Hair falling out - should I wait for it all to go or shave it off now?

Hi there,

I was diagnosed with breast cancer on 11th December and then later told by the oncologist on 22nd December that it had spread and am now being treated with chemo (taxol) for secondary breast cancer deposited in my liver.

In the past 2 weeks my hair has started falling out despite trying the cooling cap. It is really falling out badly now and I wonder whether others could advise if better to let it fall out of it’s own accord or just go ahead and shave it off now? I have a wider parting and bald patch below the crown of my head so pretty sure it’s all going to go fairly soon…

Had a week break from chemo last week. Back for 1st treatment of 2nd cycle on Weds and not sure whether to bother with the cooling cap if I have some hair left…?

Any advice gratefully received. Many thanks and good luck to you,


Hi there Jo some women notice a tingling sensation when the hair follicles are affected by the chemo, I had very long hair but I never bothered with the cold cap as I was told I would deffo lose my hair so I never bothered I firstly cut it very short then when I started getting bald patches ( like you ) I shaved it then razored it .
Take care love Caron x

Hi Jo,
I didn’t bother with the cooling cap either. My hair was shortish,and when it started falling out it went quickly. I didn’t shave it and was left with a few long strands. The very worst part was losing it, once it was gone I accepted it and was able to move on. Once I started wearing hats and scarves and a wig for when I go out I stopped thinking about my hair. Just after my last chemo my few remaining strands, were shaved off. The next day I noticed slight covering on my head. It was growing back. A month on I’m still wearing head gear, but its certainly growing day by day. I wished I,d shaved it earlier.
Good luck with the chemo,
Love Kathy

Hi Jo and welcome to the forums,

I have added the link to a Breast Cancer Care publication called ‘Breast cancer and hair loss’ which you may find helpful to read:

The booklet also contains information about our free ‘HeadStrong’ workshops which explore the many issues faced by people experiencing hair loss which may be available in an area near you, for more details and further support please contact our confidential helpline on 0808 800 6000, Monday to Friday 9am-5pm and Saturday 9am-2pm.

Best wishes

Hi Jo,

I had very long hair when I was dx. Like you I had secondaries in liver. The oncologist told me I would definately lose my hair, so I had it cut short and whn it did start falling out I had it shaved off. After the chemo was finished it did grow back very quickly.

best wishes,


Hi all,

Thanks so much for your swift responses so far. I’ll have a think about whether to cut it shorter for now or just shave it all off and wear some of the lovely new headscarves I’ve bought. is a great site with lots of choice. My order arrived the day after I placed it! Also have been given a wig which I will get cut/styled to my usual hairdo.

I wish you all well. Best wishes, Jo

Hi Jospanna

I too was dx with breast cancer and liver mets at the same time, and after my first chemo I had my hair cut into a very short bob, but then 2 weeks later I had it shaved off, as started to come out in clumps. It was very hard to deal with at the time, but was a hurdle that I needed to cross as was not up to picking up clumps of hair.

I think it is everyones own preferences really whether to go ahead and do it early, or to wait for your hair to fall out. Whatever you decide good luck with your treatment and hope u are doing OK.


Hi Jo
I was dx with secondaries last May and went through chemo for 4 months. I tried the cold cap for the 1st cycle but it obviously didn’t connect with all of my scalp as an area near the crown started falling out just before the 2nd cycle. This made my mind up not to use the cold cap again and I got my eldest daughter to cut it really short ie a Number 1 or 2 cut when I came home that day. It then fell out but not all at once and not all of it. However there was no way I was showing it so I wore a wig when I went out and covered up my head when I was in the house. I finished chemo in September and have now got a full head of hair, a bit short but not curly and not grey! I ditched the wig for good last week and have loads of compliments about my new ‘hair cut’! Losing my hair was not my most worrying bit, although I did hate the way I looked, as I knew it could be covered up. I was worried about losing eyebrows and lashes but these just about held on with some TLC and a bit of brow pencil! I hope your chemo goes well and gives you the results you want. It’s a cr@p time but we do all get through it. Wishing you well.

Hi Jo, I was on taxotere from Feb to June last year and my hair started falling out after a couple of weeks.

I was advised not to shave it because apparently that can make the hair grow back in random directions. Instead I spent a happy couple of weeks pulling it gently until I was almost bald and then my husband cut it very short with his clippers.

My hair started to grow back in earnest three months after I finished chemo and now is about two inches long and, despite my restraint with the clippers, is growing back in random directions. I look a bit like Albert Einstein right now.


I got really upset by tufts of hair falling out, and particularly waking up and finding hair all over my pillow, that it had to go. First my hairdresser very generously popped aroung the house to cut it really short, and then when it was still starting to fall out my husband put the clippers on it. What a surprise to discover that baldness actually suited me (Ihad mid length hair previously). I just wore a little hat, and later a beret. When I was teaching in the summer and it got too hot, I just used to whip it off my head, everyone got used to it. The one thing I couldn’t stand is that when it came back, it came back…curly! Not even remotely a curly person. By the way, I did get a free national health wig called the ‘Raquel Welsh’ , I did not resemble her one bit in it, and frankly it was far too hot and itchy, and I looked ridiculous. Apparently synthetic wigs are the best. Don’t worry, - in a bizarre way, I found the baldness side of things initially very upsetting, but in the end quite liberating. You may look more like Kylie than Uncle Fester. Take care x