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Thinning Hair -

Hello Ladies

Well after 4 years on Tam and 3 of those on Ovarian Suppression (so menopause since the age of 42) I am really starting to notice hair loss/thinning. I first noticed a lot of hair on my brush but now my front hairline is so thin you can see through it. I started Biotin and going to make an appointment with a derm. Apparently you can go on female rogaine? ugh

this is honestly so depressing...losing my boobs wasn't this hard for me. Im going to have to master the comb over soon

any suggestions/input/comments welcome

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Comments

  • Typink
    Typink Member Posts: 2

    I'm so sorry your going through this. I'm on my second month of tamox. My big fear is hair loss. Did you notice hair loss in your first few years? I'm using a product called Nioxin. I've been told it helps with thinking hair. 👍

  • tarheelmichelle
    tarheelmichelle Member Posts: 248

    It is heartbreaking to see our hair disappearing, after losing all or part of our breasts. In addition to thinning hair, I have a super sensitive scalp (medication side effect) and can't brush or wash my hair as normal without great discomfort.

    I am quite happy with a genuine hair "addition" called a halo. A thin wire across the top of my scalp holds it in place.

    I also have a clip-in hair ponytail. It attaches to my thin ponytail and adds fullness.

    In addition to making me look less sick, these hair accessories also save me time, because I'm not trying to get my natural hair to look fuller with excessive styling. Plus, it causes me less pain to attach one of these, rather than working with my natural hair.

    I also found that using a brush called a "Tangle Teaser" on my wet or dry hair caused less discomfort than a regular brush and comb.



  • rozem
    rozem Member Posts: 749

    thank you for your input ladies

    typink - my hair just really started thinning about 6 months ago, so not not right away which is why I thought I escaped this SE. Its so bad now that its embarrassing. I will look up Nioxin

    Tarhee - thank you for the suggestions, I like the halo idea but worried that it will cause more stress/pulling on the hair? what I mean by that is when my hair was coming in after chemo I had some extensions put in that were "taped" to my hair and one fell out and took a chunk of hair with it! yikes!

    I am going to make an appointment with a derm

  • spookiesmom
    spookiesmom Member Posts: 8,148

    I asked my derm about rogaine. She said it might help, if I started it I would have to use forever to maintain growth. Even says that in the packaging instructions. Plus, with hot flashes and summer sweat I don't want Spookie and me exposed to those topical chemicals. Just my 2 cents.

  • rozem
    rozem Member Posts: 749

    Spookie I heard that about Rogaine...talk about a great way to make sure your customers are your customers for life..haha. Im not desperate yet but I may have to go that way if this continues. I figure that ship has sailed (not putting a lot of chemicals in my body!)

  • anothernycgirl
    anothernycgirl Member Posts: 821

    My hair is very thin after chemo. I can go without a wig, but I am not happy.

    I looked into Minoxidil/Rogaine but am reluctant to try it. Not happy using chemicals that cause things to grow and also read that when usage stops you lose any hair that it made grow, but also may cause loss of what you had before! Snooze

  • rozem
    rozem Member Posts: 749

    loss of what I had before OMG

  • babs6287
    babs6287 Member Posts: 1,619

    Hi All

    I work for a hair restoration specialist in NY. The halo is fine to use. Unlike extensions it does not pull out your existing hair. One of the causes of hair thinning could be that your iron level is low so have your ferritin (iron) level checked at your next blood test. For hair growth, a normal level is at 70 minimum although under 70 is considered normal for the body. So if your ferritin is under 70 take an iron supplement but only after checking with your mo first. That plus biotin should help. My Dr recommends Slow Fe. It's a time release iron supplement

    You can also look into PRP treatments to aid in hair growth Do a search on google for PRP hair treatments. We've helped many women post chemo with this treatment. FYI It is not covered by insurance.

    Good luck to you all

    Babs


  • rozem
    rozem Member Posts: 749

    babs. Thanks so much for the suggestions. Veryhelpul !

  • babs6287
    babs6287 Member Posts: 1,619

    My pleasure After chemo my hair grew in nicely except for a few spots where it never grew back I'm having an FUE ( follicular unit extraction) done together with PRP this spring.. I need to be a good advertisement ofwhat my Dr can do. He is amazing!

