I'm exactly a year on from diagnosis and happy to report I have a full head of healthy hair largely due to perservering with cold cap. If you can face it its worth doing, and I'm very grateful to the friend who told me about it.
Like others - it was a HUGE deal to me losing my hair...I had kept my illness secret from all but my nearest and dearest, because it seemed less scary that way.
My lovely hairdresser cut my hair into a cute bob ahead of 4 cycles of chemo, and I was delighted it stayed same length and shape over 4-5 months (small perk!). In the end about 40% fell out, mostly thinning at the crown, not noticeable to most people. I had very thick hair to start with, washed it gently in the bath rather than shower (though not sure if this made a difference) with regular shampoo and conditioner, regular brushing.
My treatment was during winter months, so had to buy wooly hats to make up for lost heat through hair
A month or two after chemo ended it started growing and now I have 3-4" of perfectly healthly baby hair
As some others have said, using the cap is tricky but gets easier - imagine putting your head in a bucket of ice - then pull the chin strap tight! I was advised to cover my head with conditioner ahead of putting cap on so hair doesn't stick to cap when its taken off.
It worked for me, I hope it does for you too
Best of luck X
I have just finished round 2,Taxotere and Cytoxan with 2 more to go. I have lost about 60 % of my hair . I am curious if wearing a wig is putting more stress on the hair?
Hi I have one more chemo session left to go. I bought a wig but it made me feel really down when I wore it and not myself even though everyone told me it looked good I thought it was really obvious. Instead I have opted for head scarves and have bought all of mine from this site. They are about £5 each and arrive really quickly - I have about 12! They are hand washable but on a good day dry very quickly on the washing line.
They have a great range of colours, are cotton and 100cm square. I fold mine into a triangle, tie once at the back and bring the ends round to the front and tie with a knot. I tuck the tail into the back and have found it to be secure enough. I can choose my look for the day and feel much more like me.
It has been so helpful reading your past threads and reassuring to know you are not alone with the horrible prospect of losing your hair!
I'm about to start my Chemo next week and will definatley be trying the cold cap (tips about scarves to cover your neck etc are great thx)
Ii have Just ordered a load of different style of scarves - can anyone recomend a good website other than amazon please, quite liked annabandanna :-/ And will get a wig just incase i think. Also, can i ask if anyone would recomend wearing a night cap?
Feeling a bit emotional this week - bit weepy about the prospect but also guilty putting my husband and teenagers through this - it's not going to be pretty is it?
Thank you to all for posting your experiences x
Christine just read your post ...took my breath away. Have just finished 4 x 3 weekly AC and 12 weeks of weekly taxol and cold capped throughout. My hair was a thick healthly regularly coloured Bob. I am happy yo say I have retainined about 60% of my hair. I did have it cut short though because I have not been string it at all and it looked a mess . I have also had it coloured twice used Daniel Galvin bought on line it's organic vegetable based. It covered reAlly well and did not irritate my scalp. Onc said was ok to give it a go. I also took lorazepam during cold capping which made it bearable. You may be able tog get that prescribed for you. If I was you I would give it a go because if you feel confident about ur hair it may help u forget sometimes that you are ill. Very best of luck. Elizabeth 💕
Awwww thanks for quick reply ladies , still undisided ?as I have my hair coloured regulary , so not sure if I could stand roots growing through or grey hairs ? lol. As I have my hair in a short bob there is some quite nice human hair wigs in the reddish colour I usually have & as I have to style mine almost every day with hairdryer & straightners really don't know what to do as yet ? thanks for your advice , see how I feel in the morning ? Anything else to add please do ladies , any help / advice is most welcome X X
Hi Christine - sorry to hear your dx. You sound very positive and believe me that makes a huge difference.
Having lost all of my hair 7 years ago I didn't want to lose it again when I was dx with a recurrence.
Personally I would go for the cold cap. Yes, it can be uncomfortable but forewarned is forearmed.
Paracetamol an hour before , good hairband to cover ears and forehead, scarf to go under pipe at back of neck and lots of hot drinks.
Use simple shampoo and conditioner and wash only once a week. Sleep on a satin pillow case to avoid snagging.Be prepared for what looks like a LOAD of hair shedding - it is not as bad as it looks and by the third treatment starts to slow down.
Look back on this thread for lots of advice and information.
the website cancerhaircare.co.uk is a mine of information and you can get a leaflet from The Lister Hospital through them which is all about scalp cooling.
Give it a try, as you have nothing to lose (excuse the pun).If you can keep your hair it makes you feel so much better.
Good luck. Positive thoughts and hugs coming your way. Marli x
Hi Kay Tonks & other members , this is all a shock to myself & family ( to say the least ) diagnosed 7 weeks ago with terminal cancer . Secondry , which had started in breast & spread to bones & liver ! After having a fractured hip & femur removed along with some pelvis area , start on Chemo tomorrow , so all new to me ? I wasn't going to bother with cooling cap as didn't think it actually worked ? But nurse who did the pre-assessment today really thinks I should try it , so need to decide over night ? I do have lovely thick dark her in a short bob of which people always comment on . I am 54 yrs young , any advice pleassssssse ? Had a rough time with operation with pain , other wise feel ' normal ' . no crying , panic or anything really ? infact I've been really comical at times ! Family & friends keep staying how brave I am & how well I look ! I just laugh & say well nice to know I look good now I'm dying ! Can't descibe how I feel , as don't really know ? Is something wrong with me , any one else feel the same ? many thanks X X
Hi everyone...... Just popped on to show some support. I'm one treatment away from finishing radiotherapy, started 19th May.
