Hepatitis C Community
Hair thinning .. ahhhh - what to do?
About This Community:

This forum is for questions about medical issues and research aspects of Hepatitis C such as, questions about being newly diagnosed, questions about current treatments, information and participation in discussions about research studies and clinical trials related to Hepatitis. If you would like to communicate with other people who have been touched by Hepatitis, please visit our new Hepatitis Social/Living with Hepatitis forum

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
Blank Blank

Hair thinning .. ahhhh - what to do?

It's only been 6 days on tx and I can already notice moderate hair thinning. I can't even brush my hair - it stays straight up like I just got electrocuted. I already am noticing hair on my pillow and in my hands when I shower. If the thinning keeps up at this rate I'm going to be bald by week 4. :/

Can anyone recommend a really good hair thickener that grows back hair and re-thickens it as well?
Related Discussions
37 Comments Post a Comment
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I know you are serious but you gave me a good laugh, brings back tx memories.  I too lost a good bit of hair during tx, but had enough where it wasnt too noticible except to me.  I started counting the hairs that came out when is showered by sticking them on the shower wall, then throwing them in the trash. Hair started coming back 3 mths post tx., then I started measuring the progress. Please try not to do these things it becomes an obsession!!!  I know of nothing that stops hair loss.  I did start using Nixion Products while on tx. not so rough on the hair, very mild.. Good Luck ..Leah   Wait til the new hairs start coming out then you really look like youve been struck by lightening.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
My hair started coming out in double handfuls every time I showered at about week 18 or 19.  That continued for about 6-7 weeks.  Now, at week 30, the hair loss has stopped (at least for now).  Also, I notice some new hairs growing in.

There's nothing I know of that will prevent this.  It may slow down or stop, or maybe not - no rhyme or reason to these side effects.  
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Learn to live with it. It's a small price to pay if your liver gets well.
I used Nioxin and it might have helped a little but probably not. It takes a lot of imagination and styling work to feel just a tiny bit good about how you look. Some people buy wigs but they've been women as far as I know. This hair loss is part of the price we pay and it's probably a small portion of the price when you get right down to it. Things can get worse, you know?
By the way, I never heard of anyone losing their hair from treatment in just 6 days. And I have been here a really long time. Does anyone recall hearing about hair loss in 6 days? That seems very strange to me.
Mike
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
I'm noticing any hair loss yet but when I brushed it today - I noticed that my hair was pointing straight out instead of going in the direction that it usually goes in. Then I took at the roots and noticed thinning. When I showered last night I saw something I've never noticed before - hair in my hand when I was shampooing, and my hair is pretty short.. lol

Hopefully it's not just a coincidence - that would really be bad. Excuse me for using the word 'moderate' - I should have said 'slight' but yes, I do notice something whacked out with my hair as well as seeing it on my hands, pillow, etc.

It's not noticeable at all but I can just tell that it's thinning kind of fast just by the way it's looked/felt/coming out on my pillow. Maybe it's just me - but I've never noticed these things before. My head seems to itch a little as well.

Yea, it really don't bother me that much - I guess I can just shave it if this gets that bad.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
You gave me a good laugh too!  I never had thick hair by any means but now it is very thin and I too have peices that stand straight up in the air like I have static all the time.  A co-worker asked my why my hair is sticking up and it pissed me off.  I have planned on telling her she is rude if she wants to mention it again.  My hair looks like sh*t most of the time.  I will be done in 6 more weeks and am praying that it goes back to normal along with the itchy patches here and there on my body.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
I meant to say i'm "not" noticing any hair loss when I "look in the mirror".
                             ^

Is there an 'edit post' feature on these boards?
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
LOL, it's nice that you guys had got a good laugh. I also laughed too when I noticed it earlier today...