    Babs

  • Warrior_Woman
    Warrior_Woman Member Posts: 819

    I am sooo glad I saw this thread today! I have beautiful hair. It's probably my nicest feature. After several months on Aromasin I'm noticing my hair begin to shed more when I wash and brush. It's nothing dramatic but if it continues I will surely have significantly thinner hair. Health is #1 and if I can manage all the SEs of Aromasin I'll be a happy camper.

    babs - First of all, thank you so very much for posting. Can you say who you work for? Can you provide any information about the cost or how many treatments people have with the PRP? The reviews are impressively favorable. Is this something you have to do every month for life?

    I am hesitant to use Rogaine because you apply it 2xs per day. That sounds yucky. I wash my hair only 1-2xs per week. I can just imagine the mess I'll have with anything I apply so frequently.

    Also Ladies - In addition to biotin I use liquid silica. You may want to check into that too as an additional supplement.

  • babs6287
    babs6287 Member Posts: 1,619

    Warrior first thing is to check your ferritin level!!!!The PRP txt consists usually of 2 treatments done within 60-75 days apart. Costs vary. Most Drs get about $1500 - $5000 per txt We charge $2500 for the two Basically $1500 for the first and $1000 for any subsequent treatments. They last about 2 + years. Some patients do require a third txt but not usually.

    You can pm me for my Drs info. I don't think it's right to use this forum as an advertisement for him even though I think he's great.

    Babs

  • rozem
    rozem Member Posts: 749

    i am going to get my levels checked for sure...im on Biotin right now but I don't see any change

    Scared

  • babs6287
    babs6287 Member Posts: 1,619

    Rozem

    It takes 3-4 months on an iron supplement to increase ferritin levels. Also eat iron rich foods. One of my patients went from 22 up 86 using a supplement she found on line

    Babs

  • anothernycgirl
    anothernycgirl Member Posts: 821

    Babs, - Thanks for the suggestions! I will see if I can find out my ferritin level, - biotin doesnt seem to be helping at all... =/

  • GG27
    GG27 Member Posts: 1,308

    I agree another NYCgirl, I took Biotin for a year & my hair is still falling out & is very thin. I eat lots of dark leafy greens & meat. I can't imagine I'm not getting enough iron, but you never know. I also just heard somewhere that people who eat Paleo (me) also could be low in iodine which can cause hair loss, so I have taken to salting my food with iodized salt. I don't eat any processed food at all, so apparently not getting any salt other than sea salt which has no iodine. GG

  • Warrior_Woman
    Warrior_Woman Member Posts: 819

    Ladies - A question about hair loss & thinning related to Aromasin / AIs. Can you describe your experience? When did you start to notice hair loss? Did it pick up at a certain point or drop off at a certain point? I'm trying to get a sense of how bad I can anticipate this problem becoming. I've been on Aromasin for about 5 months. Very early on I noticed a lot more hair coming out when I shampoo and my hair breaking when I brush. My MO told me it breaks close to the root and he also said that for most women it's "not that bad". Frankly, it is not that bad when it's someone else dealing with it but when it's your own head and you finally got back to normal after chemo then it sucks.

    Again, I want to suggest looking into liquid silica. I used cold caps during chemo and in addition to biotin that I've been taking for years now, I also take liquid silica.

  • starwoman
    starwoman Member Posts: 16

    Hi WW - I lost a lot of hair in the early months after starting anastrozole. It was scalp thin after about 4 months and then started to thicken up again and was great until 18 months when I started shedding and hasn't stopped for the last 6 months. There has been some replacement by finer hairs but my thick curly hair has departed. To help with appearance, I've cut it shorter and will probably go even shorter in the next few weeks.

    I've taken biotin for 2 years and took a 2 month course of (expensive) biosil earlier this year, so not sure if it is helping or if things would be worse if I didn't take it.

    Got my thyroid and iron checked - both are okay but my ferritin is 40, and I've read the comments by babs6287 with interest. My MO is adamant and blanket about 'take nothing'. I don't tell her about biotin and do wonder sometimes myself if it is a good idea, even though the BCN suggested it. My diet includes lots of fresh dark green veg, occasional red meat, cooking in cast iron. Thanks for the comment about iodine GG27 - I make a seaweed condiment but intake could actually be quite low.

