fds5 - Well done for getting this far. DON'T PANIC even if you still shed some hair. It slows down and does continue for a little while after end of chemo BUT mine started growing back quite quickly and after 6 weeks I had it trimmed again and hairdresser said the thin patch was growing in nicely. I used a powder to fill in any thin patches, which I bought from Amazon for about £7.99 and it worked well, lasting all day.
Good luck and keep thew faith lol. Marli x
I have three more treatments of Taxol (have had 4 AC and my first Taxol this past week), and would say I've kept around 50-60% of my hair. It's much much thinner than it was to start, but I must say I am glad I've used the cold caps.They are a huge burden and a painful process, making each treatment tougher physically and mentally, but they are worth it. However, I'm nervous my hair is going to start falling out even more now. It still comes out when I comb it, as it did starting in the middle of my AC cycles, and I'm wondering when it is going to stop. Recently, it's been thinning around my part (middle) and some scalp is visible. While this probably isn't noticeable to others unless I mention it to them, it's really irritating and makes me feel dirty. Scalp is also peeling, and it's hard for me to resist picking at it, leaving dandruff looking skin follicles. Anyone know when the shedding stops? If you've gone through taxol, does it? Also, for hair falling out around the part and top of the head, does anyone recommend the cover your hair product? It looks like it will work but not sure; may have to just start wearing the wig.
I cut my hair to shoulder length to make it more manageable. See cancerhaircare website for a good booklet outlinig the cold cap process. Tolerated the cap well but I am not prone to headaches. I just pretended I was going swimming in cold sea for those first ten minutes. It really is a bit like your head at least is going swimming in cold water - a shock at first but you get used to it. Wore an old cashmere onsie, sheepskin boots and scarfs. Biggest drawback is the extra 2 hours it adds to your day in the chemo unit, but hey what else was I going to get done that day? Lost a bit of hair at the 3 week point, but this is from sideburns and underneath at the back where the cap doesnt quite reach, easy to cover with the longer bits. I have pretty thick hair to begin with. Still have hair everywhere else so far, afraid my moustache and peach down cheeks hair is still showing. Still have 2 cycles to go so fingers crossed. Hair is thinner than it was but at least I don't have that chemo scarf look! You can get stick on eyebrows, there are some temporary ones for around £9 including post for 10 pairs available in lots of shapes, or you can buy longer lasting real hair ones for more like £65 if you have a long term problem. reviews say they are good, but I havent tried them. They are available from simplywigs.co.uk. If you are having a drip into your vein they will fit the saline drip before you cool down as once you are cooled it is pretty hard to find a vein. Take a wooly hat to go home in. lady on the machine next to me was on treatment 5 and still a full head of hair. Thank you whoever it was that raised the money to buy the two paxman machines af my hospital. THe helmet over the cap is soft neoprene you look like you are going to play hockey in it!
Hi Jo - I have just checked my Amazon orders and the Product I purchased is Cover Your Gray Fill-in powder. The colour I used was Dark Brown as I do have dark hair but noticed that they also do medium and light brown too. There is also a product for blond hair. It is £7.99 with free postage from the company Cosmetic Solutions. If you put hair fill-in powder on Amazon it will bring up all the products.
I found it lasted all day even at the sides where I had lost my sideburns. You don't actually use a lot of it so I passed it on to someone at chemo. Her hair was lighter than mine but she found it worked well for her.
Good luck. Marli x
Hi Marli what is the hair powder called what you get off Amazon as I've been looking and they are all above £10 ? Don't know what colour to get don't mind paying £5 and trying a couple of colours .
I cut my long hair down to a pixie cut reckoning on a better fit for cold cap, think it puts less stress on your hair as well
lost what looked like loads of hair around 3 weeks ie 2nd dose of AC but then it just stopped!
carried on with it all the way through and where as it felt thinner to me everybody commented on how normal my hair looked. Problem was my husband and kids kept forgetting I was having any treatment!
