some people find their hair starts to regrow sparsly and a bit fluffy while on chemo but nothing will really make a difference as the chemo will still be in your system... i couldnt wear my wig to start with either... could only put it on for a few mins at a time... but i wore buffs a lot at the start as they were nice and soft and had to wear them in bed too as lying on a pillow felt like the roots of my hair were being pushed into my head... during the day i just stayed baldie and wore scarves when i went out for the first few weeks then i just though sod it and used to go commando... did get a few looks but just decided that was their problem not mine... so long as i had a bit of lippie on i felt fairly normal LOL
Thanks so much for your kind advice, it helps to know that other people have been through this - I am on day 17 today so maybe will cut it short tonight and see how it goes! Already had my wig sorted but found that when I tried to put it on my scalp was very tender. Hopefully this will improve soon and I'll look as lovely as ever!! Should I do any gentle massaging or anything to my scalp to encourage new hair? Or is there any magic oil?!! Thanks again.
hi audrey i did teh ssame as evie and shaved it on day 17 although kept trimming it shorter myself so it wasnt so long before i shaved it.... but was really sore for me... some people said tingly but my head felt like i was getting forks stabbed in my scalp and need regular pain killers.... it lasted for a week or so after it came out too but was glad to be rid of it.
I do feel for you as I think I know what you're going through. I am now on the other side, finished chemo in November and hair is beginning to grow back. However, I completely remember the worry of hair fallout! Let me just reassure you...it's not as bad as you think! I was really worried abot the hair loss and, like you, it started to come out as I combed my hair...I never had what I think must be a distressing experience, of waking up in the morning with my hair on the pillow. There came a point where, when blow drying my hair, it came away in my hand! Shocking...but I decided that was the time to do something before it came away on the pillow...I suppose it was important to me that I had control...we're all different. I decided to remove my hair that night and I was really worried about how I would react to seeing myself without hair. But it actually wasn't that bad! I was quite surprised.
For a start you're already a bit used to seeing yourself with a towel around your head when you've washed your hair...I felt that the view of myself in the mirror after that wasn't that different. I couldn't find my son's hair shaver when I wanted to remove my hair (which wasn't that long to start with...may make a difference)so I used scissors to chop at my hair and wasn't shocked at all at the result...quite reassuring!
It would have been good to have had hair shears available to do the rest...all I had were dog shears and I didn't think I should use them! I actually used a bikini hair remover ...twice! Not to be recommended as it made me a little sore but not that bad...it's possible I even used it 3 times. Eventually the next day I used a razor.
But the lesson for me was that it's never as bad as you expect. I thought it would be the worst part of it all and I'd gone through a mastectomy and recon, but it wasn't anywhere, at all, nearly as bad as I thought.
Just take heart, it is all temporary. I did have my wig already in place (that's it in the photo..I had another but this was my favourite) to me it always looked like a wig but I have bumped into people when I was wearing it who hadn't heard about my cancer and were so enthusiastic about my new hairstyle (maybe just shows taht my usual hair wan't up to much!)! If you're worried about the reaction of others my experience tells me that actually, people don't really look at you that closely.
I don't know where you live but I can recommend Trendco as a wig service. Their main office is in Hove, Sussex but they have a great shop in Church Street, South Kensington (?) a great selection and good advice. I would recommend that you go and try different styles...it's not really possible to know what suits without trying, I can assure you! If you can go before your hair disappears all the better but not the end of the world.
I wish you the best of luck...it seems daunting but once anything is faced I have found that it was never as bad as the expectation. Hope it's the same for you.
Wishing you all the very best.
Audrey that sensitive scalp thing is eased by shaving your head but not straight away. The weight of the hair pulling on the follicle is obviously relieved but the stubble is a bit sharp and rubs a bit! I shaved mine day 17 when chunks were blowing out in the wind!! Best thing i ever did as it took the control away from the chemo.
Hi Audrey and welcome to the BCC forums.