But most importantly I'm 10 weeks post chemo 6/6..... 3xFEC & 3xT...... I lost about 60% of my hair and it slowed down cycle 3, slowed right down by cycle 5, however it didn't stop altogether until about start of wk 6 post cycle 6. I started getting baby hair new growth from cycle 5 ish, could feel it in parting and at sideys! Hair changed in texture from the off, became brittle, dry and very thin. I washed it once a week using Simple shampoo gently and conditioner. Used hairdryer on low cool setting and continued with my usual hairspray.
My lashes and eyebrows diminished thanks to the T cycles! But coming back now..... As is the hair everywhere else!!! Had to do my 'tash' yesterday! 😧 Am back using my epilator/shaver on my legs (but no underarm hair yet, though lady bits coming back 😒)........ AND.... today I had the CLAN hairdresser apply a semi permanent colour to my newly grown grey hair!!! It's not a complete coverage as we played safe and didn't leave on for full time as hair fine and porous, but it's looking so much better!! Was recommended to use a natural colour from Holland & Barrett first.
HANG ON IN THERE GUYS!!! It worked for me, though there were times I didn't think I could go through it all again!! I did, and now 10 wks on my hair is looking more like my old self again.
Thinking of you all...... It will end..... 😚 Xxx Tina
I am starting chemo soon and I am dreading it. How much of an ordeal is cold capping. I don't like the cold but the thought of losing my hair is as bad as the cancer
Found them - half way down this page. I've found a UK website that has tons of surgeon's headgear (2nd link) why not give them a call?
http://www.globalsources.com/manufacturers/Disposable-Surgical-Cap.html Paper ones half way down
Oh Tina I'm sorry to hear about your hair loss. Good for you for persevering though. I hope you manage to find the surgeon's cap and that it helps. I'll go and have a google now and see if I can find anything for you.
Marli THANK YOU. You've given me hope where I thought there was none. You're my new hero xxx
Michele - DO NOT PANIC! I lost what seemed to be an awful lot of hair during Rounds 1 and 2. During Round 3 it still came out but slowed down and continued to do so for the rest of my treatment. I too, have thick hair and although it thinned in soon grew back after treatment.
I did, however, only comb it once a day with a wide tooth comb and only washed it once a week where possible.
Cold capping is an ordeal but I had lost my hair 6 years ago and did not want to do so again. It made me feel so much better keeping my hair and was worth the 3 hours cold capping. Good luck. Marli x
Advice please - on day 19 of cycle 1 I started to lose what looks like an enormous amount of hair. This has continued and I'm now on day 3 of cycle 2. Luckily I have thick hair so it's not showing at the moment but I don't know if this amount of "shedding" is what most of you have experienced and that it might slow down OR if this means that the cold cap isn't working for me. I'm attaching a photo of the loss this morning. It seems to be coming out all over rather than in patches.
I'm tempted to persevere in the hope that this will slow down. Has anybody lost this amount daily for it then to slow down?
Hi Tina, I've commented on cold capping before and I know it is absolute torture, but I am now five and a half weeks post chemo and despite thinning and losing about 60% of my hair I am still pleased I persevered. I cannot believe how fast my hair is growing and I have now ditched the hats I was wearing to cover thin patches as I have about an inch of new hair all over plus the old hair that was left. I had a very thin patch on my crown you could see the scalp through but that is now gone. I wouldn't say I have a style and my hair is far from the long blonde it was before but it's there and that makes me feel better about myself.
It's not for everybody and it's incredibly disheartening when you have that initial big hair loss. It did slow down although not stop altogether but by cycle 6 it was coming back. The nurses said that had I not done it I would have lost the lot!
love to all still having chrmo
I had the same thing happen to me and it scared me too. However, that was the worst of it. It slowed down and didn't shed like that again. I also think it was partly due to me having thick hair and not pushing the caps down tight enough the first time. I am happy to say I had my last round of chemo this week, and have kept majority of my hair. It has shed, but only I can tell. I hope you continue to use the caps and they get better for you. Be gently with your hair in between.
If headbands don't work, then you may want to try form sheets. The form sheets are the kind kids use for arts and crafts, a little thicker than paper, and you cut a half moon shape to cover your forehead. I used wig tape to stick it on my forehead and it worked great! Hope this helps
Think I would try not to touch it if possible Tina. My hair is short so a gentle comb made it half way presentable but if it is long I would wear a band or gently tie back. It's a bit like having a zit - can't keep our hands off it. lol Marli xx
Tina - I think the nurse might advise covering it with a bit of gauze, but use the minimal size. Perhaps make one at home to just cover that bit. Marli x
Tina - well done for getting through the 2nd one. Personally , I didn't wash mine the same day and only washed it once a week , not really rubbing it more a slight massage of hair. Followed with a wide tooth comb and air dry. Used a satin pillow case as this stops hair being dragged. Used a wide band or buff to stop hair falling all over the place. By 3rd treatment it DID slow down and still followed the same routine.
I have very thick hair and even I thought I was going to lose the lot but it is surprising how much we have.
Stay strong and don't panic. You are doing so well. Hugs Marli x
Hi I understand totally, I'm going for round 3 on Tuesday and on day 13 after first round lost a lot, but it's totally slowed down, I've got no hair on my arms or legs, but that's a good thing. But I so understand about how you look and feel. I don't want everyone to know so if I can keep what's left of my hair and live in baseball caps until the end at least i'm not branded a cancer patient by everyone who sees me. I live in a small town and really don't want everyone looking at the "bald lady" when ever I go out. People keep saying to me it's only hair but I think it's the last part that tells everyone what your going through so at least if I can stay away from wigs I still feel a bit normal. Good luck.