A hairdresser who I met who had used cold cap herself told me to get a parabens free shampoo, wash and conditioner hair the night before and make sure the nurses apply conditioner to your hair before putting the cap on.
I took a towelling head band to protect forehead and ears, but gauze does fine.
It IS cold, but get through first 10 minutes and you get used to it.
Wear loads of layers, I took all my fleece baby blankets and draped them around me!
IMPORTANT: leave your hair then for as long as you can ,72 hrs is good. Having short hair helps, all the dried in conditioner made it spiky! I got used to washing my hair less and tried not to mess with it too much.
3 months on and my hair is pretty thick. I read to get your hair cut around 6weeks after last treatment.
I lost all my body hair, I saw a great running vest that read ' chemo gives you the best Brazilian...Ever' ! Wish I'd got it. My eyebrows and eyelashes definitely thinned towards the end but had enough to touch up with pencil
All the best with it, hope this helps
Lullabelle - you seem really well prepared and have a good attitude. Cold cap worked really well for me which was great as I lost it all after 1st dx in 2009. I never needed to wear my wig this time, and didn't bother wasting NHS money on a new one so well pleased.
One of the ladies at my chemo also kept most of her hair (it did thin) and kept it in her shoulder length bob.
You can buy powder to "fill in " any thinning patches , £6 from Amazon.
Losing your eyebrows and eyelashes is horrid but once they start coming back they come back quickly
Take care with tattooing as sometime your brows do not grow back in the same place. Body Shop eyebrow powder compact is great and if you have a fringe no eyebrows is hardly noticeable.
Book into a Look Good, Feel Better workshop - they help show you how to deal with things like that and you get a lovely goody bag to take home.
Good luck. Marli x
I have used cold cap for 2 treatments and found it no big deal at all, just shut my eyes and switched off. It is easy to keep your eyes closed when your face is squashed. I have lost forty per cent of my hair most from the top of my head. I shall keep going as long as the hair stays. Getting a wig this week as back up, dont know if I will look like Mork or Mindy in one, but we will give it a try. I feel lucky sfter 2 frv I feel well and have not missed three walks every day with the dog
I'm exactly a year on from diagnosis and happy to report I have a full head of healthy hair largely due to perservering with cold cap. If you can face it its worth doing, and I'm very grateful to the friend who told me about it.
Like others - it was a HUGE deal to me losing my hair...I had kept my illness secret from all but my nearest and dearest, because it seemed less scary that way.
My lovely hairdresser cut my hair into a cute bob ahead of 4 cycles of chemo, and I was delighted it stayed same length and shape over 4-5 months (small perk!). In the end about 40% fell out, mostly thinning at the crown, not noticeable to most people. I had very thick hair to start with, washed it gently in the bath rather than shower (though not sure if this made a difference) with regular shampoo and conditioner, regular brushing.
My treatment was during winter months, so had to buy wooly hats to make up for lost heat through hair
A month or two after chemo ended it started growing and now I have 3-4" of perfectly healthly baby hair
As some others have said, using the cap is tricky but gets easier - imagine putting your head in a bucket of ice - then pull the chin strap tight! I was advised to cover my head with conditioner ahead of putting cap on so hair doesn't stick to cap when its taken off.
It worked for me, I hope it does for you too
Best of luck X
I have just finished round 2,Taxotere and Cytoxan with 2 more to go. I have lost about 60 % of my hair . I am curious if wearing a wig is putting more stress on the hair?
Hi I have one more chemo session left to go. I bought a wig but it made me feel really down when I wore it and not myself even though everyone told me it looked good I thought it was really obvious. Instead I have opted for head scarves and have bought all of mine from this site. They are about £5 each and arrive really quickly - I have about 12! They are hand washable but on a good day dry very quickly on the washing line.
They have a great range of colours, are cotton and 100cm square. I fold mine into a triangle, tie once at the back and bring the ends round to the front and tie with a knot. I tuck the tail into the back and have found it to be secure enough. I can choose my look for the day and feel much more like me.