Whilst you await replies from your fellow users you may find our publication about hair loss helpful to read, here's the link:
Hi, my hair has just started to come out (2 weeks after first session). My scalp is quite tender. Is it best to shave it now? Will this stop it being tender? Anything I can do to preserve it for longer? I don't know whether to try to leave at least the fringe for as long as I can or is this going to come out quite soon anyway? At the moment it is coming out on the brush. Lots of questions, would love your advice!!!
Love to everyone else who's going through the same thing. Audrey xxx
Thank you everyone who has commented on this, I'm due to start chemo next week and my biggest fear at the moment is losing my hair. I've had long hair all my life and decided I might try the cold cap, then I was told it probably wouldn't work, so have been looking at wigs, but now I might go with my initial reaction and give it a go. Even if I get a few more weeks with hair it'll be worth it. Good luck everyone!
No, I havent had anything other than Tax this time (had E-CMF four years ago) - the conflicting advice you get on almost everything is a nightmare, isnt it?
If it has worked for you during FEC ( Im guessing the E is epirubicin? And thats a cert to loose your hair!) im sure it will work for Tax, especially if some people say your hair will start to grow back during Tax.
All the very very best of luck with your last FEC and when you start Tax. Just think - one hurdle over and no nausea with Tax!
KF have you been on Tax all the way through or have you done FEC as well? I switch to tax after my next FEC and keep reading conflicting reports. Some say hair loss guaranteed even with cold cap (obviously incorrect as you have proved), some say your hair starts growing again with Tax. I'm hoping if cold cap worked for FEC will be ok for tax too - but I guess there is a cumulative effect.
I agree with Finty - give it a go if you can....
Im about to have my 4th taxotere on Thursday and still have a full head of hair - Im actually getting it trimmed at the hairdressers tomorrow, which I really didnt expect to happen whilst on chemo!
My local hospital doesnt offer the cold cap, (even though the one 33 miles down the road does), so its a DIY job, caps hired and sister does it all. I really do think the success is dependant on the timings and how long you keep it on afterwards (i carry on having them at home for 3 1/2hrs after chemo finishes, its a long day but manageable - the taxotere doesnt cause nausea, so that really helps.)
Just to say - I first had chemo 4 years ago and lost all my hair on day 17 of cyle 1. Keeping my hair this time has made a huge difference to me.
I know it doesnt work for everyone, and also that not everyone feels the need to give it a go, but good luck to anyone who gives it a go, fingers crossed it will work for you.
Hi ladies - just wanted to encourage anyone in two minds about the cold cap to give it a go. I am a week away from my 3rd FEC and still have a full head of hair - just losing a few strands each day, but not at all noticeable. Even if it all falls out tomorrow it would have been worth it for 5 weeks of hair to date. Good luck xxxx
I have used the coldcap throughout,(paxman) I am due my fifth cycle on the 3rd feb, my hair as thinned, but so far so good!!!, It looks a mess and I hardly ever wash it, but i'am hoping it hangs on in there,
My chemo as been FEC x3, and taxotere although I had a bad reaction and was swithced to taxol
best wishes Ann
Hi everyone, just wanted to share that my hair all went today. What didn't come off on the pillow and in the shower I took off with the clippers, so I look a bit moth eaten. I got a kidney infection and Neutropaenic sepsis New Years Eve and was in hospital for a few days, but home now with Neutrophils at a resonable level. No veins left ofter my sojourn in hospital so I need to have a central line fitted.
The snow has shut the Island down so our specialist nurse that inserts pick lines cannot get over neither can the oncologists. I may have to delay my second FEC which is due tomorrow.
How is everyone else coping with the weather, we are not used to it over here on our little Island as we normally have our own microclimate.
By the way I met someone who had Tax and she said it wasn't too bad at all, so maybe we all worry a bit too much about it.
Happy New Year to you all, this is the year we get better!!
