Headstrong Hi all
Breast Cancer Care publishes a factsheet on the subject of hair loss and breast cancer. I have given the link here:
In some areas Head Strong runs sessions by specially trained volunteers, this free service explores the many issues faced by people experiencing hair loss.
A Head Strong appointment will give you practical tips and information on looking after your hair and scalp before during and after your treatment, as well as handy scarf tying ideas.
At your appointment you will be able to try on a range of hats, scarves, fringes and hairpieces in a comfortable and private environment. You also have the opportunity to buy selected items of stock.
This service is beginning to be expanded into more areas of the country. For more information and to find out where your nearest Head Strong session is running see the link below:
or telephone your area office.
Hope this of some help
Breast Cancer Care
hair loss I've only had one dose of TAC chemo but my hair started to fall out on day 12. It was thick but short and curly now thin with bald patches. I didn't opt for the cold cap as there were no guarantees and I didn't want to leave my dogs for an extra 2 hours. I have ordered a wig decided for a change to go red short and straight. 2nd. chemo next thursday.
I WAS A REDHEAD TOO!! Hi GingerSmurfette
love the name by the way.
I had 6 cycles of FEC finishing in Feb this year. I too had red hair, not bright red but more auburn and also long down to my waist.
I didn't use the cold cap, I couldn't bear it as I suffer from migraine. Anyway, needless to say my hair all came out, it started after a couple of weeks. I did cut it shorter to start with, but got hubby to shave it down to number 2, as it was getting everywhere!
At the time it didn't seem too bad, as I was so feeling so bad from the chemo, but since I have now finished, I am more bothered.
It has started to come back, and is now about 3/4 of an inch long. It is now light brown, and it was very wavy before and seems to be the same texture, so I am glad about that as I like it curly.
I have just come back from a short break, and this is the first time I have been out and about with a bare head, still feel very self concious, but it just looks like a really short haircut now at least.
I can't wait for it to get some length, as I don't feel very feminine at the mo, but all in all, am glad it is back.
Hope this helps a little.
Love and hugs to you all, Deborahxxx
Hair loss I have posted this on behalf of new user Jane
Breast Cancer Care
I have now had 3 rounds of FEC, 4th due next week, and by using the cold cap have kept some of my hair. It is gone from the top but I still have a fringe and the sides. This means I can wear a baseball cap around town and feel completely OK. Its hard not to take the hat off in cafes etc, and still a shock when I take it off at home to reveal a seriously bad hair day. But its great to be out and about with just a hat to think about. My hair comes out in combs etc. and on my pillow so I think eventually I`ll shave it off. But so far the cold cap has delayed this as I understand the FEC is quite brutal to your hair. The cold cap itself is painful for the 1st 20 min then things settle down. I also found it was a diversion from the chemotherapy itself and hardly noticed this part of the afternoon. Short hair is easier to manage with the cold cap as the nurse coats my hair in conditioner which they recommend you dont wash out for 24 hr, and as all the ice defrost and mixes with the conditioner its all a bit of a mess for a day. Also I tend not to wash and comb it very often. As for the hair loss on my pillow etc. I bought a ver light weight scarf (basically an elasticated tube) from an outdoor shop (supposed to be for hot days climbing etc) and I sleep with this on and the hair that has come out stays in the scarf rather than all over the bed and house. For me and family life this works really wel, my little boy who is 3 hasnt even noticed the baldness, I can give him a hair free cuddle 1st thing and go out. However I am only delaying the inevitable baldness and am not sure if on round 4 I`ll have ebough hair to make the cold cap worth it. But to have had some hair this long has been a relief and I would recommend the cold cap if you can handle it. Where some warm clothes and have a pee before it starts.
I had my first chemo yesterday (on the TACT2 trial, so 4 cycles of Epirubicin, then of Xeloda (tabs) after that. I opted for the cold cap... there were two different types on offer. The first one was a cap that they cool to the correct temperature in a freezer and you have to have them changed every so often during treatment, as they gradually thaw out. This one you have on for 20 mins prior, during and I think 20 mins after the treatment has stopped.
