“Don’t worry, your hair will return after chemo”…

Taxotere, Adriamycin and  Cyclophosphamide x 6 Age at time of chemo:  61 (2011)

Taxotere, Adriamycin and Cyclophosphamide x 6
Age at time of chemo: 61 (2011)

Taxotere, Carboplatin, Herceptin x 6 Age at time of chemo: 29 (2011)

Taxotere, Carboplatin, Herceptin x 6
Age at time of chemo: 29 (2011)

Fluorouracil, epirubicin and cyclophosphamide x 3, Taxotere x 3 Age at time of chemo: 49 (2009-10)

Fluorouracil, epirubicin and cyclophosphamide x 3, Taxotere x 3
Age at time of chemo: 49 (2009-10)

Taxotere x 6 Age at time of chemo: 45 (2008)

Taxotere x 6
Age at time of chemo: 45 (2008)

Taxotere and Cytoxan x 6 Age at time of chemo: 60 (2008)

Taxotere and Cytoxan x 6
Age at time of chemo: 60 (2008)

Fluorouracil (5FU), Epirubicin, Cyclophosphamide x 3, Taxotere x 3 Age at time of chemo: 46 (2005)

Fluorouracil (5FU), Epirubicin, Cyclophosphamide x 3, Taxotere x 3
Age at time of chemo: 46 (2005)

TAC x 6 (Taxotere, Adriamycin and Cytoxan) Age at time of chemo: 42 (2011-2012)

TAC x 6
(Taxotere, Adriamycin and Cytoxan)
Age at time of chemo: 42 (2011-2012)

Taxotere x 4 Age at time of chemo: 47 (2013)

Taxotere x 4
Age at time of chemo: 47 (2013)

35 thoughts on “Photos

  1. I was 58 at time of chemo and my oncologist also denies that the taxotere is what has left my hair very thin especially on the top

  2. I’m a year and 4 months post Taxotere, Carbo and herceptin. I only did 4 rounds of chemo. You can definitely see my scalp. My hair is much thinner. Is there any options? Does anything help? Minoxidil? Hair transplant? Anything?

  3. I did 6 courses of taxotere & cytoxin 6 years ago. My head looks pretty much like the above. Also have been on femara for 5 years, hair loss a side effect.
    All you can do is make peace with it & embrace ” helper hair.” Would have been good to have been warned though.

  4. I had chemotherapy in 2005 and my hair never grew back. I have permanent alopecia due to Taxotere in Chemotherapy. Right after the treatment, I called Taxotere pharmaceutical company and explained what happened to my hair. The customer care representative said that she never heard such a thing and that she would take my name as a complain. Also, right after my treatment seeing that my hair was not coming back, I called many lawyers but they all refused my case because of fear of the pharmaceutical companies.

  5. I had 6 rounds of taxotere, carboplatin with one year of Herceptin. After about a year of trying to grow my hair and having to buzz it back after treatment, my oncologist told me he thought the hair loss was permanent. He was sad about it, but not as sad as I was. I was 33 when I was diagnosed. 37 now, still bald. Mine looks like the last photo on this page. Im a hairstylist so I have to keep looking my best. I shave my head like its my choice, get false lashes put on and just had my eyebrows cosmetically tattood. This has been devastating for me, but I am learning to live with my new reality. Best wishes to the women out there who are suffering from this.

  6. I had 6 rounds of TAC, beginning 2/2014 through 6/2014. I was 50yrs old at the time. After completing radiation my hair slowly began to grow which was in October 2014. It was very thin but ‘I kept hoping it would thicken and grow longer but instead it started coming out again. once I started seeing more of my scalp I began wearing wigs again. I don’t understand it.

  7. I last saw my hair in 2012. I only got very thin hair all over my scalp and no eye lashes. I tried many products with no success. My dermatologist said he didn’t think my hair would grow back. I gave up trying things and just shaved the horrible stuff off.
    I now just wear a hat in the summer and wigs in the winter. I look like a perpetual cancer patient and get people asking me if I am in treatments. It sucks looking like that.