  • babs6287
    babs6287 Member Posts: 1,619

    Starwoman your iron level is part of the reason you're having hair issues. It has to get to70 or more. Mine is 28 but my MO doesn't want me to take an iron supplement. I eat lots of foods rich in iron( no meats). That's why I'm doing the PRP when I do the FUE sx. If it works, since I work for the dr, I can repeat it whenever I want. That's one of the luxuries of working there

    Bab

  • Warrior_Woman
    Warrior_Woman Member Posts: 819

    Interestingly my MO suggested Biotin and forgot I was already taking it. He doesn't seem adverse to any vitamins or supplements I take. They each seem to have a different take on it. I doubt my MO would recommend Biotin if there were health concerns for me but each of us is different.

  • KellyAnne13
    KellyAnne13 Member Posts: 8

    I haven't read through replies to see if anyone else has suggested this but have you had your thyroid checked? And I mean checked by a doctor that specializes in hormones, not a family doctor. One that will at the very least check your TSH, FT4, FT3 and rT3. Hair loss is a major symptom of an underactive thyroid and an underactive thyroid is very often one side effect of all of these treatments, not to mention aging in general. Just a thought...

  • babs6287
    babs6287 Member Posts: 1,619

    I checked and there is no contraindication of a PRP treatment for those on AIs. I had a treatment today. So excited!!!!

    Babs

  • zjrosenthal
    zjrosenthal Member Posts: 1,541

    I have been on aromasin for over a year. My hair came back after chemo but it is thin and very soft like baby hair. Lately it is falling out a lot. I hope I don't lose it all. I am thinking of asking my chemo doc if I can try switching to femara. Has this helped anyone? Love, Jean

  • rozem
    rozem Member Posts: 749

    babs how did it work out? please update!

    ziro - good question if there is a difference with changing AI's - I would probably say menopause is the culprit here but im sure these drugs play a big role

  • Warrior_Woman
    Warrior_Woman Member Posts: 819

    My hair was looking fantastic 2 years after chemo when I switched from Tamoxifen to Aromasin.  A couple weeks after starting Aromasin I noticed more hair coming out when I shampoo.  I was already post menopausal and the Aromasin seems to be the culprit.  Lots of women lose hair as we age but I really think the AIs kick it up a few notches.  I am wondering if I'd do better on another AI.  Has anyone switched from Aromasin with hair loss to another AI and found the hair loss stopped?

    Babs - Thanks for the report.  Please keep us posted.


  • babs6287
    babs6287 Member Posts: 1,619

    The PRP treatment was easy. It takes about an hour. It takes about 7 mos for the hair growth. I've seen lots of patients have great success with it

    Babs

  • Warrior_Woman
    Warrior_Woman Member Posts: 819

    Suersis - At this point I am assuming that hair loss is directly related to the estrogen and for that reason I expect I would still lose hair even if I switched to a different AI. I also have post menopausal friends who have never had BC and are also experiencing hair thinning. I didn't have this problem on tamoxifen.

    babs - Will you need more treatments and if so, how long do you wait? I'm counting on you to do really well with this and have great reports.

    Ladies - I've looked at the Hairmax as sold on QVC and it has good reviews. However, it's pricey and I am once again wondering if it works for hair loss from AIs. Has anyone tried it? I have no problem investing in my hair but I don't want to pay for snake oil.

  • anothernycgirl
    anothernycgirl Member Posts: 821

    Babs, - keep us updated! Hope you have wonderful results!

    WW, - let us know if you hear more about Hairmax.

    I just had short pixie haircut. Never had this style before in my life. I gave up trying to grow to shoulder with bangs as I had pre-chemo. Looks thin, but better than before the cut.

  • babs6287
    babs6287 Member Posts: 1,619

    The protocol for PRP treatments is 2 treatments about 60-75 days apart from each other. We've had many BC patients that have had success with it. In fact my BS refers patients to us

    Topically rogaine or minoxidil are what works best. We make a combo minoxidil and retinal topical that I use. which works well. Before the PRP I had sprouts after using it

    Babs

  • Warrior_Woman
    Warrior_Woman Member Posts: 819

    Babs - How frequently do you wash your hair? I wash 1-2xs per week and the greasy build up of minoxidil makes me hesitant.