The other, which I opted for, is attached to a machine that keeps it at a constant temperature (-25, I think!!). The chemo nurse said that many people couldn't tolerate this one, which worried me... but I found it completely bearable and had no headaches. The down side is that you have it on for 2 hours after treatment finished. She said it has a better success rate re hair loss, so I reckoned... what's 2 hours out of your life, if there's a better chance for your precious locks!! I warn you... it's not a pretty look, but who cares! Certainly, based on my first experience, I'd recommend you give it a try...
As to whether or not it works... ask me again in a few weeks!! I read that most people still have thinning, but the leaflet told you quite a high success rate, but then they would, wouldn't they... and it will depend on your individual hair type, the cocktail of chemo drugs, etc...
Good luck... but I say, give it go... nothing to lose... and I found it absolutely fine.
I had really long hair when I was diagnosed. Before I went in for my mastectomy I took the decision to get it cut pretty short. This was more because my hair used to take quite a lot of time and effort, straightening and stuff, and I thought I would be able to manage a shorter style better in hosp. Was quite gutted at the time it was being cut but it ended up looking really nice and I soon got used to it. It was a godsend in hospital as it took very little styling and looked good all day, ideal when you have loads of visitors!
The day I started my chemo my boyfriend shaved my hair off for me. It was my decision as I wanted to take some control over the situation. My mates thought I was mad but the nursing staff said it was probably a very wise move. He only shaved it to a No 3 initially. My head started getting v.v.sore before my hair started falling out so bf then took it down to a No 1. This worked for me but others may find it a bit extreme.
The NHS wig I have is lovely but I prefer the on I got myself. I live in shropshire so I'm afraid I can't help you there! Trevor Sorbie has a website called something like 'mynewhair.org,uk'. It lists salons that will cut wigs for free and when I rang my local salon on this website they told me the nearest and best place to get my wig from. I was adamant I wanted a real 'human hair' wig but was soon put off as these take a lot of looking after. Micro fibre wigs only last a few months so you may find you need another one during your treatment.
My periods haven't stopped so far on chemo but I have only had 2 so who knows!
Hope that helps,
Well what a lot of questions! I had shoulder length hair and had it cut quite short when I knew chemo was immenant. I loved my new cut and colour and so looking forward to having hair again. I currently have a 5 o'clock shadow of fuzz.
I found it quite distressing when my hair began to fall out in handsful, on my clothes and my pillow so got OH to shave it off. This may sound drastic but although I cried buckets, I also felt in control and he was great about it which helped.
Someone, either an elaine or an Eileen posted on here about making a false fringe with your own hair. It is such a good idea but it was too late for me, mine was well in the bin by then.
Can't remember exactly how but think she put cut off hair inbetween paper and sewed it over and over with a sew machine. She wears hers with scalves and things. Try looking for past threads.
Can't help re N east places for wigs. You should get a voucher which pays the lions share of the cost, which you can take to a specialists and be pampered, well I was, by a lovely old bloke who was very sensitive. I got my 1st wig before my hair dropped out to match the colour. I bought 2 more cheapy ones off net but they are pretty rubbish so don't wear them.
Hope this helps.
The Hair Loss Thing?? Hi All
I just want to ask a couple of things, a bit in advance, but it's so I can get my head round it now before it all kicks off.
I'm due for a 2nd Op on 5 July to remove more lymph nodes and another slice of boob tissue. Then have to start the chemo cocktails. I've read some of the posts on this part of the forums and wondered about the hair loss thing.
I thought the cold cap treatment was an option which I've heard in some cases does work, but I guess it also depends on the cocktail you receive? Apparently it's a like a swimming cap with ice in, hmm sounds charming but if it helps I'll do it!
Someone has replied to me about wigs in terms of NHS ones which are apparently quite nice. Would be helpful if there is any one from Newcastle/North East Area who knows of where sells wigs so I can have a look and get some ideas? I have long red hair and obviously curious to know if there are any other redheads out there and if it grew back red or another colour and was it curly, which is another thing I've heard?
Also, did you all have your hair cut short in order to help deal with the hair loss? I guess I'm thinking based on other stories I've heard I could get it cut short and then find I might be lucky if I opt for the cold cap and don't lose it? Very confused.
I am trying to view the hair loss thing like Samantha from Sex and the City with her various wigs so could therefore have a bit of fun with it?!?
Also I thought periods stopped when on Chemo? I was looking forward to that bit as mine are quite painful anyway!
Thanks for your help and hope you are all okay whilst undergoing treatment.