  8. I believe I hv partial hairless spot to my hair line on my right side. I figured it was the tumor lesion that is on my skull.I hv to train my hair to the other side to cover it. I’ve used temp dye, to see if the hairs were really light. But it’s just really thin. I know my case isn’t as serious as yours but I wondering if you ladies /men think I hv an argument

  9. I also had 6 chemo treatments in 2015, 3 of them being the taxotere. I have also experienced much thinner hair on the top & crown of my scalp. I’ve also been told this could be permanent but yesterday I bought a product that’s organic that could help in hair regrowth. It’s called Monat. It’s a shampoo/conditioner combo with a leave-in spray. It was originally created for men. The person I bought it from has also gone through the breast cancer journey 3 years ago & started using the product in December 2015. She owns a fairly new store that’s dedicated to products & services for women that have gone through this devastating disease. She has experienced new hair grow in her crown area where it was thin & showed me before & after pics. I’ll start trying it right away & let you know what happens.

  10. I was 46 at time of diagnosis and treatment for stage 2a estrogen positive breast cancer. I have been living with this loss of hair for 11 years. Looking for answers and other woman like myself. Then I found this site. I am very angry that this all happened because of taxotere. I also have nerve damage in feet and fingertips. Feet are worse. I had a beautiful thick head of hair that is now VERY bald on crown and thin around sides and nape. I use Toppik to fill in but it can be evident at times. I have become very embarrassed to be in public and won’t go in the pool at my co-op for fear of Toppik coming out. I see my bald head every day and am reminded of the cancer and it’s horrible treatments. I miss my hair I mourn my loss of hair. I try to move ahead, but my quality of life has been permanently altered. Of course I am here 11 years later, but at a very big price. I was lied to by a company making a drug to help not hurt me more. I was taken advantage of during a very very difficult time. As have all of us. This sucks and I am taking action. It won’t get my hair and eyebrows back, but the company was purposely negligent especially in the United States.

  11. Hi
    could Dina who posted at the end of May let us know how she is getting on with the Monat hair products?
    My daughter had chemo at 15 and still has very little hair at 21. So looking for things which might help.

  12. I had 6 treatments of carboplatin, taxotere, herceptin and perjeta. Even though my hair grew back as it was before, my eyelashes and eyebrows did not. I have to use eyebrow pencil and don’t bother wearing mascara because it don’t enhance what little there is of my eyelashes. I was 50 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer and I’m 52 now.

  13. I had 4 cycles of Taxotere and cyclophosphamide as adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer. My last chemo was 18th July 2016. I lost 80% of my hair just before the 2nd chemo; I lost 90% of my eyebrows and lices after the 4th chemo. Now I am 5 weeks after last chemo and hair started growing; it is 0.5 cm. But there are some small gaps of it on my scalp. What medicin should I take for axelarating hair growth and eyebrows and lices growth?

  14. So I’ve been using the Monat spray since I last posted in May & I found it didn’t help. The shampoo/conditioner combo I stopped using a few weeks after starting it as it dried out my hair & made it feel like straw so I’ve only been using the spray every other day when I wash my hair. I’m very disappointed that it didn’t work for me. But I’ve just recently purchased Priorin from the drug store. You take two capsules once a day & it’s suggested that you take it for 3-6 months to see results. It’s made by One-a-day vitamins & it’s all natural. I spoke to the pharmacist & she said it seems to work but of course can’t guarantee it for everyone. So, I’m now trying this & if this doesn’t work I’m tempted to try Rogaine for Women, but that’s something you have to use for the rest of your life once you start as the new hair could fall out apparently. I believe it’s a topical lotion. So, that’s where I’m at now. I have a great hairstylist that colours my hair and gives me great haircuts to help me camouflage the thinness but it’s still noticeable.
    My eyelashes came back but they are thinner, & my eyebrows have come back somewhat, although they are also thinner. I had my eyebrows micro-bladed on & they look pretty awesome, I would totally recommend that. It is a bit pricey but well worth it!!

