years ago. Having no eyebrows or lashes was the worst for me. I looked like a flippin' alien! I'm very fair and I had no facial features. The scalp hair could be covered in many attractive ways I felt, but not the face.

Good luck. It turns out for me that wigs are not a bother nor are they too hot. The permanent eye makeup was life changing, false eyelashes are fun, but they do take practice. I may be old, but I'm still vane. If my hair ever actually fully returns, it will never be as cute as my wig!

Suzanne

CindyGSD's picture
CindyGSD
Posts: 191
Joined: Aug 2011

First thing I was told about taxol was that I would lose my hair. It started exactly 14 days after my first treatment. My hair was shoulder length. It did not come out all at once but in strands over a week. It sort of became of an obsession to pull it out. I'd run my fingers through my hair, pulling out strands at a time. I spent a lot of time pulling it out in the shower and plastering the hair against the shower wall for easy clean up. I even took pictures and sent them to my friends (lucky them). I went to my second chemo treatment with obviously thin hair and had it shaved the weekend after. I shaved it to about 1/2 of an inch but after a week of still have hair sticking up all over the place, I went back to my friend and had her shave it to 1/4 of an inch. The rest fell out unnoticed.

My eyebrows and eyelashes started falling out well after my third treatment but I never lost them completely because I had a break from chemo and started radiation. During that time my hair grew back to the point that I could go without a wig or scarf. My hair started following out exactly 14 days after I started my chemo again, and I went through the process all over again.

Now, I'm 3 and 1/2 weeks from my last chemo treatment. I've got 1/2 inch strands of gray hair stick out of my bald head that I'm sure nuclear explosion wouldn't kill. I might have shaved just so my hair grows back evenly. My eyebrows have just started falling out I'm hopeful that by mid June I will be able to stop wearing any type of headcover. Its not fun, but its not as bad as you think and you get use to it really fast.

Good luck in your treatments.

Take care
Cindy

light42day
Posts: 62
Joined: Mar 2012

Hair loss is a big deal for us! It has been so good for me to read your stories. They make me laugh (and cry a little, too). I may start losing my hair this weekend or maybe by Monday, which will be 14 days since my 1st treatment. I bought some new bandanas online that I really love so that made me feel a little better.

This whole cancer/chemo process has really caused me to think about my life. I think it changes you forever in some ways. I've been pretty weird about my hair, for one thing. I used to have NIGHTMARES about my hair being cut really short and then I'd wake up and be so happy that it was still long. Now I have it cut REALLY short and I love it! But now it's going to fall out. I know it will grow back in time. But it sounds like it will take awhile for it to be the way it used to be. I'm sorry to go on about this subject. It really isn't as important as being well again and living a long life.

I told my husband that I was afraid that he wouldn't find me attractive anymore when I was bald and he said he wouldn't know the difference when the lights are out! He was kidding, though! He told me that he would love me no matter what. He's stuck by me through a lot these past months. He goes with me to my Chemo up in Seattle and sits there with me all day when he's really busy with our business stuff. I feel very blessed.

txtrisha55's picture
txtrisha55
Posts: 676
Joined: Apr 2011

I cut my hair short like a pixie cut before I stated chemo from the middle of my back. Day 19 it started coming out in clumps, also I was pulling on it. Did not hurt pulling it out in clumps. After I did that I used an electric hair razor to cut to 1/8 inch. Man was my head white underneath. Later that night I used shaving cream and a razor and shaved my head bald. I did wear scarves or hats for awhile especially outside but ended up just going bald. Even went back to work bald. Never bought a wig. Of course I live in Texas and last summer was a heat wave. 100 degrees almost everyday, that is why the scarves and hats went by the wayside. Made me sweat to much wearing them. I did put on sunblock if I was outside too much. The hair lost was not that big a deal to me. The only thing that bothered me to most was that I lost my nose hair, which is suppose to me a line of defense against gearms. It grew back but took a while. Just recently I bought First Defense Nasal Screens looks like little bandaides to put over your nostrils. Saw it on the show Shark Tank, Mark Cuban bought into the company. I had jury duty and did not want to go down and sit with all those people in the jury room with no protection. I bought surgerical mask too!. Looked funny but was protected.
All of this is in your attitude and how you deal with it. For me it was no big deal it was fighting cancer and this is just a result of the fight. Hair does grow back, at least most of the time, if mine had not, I would have just kept on being bald. My hair has grown back and it is driving me crazy because it is curling a bit and sticks out everywhere. I need to get it cut but have not done it yet. Best of luck to you and I will keep you in my prayers. trish

