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Keeping our Hair Healthy while taking anti hormonals

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  • BadLuck
    BadLuck Member Posts: 81
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    Michelle - I have been talking to my PA, MO & MRO about my immediate hair loss/thinning & they all denied it! Even said it wasn't listed as a SE in their books. They suggested it was stress due to my journey into breast cancer & it should taper off eventually. I don't know why they think they can fool me.

  • veeder14
    veeder14 Member Posts: 272
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    When I mentioned my concern to my MO she denied it was a side effect. It's very irritating when patients are reporting symptoms and the MO's don't listen or provide any help. Maybe they just don't know what to do so deny it. Anyways, I spoke with my dermatologist who made suggestions for hair loss treatment and it doesn't matter whether it's a side effect or not, it's just a medical issue. Did anyone try seeing a dermatologist for this?

  • bennybear
    bennybear Member Posts: 245
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    it is a side effect of AIs, my MO referred me and I just had the consult. It can exacerbate any genetic predisposition you may have. The dermatologist explained that with the estrogen blocked, there is more testosterone which can impact hair growth. Rogaine was recommended and another drug which I will discuss with my MO. He also has the laser caps but thought reviews are mixed. I have always had a ton Of hair but Anastrozole had an impact. I have been switched to Exemestane and have improved, Ialso take biotin.

    I would definitely ask for a consult.

  • jkl2017
    jkl2017 Member Posts: 279
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    I apologize if this has been answered before, but does anyone have a suggestion for encouraging eyelash growth? I didn’t need chemo but my age plus an AI have really depleted my lashes. I don’t want to use Latisse and I would love to find an OTC solution for my skimpy lashes.

  • BadLuck
    BadLuck Member Posts: 81
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    JKL- I too have thinning eyelashes due to 7 months of AL, Anastrozole. I bought those madnetic eye lashes & they look very natural. A much better choice than scrubbing mascara off your eyes with makeup removers.

  • Michelle_in_cornland
    Michelle_in_cornland Member Posts: 1,233
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    As far as an over the counter remedy for thinning lashes, castor oil has been used for many years to restore eyebrows and eyelashes.

  • ingerp
    ingerp Member Posts: 1,514
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    I started using a product called Lilash before my dx. I learned about it in a lash/brow salon but have found it on eBay. My sister even <without prompting!> said my lashes looked longer. I've been using it occasionally since dx--not sure if it's helped or not but I believe it has.

  • dtad
    dtad Member Posts: 771
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    Just FYI I don't trust any company that sells lash vs eyebrow serum. There is absolutely no difference and should not have to buy both! I also agree that castor oil is good for last/brow growth..

  • jkl2017
    jkl2017 Member Posts: 279
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    Thanks, all. Ingerp, it’s funny you mention Lilash. I was talking with my DD last night & she mentioned that a friend of hers has the most amazing lashes since using Lilash; so I guess it does work, at least for some people. I’ll probably try castor oil first, since it’s inexpensive & pretty risk-free. Just getting tired of looking at my skimpy lashes!
  • InnaB2018
    InnaB2018 Member Posts: 766
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    I just want to share that I recently learned there is absolutely no scientific proof that castor oil improves hair growth. I searched internet far and wide and only found anecdotal evidence. Rosemary oil was recommended instead for hair and multi-peptide serum for eyebrows and eyelashes. I use both and iRestore helmet, and I definitely see improvement. I do still have a huge bottle of castor oil, so if anybody finds proof that it’s working, please post it, and i’ll happily incorporate it into my hair care routine as well.

  • ingerp
    ingerp Member Posts: 1,514
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    Inna--that's what I found too. I was all set to get some castor oil but think I'll skip it.

  • wintersocks
    wintersocks Member Posts: 434
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    Does anyone know having come off these drugs whether our hair returns to as it was? my hair has thinned so much since being on Letrozole - 7 years this September. I used to have the thickest hair. it's so very upsetting.

  • AnnieSF
    AnnieSF Member Posts: 7
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    Hi All,

    I'm almost 6 weeks post chemo. I had 4 rounds of TC. I cold capped but still managed to lose 80% of my hair. I did keep my brows and lashes until yesterday. I just noticed my brows are starting to go and lashes too! Is this delayed from the chemo or is this from being on Letrozole? I've only been on Letrozole for 10 days. Could this already be a side effect?I'm freaking out that the Letrozole might be causing this especially since I'm still shedding. This is so very depressing. Five years of this?

  • InnaB2018
    InnaB2018 Member Posts: 766
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    AnnieSF, breathe freely, it’s not from Letrozole! I lost my eyebrows and eyelashes after chemo September and didn’t start anti-hormonal until December. By that time they grew back. My oncologist told me most people lose hair during chemo and eyelashes/eyebrows right after it. They will grow back quickly!