I'll just throw some extra gel in it for now. If it gets bad enough, I'll just shave it off.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
My hair was full and very curly but by the third month on treatment it was very thin and poker straight. When I would get out of the shower I looked like Alfalfa from the Little Rascals - if you go back that far. And I still looked like Alfalfa even after a lot of time with hair spray and/or gel and every other hair product that Karen or I could find. I didn't like it at all but, after I stopped the treatment it finally came back normal. It took at least 6 months though so be patient and start checking out products ahead of time .....or wigs. Mike
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I know how you feel, my coworkers would look at my hair while talking to me and not say anything about it to me. I did 96 wks so this went on for a long time.
Blank
206807_tn?1331939784
I haven’t heard of anyone starting to loose hair @ 6 days but it wouldn’t surprise me. I have come to the conclusion, this stuff has a mind of it’s own and there it has no rules.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
I guess nothing should surprise us anymore when it comes to HCV and treatment. Yet, once in a while I am surprised and 6 day alopecia did it for me.

How about this little tidbit:

"Combined treatment with pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN) and ribavirin is currently recommended for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Many side effects including hair disorders have, however, been reported related to this treatment. Alopecia universalis is a severe form of hair disorder. Three cases of alopecia universalis during PEG-IFN and ribavirin combination therapy have been reported in the literature. Herein is reported a case of reversible alopecia universalis, with complete hair loss extending to the whole body, secondary to PEG-IFN alpha-2b and ribavirin combination therapy for chronic HCV infection. Hair regrowth began within 3 months of the completion of combined therapy. In case the liver disease is advanced, and virologic response occurs, treatment can still be completed, as it appears that these side effects are reversible.

PMID: 17700271 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]"
Blank
233616_tn?1312790796
and they say worry can't make your hair fall out!!

but seriously, I started taking olive oil baths and just leaving in on my skin and hair overnight.

so far so good....6 months tx and hair is still here.  I think the stuff breaks off from brittleness which the drugs cause....so my theory was what has worked for women in the desert heat for thousands of years might help.  So far, so good.
I also leave conditioner in when I wash my hair. Sme types are fine for this....and don't leave hair oily if you use a small amount.  Again, think supple....do things to counteract brittleness.
Blank
387294_tn?1207623785
My hair thinned a little, but I did baby it on tx.  I left hair conditioner in longer, weekly did deep conditioning.  Tried not to wash everyday.  Use a gentle hair brush.  I also kept lots of moisterirzer on my skin.  Doesn't hurt to baby your body while on treatment.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
I doubt that my hair became poker straight merely because it was brittle - I tried your oil approach and your conditioner approach and a whole lot more. I treated for 3.5 years so I had plenty of opportunity to experiment with myriad approaches. Nevertheless, regardless of what I did my hair remained thin and straight until I was off the drugs for about 6 months. Mike
Blank
387294_tn?1207623785
I have no idea what to do with 3.5 years hair impact of the medication on treatment.  Just trying to help.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
I realize that and I appreciate it. I stopped treatment in 2004 so my hair is fine now. And I think it is probably helpful to baby your hair. The point I was making - and I wasn't addressing you, by the way - was that there is nothing that I found that will completely eliminate the hair issues associated with treatment. Perhaps, they can be ameliorated somewhat but  I doubt that anything will insulate you against a change in your hair while you are treating. I know other people whose hair was curly and became straight during treatment and I don't think brittleness explains that type of change. It's just a weird thing to have to deal with. Maybe some of the women will relate their hair history during treatment but I know a bunch who went out and bought wigs. I guess it depends on how long you treat as to how bad it will get but some of us treated for a long time and the hair thing was unavoidable. Mike
Blank
387294_tn?1207623785
Honestly I was treated for 6 months and the last month the hair thinning issue became clear.  So I assume if I went longer it would have been more severe.  For the six months, it was not.  I did baby my hair in anticipation of something happening.  Maybe there are some kind of doctor acceptable vitamins that could help up the oil in your hair.  Don't know.  mar
Blank
179856_tn?1333550962
You should ALWAYS baby your hair!!!!!!!!!!

