Hepatitis C Community
13.3k Members
Avatar universal

how common is hair Loss on the Interferon Traetment

Hey I start my shots this friday and was reading alot of the post here.  I know that this may sound very weak but I am so scared of losing my hair.  How common is this side affect?
56 Responses
87972 tn?1322664839
Hi Sally,

Hair loss can vary from a change of texture and color only to a loss of maybe 30%? How long are you scheduled to treat for? It will also vary with duration of treatment as well. It doesn’t seem to fall out in clumps like cancer chemo; rather becomes brittle, breaks off, and becomes thin in that way. Some folks use things like Nioxin shampoo; the gals here will be much more help than me in this area; my hair was falling out on it’s own despite interferon :o).

Avatar universal

Hi Sally:  I was also afraid of going bald!  I imagine everyone is different, I treated for 48 weeks.  My hair really thinned out, I kept it short it was so dry that I only needed to wash it every 3 - 4 days.  However, most of it stayed with me.  After I finished treatment almost immediately I noticed that my hair was getting oily, have to wash it almost everyday now, it's back to normal.  It's getting thicker and seems more healthy.  The only thing I notice is that it seems to be much lighter in colour, maybe I'm just going grey, and it's just one of those getting older things.

By the way:  Welcome to the Forum, lots of great info here!

Take care - Lynne
179856 tn?1333550962
Better to lose your hair than your liver - think of it that way. Hair will grow back better than ever. I lost about 80% but now it's longer and healthier than it ever was.

You have to put things into perspective and think of them as to how important each is.  Your liver = your life.  None  of us wanted to lose our hair at all but once we were cured of the disease found out it was worth it in the end.

I bought loads of wigs off ebay and made it fun. ON the days I felt the worst and looked like a vampire the most I wore a big Farrah blond wig and totally distracted people from how i felt.  I'd match them to my outfits - different colors different styles.  

Yes I'm very glad to have my real hair back but you know once in a while I put a wig on to go out just for the fun of it.

Concentrate on beating the disease.......it's the most important thing of all - the rest will all resolve itself eventually.
276730 tn?1327966546
I lost alot of hair during my 55 weeks of tx. Probably 70%. Even my physician said it was alot. However that was the least of my worries at the time...I knew it would grow back and it did..howver I have no more waves its straight as straight could be now.

I was too sick at the time to be thinking of my hair loss.
Hopefully you wont lose that much many people's hair just get thin...this tx effects everyone so differnetly. I had NO rashes and many people do.

Just take it one day at a time. best of luck.
Avatar universal
I'm at 24 weeks and I'm just begining to see a little hair loss.  My friends don't seem to

notice. But, I have a lot of hair and I know it's thinner.

However, when you think about it what's a little hair over a life span?

Before treatment I purchased extra hair and falls, but I have not had to use them so far.

I think the hair is just a "girl thing." I don't know any women that aren't a little worried

about hair lost.  Don't get to excited you might not experience hair loss.

Before I started treatment I prepared  for lots of things that so far have not happened.

Try not to stress out.

Avatar universal
I am one of those people who lost a LOT of hair when on treatment.  My doctor seemed shocked at the amount of hair I lost because he originally told me it would be mild thinning at the most.  My hair loss started very early in treatment -- even within the first few weeks and continued all through treatment.  I estimate that I lost 80% of my hair -- to the point that I resorted to wearing a wig to work for the last 2 months of my 48 weeks of treatment.  

I am now 7 weeks post treatment and I am able to go without the wig now but I have a "Jamie Lee Curtis" type of style now.  The side peaks where my hair meets my forehead are still back further than usual and haven't filled in as much as I would like them to yet.  I have come to appreciate the short look because it's very easy to work with and I can spike it up so it's actually cute.

I fretted about my hair too but my best advice to you is to just let that worry go...let it go.  You just might be one of those who doesn't lose any hair but, if you do lose hair, there's nothing you can do about it but roll with it.  It WILL be okay.  
179856 tn?1333550962
:) I'm over two years post treatment and my hair is half way down my back almost.  It grows pretty fast after treatment it seems (although hair usually grows about a half inch a month) I have had several hair cuts too.

969557 tn?1314374214
My hair just became thin dry and frizzy during treatment, but I got some bald spots 2 weeks after I finished my 48 weeks. Now I'm 8 weeks post and I have allready gained  about 2 millimetres of hair. The spot covers just fine if I tie it in a knot, and that way I hide the frizzyness too =)
Avatar universal
I've read that you may loose hair, but if you do it  grows back better than what you

originally had. Some woman doctor wrote an article about hair and tx.

NYgirl is living proof and I emphasis the word LIVING!!

You can buy new hair or wait until it really comes back twice as nice.

All the movie stars have extentions, clip on and weaves.

If your hair goes just pretend you're a movie star.

Look at Oprah her hair changes with the seasons.

Look at Britney Spears her hair sure grew back real, real fast after she shaved it all off.

You're A Star


( think positive you might not loose your hair )
92903 tn?1309908311
"I'm over two years post treatment and my hair is half way down my back almost."

Dude that's tough. You might consider waxing, but if you don't wear halter tops, maybe no one will notice anyway. Winters coming - avoid the back-to-front intimate moments and you should be OK until spring. Good luck.  
1046633 tn?1253702328
You are TOO funny! :)
Avatar universal
  Lots of Ladies here with GREAT Attitudes...  have helped me to keep my focus on beating the virus and getting through treatment.  That IS the priority right now.   Lost alot of hair, but also had thyroid swings that I'm sure didn't help.  Shedding was really annoying.   Went to a wig shop  5 weeks ago week, got my hair cut real short, and left with one that put a Big Smile on my face....really.  Family and friends love it It's really helped to boost my spirits.  Wish I would have done it sooner!  Thyroid now stable and lots of little hairs coming in...I stay on Nioxen produsts, believe it helps.  Try not to worry...ONE DAY AT A TIME.  Lots of support here and even laughs...(thanks Goofy Dad!)  God Bless You ALL...

week 33/72 and pressing on...

Have an Answer?
Top Hepatitis Answerers
317787 tn?1473362051
683231 tn?1467326617
Auburn, WA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Answer a few simple questions about your Hep C treatment journey.

Those who qualify may receive up to $100 for their time.
Explore More In Our Hep C Learning Center
image description
Learn about this treatable virus.
image description
Getting tested for this viral infection.
image description
3 key steps to getting on treatment.
image description
4 steps to getting on therapy.
image description
What you need to know about Hep C drugs.
image description
How the drugs might affect you.
image description
These tips may up your chances of a cure.
Popular Resources
A list of national and international resources and hotlines to help connect you to needed health and medical services.
Here’s how your baby’s growing in your body each week.
These common ADD/ADHD myths could already be hurting your child
This article will tell you more about strength training at home, giving you some options that require little to no equipment.
In You Can Prevent a Stroke, Dr. Joshua Yamamoto and Dr. Kristin Thomas help us understand what we can do to prevent a stroke.
Smoking substitute may not provide such a healthy swap, after all.