imackie48
Posts: 96
Joined: Nov 2011

A friend of mine who was being treated in Vermont, she told,me the hospital was given her a vitamin called Biotin in large doses, she saismhernhairmgrew back twice and very thick, has anyone heard of this, no one at my drs office ever me mentioned it. I bought a bottle but the dose is 1000mg it says it's for hair nail growth. My hair is growing so slow.

Irene

debrajo's picture
debrajo
Posts: 1095
Joined: Sep 2011

This does work! My eighteen year old son lost 75% of his hair due to taking acne meds. He takes the biotene in large doses (for him) and a deep deep mosturiser shampoo and conditioner and his hair is slowly coming back where he had been bald for 8 years. But ask your doctor if it would hurt you or your treatment. Best, Debrajo

imackie48
Posts: 96
Joined: Nov 2011

debra, Biotene is a mouthwash and toothpaste, are you sure it's not Biotin? Just checking

What's dose is he taking?

debrajo's picture
debrajo
Posts: 1095
Joined: Sep 2011

You are right! I was up, not sleeping @3am and shoot, I can't spell anyway! I even forget this thing has a spell-check! I typed a short message, hit spell check and the whole thing lit up like a bad PET scan! But he is taking 2 500mg caps twice a day which is more than the average dose, but you cant tell a 26 year old man (or any man) anything. He is red-headed and very fair skinned and the dr. said he probably wouldnt respond well to it due to sensitivity, but he is growing hair on a bald head that has been that way since he was 18! Please check with your dr....I'm not sure just what Biotin is made up of. Best, Debrajo

CindyGSD's picture
CindyGSD
Posts: 191
Joined: Aug 2011

Just as we know that heat or hot water probably makes the hair fall out faster, I wonder if it also makes the hair grow in quicker. I've been taking a lot of hot showers lately. ;o)

Cindy

debrajo's picture
debrajo
Posts: 1095
Joined: Sep 2011

Don't know for every one(they sure are good for chemo aches!), but his dr. said nothing that drys the scalp out is good. My son just has normal hair, but his dr. also told him to use only the deepest moisturizing shampoo and rinse even if you don't have any hair at all since the scalp must be kept soft for new hair growth to get a good start. Don't know if it helps, but he was told not to wear his caps all the time, the scalp needs to breath, but NOT out in the sun. Best debrajo

Mdotsie47
Posts: 28
Joined: Dec 2011

I'm in the middle of six rounds of carbo/ taxel. My hair started falling out two weeks after the first treatment, so I just shaved it all off. I tried the caps and hats and bald head look, gave up and started buying wigs. Finding the right ones is really difficult. Many are stiff and hot. I now buy only Raquel Welch memory cap wigs because they are comfy for all day wear and look natural. They are my cancer indulgence, since I have stage 4 and who knows what's ahead. At least I can enjoy looking "normal" even if I don't feel it!

CancerFighter05
Posts: 1
Joined: May 2013

I am on Carbo/ Taxol. I have had 7 treatments and have 3 to go. I have not lost my hair yet. It has thinned out but not enough to worry about. I washed my hair with cold water and baby shampoo. 

jazzy1's picture
jazzy1
Posts: 1385
Joined: Mar 2010

Seriously.....still have hair?  Never ever heard this one and boy are you one lucky gal.  Most difficult part at my beginning of the journey was HAIR LOSS.  Generally loose after day 14 from first infusion.

Wondering why...hum?

