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Tamoxifen and hair thinning

Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2013

Looking for anyone who shares this side effect. Just completed my first year of tamoxifen - with little side effects but noticed within the past

month, significant hair thinning.

Had double mastectomy in January 2012 with recon.; BRCA positive.

Anyone have any tips or advice? Did you change to another medication?

Posts: 6541
Joined: Oct 2010

I am on my last stretch of tamoxifen..(I HOPE To take my last dose in Aug for my 5  yrs of taking it) I had hysterctomy due to enlarged uterus. I have so much hair and very thick-and I have not noticed anything different-with thin=ness at all. I may have come and just so much hair (hair dressers always comment-they need to mix up more dye each time, blow dry longer-stays wet for hours not blown out)


I Hope you get advice from others here...I am sure you will..



Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2013

Chemo through me into menopause so my hair thinned due to hormone changes.  My hairdresser recommended that I use the Redken Age Defying hair products.  They have really helped my hair.  It may take a few months to notice the difference, and they are a little pricy, but worth it.  I have used them faithfully for several years now.  Good Luck!

Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2788
Joined: Jun 2010

but I believe mine is permanent hair loss from Taxotere.  I simply never grew all of it back.  I've been to dermatologists, had every lab test available, used Rogaine faithfully for 6 months, and tried a number of specialty hair products (have not tried Redkin).  Nothing has worked.   Recently, my oncologist switched me from Arimidex TO Tamoxifen in the hope that Arimidex was contributing.  It's been 2 months and so far no difference.  If you got your hair back after chemo, and your hair is thinning, I imagine it's from lack of estrogen.  And just what are we supposed to do about that? 

Hope your hairloss stops.  This is simply devastating.


Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2013

Thanks all.

It's just so discouraging to see my hair disappear. Luckily I didn't need chemo...just the bilateral mast. (DCIS stage 1 and BRCA+).

Needed an oopherectomy as well...so the hair thinning could be a double whammy of surgical menopause and the Tamox. I'm experimenting with different shampoos...I find my hair and skin

super dry too.

Mariannemm's picture
Posts: 136
Joined: Apr 2010

I have had scalp issues ever since my hair grew back!  It is so frustrating.  About 3 months ago I started loosing large amounts of hair.  I had already been seeing a dermologist and nothing was helping with the huge flakes of skin that was coming off then 3 months ago the hair loss began.  Derm did a biopsey and they said I have 3 different scalp conditions going on.  I asked if it could be the tamoxifen and he said no.  Last week I cut off all my hair so it is really short now.  I just couldn't handle seeing all that hair go down the drain again.  I didn't mind being bald it is the loosing part that is so hard.  I am going to go see a specialist in Portland to see if there is anything I can do.  My derm here said there isn't anything more he could do for me.  So I am moving on to a new derm!  I will do anything and try anything to stop the flaking, itiching, pain and hair loss!  Keep us posted on how you are doing with that.  I will be interested in hearing!!! Marianne

Posts: 259
Joined: Apr 2013

Menopause can cause hair thinning.  I don't know if it is a side effect of tamoxifen.  Hope you find something that will help you.


Posts: 2
Joined: Nov 2013

Hi Double Whammy. I had bc last year and had taxotere for my chemo. It is now  been over a year and my hair is still very very thin see through to scalp and flyaway. It never grew back like normal hair. I think it is either from the chemo or from the Tamoxifen that I have been taking since last Nov. No one can give my any answers. Did your hair ever grow back? I have tried various natural oil products but no success. I have not tried Rogane yet but may have to resort to trying it. Any biotin product I believe interfers with Tamoxifen. 

Forever hoping.


Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2788
Joined: Jun 2010

Karen, that's all I can say.  No, my hair did not ever all come back (it's been 3 years now since my last infusion) and my oncologist now admits it was the Taxotere).  You might want to visit the website http://aheadofourtime.org.  It's for folks with permanent hair loss from Taxotere - which is a known side effect but one oncologists, dermatologists, etc. don't want to own up to for some reason.  I personally know another woman who had this happen to her, but the women I've worked with as a peer navigator who had Taxotere all got their hair back in spades!  It is rare, but it does happen and it is devastating.  And there's nothing that can fix it.  I tried everything medically and a little snake oil on the side.    I now shave my head because I look like the crypt keeper or a zombie with the hair I have and there is no way to make it look good.   It's simply horrible and sick looking.  I wear wigs most of the time and my stubbles sort of act like velcro.  If I have hair, the wigs slip and if I wear a cap under the wig it's too tight. 

I have told my oncologist that I intend to complain about this for the rest of my life and since she extended my life, she was going to hear about it for a long long time.

PM me if you want more information.  There are a few threads on here by others and there are threads on breastcancer.org forums. 


Susan742's picture
Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2013

I started Tamoxifen in December 2012.  I haven't noticed hair thinning, but my nails are week and thin.  I am doubling up on my calcium and getting Vitamin D to help store it.

mjjones453's picture
Posts: 155
Joined: May 2010

I have been on tomoxifen since May of 2010.  My hair falls out alot, and definatly is thinning.  I also have issues with my fingernails thinning and are brittle, and have ridges in them.  I am wondering if pre-natal vitamins will help. The girls I work with are trying to grow their hair out, one is taking pre-natal vitamins, the other some type of vitamins for hiar growth. it's a thought!


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