Love Vicky XX
hi thank you for replying,i agree if it made you sick then its not worth it.at my hospital i was surprised at how pleasant it was,it is like a big community room lots of activity and even sandwiches and tea,i took my hubby for someone to talk to and my sister is coming next week,lets just hope i can get through my second session of the coldcap,best of luck with the tax it might not be as bad as you think jackiex
hi yes I did give up - I was discussing it with the nurses and the very thought of it made me sick so all in the room said NO MORE !!! I am just about at the end of week 3 post the last epi and whilst I have lost loads (got a v attractive comb over !) I have still hair. Taxotere on Monday will probably take it all away but from the posts on Tax that will be the least of my worries !
It is a shame I agree cause it does work - I just couldn't take it and also in a private hospital you are sitting for 3 hours on your own with this freezer on your head - perhaps if there had been someone to talk to and chat away it would have been better - I think NHS there is usually someone around to have a chat with.
My eyebrows are sketchy and my lashes are going but not gone - I stopped wearing mascara before chemo started to make sure that I didn't have to take it off again cause I got the feeling that if I have to use eyemake up remover that might "tug" and I would lose them more quickly - so far so good. I will miss them more than anything else I think - does anyone use falsies ? I have some that are natural looking but not sure if it would be too much for during the day ....
hi recs i was just wondering how you are getting on with the cold cap or did you decide to give it up,i hope not it seems a shame when you have p ut up with .it for this long;i am having the same as you 3 epi,3 tax and then cmf,i too tried the cold cap,it was better than i thought once you got past the first 15 mins,i will try and persevere as i am petrified of losing my hair,was your scalp itchy and have you lost your eyebrows and lashes.thank you jackie x
if its any help I have just had 4th FEC and still have enough hair to do a combover. I oped not to use the cold cap for all of the above reasons!!!!Enough hair to arrange under a cap or hat but wouldnt feel comfortable going naked! new years resolution is to get to grips with the wigs so that i have an option when its too warm for hats in the spring and the new growth looks far too silly with the old wispy bits!
A few of us are lucky hair wise. fingers crossed for you!
Hi Recs. I decided after trying the cold cap, prior to chemo, to give it a miss. My goodness, we have so much rubbish to tolerate with Chemo and knowing we have rads to come and the cold cap was just one horrible thing too far. I haven't lost my hair yet as I have only had one chemo session so far.
Everyone says how beautiful the hair is when is grows back and how stunning all the ladies look without hair.
I know it is all very confusing with conflicting advice but mine is make it as easy on yourself as you can.
Have a happy new year everyone, we are all going to get well in 2010:-)
Love and ((((hugs))))
Thanks for the info on hair dyes I will check the web site out and i also live very close to my local Holland and Barrett in NI.
PS: my profile pic is pre-fallout as I'm sure you have guessed , maybe I will change it when I colour my hair , I'm not very brave as most people I meet assume my wig is my real hair as it is very close to my own .
Thanks again for the link. Jules x
Girls really conflicted now ! I have one more Epi to do (Monday ) and so far I have kept my hair with the cold cap - I read the stuff on Tax and thought "Can't do another 5 sessions of the cold cap - 1 x Epi and 4 x Tax) so I will give it up now cause it is sooooooo horrid an experience is this mad ? Should I do it again and then give it up ? the Tax website says you will lose all your hair but it does seem to grow back again during tax so I'm realy confused !!
I seriously don't want to do the cap again but if it would be a waste of the effort I've already put in I would think again
Any views ? Rxx
Flora - thanks for sharing your photos. My treatment is similar to yours (4 x FEC and 4 x TAX) and I managed to hold onto eyebrows and eyelashes, albeit, rather thin and patchy. This pic was taken 3 weeks ago and I had my last TAX 4 weeks ago and it is growing like wild fire. I used almond oil and masssaged it into scalp, not sure if it helped, but I think stimulating hair folicles must be beneficial and it is very relaxing!
