Hair loss advice

I am due to start my first chemo on Tuesday 4 cycles if EC every 3 weeks followed by 12 weekly cycles of Paclitaxel. I am really scared about the side effects in particular the hair loss. I am going to try the cold cap but nurse said it only works on 20% of patients. Can anyone recommend any places to buy wigs, eyebrows, eyelashes that are suitable for chemo patients?

I’ve noticed on this site that others have had the same treatment but start with Paclitaxel first the EC, does anyone know if there is any difference whether you start EC or Paclitaxel first?

Nurse said I will probably experience the hair loss after a few day’s after my first chemo, is this true? Would love to hear from anyone else that has been through the same chemo as me to know what side effects to expect. 

  • Hi welcome to the site my story is on my profile feel feel to read .

    I had ECx6 because a pre excisting problems that clash with docetaxil . I was also told definite hair loss within couple of days . 

    I took the decision to have medium bob cut to pixie ( everyone including myself loved it ) before chemo . This meant ,on advice from hairdresser handled hair a lot less .  Shampoo once a week finger dry no heat used . I also used a specialist shampoo/conditioner  nioxin .

     I did not use cold cap ,my decision felt I didn't want to bother and disliked the idea of spending longer in chemo unit each time .

    My hair did not start  shedding until eight weeks in treatment . My hairdresser just kept it tidy as it shed . Being winter wore a hat if I felt the need  started chemo in August and in the December had a no2 shave to give a shape to new growth . 

    Went into shielded in March with hair showing thru came out in July needing a cut . Had three trims and hair back to pixie cut .

    Ask your BC nurse about wigs our hospital had a visiting wig expert who fitted . I had a NHS voucher for up to £300  if you with NHS you should get voucher . Try on line for eyebrow and lashes to be honest I didn't find it a problem without .

    If you go on to chemo thread at top of discussions you will find a hint link for things that can help you thru chemo .my tip would be start mouthwash now ( ulcers ) use baby tooth brush to protect gums . Buy evonail to protect your nails .Takes anti nausea mess and if they dint work ask for change .

    main message is take a breath once your treatment starts you will realise your imagination is worse than reality . It's not pleasant but just listen to your body and rest when needed . 

    Have a browse around rest of threads but def have a look at chemo one and ask away with questions 

    One step at a time and ...Breathe !
  • Thanks Margaret for your reply. I am so happy for you that your treatment is over and you have your hair again. 

    Thank you for all the tips they are really useful. I know you probably think I’m just being very vain but I just didn’t want my daughter to be embarrassed when I do school runs, I didn’t want any attention/sympathy from the other parents or the teachers. Also I just wanted to look normal at Christmas and on my birthday as it’s a big one this year - 50! 

    Take care 

    Chloe x

  • Hi Chloe, 

    I start treatment next week, very scared but it’s got to be done, so getting as prepared as possible! I bought some cheap wigs, just in case from a website called Lullabellz, and plan to wear a hat if they are bad! It’s something to give an illusion of hair until I get my proper wig! I bought eyebrow wigs from a place called simply wigs, until I learn to draw them and magnetic eyelashes (the eyeliner is magnetic) from Lola lashes. I may not look exactly like me, but with hats and headbands, I’m hoping it won’t be too bad! I’ve got a daughter in junior school too! I’m taking a positive view that’s it’s winter, so can get away with wearing hats, and by the time spring comes, treatment will be over and I’m hoping to have hair! Good luck xxx

  • Pixie cut 

    Wig i chose to match pixie cut 

    Now own hair again 

    Let your daughter have a input to choice of wig and hats . I started chemo in August and to be honest wig only came out on rare occasions as it was winter so hats were the order of the day . 

    Amazon have a lot of bamboo beanie hats ,sleep beanie really useful to stop hair loss on pillow and keep head warm .

    I think you'll find like I did people don't notice as much as you think they will . Have a chat at the school so they can watch if daughter upset . I chose a friend in each group to tell people that I wanted treated as normal no sympathy ,no cuddles just normal ...found it easier that I didn't have to break the news .

    2019 was daughters 50 th ,sisters 60th ,my 70th joint party planned for the Oct ( my birthday ) was cancelled I was in mid chemo cycle so managed a pub lunch lol 

    Covid stopped play this year so give up Joy 

    I'm Her2 positive so ongoing herceptin til Jan then bisphosonates til 2023 ..belts and braces  

    One step at a time and ...Breathe !
  • Wow Margaret, you looked amazing in your wig! Fingers crossed I find something that suits me just as well. Although I don’t get to meet my wig lady, have to do it all via calls, photos and the post due to Covid Disappointed!  Xxx

  • The wig company my hospital uses is Browns more hair now ...they are on line .They were extremely helpful . I was lucky like being in sweetie shop lots to choose from but Covid hadn't arrived by then .

    Went with same as new pixie cut it was hilarious people couldn't tell at all . Now they're still not sure if I wearing wig or hair grown back . For me I found it didn't bother me too much and certainly by Dec when chemo finished didn't bother me in the least to take hat off in cafe . Especially if I thought somebody was being rude and staring ! Joy 

    Copy of my Age 21 hair ..decided against this JoyJoy

    One step at a time and ...Breathe !
  • Thanks Margaret for the tips, your hair looks fab.

    Just had my first chemo today and feeling very nauseous:(

    Take care x

  • Thank you for your reply and recommendations. I just had my first chemo today and feel very nauseous, I hope this doesn’t last long.

    Hope your chemo goes well. X

  • Hi  

    nausea is normal for most people on EC take your meds.  if they don't work or you are sick ring your unit they can change them . We're  all different but it usually only last about 5 days . Eat as and when you feel like it but do eat it halls honest . The steroids will make you want carbs just go with it .

    Youll find your taste buds change and you'll end up eating stuff you previously hated lol Joy Drink plenty chemo dehydrates inside and out .

    Hope you feel a bit better soon 

    One step at a time and ...Breathe !
  • Hi Chloe71

    Sorry to hear your not feeling great, I can’t offer any advice I’m afraid apart from take each day slowly and look after yourself! I have been advised by my oncologist to drink lots of water and try to get out walking every day as it suppose to help, even if it’s a short walk. thinking of you. 

    Im on exactly the same as you EC, then Paclitaxol. But I’m doing the accelerated version, EC every 2 weeks, then 4 x two weekly Paclitaxol. I already counting down the days till I finish, and I’ve not even started. 

    You take care xxx