Hair loss - 1 year AFTER chemo finished

just wondering if anyone can help please?
I finished my chemotherapy May 2009, and have just 1 dose of Herceptin left to have. My hair grew back August 2009, curly and much thicker than it ever was before. I had reconstruction using skin from my tummy in March this year, things didnt go exactly according to plan and over a period of a few weeks I ended up having in total 4 operations - the last due to massive infections which also resulted in huge doses of antibiotics-at one point 1000mg of Fluclox and 1000mg penicillin 4 times a day!!! (which still didnt work and ended up having an op to drain a mammoth absess)
Anyway, my hair became very dry which i sort of expected as i had been so ill, but about 3 weeks ago it started falling out - there was so much in the bath after a shower it stopped the water draining away!!! It’s thinned a lot on the sides ( I can see scalp) and everytime i put my fingers through it out comes more, its also on my pillow in the morning, so i’m guessing this is more than just a natural hair loss, has anyone any ideas?? the oncology unit thinks it may be stress related but has referred me to a lady from Toni&Guy for a consultation, they also mentioned things i shouldnt be using on my hair but didnt exactly say what!!! Help!!
ps; hope i’ve posted on the right section(?)
Lou x

Hi… seems strange (to me) to have further hair loss so long after chemo. There can be other reasons for losing hair…

Which type of chemotherapy treatment did you have?

Hi, 6 x FEC,18 Herceptin and Tamoxifen which is ongoing
x x
The nurses did check the side effects of Tamoxifen, all the usual but not hair loss

Hi again Lou… ah yes, it’s the “E” in FEC (epirubicin) that is so tough on hair. I finished 6xEC (without the “F”) in Feb.
I would guess that your recent hair loss is not related to your course of chemo, but this is just a guess… posssibly the strong antibiotics?? I hope you get a helpful answer, I would suggest onc. and/or GP who might be able to refer you to a hair-loss specialist??

Hi, they have referred me to Toni & Guy lady, they did ask the Dr to see me at the hospital but his conceren was that as i was coming to the end of my treatment i might get left out the loop and he wanted me seen/ followed up regularly so have to go back to my GP.
I wasnt too worried when my hair fell out cos of the chemo but now it’s a different matter!!! we’ll have to see what happens!
Lou x

maybe it is alopecia, which can be caused by stressful events, and it certaibly sounds like you have had a stressful time. Have other hairs on your body fallen out? Have they followed the same pattern as when you lost hair after chemo?

Hi Tors,
when my hair fell out with the chemo it was gone totally within 48hrs, including every other hair on my body!!
This time its only head hair that seems to be going, not as quickly as before but quick enough for my liking! lol
I’m trying not to fiddle with it, its become a bit of a paranoia thing now and i feel as iff i have to test it to see if its still falling out - and yep, it is!
Lou x

13 months after stopping chemo, my hair started to thin again.  It had grown in evenly and nicely and was just getting to a point that it didn’t look like chemo-grow back.  My head began to hurt, as it did with the original chemo fallout, and then withing 2 weeks I probably lost about 25 to 30 percent of my hair–mostly on the top and crown of my head, although it has thinned all over.  It’s still shedding, though not at such an alarming rate.


My oncologist said it wasn’t from chemo.  The pcp said it probably wasn’t from chemo.  The dermatoligist said that he was 95 percent sure it had something to do with chemo, giving about 5 scenarios, before telling the oncologist that he thought it was from stress–like after pregnancy.  After 5 kids, I know what the stress-related shedding feels like.  This felt like chemo loss.  


Seeing that there are others who are asking this same question makes me think that it is more common than one might think.  When someone talks about a symptom and doctors and everyone else tells them it’s not happening, they usually give up and don’t talk anymore.  One thing I’ve learned from my experience is that just because it’s not common or the doctor hasn’t heard about it, doesn’t mean it’s not happening.  So, if you’ve suffered from this or are still suffering, please let us know.  You’re not alone and you’re not crazy.  


To the people who have posted that it’s probably not from chemo, please don’t say that unless you have actually gone through this.  We need support, not doubts.



I am 11 weeks out as well…Massive shedding, however I used the Chemo Cold Caps, so I had kept some hair. Has this happened to anyone? DOES the shedding ever stop and new growth begin? I am so thin now. Im wondering if its because of the Cold Caps.