Enjoy,

Jan

 

 

NoTimeForCancer's picture
NoTimeForCancer
Posts: 2445
Joined: Mar 2013

I remember crying when I heard I would lose my hair.  It was about day 10 after my first taxol/carboplatin when I just stood outside my house, shook my hair with my fingers and saw it fall and blow away gently in the breeze.  I hoped at least a bird would find it helpful when building their nest for their young!

A few days later my girlfriends and I all cried when my wig shop shaved my head.  A week or so later I was sitting in the church for a funeral for a 34 year old young man and all saw the very proud and BEAUTIFUL African American women with their closely shaved heads and asked myself, "Why I am I hiding under this wig?"  The following Monday I asked a bald man at work to get a few other of the bald (and secure) men to surround me in a picture of me without the wig.  It means the WORLD to me.  My mother loves it.  (BTW - I am the one wearing lipstick) and one of my great friends said he gave it to a man who put a copy on his desk because he didn't want to lose his hair and it helped him. 

I wore a wig thoughout this whole treatment though so others didn't view me as "sick".  Since there was a break in my chemo, shaving my head the second time was not as traumatic, and because I say my body got used to the poison, not all of my hair fell out the second round and I had wispy hairs around the sides and back, the "Larry Fine" look!  One year after surgery now and I have closed the wig shop in my second bathroom and since short hair is very hip right now, sporting the doo of the season! 

I agree with others here though, losing eye lashes was the most difficult thing.  I remember going to visit my mother and while washing my face saw some lashes in the sink and knew, sadly, these were next to go.

Everyone told me it would grow back, and while it did, it still really was devasting when it happened.  I hated that people would say that to me, and start to say it will grow back curly or something.  I had loved my hair and didn't want anything but what I had!  Maybe I wasn't as fearless as other in this area as others.  Let's just call it like it is:  IT SUCKS!   

I didn't like being bald but I knew it was because we were killing the demand who chose to take haven in my body.  If it meant killing the devil than I would sacrifice my hair!!

 

Canary's picture
Canary
Posts: 14
Joined: Aug 2018

Hi, friends. I just joined the group today. I am 10 days out from my first chemo and thinking about hair loss. I purchased my wig yesterday and have bought a few chemo caps. I was wondering about the sensitivity of the scalp once one loses hair. Is there anything you can share about this topic? Wash with shampoo? Soap? Baby shampoo?  

NoTimeForCancer's picture
NoTimeForCancer
Posts: 2445
Joined: Mar 2013

Hello, Canary.  I am sorry you are having to go through this all.  I remember my head itching as my hair was falling out, which was a little maddening.  I also remember - and this lasted for years - it felt like my scalp like it was being pulled - like when I used to use a curling iron as a kid.  I would just press on my head when I had the latter, but it eventually ended.  Also, here is a video of using old t-shirts to make them in to wraps.  I loved these to run around in and for around the house.  My tip on this is:  get at least a Large, go to Goodwill (you need to inspect them) but look for a fashion designer t-shirt for better colors (Ann Taylor, etc), cut with scissors 15" from the bottom. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CP2JyDgql_0

Canary's picture
Canary
Posts: 14
Joined: Aug 2018

Smile

Thank you so much, NoTimeForCancer, for the link. A soft absorbent t-shirt sounds really good for a sweaty head. I tend to be warm natured and that sounds very comfy. I’ll head out tomorrow to get a shirt and try it out, or maybe just go look in my closet right now. 

Canary's picture
Canary
Posts: 14
Joined: Aug 2018

First homemade cap completed. Thanks for the great idea.

NoTimeForCancer's picture
NoTimeForCancer
Posts: 2445
Joined: Mar 2013

Canary, I remember my radiation techs wanting to see how I wrapped it and another woman in JoAnn Fabric came up to me and said she had never seen anything like it - so I showed her as well. I know the woman didn't show it in the video, but I would smooth it down over the back of my head.  Hers was a little wonky in the back, but if you play with it a little bit you will get the hang of it fast.   

