Hair loss

Hair loss

Hello everyone. I hope the new year is progressing well for us all?

I am preparing for chemo and I have completed a Sponsored Head Shave - tho I didn't quite shave it off as I had about 14 inches cut off anyway so that was alright. And I raised Β£650!!

I have a somewhat delicate question to ask about hair loss, sorry for that!

Am I right to expect my head hair to exit the arena in patches and over time or does it leave all in one go? Is a visit to the barbers the way forward after that?

Ive got 🎩 to wear and am considering a blond bob wig cos I've never been blonde.

I see people wearing scarves too.

Any guidance is most appreciated, thank you all so much ❀️😘

44 Replies

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  • My hair stated falling out in clumps 7 days after my first chemo. I decided that evening to have my head shaved bald. I didnt like the 'half blown dandillion' look. Initially I wore thin cotton beanies as i have always been very warm and hate wearing hats. A wig for me was out of the question for the same reason. I ended up shiney bald for the best part of a year. I went around sans hair, hat and felt extremely free. It is all down to individual taste, desire and confidence. All the best for your treatment. Lainey 66

  • Hi Deb, mine started coming out it fairly generous handfuls about three weeks into treatment. I didn't like the dull texture it had taken on either, so I got it clippered off. I admit I had bought a realistic wig first, which I don't mind wearing, it's quite comfy in spite of it being summer here ( Australia). I decided I needed to look as ' normal ' as possible, but it's a personal choice for sure. Good luck! ❀

  • Lovely, thank you Jac. I've had a grade 6 so am thinking of going for a grade 2 or 3 until the final departure, then we'll see. Many thanks ❀️

  • Hi Debster2016

    Happy New Year!

    I asked my Oncologist when my hair would fall out, he said Day 15-17 after 1st FEC & it did exactly as he said!

    I had it cut shorter on about Day 13 as it kept 'flopping' & couldn't hold its style! I was washing my hair on Day 16 & there were handfuls in my hand, so dried it carefully & put on a Baker Boy Hat & went out for my Birthday Lunch, in the evening l wore a Turban for my birthday dinner! By following day it was almost all gone so I popped on my wig & went off for My Birthday Afternoon Tea with the Girls! This was My Big Birthday & l should have been on a Cruise but BC & Chemo got in the way!

    I've only occasionally worn a Turban & always worn a wig since, my hair's decided to grow back thinly so not up to the mark for Public Outings yet!

    Everyone finds what's best for them for me it's a Wig πŸ’πŸ»

    Well done with raising such a lot of money!

    Take Care

    Mrs Nails πŸ’…πŸΌ

  • Wow what a unique birthday for you. Goodness, you seem brave to me πŸ‘. I sincerely hope you've since had the cruise you so obviously deserve! Thank you for your story, knowing it was a year ago for you gives me great comfort for my year ahead and a good goal in Christmas 2017!

    I am dead pleased with how much my hair was worth πŸ’‡. I plan on doing it again!



  • Hi Debster2016

    My treatment is a lower dose weekly , my consultant recommended looking for a wig before my hair started to come out - I am so glad she did as when it started to come out it was horrible , like you I had had my long hair cut short but even so having a shower was like having a hair shower - too distressing for words. I wear my wig when I am going out , mainly I don't want to be having to have the discussion with other people all the time who may not know I've got cancer, I'm not ashamed or anything it's just such an obvious sign to others, otherwise I wear one of the nice woolly hats with furry pom-poms , I don't like the headscarves as I feel like a pirate , and at home am just me ! Everyone is different and everyone will find what is most suitable to them . Far worst for me is my nails are really hurting and I fear there may be issues with them shortly , I like having painted nails but can't even file them as they are too sore....

    Best wishes for your treatment

    Jo x

  • Hi Jo loads of helpful stuff in there thank you. I'm singing off the same hymn sheet tho I Wish my consultant had suggested wig shopping before but that's ok. My hair cut is out there in the public realm and people wouldn't be shocked to find out I'd bought a blonde wig as a bit of a giggle!

