What has been your experience with hair loss?

llhgrey
llhgrey Member Posts: 18

I am on day 13 after my first taxol/carbo chemo and I have not lost any of my hair yet.  All I have noticed so far is that my underarm hair growth has slowed down, and I have slight soreness in specific areas of my head.  What has your experience with hair loss been?  When did it occur, was it fast/gradual, etc? Thanks!

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Comments

  • Editgrl
    Editgrl Member Posts: 903
    About two weeks

    My hair began coming out just about two weeks after my first infusion.  That soreness you feel is the precursor.  I had that for a couple of days before I began shedding.  My infusions were on Fridays, and by day 15 I was shedding.  I shaved it down to about a 1/2 inch the following Monday because I didn't want to end up shedding more than the cat.    I don't remember how long it took for the rest of my body hair to go, but I know that my eyelashes and eyebrows were the last to go and they really didn't begin falling out til almost the end of chemo.

  • dgrdalton
    dgrdalton Member Posts: 161
    Day 1 after chemo 2

    My hair started coming out on day 16. I now have about 5% left. I did have my hip length hair cut and donated before it started coming out and shaved to 1/2”. I could not bear the thought of throwing it all in the trash. The spots on my head get very sore and tender a day or so before I start shedding in that area. I’m ready for it all to be gone and not have to pick little hairs out of my caps! lol

    So 26 days for about 95% to come out. I have thin patches and lots of bald spots.

  • Jairoldi
    Jairoldi Member Posts: 221
    edited November 2017 #4
    My experience

    I began losing my hair on day 14. In anticipation I had my hair buzzed with a #3 guard on the clippers on day 10. I only experienced some tickling of my scalp. The length was just enough that I could give a slight tug at the tickly site and remove the hair along with the tickling. This went on for weeks. It was slow and not very traumatic. I actually went from long, to a bob, then the buzz so that my family and I could get used to it. Now 8 weeks out of chemo it is beginning to grow back. Patchy just like I lost it.

  • Violet123
    Violet123 Member Posts: 28
    Day 17

    It was pretty traumatic for me. On day  17,  The day after my 51st birthday I started the shed. The scalp pain others are describing.  An hour after brushing my hair, it would feel matted as another bunch of hair was being expelled from my scalp.  i had been preparing, watching you tube videos on head scarf tying.  But nothing really prepares you for the massive hair loss.  The cancer center I go to gives out a wig, but I found out about that after the shed.  Then my scalp was covered with the bumps of folliculitis for a week and a half.

    We do whatever we have to to survive this disease.  Hang in there.

  • Donna Faye
    Donna Faye Member Posts: 427
    edited November 2017 #6
    2 weeks

    I had chemo 20 yrs. ago as well, so knew the drill. The first time I took a bunch of hair out of the towel after shower, went to Great Clips as  they give cancer patients free shave and cuts, and had it shaved. However, this time the hair came back much faster than before - and much more hair everywhere!!! Not sure I like that!  Several say the steriods they give now is what makes the hair return faster. Also have stronger nails than ever in my life.

  • derMaus
    derMaus Member Posts: 558
    Jairoldi said:

    My experience

    I began losing my hair on day 14. In anticipation I had my hair buzzed with a #3 guard on the clippers on day 10. I only experienced some tickling of my scalp. The length was just enough that I could give a slight tug at the tickly site and remove the hair along with the tickling. This went on for weeks. It was slow and not very traumatic. I actually went from long, to a bob, then the buzz so that my family and I could get used to it. Now 8 weeks out of chemo it is beginning to grow back. Patchy just like I lost it.

    Picture

    Love the new picture!

  • NoTimeForCancer
    NoTimeForCancer Member Posts: 2,999 Member
    llhgrey, I clearly remember a

    llhgrey, I clearly remember a pain on my scalp.  All I can equate it to was when I was young and would use a curling iron on my head and I was pulling the hair too tight and it would hurt my scalp.  For the 'pulling'  I felt during chem, and for quite awhile after it, I would just press on my scalp /head on those areas.  

    It does seem we all seem to lose it differently.  I was just looking at the pictures last night from 5 years ago, and thinking about it, will add that you are going to amaze yourself.  What you didn't think you can do - you will, and we are here for you. 

  • llhgrey
    llhgrey Member Posts: 18
    This too shall pass

    Thanks for the info!  I have pretty much resigned myself to future hair loss.  I am not sure if I want to wear a wig, but I have bought a few cute chemo caps for when the day arrives.  I found Headcovers Unlimited (I found them to be a bit expensive) and a couple of stores on Etsy - does anyone have any recommendations for inexpensive chemo hat stores?  Also, what are your thoughts on wearing a wig?