  15. I had eight rounds of chemo, four being taxotere. 2012,still no hair. I look in the mirror and I see cancer. It’s horrible, but blessed to be alive.

  16. I had FEC-T started in November 2014 -which included three riund if docetaxol (taxotere). I also had Herceptin and am on the inevitable estrogen blocker. My hair has never really come back. I have scant hair on top and sides which doesn’t seem to grow….periodically it drops out! At the back there is a bit more but all the hair is thin lifeless and hangs like someone going through chemo. I wear wigs (have 6!) to try to cheer myself. Everyone think wigs resolve it! They do not! Constant worry about them shifting, falling off or blowing in the wind -unbearable in summer. And yes have to put it on to answer the door. Constant reminder of what Ive been through. Like everyone else my Oncologist was dismissive. I was not told before treatment -none of the literature I was given says it. The consent forms I had to sign doesn’t say it…..why would I think they were withholding information when I was given so much info at the time but with no mention of permanent hair loss. Frankly no one in the medical profession Ive encountered seems to care…..& they do know now but choose to tell their patients! Outrageous! The final insult was to find out there was an alternative chemo drug without the side effect of permenant hair loss… costs more…… Loosing a breast is nothing in comparison to loosing my hair…..
    How long are they going to get away with doing this to people?

  17. On my 35age i get breastcancer. I had 6 rounds of TAC, beginning march 2015 through july 2015. After that i had a lumpectomy surgery and than 21 radiation. After that my treatment ends. My tumor was tripple neg. So i don’t get any hormonen therapy.
    Yes yes yes, after 7 months my hair slowly began to grow, i was so happy. It was very thin but, i have to be patiently. After 6 months my hair was still very thin. I hate my hair.
    Still after two years when i look in the mirrow, I’m faced with my cancer
    Hopefully there will be research, so that it isnt necessary to have a permanent bolt head after a chemo treatment.

    Greatings, from the Netherlands.

  18. A year after my first fight with breast cancer, I had TAC chemo treatment in 2011 for 2nd stage breast cancer. I remember to this day when I asked my onc docter would my hair grow back after this chemo treatment plan. He asked me how does my hair grow now?, I said long, thick and fast, …docter said then it will grow back the same….Well at age 44 I’m still waiting on My hair to grow back like it was before chemo. My eyebrows are thin…. No hair growing on legs (well really not complaining about that)…. My long and thick eyelashes are not like they was….and my hair!!…..bald spots with patchy hair all over head.

    Before chemo I could never see my scalp because my hair was soooo thick. Now all I see is my scalp. If given a choice I would for sure looked at other chemo options. Yes I thank God all the time that I am alive and if chemo helped I am grateful for that too. But I do wish I would have known that my hair was not going to return at least I could have prepared myself for it instead of wondering for YEARS why my hair didn’t grow back.

    Realizing that after all this time that it was actually Taxotare that caused my hair not to grow back…is making me feel nauseous right now.

  19. My hair also came in much thinner than before & I could see my scalp. My eyebrows are much thinner too. I had my eyebrows micro-bladed over a year ago & will go back soon to get them redone, & I had my scalp tattooed. She tattooed it by making dots all over my scalp so it looks like hair follicles. It’s made a huge difference!! It’s not permanent but will last 3-5 years & then I’ll get it touched up. It’s not cheap but well worth it! It’s improved my self esteem & I’m no longer afraid to go out when it’s windy.
    I’m also disappointed that no one told me my hair may never be the same. It’s quite devastating to say the least! I also had the taxotere chemo treatment but only found out after the fact that it was responsible for permanent hair loss. Women should be made aware of this fact before treatment & given possible alternative chemo treatments.