    I'm sorry about your nails, that's tricky. Do let us know how you get on. Thank you for the heads up on that.

    Soon xx

  • Ask about the cold mittens to save your nails. It works. 🌺

  • Dear Woomot & Debster2016

    Re your nails, l knew about the possibility of Chemo causing loose nails & my biggest dread was them falling out! 😱

    I'd read wearing dark or black polish helped & so I wore Black! I had them filed much shorter than usual & the girls at the Salon were amazing, looking after me.

    So, there l was in Southampton 3 months after the last Chemo about to board Ship 🚒 to recuperate & ping my beautiful nails all started popping, I literally heard two of them, I was devastated, I called it The Final Insult!

    So, off to John Lewis & bought long Black Evening Gloves, into Boots & bought finger bandages, cotton gloves, latex gloves & plasters!

    But they held on, l wore gloves in the shower & used the hairdryer to dry behind them, my husband did all my button n zips but l got through the Cruise!

    When I removed the polish they'd all lifted from the nail bed about 3/4s of the way down, aaaggghh! I kept them short & started taking Perfectil Supplements for Hair & Nails, l'd been using Solar Oil on my cuticles every day anyway. Thank God they never did come off but reattached as they grew & are now back to normal πŸ’…πŸΌ

    I lost my breast, my hair, my eyelashes & my eyebrows but held on to my nails, they were however very painful!

    Good Luck Girls πŸ€πŸ’…πŸΌπŸ’•

  • I painted mine black but too and was just taking off to put new on when it really hurt , I think the nail bed before the nail forms can get damaged - not much you can do about that - I like the idea of evening gloves though ! Have just dropped a bowl on my big toe and the nail is throbbing as we speak , hopefully that will stay in place . Onwards and upwards , all a small price for the opportunity to be rid of the cancer hopefully forever !


  • Yes indeed Jo it's all for the best reason! Good luck with your big toe! X

  • Re you nails Jo, do you wear ice mittens during chemo? I do for the first infusion which is an hour. It's not pleasant but has saved my nails, which have stayed normal. 🌺

  • Never heard of them Jac , however my chemo only lasts an hour every week so probably not suitable ? Plus I don't have a Picc line , I have a canula in my hand normally so wouldn't be able to wear gloves - but an interesting idea , I'm guessing working on a similar basis to the cold cap ?

  • I also have a canula in my hand during chemo, the mitts are quite loose and doesn't interfere with it too much. Maybe your type of chemo shouldn't affect nails? However in our oncology department the mitts are strictly used as they are determined to protect our nails. We also have the cold caps on hand, however the pain of them and the fact they are not very successful, made me decide not to the cap. But the mitts were non negotiable. They look after us with hot blankets, cups of tea etc. so it's not all bad. 🌺

  • Are you in the U.K. ? I have Taxol which can affect the nails, but have not seen or heard anyone in the hospital using them. It does sound great though!


  • No, I live in Australia. But there was no arguing about it, they pop the gel mitts on straight out of the freezer, then change them for a fresh pair ( just as it's getting tolerable) half way through the delivery of chemo. I notice others with BC, also wearing them. It's a great idea because as I said, my nails haven't changed, still cutting them every week. 🌺

  • Mine started to fall out 3 weeks after 1st chemo so had it clippered off. I wore a lovely wig never yet seen myself bald like someone else said everyone different. Mine grew in curly with tiny bit grey. Heres hoping u get an easy journey with your treatment sending u loads of lovex

  • Thanks Gypsy, much appreciated. Both me and my hairdresser - who doesn't know why - are curious to see if it grows back any differently. I'm feeling +ve at the this space.....😳😊😘

  • When my friend had Chemo a few yeas ago she decided she'd like to be a Red Head! The Wig duly arrived & was promptly returned! She said "She Looked Like A Madam Working In A Brothel" πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