     - Laura

  • NoTimeForCancer
    NoTimeForCancer Member Posts: 2,999 Member
    Laura, I was lucky that my

    Laura, I was lucky that my company insurance would cover the cost of a wig.  I realize not everyone has that and after I could accept I won't need them anymore, and it took me awhile, I donated them to the local American Cancer Society.  I hope some woman, who couldn't afford one or whose insurance wouldn't cover it, enjoyed them.  With all that I wore them for work so people didn't focus on me having cancer and would listen to what I was saying.

    On casual Friday I would do the t-shirt head wrap because I wanted to be comfortable.  (Tip for t-shirts:  Goodwill and look for the designer t-shirts - the color and feel is better)  The wig was hot and I never wore it on the weekends or at home.  

    As I said, for me, it was looking 'normal' at work.  I do have a funny story though, I was on a flight going somewhere and a woman behind me said, "I love your hair!"  I thanked her and I told her it was a wig.  So I guess that kind of proved for me I looked 'normal' although I didn't feel the 'old' normal self.  

    My two cents.  

  • derMaus
    derMaus Member Posts: 558
    llhgrey said:

    This too shall pass

    Thanks for the info!  I have pretty much resigned myself to future hair loss.  I am not sure if I want to wear a wig, but I have bought a few cute chemo caps for when the day arrives.  I found Headcovers Unlimited (I found them to be a bit expensive) and a couple of stores on Etsy - does anyone have any recommendations for inexpensive chemo hat stores?  Also, what are your thoughts on wearing a wig?

     - Laura

    I never even considered a wig

    I never even considered a wig; I knew I wouldn't be able to tolerate it. I did check out a few specialty 'chemo' caps but found that ordering random hats online from Amazon Prime (boy did they lose money on me) worked better. I'm relatively tall (5'7") and have a big head/face, so I needed some volume to balance that out. I wound up with a bunch of slouchy beanies - think Zig Zag man - and found that having some extra fabric helped fill in the space where hair used to be. I also explored tichel ideas, specifically the volumizer from Wrapunzel, and got inspiration from hajib how-to videos on YouTube. I used stretchy headbands under the beanies to make sure they stayed in place, and bought (but never wore) the bangs on a headband from Headcovers Unlimited. I expected the hair loss to be bad but it wasn't afterall, probably because it was winter and I could pile on scarves and beanies so I could fake going for a specific look, rather than just piling on stuff so I wouldn't look as bald and moon-faced. I don't know if I fooled anyone else but I fooled myself, and that's what counted :)

  • llhgrey
    llhgrey Member Posts: 18
    Day 16: hair loss started today ☹️

    I tried to psych myslf up for it - had my hair cut short, bought cute beanies, but I was still shocked and sad to see hair on my pillow this morning.  After my shower, I was so afraid to look in the mirror - it seemed that so much hair was coming out.  I am thinking of going to best cuts and getting it buzzed. I want to move on from this and focus on chemo and recovery, so I thought this might be a good way to do so.

  • CheeseQueen57
    CheeseQueen57 Member Posts: 933
    edited November 2017 #13
    I grieve for your hair

    Last Thanksgiving my hair was just growing back. I was thankful for my hair this year. There are some advantages, it doesn’t take as long to get ready in the morning; you save money on hair products; you don’t have to shave your legs or pits. But my heart breaks for you. We’ve all been there and know how traumatic this is. All I can say is for me, it got a little easier every day. 

  • henhill
    henhill Member Posts: 123
    Me 2 Cheese

    I hated that... especially at the end when my eyeleshes and brows were gone Cry  I felt like a little mole.  My scalp always tingled and was cold.  I have lost a lot of hair, and it it nearly bald on top, but I did not lose it all with this weekly Taxol.

    I hope you will weather it as best you can and be fine after, because my hair was the best its ever been when it grew back.

  • pinky104
    pinky104 Member Posts: 574
    Hair Loss

    The first time I had cancer, with carboplatin and taxol for chemo, I lost almost all of it on days 12 and 13.  It fell out in the shower, my pillowcase ended up covered with it, and the rest landed on my clothing.  I was very itchy from it.  The second time I had cancer, with carboplatin and gemzar for chemo, it was a much slower loss.  I never lost it all like I did the first time, but my hair was very thin.  It still hasn't come back as it should have, two months from my last chemo visit, but I've taken my wig off because I can't tolerate the way it rides up in the back.  I've found that some of the hair on top broke off this time, so maybe my wig pulled on it too much.  It's definitely more fly-away than it was before chemo.  I have to use my Perfecter to tame it down. 