Hi…I had the same hair loss after the first cycle of chemotherapy. .it started to get dried like grass and fall gradually as soon as I touch it…I didn’t need to shave it… I kept it as baby hair… and started wearing ice cap or a weg…it is hard but not the end of the world. .The important thing is to keep faith in God…that will reward you for your patience in this test…

I am 18 months post chemo for breast cancer. I am on anastrozole. Approx 2 months ago I started to lose my hair again. It had grown back as before. Then suddenly feel out in clumps. I am under a specialist and still my oncologist are convinced it is unrelated to my cancer treatment. I am not convinced. It just seems to be a coincidence to me. It continues to fall out and I’m not far off from being back to having to wear a wig.

Hi, sorry to hear this. I hope your hair will come back where it needs to. Maybe you might like to think about hair transplant, i even read this in the booklets on offer in Cristy hospital. I think it is suitable for some people though. Maybe you can ask for this.

Also my advice is. Always keep your scalp open to fresh air, you may want to cover it with a sarf or wig when you go outside, but at home leave your head open, so it mghit help with hair growth. I always used to leave mine open. Only my family saw me like that. They got used to my new style. But i always cover it outside. Now my hair has grown, but it is a bit slow growing still very short. I also read that with menapsal, winen start loosing their hair, but i’ m not sure about this, but this might also be one of the factors to consider. Good luck to everyone. Xxx.

Sorry spelling mistake below, menapouse, women.

Its been 2 years since my chemo and radiation. My hair is thining and my oncologist said it wasnt because of chemo and cancer treatment ages u by extra 10 years And i would have started to lose my hair at 40 anyways . currently i am 30 and before the treatment i had thick wavy hair now its thing and my scalp is visible does any one know if it changes or it gets worse.

I haven’t read every comment since there’s so many. It’s wonderful to have so much support and understanding! I was diagnosed with breast cancer May 2012 and quickly had a lumpectomy. It came back triple negative, which was the most aggressive at that time. I underwent chemo using Cytoxin and Adriamycin. I refused Taxol since I already have tons of neuropathy. My hair actually started growing back before the last treatment! It grew back thick, as I’ve always had thick hair, and a horrible, nondescript color, which was readily fixed with L’oreal. In the Fall of 2016, my hair started falling out by the handfuls. It’s still falling out and I’m scared! I had waist length hair before chemo and thought I could once again have long hair. I’m 57 years old, so I’m not striving for my waist again, but enough to pull it in a pony tail, etc. I didn’t find anyone else whose hair waited that long to fall out. There’s a lot of comments! Did anyone really find anything that was of significant help? We ALL know it’s chemo related no matter what many oncologists may say. Anyway, I’ve found a lot of love and compassion in these pages. It’s wonderful! Thanks for any help y’all may have.

Hi Ladies for butting in…have lost my hair three times am now again  on chemo and have to stay on it…


my hair came back after my initial chemo…but curly!  In time it went back straight again and turned a lovely ash grey which I quite liked


have lost the crown bits this time but the outer bits are regrowing! Am told it should return when chemo finishes.


just wanted to say tho that no, it isnt a given that you lose a lot of hair after the menopause! You may well do…but maybe not.


re Oncs and advice…yes…I quite agree, mine is lovely and very on the ball, but even he sometimes reassures me about something not being due to chemo…when others are told different! 


My guess is, they all speak as they find…so it deends on what they have seen in the past.


i truly want my hair back…the wigs itch and I loved my hairxx


hair transplants? Now how successful are they and are they cheap?


answers on a postcard please…!




Oh Gaylags,


sorry about your particular plightxx


try using Simple shampoo and conditioner or baby shampoo etc. Try washing hair less frequently…eg max weekly, try patting on the products under the shower( not too hot) rinsing it just with the shower, and then drying it by towel, no brisk rubbing or brushes or heated methods…I actually wrap it in kitchen towel and blot it…sounds daft and a bit of a faff,  I know but its growing back.


 seems your hair is a bit fragile…these tips were given to me by the nurses when I began chemo this time. Mine seems to be growing back…I rarely wash it now, maybe monthly( its under a wig)


i used to use a very expensive shampoo/cond on my hair which worked so very well…but those products are just too rich and heavy for our hair after treatment. Xxx


love to hear how you get on, xx





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