    We were more concerned as how she knew what The Madam looked like! πŸ˜‚

    She then ordered a Blonde One & it looked Good! πŸ™‹πŸΌ

    I've kept to my own dark shade but in Summer had one with Golden Highlights & in Winter Chocolate/Ginger Highlights. πŸ’πŸ»

    This NYE someone was raving about my hair, it's lovely colour, how well it had grown back etc eventually l stopped them & said it's a Wig! πŸ™†πŸ»

    Keep Smiling Ladies πŸ’

  • Dear Mrs Nails What a delightful red Head story thank you! πŸ˜‚.

    I'm intrigued that you got different coloured wigs, how lovely 😊.

    And very impressed with black gloves. Thank you for the oil tips too, I'll add those to the list. I'm glad to hear you had your cruise.


    Deb x

  • Thanks Deb, yes I had one called Ginger Chocolate & then Chestnut in the Summer, the same style but with golden highlights!

    I'm a bit of a skin care addict so treated my face to additional lovely serums too!

    You Take Care πŸ’

  • Thank you all very much ladies, it's all helped 😊

    Its all prompted me to ring the ONCO dept and luckily! got myself an appointment with the 'wig lady' next Monday, a day before my pre assessment!

    It's something that will be talked about during the assessment anyway so I've got in early 😜. Im looking forward to it!

  • I got my wig before my hair fell out too, so a seamless transition! πŸ’πŸ»

    I was a Girl Guide "Be Prepared" was our motto!

  • Haha, I too am prpearing! I have my sick bowl, recipe books from MacMillan and The Haven, Christmas present (and other) dvd's, 2 jigsaw puzzles, child's toothbrush, Corsodyl alcohol free mouthwash and have asked my oncologist for nevestim and Mystatin!

  • Good thinking Debster2016

    Drink lots n lots of water, take a bottle to bed with you at night & get OH to loosen the top first!

    Hand cream & cream for your feet also essential as they can peel & be painful, so lots n lots of moisturiser!

    I was only sick once after 1st Chemo & it wasn't bad, they have revolutionised the anti sickness treatments in the last couple of years.

    The Chemo Nurses are brilliant & give you loads of tips.

    Antiseptic handwipes too, invaluable, wipe your hands with them often if/when you're out n about!

    Best of Luck πŸ€

    Mrs Nails πŸ’…πŸΌ

  • I recommend Difflam mouthwash, on prescription, corsodyl kills good bacteria too! Nail polish dries your nails so remove with gentle formula. My nails were fine, no cleaning for 6 months, but lifted when I started AI, as it dried up everything! Moisturiser and shower creams on prescription too, just ask. I had already gone through surgical menopause, but the hot flushes were/ are fierce so I wore long headscarves tied to the side, chic turbanista! Easy to whip off, cool down and retie. Hair went by week 3, but started regrowing by 4th round of TC. 6 months later, ready for a restyle. One upside has been no blocked plugholes for a year! Good luck, take it week by week, take any help that's offered. X

  • Lovely and helpful thank you 😊 X

  • It comes out very quickly. First it dries right out, goes almost like straw. Then it starts itching like hell. Mine came out 10 days after my first chemo. I was having a shower, and realised it was coming out in handfuls. It was all over me! I rinsed off and patted myself dry, then got my husband to shave it. By that time my head was patchy and it itched so much I could scream. The relief was instant. Once it was gone, I went back to the shower to rinse again, and voila.

  • Thanks ladies, there are a lot of tips here for me to take up. I naturally have brittle nails, cannot paint them as it damages nail and they split, toes need to be kept warm or I will have be doing a war dance to get rid of cramp in my toes, often wear 3 pairs of socks. Think ice might make things worse. I was announced technically cancer free, as nodes clear but Chemo still on the agenda. Next two weeks will find out what? Hoping for reduced sessions but have to take things as they come. Am I to understand the NHS has wig shops? Apart from internet havent a clue where to get one...its like glasses would like to play with wig choices first... Good Luck with your treatments.