  20. I’d posted this under the “Taxotears Turns Ten” thread but moving it here.
    I had Docetaxel as part of my regime. My Oncologist told me my hair would grown back. I was not told about the possibility of permanent hair loss. The literature I was given did not quote any % risk or state this as a risk. I also used the cold cap. I lost the majority of my hair within weeks and was eventually totally bald. I finished chemo years ago and I have lost 75% of the number of hairs, and the hairs that did grow back are finer. My scalp clearly shows and the humiliation is unbearable. I know that if I’d been told there was a 3% chance of this (which the drug companies knew at the time) or even a 0.01% chance, I would NOT have taken Docexatel/Taxotere. It has permanently altered my life in a negative way. For me life is not about longevity it is about quality. My femininity has been stolen. If you are mid treatment I would ask your Oncologist to explore Taxol as even if it is off protocol insurance companies will often allow the switch. I am not an expert on Taxol so ask your Oncologist and write to the drug company requesting % risks. In summary Docetaxel/Taxotere is THE biggest regret I have in life (and I have had a varied and colourful life). Ask questions of your medical team. Ask them again and again. Ask for proof (not just their experience. Ask them when they last read the risks of specific drugs, what the % are etc). Read the papers on this web site as much higher % are quoted. You have to live in your body they don’t. To Shirley, Pam and Cynthia and the subsequent contributors thank you for your passion in educating people of the risks. I wish I had found you prior to my treatment as so many of the specialist support services are unaware of the risks of this drug and I am now sending them to this web site and the articles you quote. I am grateful for the honesty and openness of others sharing their vulnerability of this cruel disfigurement. None of us should have to say “I am grateful to be alive”. There should be no justification. The price of permanent hair loss is not acceptable and we should not have to apologise to society for the anger many of us feel. I wish all of you well.

  21. Hi Faith, why is there no information on all of this anywhere? I had my last chemo almost a year ago and my hair only has grown a small amount on the sides and very very little at the back or top. I’ve been told by everyone, including my oncologist that it will grow back but no one has said there’s a chance it won’t. I’ve searched the web over and over the past 6 months trying to find information on hair not growing back after chemo and have only stumbled on people leaving comments here and there about their situation but no real information on this problem that seems to be a real issue for many people. I’ve now stumbled across this site and your comments. For me, top of having no hair, I’m struggling with my human hair wigs as they keep becoming dry and matted after only a couple of months. I’m told these wigs should last a year of constant use and even though I look after them as directed, they keep doing it. I can’t afford to keep spending $1000 or more on a wig that doesn’t last. So on top of having no hair growth, I’m so stressed because I can’t get a wig that lasts and it seems like there’s no answer regarding our hair growing back either?

  22. I’m so relieved to have found others that are experiencing this. I was diagnosed Her2 Positive breast cancer in May of 2015. Between July and October of 2015, I underwent 6 rounds of Herceptin, Perjeta and docetaxel. My eyelashes came back, my eyebrows did not, I recently had them tattooed on. The hair came back on the back of my head – however I have male pattern baldness on the front and crown of my head. Everyone assured me, don’t worry, it’ll come back, but it never has. My hair was so thick before I had to have it thinned regularly. I was proud of the fact that people generally thought I was 10 years younger than my age of 60. When I was diagnosed, I only told a handful of friends, relatives and coworkers. I didn’t want to be identified as a cancer victim. Now that is all people see when they see me, the old woman with a millions scarves and headbands to cover her half bald head. I won’t even let my partner see me without a scarf. I hate looking in the mirror. I don’t want to hear the old “at least you’re alive” speech. There were alternative treatments, but no one told me about the risks of this one.

  23. Hi, I completed 6 rounds of carbo and taxotere in March 2011. I also received a year of Herceptin. Due to side effects I did not complete the oral treatment recommended. My hair remains thin, where it once was very thick. To this day, people ask me when I had cancer. I know there are class action suits related to Taxotere not being upfront with permanent hair loss. My case is not as extreme as most but summers are difficult when your scalp burns through the bald spots. There are treatments available for hair loss but the price is outrageous. No one wants to take responsibility for the cost and most of us cannot afford the treatment. Had I known my hair was not going to come back, I would have chosen a different combination. The constant reminder that I had cancer is devastating. Do you jump on the class action band wagon or let it go?