:) (Oh yeah I'm prejudiced because I work in the industry of one of the biggest hair products/services companies in the world LOL)

But seriously - try a good hairspray - I can't imagine possibly that your hair is "falling out" in 6 days. I did lose about 75% of my hair over TIME but I treated for a year and a half (72 weeks) and it didn't really start to go until way later.  it did all come back as good as new though!

Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Wow your are doing it early.  I generally did not start loosing quite a bit until I think month three.   After it started it really just kept going.  My husband and I decided I lost around 50 percent of my hair.   It is comming back just as curly as evern.  Darn.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Oh I do remember something that I was told.  I have very thick hair.  The lady that walked me through the meds told me to wash my hair only a couple times a week.  Also to get a very wide tooth comb and don't pull on my hair.  I took her advise but not sure if anyone else did that or not.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Start shopping for do-rags, Drew....you'll be the coolest dad on the block.  ;->
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Some of it might have been in my head. Yes, I am noticing some hair when I shower on my hands but I guess it could be because I'm "looking for it" now that I've started the medicine and maybe I didn't pay that much attention before.

Either way something is funky with my hair - just looks thinner at the root and it's wildly sticking straight out unless I pile on some strong gel.

Thanks for all of your help!
Blank
233616_tn?1312790796
not saying it will cure what the drug does internally to the follicle or shaft.

But, judging by how dry everyones skin gets, it's afair assumtion the follicle stops producing as much oil as well.....

certainly something makes every pore feel like it's on fire at times and whether that is nerve ending response, or dryness....well...everyone also has brutally dry eyes...again we are speaking of surface mucousa and oils being curtailed by tx.

so, no pantacea no, but it certainly can't hurt. Actually olive oil is much better for the skin than lotions full of mineral oils, and emollients that irritate the pores in order to open them up to the too large mineral oil molecules.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
mine is grayier..LOL
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
"certainly something makes every pore feel like it's on fire at times and whether that is nerve ending response, or dryness....well...everyone also has brutally dry eyes."

I didn't have any of that. My skin didn't feel like it was on fire and it wasn't noticeably dry either. My eyes were fine throughout treatment aside from a detached retina. My mouth and tongue were extremely dry and sore throughout all 3 treatments and that was excruciating. I don't recall trying olive oil for that but I may well have since I tried everything I could think of.

I would try the olive oil on my hair and I would hope that it would improve things. As I said, I tried everything. I was just saying that the idea that dry hair = hair loss and extreme texture change and that putting olive oil on will prevent that stuff from happening doesn't sound right to me - that's all. Maybe it depends on your hair type.
Mike
Blank
179856_tn?1333550962
Just to warn you - we start to blame every illness we get on the hep and the treatment...it makes us for some reason totally obsessed and we just sit around the ponder everything so much it can make you crazy.  "my knee hurt it must be the hep" - no it's the football game you played yesterday.  "my headaches are horrible it must be the treatment" - no it's your wife constantly harping at you after a long day of work..............

It gets very easy to do.  Believe me.  Just try to take it easy and breathe a bit!
Blank
166496_tn?1236185912
I also experienced hair thinning!  I treated for 26 weeks.  It seemed to start later on in tx.  I would shampoo and end up with a handful and a drainful.  then when I combed and dryed it would be all over the bathroom floor.  YIKES!  The hair thinning kept on for about 4 weeks or so even after I stopped tx.  It has stopped falling out now.  

I did however, loose any natural curl that I had.  Even if I curl with a curling iron now it only lasts for a bit.  wised up and got a cut that would be ok.  Dealing now and awaiting lots of new hair growth.

Shari
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
merryBe, nygirl, and all! Thanks very much for your suggestions, advice, and humor!!

I just gave myself my second shot last night. Slight shot leakage was experienced (not that much but some).