  • Hi Berylynn

    Re NHS Wigs

    Every Hospital probably has different systems but at mine The Wig Lady came every week, she had lots to choose from. In my case she said she had one back at their shop she knew would suit me & l went to another hospital a couple of days later to try it on & yep it was spot on, l wanted one ASAP as my Big Birthday was looming & didn't want to be minus hair!

    Good Luck πŸ€ Let us know if you have to have Chemo

    Mrs Nails πŸ’

  • PS

    Berylynn if your nails are brittle & split, I'd recommended using something like Solar Oil to rub into the base of your nails at the cuticle to help condition them especially if you do need Chemo & lots of hand cream as some of the Chemo's can cause the skin on your hands & feet to peel.

    Mrs Nails πŸ’…πŸΌ

  • My only option, had radiotherapy before...triple negative. Ok, my route might be a little softer than many here...but diabetic. It might not be easy...on target for birthday chemo! Great news if we get wig lady visits at Worthing, I will have to ask. Center excellant so far, worth the long 40 mile trip. Like it so much better than Sutton Marsden where everyone is so sick,sick, sick!

  • I had TNBC too, there are a few of us on here. Take Care πŸ’

  • hi debster, not got anything different to add really than whats been said, but massive well done for raising Β£650!!

  • πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ˜ŠπŸ’‡ thanks Cazlav. It will regrow after all!

  • When I had my wig I found out for definite that men don't notice your hair. My own hair was light brown and in a short bob. The wig I chose was darker and longer. I went out to our local club with my partner wearing the new wig and we sat with a male friend. When I popped to the loo, the friend said to Phil "I thought they lost their hair when they had chemo". Just confirms what us ladies always knew!

  • πŸ‘πŸ˜…excellent! πŸ‘πŸ»

  • It's not just men either Lorraineam l was wearing my new wig with a group of friends & one asked if I'd had my hair cut n coloured for when it fell out!

    And, just this NYE someone was raving over the colour & how well it had grown back, l had to stop them in the end & say it was a wig! πŸ’πŸ»

  • You just have to laugh don't you. Another funny thing that happened when I was having treatment. Phil and I were waiting to see the oncologist and the waiting room was packed. A care assistant was going round asking people who they were there to see. Phil, my partner, is virtually bald and the carer asked him who he was there to see. He was most offended although I found it hilarious

  • Yes, I was in the loo at the hospital when this Very Welsh, Elderly Lady said to me "Patient or Carer?" I couldn't help but laugh sporting my new wig & new prosthetic bosom! I said Patient to which she replied "Bloody Marvelous, l can see you like to take care of yourself!" She then proceeded to ask what type of Cancer l'd had & that my prosthetic looked Great! She told me she was 85 & it was in her bones but she wasn't going to let it beat her!

    What a Tonic! It's the little things like that & what the nurse said to your husband that makes it all a bit more 'normal' & a better tale to tell than how awful you really feel!

    Best Wishes πŸ’

  • Mine came out in strands that gradually became thicker until my dear partner shaved the rest off. i went for a wig that was pretty similar to my colour and style but why not go for a lovely blond bob!

    I am making this my last post on this forum as next week will be 10 years from my initial diagnosis and start of my breast cancer journey. I wish you all well wherever you are in your particular journey and thank you for all the love and friendship that is shared on this forum.

  • Oh lovesradio I am sorry to lose you but hey 10 years, how fantastic! A great way to go! Hearty congrats to you and thanks many times over for your replies. All the best xx

  • Very Best Wishes lovesradio πŸ’

    Through the other side!

    Great News

    Mrs Nails πŸ’…πŸΌ

  • Hi Lovesradio,congratulations, on ten years free of cancer, I wish you many more happy, healthy years xxxx

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