  24. I didn’t have the taxotere, but my hair didn’t come back like I thought, it looks like everyone else’s above.

  25. I took herceptin too, I’ve been without all of my hair since December 2014. No eyebrows, very little lashes. Would love to try the tattoo eyebrows but out of my budget. My nails are horrible, they grow then break or split right away. My toenails look just as bad especially my big toenails. One is worse than the other, it has had to be removed twice.
    I’m in pain all the time, my health has went down in so many ways it’s unreal.
    I’ve been so depressed about all of this.

  26. This is all horrible. I just started my treatment for breast cancer and my hair is almost gone and it has only been 3 weeks. I was never told that there was a possibility that my hair would not grow back! I am 34 years old and just watching clumps of my hair fall out is killing me mentally and emotionally I am mess. Why wasn’t I told? My onc assured me that this will be temporary and will definitely grow back. What should I do? Can I change drugs? I am not a doctor, I felt in their expert opinions and treatment but if they did not disclose this information about being possibly permanently bald, that Is completely wrong!

  27. I had taxotere and doxcycline plus avastin for ovarian cancer My hair grew back very thin not much on top I feel like just shaving my head! I hate wigs so i see no other choice. what do you think people in my same boat?

  28. I am 23 weeks post final chemo. I had 4 cycles of FEC and 4 cycles of docetaxel – aka taxotere. I was never told that my hair loss may be permanent. I have hair all over my head but on top very thin and bald spots.
    Is there anyone out there that after this amount of time, that their bald spots still filled in? Looking for some hope.

    To Molly – if you are scheduled to have docetaxel at least have a conversation with your oncologist to see if another drug might be an option… I think Taxel is a choice but could have different possible side effects etc. OR perhaps you might use a ‘cold cap’ to reduce the effects of doecetaxel on your hair follicles.
    I don’t know if this will change your decisions, I only wish I had had the opportunity to discuss this prior to my treatments.

  29. Is there anyone out there from Australia with this happening to them? We need to get the word out here also but I can’t locate other people that this has affected as there’s just no information anywhere! I can’t find any help or support and even worse, this could happening to more and more women if it’s not out there as a known side effect. There is litigation currently everywhere in the US for this as it seems the manufacturer was well aware this was occurring.

  30. Still very thin hair 5 years on. Noone ever explained that it might be permanent. Hate the pitying looks and questions. Feel stuck living with reminder of treatment.
    Taxotere, Adriamycin and Cyclophosphamide x 6
    Age at time of chemo: 42 (2013)

  31. Due to ovarian cancer in 2000 I had chemotherapy which included taxol, I lost my beautiful thick blonde hair, eye brows and lashes, but once my treatments ended my hair came back albeit very curly. 2014 my cancer returned and I asked my oncologist what were we going to do, his reply was the same treatment, however it wasn’t the same it was taxtere instead of taxol which I did not know. I had 14 treatments once a month for 14 months. During that time I lost both of my big toe nails, and the cartilage of my right knee was destroyed and had to have knee replacement surgery at a later time this never happened during my first treatments. After receiving the second set of treatments I expected my hair to grow back, however it never grew back fully. It is very very thin and wispy. Like another lady commented Einstein like. I have been wearing wigs since December of 2014. My fingernails are brittle and get vertical splits in them I am very angry that we were never told that any of this was a possibility, I only found out about the side effects of textere after googling hair not growing back after chemotherapy. If given the choice I would have surely chosen the taxol which did not leave me with any of these side effects.