RECS - my hair started to grow back once I had finished on the FEC and the TAX was much kinder on the hair and the veins!
Debbie - thanks for the link re the dye, I have a few grey bits, so may be needing it!
Good luck to you all girls, and keep on chuggin!
Hi Jules, I got my hair dye off the net http://www.nutrisun.co.uk and the product is called Naturtint - comes in lots of shades. Once you are on the site search for Naturtint. With P&P it was less than a tenner. It left my hair really soft and it hasnt washed out at all. I believe Holland & Barrett do it but I am in North Norfolk and we dont have one! Good luck - let me know if I can be of any further help x Debbie x
I have gone back part time. I am working mornings only on the two good weeks and taking the week off after treatments. The head at my school has also been through chemo so she is very sympathetic. I am due my second FEC on Friday, so far I have felt OK at work, but might need to reduce the number of days if I get too tired as the treatment progresses. The staff all know I am on chemo and have been really supportive and complmentry about the wig. The kids (I'm working in year three) haven't seemed to notice, some said they liked my new hair cut, but not one have spotted it's a wig.
It's a very personal decision about working or not it depends on how you feel about it. I prefer to spend some time in the land of the living doing normal things, it helps to keep things in perspective and keeps me positive. I'd get too depressed just watching day-time TV for the next four months.
I am tripple neg and do not need rads as I've had a mastectomy with good margins, so once I'm through chemo that will be it for me, apart from three monthly checks. So I'll be back to full time after the Easter hols.
Hi Debbie just read your post , I can't find a hair dye thats safe just wondering were you bought naturtint ,did u buy it locally or on the web, as i have been googling and only keep coming up with sites in america and oz, im 4 months finished chemo and feel its time to take of the wig and get my hair coloured , ive asked in the beauty shop Sallys but they just looked at me and said they couldn't advise me ,hope u can help.
Hi ladies, this is me about 10 weeks after my last lot of FEC x 6 which resulted in me losing ALL of my hair - although it came through grey I found a safe veggie dye called naturtint which covered the grey really well. Its still growing fast and I am about to colour my regrowth. So although it goes fast its amazing the speed it returns. I did wear a wig as I work in a special needs school and felt it would freak out some of the autistic kids - not one appeared to notice the wig and when I revealed my "short" hair do they just thought it had been cut and I even got some compliments LOL. So dont despair - I know how hard the hair loss is and Flora I so admire you - you look fantastic! Go girls, so hair today, gone tomorrow but back before you know it x Debbie x
hiya thanks flora for reply,this going to work buisness has made me rethink i might go back earlier than i thought ,all depending on how i feel,im lucky i do like been at home but i also miss work.thanks for the link to the beanies i bought one yesterday,gonna try cold cap but am also preparing myself for hairloss
Hi RECS and others. I feel humbled that my photos have made you feel more comfortable with losing your hair, and hope it goes well for you.
It hasn't all come out, and the bits that have clung on (which were shaved short, but not off entirely) seem to be continuing to grow. I notice that my leg, underarm and bikini hair is the same - not having to shave anywhere near as much, but there is a little growth. It's just all in slow motion now!!
Jackie, hope ET gets back to you regarding the teaching stuff. I think there are quite a lot of teachers on the boards, so you may want to do a search or put a new post up? I think some people are able to work through all the treatments, some just take the chemo/rads part off, and others take the whole time off depending on how they feel. I work in a college library, so not the same as having a class to take care of every day, but have been working throughout it all so far. Just 3 weeks off for surgery, plus odd days for chemo and clinics and hospital appointments. Wait and see how you react to the chemo, but prepare your school that you won't be around, just in case. Wishing you well for your first session.
hi et just something i saw on your posting,i am also a teaching assstant,diagnosed with bc . am starting chemo next week.i was intereasted to see you returning to work,how do you stand with ill days or have you just got a really understanding boss,my boss has been brill but i have been told told that i probably will be absent for a year.....thank you jackie
Flora thank you for this - I'm exactly one week ahead of you in this journey and so far I have kept my hair by using the cold cap which is nothing short of some form of torture so I am gonna give it up. My last Epirubicin is next Monday and that is me 50% done with chemo I then move to Tax (not looking forward to that at all) and then 25 rads and herceptin x 18 after that we will see what happens.