Canary's picture
Canary
Posts: 14
Joined: Aug 2018

Actually, it looked really great the first time. My shirt was an XL and i did an extra twist in the back and that took care of the extra fabric. I am a Christmas nut and had been looking for caps in a Christmas print for December. Now all i have to do is find a Christmas print tshirt and my problem is solved. I am on day 11. Thursday will be day 14 and i am leaving then on a short vacation. I will take my clippers with me in case that is when the hair starts falling. I feel ok about all this right now. I hope i can keep that positive attitude when it actually happens, but i think i can. 

ConnieSW's picture
ConnieSW
Posts: 1327
Joined: Jun 2012

When my hair came back, I discovered having it really short suited me. It's been 6 years now and I still like it and get compliments. Who knew. 

Cass83's picture
Cass83
Posts: 158
Joined: Feb 2017

I keep mine short now too. It is so much easier to maintain, and cheaper!

 

LisaPizza's picture
LisaPizza
Posts: 146
Joined: Feb 2018

Same!

Cass83's picture
Cass83
Posts: 158
Joined: Feb 2017

I had long hair when I was diagnosed, cut it short, then when it started coming out, I had it shaved and wore a night cap to keep it from getting all over my pillow at night. Once it all came out, I used baby shampoo on my scalp. 

I only cried one time when it all came out, and my husband said "at least the chemo is working". And that put it all in perspective. And it does grow back! (oh, btw, there are many perks, like not having to shave your legs or arm pits!) :D

Canary's picture
Canary
Posts: 14
Joined: Aug 2018

Thanks, everyone. I have definitely been thinking about not shaving legs and armpits and plucking chin hairs. I have worn very short hair for most of my adult life so that part won’t be a problem.

CheeseQueen57's picture
CheeseQueen57
Posts: 746
Joined: Feb 2016

I have bad news. For some reason chinny chin chin hairs keep growing. But my leg hair never came back in full force. My head hair came back beautifully. I had a preference for turbines myself. 

Soup52's picture
Soup52
Posts: 842
Joined: Jan 2016

Yes, Cheese the chin hairs were probably the first to come back and never stopped!! Underarm hair never grew back and very little on legs. If I ever have to have chemo again I won’t grow my hair longer again. That part ha been a pain, but I’m finally back to my shoulder length hair. I need to take a new picture:)

pato58's picture
pato58
Posts: 109
Joined: Jun 2018

I know what you guys are talking about, even without chemo. They are relentless Tongue Out

Canary's picture
Canary
Posts: 14
Joined: Aug 2018

So i guess if the chin hairs stay, i can think “i didn’t lose all my hair”. :)

The chemo nurse told me at my treatment that hair doesn’t disappear everywhere and i told her i would probably be the one to keep leg, armpit, and  chin hairs.  It is what it is and it will be ok.

cmb's picture
cmb
Posts: 175
Joined: Jan 2018

I'm one of the unlucky ones whose hair came back very sparsely after chemo. My hair had been thinning for several years before I got cancer and I was used to wearing wigs for work or social events, although I went "natural" the rest of time. So I was actually hoping that I'd get back "different" hair as a few friends with cancer did.

But what grew back was exactly the same (texture, color) as I had before, just a way lot less, especially on the top of my head. It actually looks like male pattern baldness. I do have more hair on the sides and back of the head, so I just stick a hat on when I'm not wearing a wig. If I had looked better when I was bald I would just shave it all off again, but the bald look didn't really suit me as it does some others.

Fortunately I did get my eyebrows and eyelashes back, so at least I don't look as sickly as I did without them. I was especially happy to get the eyelashes back – I hadn't realized until they were gone how much junk they keep out of your eyes.

I realize that my hair loss is a very minor issue compared to the residual effects from treatment that other ladies have suffered. So I try not to dwell on it. And even if I had known about cold capping before I had chemo, I doubt that I would have pursued this anyway since I didn't have great hair to start with.

Jairoldi's picture
Jairoldi
Posts: 152
Joined: May 2017

Fortunately I had very thick hair before chemo. From ear to ear on my hairline is much thinner than the rest of my head. To my peers at work my hair is now more like theirs. 