I still haven't experienced any flu like side effects. No fever, no chills, no aches... nothing. Is this typical for the first few weeks? I just hope that i'm getting my entire dosage. Has anyone ever had their Pegasys dose upped from 180 to say 200+ perhaps if they're reacting well to the medicine? I think the only sx i'm getting is lack of concentration, memory loss, and i'm more irritable.
Blank
233616_tn?1312790796
don't be in a hurry t up you INF. Sometimes the first few weeks is honeymoon time, and then your body stops compensating as well.

In the last month my sides have gotten very severe...there's a reason that there is a huge drop out rate with this tx....it isn't always easy, in fact only a few breeze through.
Enjoy it while this is your case.

make riba early morn and early eve or late afternoon....with some fat in the meal but not much fiber. (I didn't get good absoprtion at fiirst not knowing about fiber interference)
taking riba early will allow you to rest better.

If after your first PCR you haven't responded well...you could discuss dose changes....but the meds can themselves cause liver failure, and many other serious side effects so it is not something to do without serious research and consideration.
Blank
217229_tn?1192766004
A year later and I've lost the bald spot in the front of my head --- and I have hair everywhere...

Oh --- did I mention --- while losing hair on my head I also managed to gain GOAT hairs on my chin?

Oh --- and my eyelashes became something sooooo long --- that I had to trim them --- not that "pretty" long... but that --- OMG I've got something in my eye long!

LOL!

Buy tweezers --- Shave if you're a guy (bald is kinda sexy --- but remember to wear those gold earrings... LMAO!)

and don't forget --- there is always that spray paint can... if you're too vain... (just kidding)

Hugs to all.

Meki
Blank
238417_tn?1203711010
We should be so lucky. I treated when my wife was going through cancer chemo (Boy weren't we the pair!!) She went bald, I at least has "something" left to laugh about. Don't wash hair every day...rinsing is just as good. Use Nioxin only if you have scalp dryness. My wife use to peel my head once per week (not to be gross). I am 8 wk post tx and the hair is coming back. (My wife's has come back too) Good luck.
Blank
86075_tn?1238118691
nice post about the relative importance of hair loss...something I needed to hear, certainly....
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I lost all of my hair during treatment and  5 months after treatment no hair has grown back, remember it us just hair and health is what you are working for.  good luck
Blank
1225178_tn?1318984204
Sorry to tell you this, but there isn't anything you can buy to make your hair grow back while you are taking Interferon/Ribavirin. It's just life while on tx.

Diane
Blank
179856_tn?1333550962
Once again you are the only person I ever heard of losing all their hair on treatment (or because of treatment) and I believe you had a whole set of underlying problems that probably caused this if I remember correctly.

This post is several years old.
Blank
1225178_tn?1318984204
I noticed that yesterday morning, but forgot this afternoon when I read it again.

Diane
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I lost a lot of hair.   I think the hair becomes brittle and breaks, besides loss from the root.  I read that a satin pillowcase helps.  I plan to get one for next time.  I was sensitive to anything pulling on my hair. My hair is gradually filling in after 6 month off treatment.  Hoping to have most of it back before losing it again next round.  The hair loss and general unhealthy appearance was not as bad as how I felt.  For me looks were at the bottom of my concerned sx.  My WBC, HBG were much more of a concern.  As well as the fatigue and getting through each day.
Blank
Post a Comment
To
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
Hepatitis C Community Resources
RSS Expert Activity
233488_tn?1310696703
Blank
New Cannabis Article from NORTH Mag...
Jul 20 by John C Hagan III, MD, FACS, FAAOBlank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
3 Reasons Why You are Still Binge E...
Jul 14 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating: What Your Closet ...
Jul 09 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
Top Hepatitis Answerers
Avatar_f_tn
Blank
dontworry_behappy1
163305_tn?1333672171
Blank
orphanedhawk
Rural Mural, CA
Avatar_f_tn
Blank
nan535
Brooklyn, NY
446474_tn?1404424777
Blank
HectorSF
CA
1815939_tn?1377995399
Blank
pooh55811
96938_tn?1189803458
Blank
FlGuy
South, FL