  • cbk
    cbk Member Posts: 323
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    I think more likely you are losing brows and eyelashes from the chemo. I kept losing brows and lashes post taxol. Good thing is they grow back relatively quick!!

    I sure hope Letrozole is not causing you to thin your lid so quickly.

  • cbk
    cbk Member Posts: 323
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    Regarding the castor oil debate, I’m a huge fan of it. I started slathering it on my cue ball head post AC. I have never seen my hair so thick and healthy ! I’ve used it on my eyebrows too and watched them fill in beautifully! It could certainly be a coincidence, but for relatively cheap investment I’ve continue to slather on castor oil mixed with Amla oil once a week as an overnight mask! Probably no research on it since what money is to be made on castor oil!

    According to industry-leading dermatologist Rachel Nazarian, MD, of Schweiger Dermatology Group in NYC, castor oil can indeed be useful in certain cases of hair loss. A big fan of castor oil in general, she explained to us that unlike most other oils, which can veer mostly fatty, castor oil has a unique nutritional makeup composed of a powerful mix of proteins, vitamins, fatty acids, and antioxidants (aka the internal workings of all the buzziest hair supplements on the market). Thus, it comes as no surprise the oil is a wonderful way to nurture the scalp and fragile hair follicles while simultaneously encouraging healthier, faster hair growth. Because of this, castor oil has increasingly become a key ingredient in many of our favorite hair-related beauty products as of late.

    It is difficult to get into the scalp area if you have a lot of hair, but I use an eyedropper applicator and it seems to work like a charm for me!

    Maybe combo of this and supplements I take are encouraging the growth. But my hair is incredibly full and growing quickly on Arimidex!

  • kattie2019
    kattie2019 Member Posts: 1
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    hi would you send me some sample to try please

    Thanks

    Kattie

  • dtad
    dtad Member Posts: 771
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    InnaB2018...the fact that you cannot find any scientific proof that castor oil promotes hair growth is not surprising. It is rare to find any studies on natural products. IMO it does work on eyebrows and eye lashes. I have not used it on my hair but I would assume it would be the same.

  • InnaB2018
    InnaB2018 Member Posts: 766
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    dtad, what I meant was that the studies on castor oil were done, it just wasn’t proven effective. It does have some anti-inflammatory properties, which definitely won’t hurt.

    I did use castor oil on my scalp and my eyebrows/eyelashes. My hair grows very slowly, but it does grow. Once I got some hair, application of castor oil became a little messy, but I continued. Then I did my research and switched to rosemary oil blend for hair and multi-peptide serum for eyelashes/eyebrows. My hair is thicker than before, but unfortunately not as spectacular as CBK’’s! I would’ve given up chocolate if it helped me to get those curls! 🤣. My eyelashes and eyebrows definitely improved as well.

    And contrary to the public opinion, extensive studies were done on the use of natural products for hair growth. Just look at your shampoos, ladies. The most effective oils for hair growth are rosemary, lavender, sandalwood, aloe Vera, jojoba, argan, coconut and chamomile. They all contribute something to the whole hair/scalp environment.

    They are not expensive eather.

    Here I am 5.5 month Pfc. Ignore my red ear, my hubby got me in the middle of the hot flush

    image

  • cbk
    cbk Member Posts: 323
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    Inna

    Your hair looks beautiful. So does the color. Whatever you are using is working great! What shampoo is your go-to? And what is your multi peptide serum? My eyelashes are still really wonky!

    I used Avalon Organics Thickening Biotin Shampoo and it is cheap and has rosemary oil in it, as well as some other good stuff. I have heard rosemary oil is a very effective ingredient for growth. I think I’ll go out and buy some today 😁 I’ll try anything that isn’t chemically based !

    Interestingly enough my castor oil that I use has lavender in it as well. Someone told me it darkens hair, castor oil that is. Not sure if that’s the case. But my hair did grow back much darker than I thought it was!


  • mysticalcity
    mysticalcity Member Posts: 184
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    BadLuck and Veeder14--you better show your doctors/care team the studies being done on hair loss from Aromatase Inhibitors. Other doctors are studying what can be done about it--your docs obviously aren't up to date on their medical reading. . .and shouldn't be telling you that it is not a side effect.

    here are just a few:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4864803/

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24197658


  • veeder14
    veeder14 Member Posts: 272
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    Thanks mysticalcity,

    I sure will, my MO is fast to dismiss side effects, and doesn't have any solutions to the problems either. Very frustrating.

  • InnaB2018
    InnaB2018 Member Posts: 766
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    CBK, thank you, it does look happier now then before chemo, ironically. It’s thicker, started to wave and the color changed for the better as well.