  • bluesmama
    bluesmama Member Posts: 124
    edited November 2017 #16
    my hair stuck around longer

    My doctor was surprised I still had most of my hair by treatment 2. My scalp was sore in spots and it was getting difficult to deal with the shedding. I gently clearned my hair and scalp from that point. I also buzzed my hair. My hair growth was definitely slowing down and by cycle 3 it had stopped growing except my grey hairs! My grey hairs were indestructible with chemo! I didn't have many grey hairs going in though. Finally, before cycle 4, I rubbed my hair out. It felt like I had a crust of dandruff holding my hair on my scalp anyway. Very itchy. It took all night to rub it out and I used a lint brush to get rid of the tough ones. I was finally free of the itching and pain by the next morning. It was liberating. So by cycle 4, I was bald except for a few grey hairs that never fell out and I was bald for at least 2 months after my 4th and final cycle. My eyesbrows finally fell out after the 4th  but quickly grew back first. My hair has come back very bushy, more grey but more hair overall, wavy, and very black. I had very dark brown hair most of my life so my friends and family are pretty shocked by what I have now. Interestingly, the growth rate on top of my head is noticeably slower than my back and sides now. It's a struggle to keep it clean cut but I'm not complaining. I'm actually having fun with my wavy hair. It's just easier to style than the stick straight hair I had going into treatment. :)

     

  • NoTimeForCancer
    NoTimeForCancer Member Posts: 2,999 Member
    edited November 2017 #17
    llhgrey said:

    Day 16: hair loss started today ☹️

    I tried to psych myslf up for it - had my hair cut short, bought cute beanies, but I was still shocked and sad to see hair on my pillow this morning.  After my shower, I was so afraid to look in the mirror - it seemed that so much hair was coming out.  I am thinking of going to best cuts and getting it buzzed. I want to move on from this and focus on chemo and recovery, so I thought this might be a good way to do so.

    Losing my hair was very hard

    Losing my hair was very hard for me.  I am sorry.  

    A good friend asked me about the t-shirts I used to wrap around my head when I was bald and I found a good (short) video.  I will add you just need to smooth the fabric over the back of your head and twist the band before bringing it over the front of your head.  I would suggest looking for "designer" t-shirts at a goodwill as they have good colors.  Just measure 15" up from the bottom of the t-shirt and cut there.  A little practice and you will rock it.

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

  • Anne0803
    Anne0803 Member Posts: 15
    Hi llhgrey

    Hi All! I was diagnosed last year October 2016 followed by “Hysterectomy – Bilateral Salpingo-oophorectomy” by Laparoscopic Surgery".  

    I started my Chemo treatment on December 20, 2016.  My hair started to fall on the 2nd week after the treatment and also my scalp was terribly burning.  I read that it's better to just get rid of it so I DID!  I wear BALD no wig throughout my treatment.  My friend who was a cancer survivor lent me her caps or soft hats for sleeping.  My hair grows back before the next treatment but of course fall off again on the 2nd week.  So I regularly shave it every shower.  My last Chemo treatment was on April 2017 and decided to grew my hair on June 2017.  My hair grew back evenly not in patches.

    BTW I was 41 years old when I was diagnosed.  It never put my faith down and my positivity.  My friends told me they were blessed and uplifted seeing me with great positive attitude.  I owe it all to God... He is the one who gives me strength.

    To all who are currently going through the treatment hang in there.  Eat well to give your body enough strength and also hydrate yourself.  Whenever food is not appealing to me.  I take chocolate power drink or I make smoothies and I add different fruits like blueberries.  Chemo drugs makes me constipated, I drink warm Prune juice every morning and that does the magicCool.  

     

  • llhgrey
    llhgrey Member Posts: 18
    Update

    Hello, and happy Friday!  I took the plunge and buzzed my hair on Monday, and it was the best decision!  I no longer obsess about losing my hair - I still have hairs on my clothes, etc., but it is far less noticeable.  My chemo nurse warned me about folliculitis, and she recommended rubbing coconut oil into my scalp daily to clear it up if it occurs.  I bought two pashmina scarves and I am practicing the tichel headcovering so I can look good for the holidays :-)

    So, thank you all so much for your advice and support!  - Laura

  • evolo58
    evolo58 Member Posts: 293
    Well, now I know what to do

    Well, now I know what to do with my coconut oil that's getting a little on the old side. Thank you for the tip!

  • Cherpear
    Cherpear Member Posts: 14
    This is day 14 after my 1st

    This is day 14 after my 1st chemo. Yesterday when I was combing my hair, there were clumps coming out so I had my husband buzz cut it all off. Ironically, I had an appointment that day for a free wig. It's very nice but it makes me uncomfortable. I'm still in shock. My daughter said I look badass!