Chemo and hair

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Hey! New to this group and obviously new to a cancer diagnosis. 

Im 41 and was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer on 29th december, 2 days before i qualified as a registered nurse, the irony is not lost on me! After what feels like weeks of physical torture and endless waiting i have been told i have to have an 18 week cycle of chemo before being considered for surgery.

What terrifies me most is the fact im going to loose my hair! Part of me feels that it is ridiculous to feel this way and to wise up but i have never had hair above my shoulders (currently its below my bra) and the thought of loosing hair is as traumatic as the cancer itself. And please believe me when i say vanity is not the reason!

Has anyone felt this way too?? I am going to cut my hair short this week so that when the time comes for it falling out, hopefully it wont be as traumatic. 

Any reassurance i am not alone in this aspect of cancer would be much appreciated xx

  • Hi

    A very warm welcome to the online community although we wish you didn't need to be here.

    I'm sure the waiting has seemed endless - it's the worst part, in a way though you may not think that facing 18 weeks of chemo.

    We are a large and very friendly bunch of people here online and we completely understand how you feel and are happy to support you however you need.

    This under 50's group is a little quieter than the main breast cancer group - some people like to stay here, some like the main group - lots of us use both. Have a look around and see where you feel comfortable. 

    I'm going to recommend a thread in the main group to look at - the breast cancer chemo thread - if you click on the link it should take you to the February one.

    It's something we set up each month as a place for everyone going through chemo to get together and share their experiences and any tips we've all learnt along the way.

    So, chemo and hair loss - it's difficult. I'll be honest with you, I didn't worry too much about losing my hair, was determined to be bald and proud or wear outrageous wigs - until it started to fall out and then I was pretty upset. I got used to it quite quickly once it was gone but you are right, it can be traumatic and doesn't necessarily have anything to do with vanity - although even if it does, I don't think that's a bad thing. It's very easy to tell ourselves that we should feel this way or that, but really, however we feel is OK - and if you feel one way on a Monday and completely opposite by Tuesday, that's OK too.

    I'm not sure how things are with the cold cap at the moment - some hospitals seem to be avoiding them due to Covid while others don't. that might be something to ask about though as it may lessen your hair loss - they do normally recommend cutting it shorter though.

    Please be assured, chemo isn't as bad as you may be imagining - it's very do-able. Make sure you are honest about your side effects and take all the drugs they give you.

    As a final bit of reassurance - my treatment finished several years ago and I am doing well, living life and thriving. I was in my forties when I was diagnosed and just getting my career back on track after child-raising. Cancer is one of the biggest curve balls life can throw at you, but there are lots of us here that will tell you, you get through it - you come out the other side and you carry on with life.

    Have a look around the site and join in as and where you want - give us a shout if you need a hand with anything. 

    I hope chemo is kind to you and sending some virtual hugs!


  • Hi Renzo79  looks like we are on a similar journey it was on Dec 29th that I found out I would need chemo after finding out my tumor had grown. Initally I felt the same, my hair was also quite long. So I decided to take control of the situation before it fell out I got it cut and have donated my hair to the little princess trust so at least it hadnt gone to waste because of chemo. Then after my 2nd chemo it started to fall out more so my husband shaved it off for me. I am focusing on its only hair and will grow back and relishing the fact that a shower doesn't take as long. I wear a bamdana when I go out. I am abroad so too hot for a wig. For me taking control helped me deal with losing my beautiful hair better. Sending lots of love xxxx

  • Hiya,

    I'm 48 and my journey started on 10th Feb last year.  I had surgery, then chemo, then radiotherapy. ..I cried so much about losing my coloured, thin, bobbed hair!  lol

    Just wanted to ask if they've mentioned the cold-cap to you?   It really was worth persevering with...I did cut my hair short because I knew I'd lose some of it...after the first ten minutes I totally forgot I was wearing it!  I had the cold-cap on for every treatment three EC and three Docetaxel...ended 18th August ...I had a bit of a bald patch but got through the summer with a pink baseball cap because those chemo scarf things made me feel like a cancer patient!.  The wig shops were closed due to Covid so I got three from Ebay which are great...still using them now because my hair is too short for my liking and they keep me warm.  

    Wishing you all the best x

    Professional Cat and Guinea Pig Cuddler....