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Losing Hair

Vickilg's picture
Posts: 281
Joined: Jan 2011

I'm on irrotecan and Eurbitux.    I'm starting to lose a lot of hair with some hairline far back at temple.   Has antone else had this happen?    Will I lose my hair completely?   Wondering if it will just thin a bit or if I need to purchase a wig 

Posts: 2215
Joined: Oct 2011

I did 10 rounds irinotecan back in 08 and didnt have any hair loss but when I did irinoteca last year my hair thinned out and what was left became very brittle but I didnt loose it all together.

bigman4christ's picture
Posts: 87
Joined: Oct 2012

for 3 rounds my hair started to fall out very easily all over my body and took a  long time for it to grow back.  i dont know if i would have lost it completely because i ended up shaving it all off so i wouldnt leave hair all over the place.


Trubrit's picture
Posts: 5427
Joined: Jan 2013

I'm not on the same meds, but my hair is coming out like crazy.  When I get out of the bath, and clear all my hair out of the mesh, I'n sure all my hair is gone. 

If my hair gets tufty (patchy) I'll take the razor to it. 

I bet you hair will thin but not fall out all together. Well, lets hope.

barbebarb's picture
Posts: 464
Joined: Oct 2011

Hi -
Have had three cycles of ironetecan and my haired stared shedding or thinning so I cut it very short. I like the freedom it gives being short but deep down we all love our hair.

I will probably have more cycles of chemo and will shave it if I have to.

Also attended the ACS's Look Good Feel Good program. which had great head wrap and wig tips. They also provide you with makeup samples. The facilitators were great and sensitive to this period many of us go through.

Hope many of your locks stay - so hard to determine with chemo at times. I definately have lost leg and arm hair and eyebrows are ok for now.


geotina's picture
Posts: 2123
Joined: Oct 2009

When George was on this drug he did lose all his hair, head, eyebrows, eyelashes, legs, everything. Hopefully, you will not experience complete hair loss.   I'm sorry, it is tough.

Take care - Tana

annalexandria's picture
Posts: 2573
Joined: Oct 2011

caused all my hair to fall out (carbo-taxol...not one normally used with crc, but i have a funky tumor type, so my doc had to try some different stuff when I failed FOLFOX).  Anyway, the night it all came out in a big, hideous clump was really one of the worst moments of the whole damn process.  Which seems crazy, 'cause it's just hair, but it was one of the few times I actually cried.  Really, really cried. My long hair had been about the only middle-aged vanity that i had left.  I got a wig (really nice, human hair one) and wore it all the time, especially when I went out.  I know a lot of people just throw on a head scarf and they're good to go, but I just couldn't do it.  For whatever reason, losing my hair was tremendously painful, and that wig helped a lot.  Plus, it was kind of funny...we called the wig "Angelina" because it looked like Angelina Jolie's hair, and I have to say that I started to get looks from guys that this 40-something mom had not gotten in QUITE some time.  So I kind of enjoyed that...although I'm not sure my husband did.  So if you do have to get a wig, it might not be all bad!  AA

PS I'm back to my normal hair now (sort of-still quite a bit shorter), and the looks have ceased.  Oh well...

wawaju04976's picture
Posts: 316
Joined: Dec 2012

That was one of the first questions I asked when I met w/my oncologist. I think losing hair kind of reinforces the fact that you are on chemo and really do have cancer...

Posts: 1170
Joined: Sep 2012

Steve's hair thinned out but still looks good. He wears it shorter now. Doesn't really look like "chemo hair". He's on Folfiri. (irenotecan). Hair still looks healthy. Not brittle. Funny how this differs with everyone.

johnnybegood's picture
Posts: 1122
Joined: Oct 2008

on irrinatecan and avastin all my hair came out i didnt even have eyebrows.when it started coming out i just had my husband shave my head like a burr cut and then i would not notice so much as if it came out in clumps.i have been off that combo for a year now and my hair has really grown back.people comment on how much hair i have and i just say thanks for in my mind i know there may be a day when i will have to take that cocktail again and my hair will go away.i know its hard to go thru it vicki but it is only hair.at least you still have your life...Godbless....johnnybegood

Posts: 199
Joined: Nov 2012

My hair thinned a lot and came out in clumps.  I had hair coating everything (pillow cases, shower drains, inside of hats, and all over my furniture).  I became so aggravated with it so I just ended up cutting it real short and shaving it.  The American Cancer Society gave me a wig but I never wore it.  I felt it was a little itchy and hot.  Ended up wearing scrarves (you can find hats that look like scarves from the TLC website) and hats.  Hats felt more comfortable for me.  My eyelashes thinned out a bit but I never lost them and I never lost my brows.  I wasn't working when I was going through treatment so I may have chosen to wear a wig if that were the case.  It was my choice to shave my head and it worked for me.

Hang in there!!

