Need some hair advise please.

This is the second time I have had breast cancer. Last time 5 years ago. So I kind of know what to expect but things do change. i had chemo first last time. Got to have it again this time but had surgery first. I will be on 3 x FEC and 3 x Taxotore. My question is about my hair. It is about 3 weeks before I start treatment. I know I will lose my hair. I have been thinking for a long time to get it cut short and spikey as I loved this last time I had chemo (about 2 inches long) and it was so easy to do and thought it suited me. But now the choice has been taken away from me about when to get it cut as I know I will lose it. If you know what I mean… At the mo it is shoulder length and layered and I always put it in a pony tail!!! So was thinking of getting it cut short - ready in a way for losing it. But as it is not my choice I feel very agreeved by this. Is this normal? But I hope it will only be temporay and after treatment will come back and I cando what what I want with my hair, grow it, cut it, shave it etc. The choice then will be mine it isn’t now. So would you get yours cut short ready or just leave it be wait until it starts to go and then decide? Confused person here.

Hi Mandy

I have just finished 4 x fec, prior to rads amd 4 x taxotere.

I have always had relatively short hair - collar length and layered. I was told at the outset that there was no question that I would lose my hair on the Fec.
As I already had fairly short hair I decided to wait and see what happened

Day 14 or so post Fec 1 - my head started to tingle a bit At that point I felt like I was losing control. Over the next few days I could pull my hair out quite easily, though it wasn’t ‘falling’ out as such. It was at this point that I made the decision to shave it. I think it just felt like now was my chance to exercise some control - I could decide when it was going. So OH got the clippers out and shaved it to a grade 2. It was soooo liberating - I expected tears but there weren’t any.

Can honestly say I haven’t looked back since - go commando in the house, wear a hat down the street but take it off in cafe’s, restaurants etc.
I never went completely ‘shiny’ bald - have always had a covering of fluffy blonde hair (approx 1-2mm barely visible cos it’s blonde lol but I know it’s there!). I’m now on day 5 after 4th Fec - and for the past couple of weeks I have been convinced that my hair is growing again. Hubby tonight confrmed that I do actually have hair that’s about 1/3 of an inch long at the back now so wooohoooooooo - though once I start tax I have no doubt it will disappear again :frowning:
Hope you make the right decision for you

take care

Margaret x

Hi Mandy
I like Margaret had the tingle about 14 days in to FEC it was the 10th December and iwas going out with my daughters and their friends for a Xmas meal my daughter was going to blow dry my hair and it came out in her hands, she got really upset so after she left rang a hairdresser friend who shaved it all off had already got a wig and went to the meal with the new wig on. Have had comments like at least you have not lost your hair!!! I think wait till the 14th day then have it shaved it will soon grow back.
Wish you all the very best and send lots of love
Kate xxx

hiya all

When I first had to have chemo (early 07) my hair was half way down my back, never short in my life. I decided to have it cut a month or so before treatment. Then I let it slowly fall out approx 3 wks into EPI. This time round I had it shaved just as it started to ‘relocate’ to my pillow/coat/floor/food!!! I knew what was coming, but it still didnt stop me getting upset, as it had took over 6 mths to regrow just 1 1/2 inches!! My hair being the slowest thing to grow on me, unlike my hips and belly!!! Once it was gone in both instances I was relieved, so I personally think the sooner the better is the answer. Its going anyhow, at least you get to decide when.
Good luck with your decision, and with your treatment. May the future be brighter for you.


Hi Mandy - My experience was just about the same as that of Kate and Margaret, the day 14 thing, and then deciding to shave it. (Had a “hair today, gone tomorrow” party) - wrote it up in another posting. It honestly wasn’t a trauma, and I think the key to that for me was taking control so that it was at a time and place of my choosing. Do think the handfuls of hair falling out is mightily depressing and did not want to carry on with that once it had started! Have just been to a “look Good feel better” session and honestly until we all started removing our wigs it was totally impossible to tell who was wearing a wig, and who wasn’t. So sorry that you have to go through all this again, like you I am on 3 FEC (had two), and will then have 3 Taxotere, it’s all going ok - you kind of get into the routine of how you will feel when. Very best of luck to you and thinking of you. Sarah x

I kept my old wig from 5 years ago. Was going to get it cut in the same style. But I can’t find it anywhere in the house. I was sure I didn’t throw it as thought I was tempting fate. Sure was. Going to the hair dressers tomorrow. I didn’t lose all my hair last time, but lost about 70% of it. Think I will have to buy another wig now. Which I didn’t want to do as money is short and don’t want to spend £50 on it. Does anyone know how much the NHS provide towards one. As I have seen a nice one but it is £192 and certainly can’t afford that much.
Thanks everyone. That is the only bit I am dreading really. Iwasn’t sick at all on the last chemo I had. Consitpated for 1 day only and couldn’t taste my food. But other than that was okay. Fingers crossed eh it is the same this time. But knowing my luck at the moment…

Hi Mandy

My oncology gave me a prescription for two wigs. I found two I liked - both around the £190 price - and I had to pay £55 each towards them. Shouldn’t have bought the second wig, as I’ve only worn the first one, but I had assumed that as I’d be wearing them for months that I would need two.

Best of luck, Mx

I shaved my hair off after it started coming out in clumps anyway. It just made me feel like I had some power over it all!

Mandy I haven’t even started my chemo yet (6 x EC90) and I have already shaved my head to a Number One. This damned BC isnt going to dictate when I lose my hair!!! I feel very empowered.


Hi Mandy

I thought you may find our booklet called ‘Breast cancer and hair loss’ useful to read, it contains information about hair loss due to chemo and various hints and tips which you may find helpful. You can read it via the following link:

Best wishes

Hi Mandy,

I got a wig free on the NHS. They have an arrangement with a wig shop and you just go and choose whichever one you want.
I know different Trust have different arrangements. Do you have a BC nurse or Chemo nurse you could ask.

On the hair front. I had long layered hair. Mine started coming out 10 days after my first chemo. It was very traumatic so I asked my friend to come and shave it.
When she arrived I washed it, then cut it short and then had it shaved. I decided where, when and how and it made me feel so much better.
It is a very individual thing and you must do what is best for you my love.

A few of the ladies who have posted on this thread also post on another thread in the Chemo section. It’s called Anyone Starting Chemo. There are a lot of posts about hair on that thread that you may like to read and perhaps you would like to join in the thread. You will be made very welcome.


Mandy have a look at the Wigbank site. I got a lovely second hand wig from there for £15. I got it from Agnes at the Edinburgh Wigbank but there are several Wigbanks elsewhere in the UK. I sent Agnes an e-mail (the address is on the site) telling her the kind of thing I wanted and she sent me a couple of wigs to try. I did choose one of them but she would have been happy to send more until I found one I liked. We’re not allowed to put internet addresses on here any longer but try Googling for it - it’s easy to find.
Good luck
Anthi x

I had the hair cutting and shaving party one afternoon 15 days after 1st chemo.

I invited 3 friends to lunch.
One who always wanted to be a hairdresser but couldn’t cut hair. The second had a pair of clippers and was experienced at shaving her son’s hair. The third was in charge of the video camera.

Make it an occasion and share it with your friends to support you.
It’s only temporary but take charge and be in control.
It is so much easier to see shaved bits of hair falling out a week or so later than longer hair coming out in clumps.

Good luck