    Ok, here’s my regimen:

    Shampoos: Acure brand. They have a lot of different types, I got the Volumizing one, but the others are just as good.

    This one is with Biotin. I use it every other day

    https://www.amazon.com/Shampoo-B-Complex-Formula-Removes-Dandruff/dp/B01ENCBOA0

    For eyelashes I used this

    https://www.amazon.com/Rimmel-Accelerator-Nourishing-Appearance-Eyelashes/dp/B00593FFDU

    And that. This one can also be used for hair.

    image

  • Babasmom
    Babasmom Member Posts: 11
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    hi all. I am new to this group and hoping for some insight and answers regarding hair loss. I am really devastated at the amount of hair I have lost on tamoxifen. I did cold caps when I had chemo summer of 2017 but still lost a good amount of hair due what i think was user error and not always getting the caps tight enough.

    My hair has finally made some real progress growing my (I have curly hair so it takes longer to lay flat) and now it’s falling out again at record pace. I have a number of thinning or bald spots. It’s getting noticeably worse every day. I’ve been on tamoxifen for 1.5yrs. Everything was ok for a while though looking back I think it was starting to thin on the sides a for maybe a year. But now it’s more than just thinning a little. I have to style my hair to cover the spots.

    Does this taper off? If I keep going at this rate I’ll def be bald or close to it.

    Do you keep losing for as long as you’re on it? I’m supposed to do 10yrs.

    Are there some drugs that don’t have this side effect?

    I’m so sorry for the long message and the rapid fire questions. I’m just in a panic and so disappointed at what is happening and that cancer is continuing to wreak havoc on me.


    Thank you for listening and for any advice you can give!

  • bennybear
    bennybear Member Posts: 245
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    I would get a referral to a dermatologist and see your oncologist. There are other drugs that may or may not be better. There are also treatments for hair loss, but sooner you start I have read is better. I also use biotin which seems to help and maracula oil.

  • Michelle_in_cornland
    Michelle_in_cornland Member Posts: 1,233
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    Babas, you have been through so much, and I am sure suffered with stress. It takes time for our bodies to rebound after a traumatic experience. Were you on herceptin until 11/18? How long did you receive chemo and what was your end date? My hair fell out by the handfuls after radiation, and I posted pics above of me at my thinnest and now recovered hair. It has taken me two years for my hair to fill back in, and I did not have any treatment beyond surgery and radiation. I was so distressed, that I bought some extensions, which I wore on special occasions. If your thinning is too disheartening, look for a wig/hair extensions store in your town. Ours is called Utop, where I live. Find yourself some nice hair pieces so that you feel confident. I believe that how we feel about ourselves while healing from trauma, effects our whole person, including our hair. If I would have needed a wig to get me through the tough times, I totally would have rocked one or two or three. I would check in with a derm about the long term consequences from Taxotere and what you can do to combat any after effects. Good luck and keep us posted. Sending hugs from Illinois.

  • itsstillme
    itsstillme Member Posts: 48
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    I’m 13 months PFC with cold capping (I saved about 40% of my hair) and on Letrozole and Zolodex shots for 12 months. I have noticed considerable thinning all over but especially at the crown. I met with a hair loss specialist who has scheduled blood tests and recommended 3 treatments:

    1. Take the supplement Viviscal which he sells in his office. I will have to check with my Oncologist to see if I can take it because it may be Estrogenic and therefore unsafe for ER+ . Anyone know anything about Viviscal?

    2. Use a laser (which he sells). I told him I was looking at purchasing one, IRestore, and he said his had "more lights". And his is very expensive $1,500-$200(consult fee which he would credit toward purchase) so $1,300.

    3. SMP (Scalp micro-pigmentation), which is basically tattooing dots on my scalp to mimic hair follicles, to make my hair "look thicker"

    Has anyone done any of the above

  • Hstewart2
    Hstewart2 Member Posts: 1
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    Hi there! I have been having the same issues with ALL my hair. I finished radiation last month and started Tamoxifen a week later. My hair has been breaking and it's thinning out. I have been using a chemical free shampoo and conditioner for my hair, along with a hair, skin and nails vitamin that I buy through my shop club and it has helped significantly! Such a tough time for us all. I pray it gets better

  • Michelle_in_cornland
    Michelle_in_cornland Member Posts: 1,233
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    Hstewart2, the best thing that I did, was to get myself hair extensions until my hair grew back. It was a devastating experience, but I did learn alot along the way. We have to make sure to get plenty of protein in our diets, along with vitamins, water, etc. If you have a Utop store in your town, I can tell you the name of the clip ins that I purchased. Is your hair a highlighted ash blonde? It looks similar to mine.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,285
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    Thanks for sharing, Hstewart2! We're glad you've found something that seems to help, we hope you continue to see improvements!

    The Mods