I was keen to keep my hair but I know now that I am def getting tax that it will go so your slideshow really helps you look beautiful with and without hair 🙂
It really suits you Flora, your slide show has given me a lot more confidence.
I am shedding like mad today and am fed up of it falling everywhere so I am going to ask my thirteen year old daughter to cut it short this weekend. (I thought it might be better to include her in the process, and it doesn't matter if she gives me a bad haircut, at the rate I'm losing it it'll only be for a few days anyway).
The only trouble is I went back to work this week and I was hoping my hair would last until the end of term (I work as a teaching assistant in a primary school). But I'll have to be brave and wear the wig on Monday, I hope the kids will just think I have a wonderful new haircut! The wig is so much fuller than my own hair.
My scalp is so sore! Does that dissappear when the hair has all gone? Thanks for the tip about the aquious cream, I already have a tub as I've been rubing it on my MX scar to keep it soft. You can also use it in place of soap if your skin is very dry.
I have my 2nd FEC on Friday, so I should feel better by Christmas day, even if I am hairless by then.
I like the new picture.... also the others that you posted, especially the plughole one!!
Keep up the good work all
Thanks guys. I've changed my profile pic now.
On the aqueous cream note, I go some aloe vera and bee propolis cream the other day (from an online source) and already it seems to be helping clear up the spots on my cheek - I've had them for months and months, pre-chemo. Not sure if it is aqueous, but it seems to be working. Will give it a few more days before I conclude it is the cream, and not just zoladex working and drying up my hormones!
Aloe cream is often recommended for soothing burns though, so may be useful for post-rads?
Aqueous cream is supposed to be really good for rads and someone else recommended massaging almond oil into the scalp as it helps the hair grow back thicker and better? Not sure if it works but got myself a bottle from holland and barratt in the aromotherapy section! happy to give anything a try. Am expecting hair to make its last retreat since having 3rd fec!
morning all, thanks for the tips on cream, carole i think i will get some aqueous cream as im due radiotherapy after chemo and have read on some threads its good for that.
flora your slide show is lovely and i agree with anna, some people can pull it off and your certainly one of them, really suits you!
due my second chemo 2pm today, hence the early rising, im blaming the steroids, not my silly worrying lol.
take care all x
Hi Flora, i have just looked at slide show, you look really good, im sure like me you cant wait for the hair to all come back but it suits you anyway.
I have to admit, I am just rubbing some of my normal face cream onto it - Olay! I do use a wee bit of Head & Shoulders on it in the shower too. I have no idea if this is right, but it seems to be working so far.
Dunno if anyone is interested, but I created a little slide show with pics of my hair being removed and how I look today:
When I went to the headstrong appointment there suggestion is Aqueous Cream, I bought some and it really does work, hope this helps.
hi everyone, looking for a bit of advise please. my hair is now nearly all gone, im just left with fair wispy bits, should i be moisturising my head and if so what do you all advise? i normally suffer with flaky scalp and dont want my head to dry out! all advise gratefully recieved thanks, mandy
Hey guys, I just came across this website selling cotton jersey hats in lovely colours and patterns: http://www.boldbeanies.co.uk/index.html It is exactly what I have been thinking I'd like!!
Something lighter than a woolly hat for indoor use. I'll need it over Christmas when my father in law visits as I think he'll struggle with seeing me bald.
I'm ordering a couple!
Mine went ok but like yours took ages due in at 2.30 left at 6.00, what a palaver, not too good yesterday but not too bad today now steroids have kicked in. Have a good rest I'll speak to you when you are more yourself. Nuisance about your teeth my gums have ached but luckily not my teeth, hope the antibiotics work.