It has been so helpful reading your past threads and reassuring to know you are not alone with the horrible prospect of losing your hair!
I'm about to start my Chemo next week and will definatley be trying the cold cap (tips about scarves to cover your neck etc are great thx)
Ii have Just ordered a load of different style of scarves - can anyone recomend a good website other than amazon please, quite liked annabandanna :-/ And will get a wig just incase i think. Also, can i ask if anyone would recomend wearing a night cap?
Feeling a bit emotional this week - bit weepy about the prospect but also guilty putting my husband and teenagers through this - it's not going to be pretty is it?
Thank you to all for posting your experiences x
Christine just read your post ...took my breath away. Have just finished 4 x 3 weekly AC and 12 weeks of weekly taxol and cold capped throughout. My hair was a thick healthly regularly coloured Bob. I am happy yo say I have retainined about 60% of my hair. I did have it cut short though because I have not been string it at all and it looked a mess . I have also had it coloured twice used Daniel Galvin bought on line it's organic vegetable based. It covered reAlly well and did not irritate my scalp. Onc said was ok to give it a go. I also took lorazepam during cold capping which made it bearable. You may be able tog get that prescribed for you. If I was you I would give it a go because if you feel confident about ur hair it may help u forget sometimes that you are ill. Very best of luck. Elizabeth 💕
Awwww thanks for quick reply ladies , still undisided ?as I have my hair coloured regulary , so not sure if I could stand roots growing through or grey hairs ? lol. As I have my hair in a short bob there is some quite nice human hair wigs in the reddish colour I usually have & as I have to style mine almost every day with hairdryer & straightners really don't know what to do as yet ? thanks for your advice , see how I feel in the morning ? Anything else to add please do ladies , any help / advice is most welcome X X
Hi Christine - sorry to hear your dx. You sound very positive and believe me that makes a huge difference.
Having lost all of my hair 7 years ago I didn't want to lose it again when I was dx with a recurrence.
Personally I would go for the cold cap. Yes, it can be uncomfortable but forewarned is forearmed.
Paracetamol an hour before , good hairband to cover ears and forehead, scarf to go under pipe at back of neck and lots of hot drinks.
Use simple shampoo and conditioner and wash only once a week. Sleep on a satin pillow case to avoid snagging.Be prepared for what looks like a LOAD of hair shedding - it is not as bad as it looks and by the third treatment starts to slow down.
Look back on this thread for lots of advice and information.
the website cancerhaircare.co.uk is a mine of information and you can get a leaflet from The Lister Hospital through them which is all about scalp cooling.
Give it a try, as you have nothing to lose (excuse the pun).If you can keep your hair it makes you feel so much better.
Good luck. Positive thoughts and hugs coming your way. Marli x
Hi Kay Tonks & other members , this is all a shock to myself & family ( to say the least ) diagnosed 7 weeks ago with terminal cancer . Secondry , which had started in breast & spread to bones & liver ! After having a fractured hip & femur removed along with some pelvis area , start on Chemo tomorrow , so all new to me ? I wasn't going to bother with cooling cap as didn't think it actually worked ? But nurse who did the pre-assessment today really thinks I should try it , so need to decide over night ? I do have lovely thick dark her in a short bob of which people always comment on . I am 54 yrs young , any advice pleassssssse ? Had a rough time with operation with pain , other wise feel ' normal ' . no crying , panic or anything really ? infact I've been really comical at times ! Family & friends keep staying how brave I am & how well I look ! I just laugh & say well nice to know I look good now I'm dying ! Can't descibe how I feel , as don't really know ? Is something wrong with me , any one else feel the same ? many thanks X X
Hi everyone...... Just popped on to show some support. I'm one treatment away from finishing radiotherapy, started 19th May.
But most importantly I'm 10 weeks post chemo 6/6..... 3xFEC & 3xT...... I lost about 60% of my hair and it slowed down cycle 3, slowed right down by cycle 5, however it didn't stop altogether until about start of wk 6 post cycle 6. I started getting baby hair new growth from cycle 5 ish, could feel it in parting and at sideys! Hair changed in texture from the off, became brittle, dry and very thin. I washed it once a week using Simple shampoo gently and conditioner. Used hairdryer on low cool setting and continued with my usual hairspray.