AnnLouise's picture
Posts: 276
Joined: Mar 2013

Last year I was on three chemo drugs, two of which was suppose to thin your hair. Well, I lost about half my hair. What I wanted you to know is that if it justs thins there is an alternative to a wig, it is a wiglet that clips on the top of your head. You can get them synthetic or real hair....and they can match your color and there are some with highlights. I went to get a wig and the stylist told me that I didn't need a wig since I had enough hair to clip it on. You keep the rest of your hair down and it just blends in. Maybe   everyone know about this, but it was new information to me....just wanted to share in case it might help someone.  ~Ann


BusterBrown's picture
Posts: 221
Joined: Mar 2005

My hair thinned, but never fell out, I was on and off again w/ folfiri.  I can tell you this, my hair grew back in spades after I stopped my chemo...

Posts: 1428
Joined: Feb 2011

That was the first question that popped out of my mouth too.....  my hair thinned, but it was only me that noticed that....I lost hair in other places other than my head....

Posts: 509
Joined: Sep 2012

Hi Vicki...I just starte with FOLFIRI also, my onc. told me it is one of the side effects with this drug combo.  When I did the FOLFOX it became very thin and brittle...I did cut it short also.  I have also been told it may just do the same as last time...so I decided to wait it out before cutting it very short again. But, am willing to go that route if needed. 

Wishing you the best.

thxmiker's picture
Posts: 1282
Joined: Oct 2010

When I first started chemo the Oncologist sat with us and told me not to worry because all of your hair will come back.  I jumped up and said Yeah, all of my hair is going to come back, something good is going to come out of chemo.

My oncoloogis started laughing, and then said, "The hair that you lose from chemo is going to come back."


I told him, "Never tell a bald man he is going to get his hair back, or a lot of bald men will want chemo. "


We all had a good laugh.



Best Always,  mike

PS My hair line took about 6 months after chemo to come back.  My hair only thinned.

KayeKay's picture
Posts: 122
Joined: Jan 2013

Every person is different. I know that this is one of the most horrible parts about all this and im really hoping you dont lose it all. Like I said though there is no way to know yet if you will lose it all or not. Some do some dont. Only time will tell dear but there are vitaminns my onc had me on last time to promote hair growth. Ask your onc about that. Idk what the vitamins were but they were amazing. **Keeping you in prayers hun**

PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

I've been on the same combo for many years and I've had times where it gets thin and breaks off (or jumps off my head) then I cut it short and it grows back thicker. I've never lost all my hair...

I just had a thought...maybe your temples are advancing?

barbebarb's picture
Posts: 464
Joined: Oct 2011

Have accepted it may thin more but am enjoying what's left.

I indulged and bought thickening serum and Aveeno spray on conditioner. It helps
with dryness. Also do quick final rinse with cold water to close hair shafts.

Darn chemo - shouldn't it at least leave our hair alone!!

My cea lowered after one week delay of chemo due to low count! Unexpected but I 'll take any good news.
Hair or no hair!

We have lab tech 's who wear wigs for fun and many cute styles. They order on -line....

devotion10's picture
Posts: 631
Joined: Jan 2010

after ceasing treatment it has basically grown back.  Why not go ahead and play with wigs just in case?  I have a friend with breast cancer who loved playing with different colors and styles of wigs and so did her husband -- that sounds so weird LOL, no he did not play with the wigs himself he liked seeing her in them.  The loss of hair will be temporary for you and the gain from those two drugs can be long-lasting.  Best of luck to you, it cannot be an easy thing to face. -- Cynthia

The most genuine acts of kindness are done without fanfare and when no one is looking.

k44454445's picture
Posts: 494
Joined: Jul 2012

12tx of folfiri with avastin, july 2012 --jan 2013, & in august my hair started coming out in clumps. within 2 weeks i lost all the hair i would. i did not loose hair any other place. strange. i am not a vain person about my hair but i will tell you i was very upset. i do not know why but for about 2 months it really bothered me. since my hair was patchy i cut it & got a wig. some ins co will pay something for a wig. mine pd 250 ( this year they will pay 500). i was advised by others to get a good one & i would not regret putting in extra money for one.  if you get a wig, get a couple of the nylon head stockings that you wear when trying on wigs. i wear one with the wig so my head does not itch. when i was working, my patients gave me compliments on my new hair style. when i told them it was a wig, they were shocked. some would tell me i was lucky i did not loose my hair & i would reply "yes i did loose it!" my hair is slowly growing back. i did 12tx of folfox6 in 2010 & did not loose my hair.  hope all goes good for you.

hugs & prayers


Trubrit's picture
Posts: 5427
Joined: Jan 2013

My hair is getting thinner by the day.

I do suffer from a very sensitive scalp. It feels like all the hair I have is needles going into my scalp.

Anyone have the same problem? 

barbebarb's picture
Posts: 464
Joined: Oct 2011

Yes, but only one area where my hair was shaved for my mei...very weird. Radiation Oncologist was not too concerned.

Did switch to baby shampoo.

Others may chime on and share experiences.

AnnLouise's picture
Posts: 276
Joined: Mar 2013

It's called Fall Fight....for falling, breaking hair. Fuller looking, stronger hair. I have been using this for about 6 months and haven't lost any hair ..... Sounds funny but I don't even have hair in my brush. I wasn't on chemo when I first started using it but had lost about half my hair from chemo and liver resection and have been on xeloda since Jan. so maybe I am not a good example but I say it is worth a try. I have a full head of hair for now.There is also a conditioner that goes with it that I use. Just wanted to share.......~ Ann

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