    I still struggle with the heat in the summer, I don’t work out like I used to because of concern my wig might fall off my head at the gym, I don’t run any more because of the heat and my knee. I dearly miss my ponytail and the wind blowing through my hair. I had my eyebrows micro bladed last year which helped somewhat however still can’t master the gluing on of fake lashes. I tell my husband I have somebody else’s body. I feel blessed that I am still here, but angry about what the textere has done to my body. It sure has changed my life. Not fair that a pharmaceutical company can get away with this

  32. Six years after chemotherapy including Taxotere, the 2008 photo above could easily be me. I was not notified that I could experience permanent hair loss from the drug and my oncologist still says she has not had any other patients who experienced permanent hair loss from receiving Taxotere. I was participating as part of a law suit in the US until I was not able to provide photos of my total hair loss during chemotherapy. I was not one of those who wanted to be photographed at that time. I wish the manufacturer would take responsibility for not providing data on permanent hair loss and at least compensate for costs associated with not having a full head of hair (wigs, tattoos, etc. ). I still tell myself that at least I am alive and that I may have chosen Taxotere even if I knew the potential for permanent hair loss. I just wish I had known and could have made an informed decision. I am an older woman, 66 when I started chemotherapy. I feel very sad for all the younger women who have experienced permanent hair loss. After 5 years I am aggressively looking for potential treatment for my hair loss. I will be sure to share anything that provides improvement. I thank all of you for your sharing. It makes me mad at the drug company but reassured that the hair loss DID come from Taxotere. They would like you to believe it didn’t. Also I have been hesitant to tattoo my eyebrows but think I will do it based on several posts I read. I was told at the nail salon I go to that it is a widespread practice of Vietnamese even when they have not lost eyebrow hair. Thank you all.

  33. prayers with all suffering permanent hair loss, yes I read and you were not given a choice – did anyone experience excessive tears which is a symptom of TAXOTERE that if not corrected by a ophthalmologist can be permanent, causing excessive testing and preventing you from driving long distances.

    Does anyone believe The drugs paclitaxel (“Taxol”) and docetaxel (“Taxotere “), nearly always cause complete alopecia when given in a third weekly schedule, but hair loss is less frequent when the drugs are given in a weekly schedule.

    I found Taxol and Taxotere was about the same but — then I thought it might vary depending on age, menopause, ER+/- PR +/- HER2+ but I found the answer – every third week sounds great going less but it is more toxic. And yes I found more info on Taxotere being reported as permanent hair loss.

    How much is Abraxane cost?
    But Malin notes that a doctor can use paclitaxel first and only switch to the more expensive drug if the patient experiences that side effect. Paclitaxel costs around $200 per dose compared with $10,000 for Abraxane, she said.10/07/15

  34. I am sorry to hear you have suffered permenant hair loss like so many of us have. I too wasnt made aware that this could happen. Apparrantly my hospital doesnt use this regime anymore and in addition now warn their patients of potential permenant hair loss from chemo. I think my hair loss has increased over the years.

    The eyebrow tattooing is brilliant & has transformed my face from a chemo face. I do recommend that but be very careful who you pick to do it. I just need to top mine up annually with one sesion. However due to the pandemic I think they may have faded too far this time but have an appointmrnt next month. Ive not tried the eyelashes……probably be the same issue with glue -see below. I justbuse eye liner pencil to highlight eye shape. I do have eyelashes buth they are very short, thin & sparce but enough to keep the dust out of my eyes.

    I havent found any treatments out there that improve my hair. These days I cut what I have myself – what i have is very thin & not worth bothering with. I leave some length as it helps with securing wigs with hair pins on windy days. I gave up on the fixed hair piece – expensive system to maintain and the glues caused a skin reaction & itched. My skin is sensitive since chemo too. Shame over the system as I loved going to bed with hair and it kept my head warm at night. I find the sleep caps slip and are not very comfy……thoughts anyone?

    The last time I saw a dermatologist re my hair she discharged me saying you are over it now…..its just hair loss. I felt crushed as I am not “over it” as she put it……never will be. Im of an age when all my friends are battling with hair dyes -as their hair becomes pure white it becomes far more tricky. They say to me ” you dont have to bother with dyes Ange -how lucky are you.” Hmmmm thinks I stinging on the word “lucky”. “Id rather have the hair dye issues any day” is my response.

    Stay safe all you lovely ladies,

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