My lashes and eyebrows diminished thanks to the T cycles! But coming back now..... As is the hair everywhere else!!! Had to do my 'tash' yesterday! 😧 Am back using my epilator/shaver on my legs (but no underarm hair yet, though lady bits coming back 😒)........ AND.... today I had the CLAN hairdresser apply a semi permanent colour to my newly grown grey hair!!! It's not a complete coverage as we played safe and didn't leave on for full time as hair fine and porous, but it's looking so much better!! Was recommended to use a natural colour from Holland & Barrett first.
HANG ON IN THERE GUYS!!! It worked for me, though there were times I didn't think I could go through it all again!! I did, and now 10 wks on my hair is looking more like my old self again.
Thinking of you all...... It will end..... 😚 Xxx Tina
I am starting chemo soon and I am dreading it. How much of an ordeal is cold capping. I don't like the cold but the thought of losing my hair is as bad as the cancer
Found them - half way down this page. I've found a UK website that has tons of surgeon's headgear (2nd link) why not give them a call?
http://www.globalsources.com/manufacturers/Disposable-Surgical-Cap.html Paper ones half way down
Oh Tina I'm sorry to hear about your hair loss. Good for you for persevering though. I hope you manage to find the surgeon's cap and that it helps. I'll go and have a google now and see if I can find anything for you.
Marli THANK YOU. You've given me hope where I thought there was none. You're my new hero xxx
Michele - DO NOT PANIC! I lost what seemed to be an awful lot of hair during Rounds 1 and 2. During Round 3 it still came out but slowed down and continued to do so for the rest of my treatment. I too, have thick hair and although it thinned in soon grew back after treatment.
I did, however, only comb it once a day with a wide tooth comb and only washed it once a week where possible.
Cold capping is an ordeal but I had lost my hair 6 years ago and did not want to do so again. It made me feel so much better keeping my hair and was worth the 3 hours cold capping. Good luck. Marli x
Advice please - on day 19 of cycle 1 I started to lose what looks like an enormous amount of hair. This has continued and I'm now on day 3 of cycle 2. Luckily I have thick hair so it's not showing at the moment but I don't know if this amount of "shedding" is what most of you have experienced and that it might slow down OR if this means that the cold cap isn't working for me. I'm attaching a photo of the loss this morning. It seems to be coming out all over rather than in patches.
I'm tempted to persevere in the hope that this will slow down. Has anybody lost this amount daily for it then to slow down?
Hi Tina, I've commented on cold capping before and I know it is absolute torture, but I am now five and a half weeks post chemo and despite thinning and losing about 60% of my hair I am still pleased I persevered. I cannot believe how fast my hair is growing and I have now ditched the hats I was wearing to cover thin patches as I have about an inch of new hair all over plus the old hair that was left. I had a very thin patch on my crown you could see the scalp through but that is now gone. I wouldn't say I have a style and my hair is far from the long blonde it was before but it's there and that makes me feel better about myself.
It's not for everybody and it's incredibly disheartening when you have that initial big hair loss. It did slow down although not stop altogether but by cycle 6 it was coming back. The nurses said that had I not done it I would have lost the lot!
love to all still having chrmo
I had the same thing happen to me and it scared me too. However, that was the worst of it. It slowed down and didn't shed like that again. I also think it was partly due to me having thick hair and not pushing the caps down tight enough the first time. I am happy to say I had my last round of chemo this week, and have kept majority of my hair. It has shed, but only I can tell. I hope you continue to use the caps and they get better for you. Be gently with your hair in between.
If headbands don't work, then you may want to try form sheets. The form sheets are the kind kids use for arts and crafts, a little thicker than paper, and you cut a half moon shape to cover your forehead. I used wig tape to stick it on my forehead and it worked great! Hope this helps