Take Care Carole xx
how did it go? My 3rd done and dusted yesterday but took ages due to staff shortages. A bit worse than the first 2 - in bed by 10.30 but up again by 2am! Bigger hangover feeling than before and now also on anti biotics due to tooth infection (teeth seem to be crumbling with the chemo for some reason!). Going to hanker down for a cosy and lazy weekend me thinks. Hope yours is going well!
well ladies, after a bottle of red i got hubby to do the deed, as you can see by new photo! after crying when it kept coming out in the shower, actually shaving it was a bit anticlimatic, couldn't believe i wasn't in floods of tears! i feel soooo much better now mandyx
Hi Mandy and Dawn,
Sorry you've had to join us here. I has my second Tac last Tuesday and ended up shaving my hair off on the Wednesday. It turned out to be quite a bit of a relief to take it off. I've always had long hair and didn't want it cut short before it fell out but like Flora I got sick of it falling in my cereal and leaving a trail everywhere I went,that I decided it had to go. This was the moment I had been dreading the most but once the first bit had gone I was fine, didn't shed a tear at all, which was a big suprise. I do have my wig which I've worn twice but most of the time I just think that if I can get used to it then everyone else just has to get used to me bald. I think I scared away most of the young kids at the stables on Saturday morning but at least the horse still recognised me. Only slight problem is my other half is bald aswell so we look a right pair! It really isn't as bad as we fear, apart from my sticky out ears I quite suit it!!
Try not to stress too much,it really won't be as bad as you think.
Hi Carole Mandy flora Dawn Et and all!
Et, You might be lucky with your hair for Xmas. My 3rd FEC tomorrow and still holding onto enough for it not to be really noticeable under a hat! Scalp is tender though!
Mandy, we all seem to do nothing but eat, especially carbs. Im at the end of the 3 week cycle so back on chocolate, coffee and tea big time - making the most of it as I know I wont be able to face it next week so will be back to the teacakes, hot cross buns and branston pickle on bread! But not altogether!
Dawn, I felt exactly the same as you which is why I chose to take the cowards way out and hold on to the hair as long as poss! I keep having practice days wearing the wigs around the house but still dont feel comfortable! I have had a couple of test stick on eyelashes put on at the beauty salon to make sure they dont react with my sore eyes next week - a shame they cant do that over the whole of your head!
good luck girls, keep at it and keep smiling and finding a funny side!
hi et, im still plucking up the courage to do it, but it is making me sad the amount that keeps coming out when i brush, touch it. im going to get my wig trimmed tomorrow, hopefully will be more positive when i feel more comfortable with the wig, its so thick and heavy at the mo. good luck with keeping yours as long as you can.
carole, totally agree about carnival, we went to watch it a few weeks ago with friends who hadn't been before, they were amazed, said it was as good as they've seem in america. good luck with session3.
zaralenca, my thoughts are with you, im sure once we do the deed it won't be as bad as anticipated(i hope!)
right im off to feed my tummy, AGAIN, seem to be permanantly hungry!
Dawn you've said it yourself it will grow back just think of it as a stage in the process that has to be. I was fretting to start with before the chemo but once it started to fall out my OH shaved it off for me, and as I've said before found it quite liberating a little chilly though, no bad hair days here. My hair was long and it took me 2 years to grow it long as I always had short hair, so it was a big jolt but its not as bad as you think once your there.
Et you might still have your hair in tact for Christmas as mine didn't really show thinness until after the 2nd FEC like Karen you might be lucky but if it doesn't well you have your wig and it's not that bad to wear although whilst I'm indoors I go without unless its cold then I wear a hat.
Flora it doesn't take long to get used to your wig does it you do start to feel confident don't you.
Somerset lady the one thing I miss about down there is the carnivals they don't do them up here.
Right I'm off to my 3rd chemo good luck Karen for yours tomorrow.
Take Care All Carole xx