Armywife's picture
Armywife
Posts: 177
Joined: Feb 2018

My hair was really thinning for several years before cancer, and it also came back exactly the same - I did hope for a while that it would come back different and thicker!  The only difference was that it came in gray and white.  I keep combing over, but mine is still really short - long way to go to grow back as long as it had been, and I may just keep it short.  I'm thankful to have it - and also noticed that one eyebrow came back great and the other one is very sparse.  Who knows why?

EZLiving66's picture
EZLiving66
Posts: 1245
Joined: Oct 2015

My hair came back pure white and curly but much thinner than my pre-chemo hair which was thick, dark and stick-straight. My left eyebrow never came back so I just paint it on to match the right one the best I can.  But, as a lot of you have mentioned, I still have those pesky chin hairs!!! I suppose I could get a hair transplant to move those chin hairs to my left eyebrow - ha ha!!!

Love,

Eldri 

Soup52's picture
Soup52
Posts: 842
Joined: Jan 2016

Lol:) Great idea Eldri!

Canary's picture
Canary
Posts: 14
Joined: Aug 2018

My time has come. On the evening of day 14, my hair stated to shed. I was leaving the next morning on vacation for four days. So i took my clippers, wig, and hats with me just in case i needed them and was certain i would. However, today, day 18 my hair started really falling out on the way home from vacation. Once home in the late evening, we clipped it down to 1/8 of an inch.  That task is done and ready to move onward and upward. 

NoTimeForCancer's picture
NoTimeForCancer
Posts: 2445
Joined: Mar 2013

Canary, I hope you had a good vacation and enjoyed yourself.  Time with your family is more important than hair. 

janaes
Posts: 661
Joined: May 2016

I remember trying to decide what to do with my hair falling out. I too was about to go on a few day trip to Idaho.  My hair had started comming out but wasnt thin enough to where my wig.  I worried i would loose alot while i was gone and would be stuck.  I was going to see family that i hadnt seen for years and worried about that. My desision was to start wearing the wig before i left. It worked out great for me. I just had to brush my hair at night before i went to bed.

christine8822
Posts: 36
Joined: Mar 2016

Hi, I'm now 3 years out from losing my hair during chemo. It fell out basically all at once on about day 19 after the first carboplatin/paclitaxel treatment.  It did not even start to come back until about 2 months after chemo ended. I found  hair loss very, very upsetting, I'm not going to lie. You look in the mirror and feel so sickly. I had long, thick, shiny hair and suddenly none. But do not despair, because it does come back, first in little wispy pure white downy fuzz, then a bit longer and over the months, it grows. The first year's worth of hair is pretty dull, damaged and often oddly curly due to the damage to the hair follicles, but about the second year, real hair began to grow and it all eventually came back the way it was before cancer. Finally, three years later, it's shiny again and looks pretty darn good. So do not despair. Like other side effects of cancer treatment,  your hair will over time rebound. At this point I am happy to be alive and healthy enough to have any hair at all, honestly! 

Canary's picture
Canary
Posts: 14
Joined: Aug 2018

Thank you, notimeforcancer, i had a great vacation. It will be two weeks tomorrow since my hair really started coming out and i shaved it to 1/8 of an inch. At first i had pain like the hairs were needles but as much hair has fallen out, that kind of pain has passed. Right now, i am feeling many sore spots on my scalp. I am assuming this is from inflamed follicles of hair that is trying to come out. I was wondering if anyone has advice on anything that can ease that pain. I wear a turban style hat when going out (wig is too hot right now) but wear nothing while at home. The pain is still there even with nothing touching my head. Any advice would be appreciated. If nothing can be done i’ll try to be patient until it is all out and maybe pain will stop. Thanks for your help. 

derMaus's picture
derMaus
Posts: 480
Joined: Nov 2016

I had a lot of soreness before all my hair fell out. I would take a soft hairbrush and brush the heck out of my hair; I had had it cut quite short before chemo but never shaved it off entirely, so I had massive shedding going on. I'd stand outside on the deck and brush away while it flew away in the wind. That was the only thing that really helped me, might be worth a try even though you have 1/8" of hair?  For the sore/inflamed areas, aka folliculitis, try dabbing on plain (white or cider) vinegar. I got that tip from this board and it helped me a lot. 

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