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Hair loss / extreme thinning with bone Mets medication

Mags44 Member Posts: 71

I would really value some advice on if it is possible to overcome the hair loss side effects of medication. My hair has really thinned out in the scalp region. I have been taking both Verzenio and Letrozole for a year to manage the bone Mets. I am now starting to feel self conscious at work. I can feel the irritation in my scalp.  

Is there something I should try or a different specialist I should talk to?

Thank you,


  • Tassie73
    Tassie73 Member Posts: 19
    Hi Mags44,

    I've also experienced noticeable hair thinning. I've been on letrozole and ribocliclib (previously palbociclib) for 14 months for metastatic breast cancer.

    I received information early with tips to try to minimise hair thinning: use a gentle baby shampoo, reduce frequency of hair washing, don't use hair dryers or curlers, try not to use hair bands (reduce pulling on the hair), use combs/brushes that are gentle on the hair. 

    I spoke with my oncologist about it. She said there are mixed results from hair growth medications in people who have hair thinning from metastatic breast cancer drugs. She recommended seeing a dermatologist to discuss it further. I haven't done that yet, but will discuss it with him when I have my next skin review (for another condition). 

    If you have scalp irritation, perhaps that may need to be looked at and assessed? A dermatologist could do that. 

    I don't know if hair extension/weaves are suitable or not with our type of drug-induced hair thinning - but perhaps that could be looked into. 

    Wishing you all the best. 
  • wendy55
    wendy55 Member Posts: 774
    hi @Mags44,
    I was on verzenio/abamaciclib and faslodex injections for 22 months,I am now on iv chemo and have been since December,during this whole time my hair has continued to be baby soft, and very thin also curly, it simply does not want to grow,it has also left me with a receeding hairline,
    none of which is ideal and I look in the mirror and do not recognize the woman that I see,it has affected my self confidence, however, I am still here,bonus!!! it is what it is,I am grateful that I actually still have some hair,there are different kinds of hair accessories that I have tried,that look pretty good,but all in all I have just had to accept that this is the way things are, I dont like it, but have learned to live with it, I dont wash my hair that often once a week, I did put a colour in, which was a lot darker than I thought it would be and am just letting it grow out,I do go to the hairdresser every couple of months just for her to tidy it up and cut off the wispy bits,I did think of wigs, however they are just too hot,this is the new me and I have to accept that and try and learn to love her,I have mets in my bones and my liver, so know that whatever treatment I am on it is going to affect my hair, cancer, the gift that keeps on giving!!!.

  • Mags44
    Mags44 Member Posts: 71
    Thank you @wendy55 and @Tassie73 for sharing your personal stories.

    Always helpful to hear about the similar challenges and what you have tried. I know that there may be an inevitability about this, and things I may need to try to cover up the scalp, it’s just that funny feeling you get as you accept what is happening again.

    I went to GP today and she has suggested a steroid ointment to deal with the redness and irritation which is a start. May look into a dermatologist next. Also need to look into a new hair cut and find a new hairdresser who understands. I am quite a private person so find it hard to open up to strangers on what is happening, creates that awkwardness.

    Anyway thanks again. 

  • June1952
    June1952 Member Posts: 1,781
    Hi @Mags44 - if you add your rough location to your profile someone may be able to recommend a hairdresser who knows all about the best thing to do for you and won't need any explanation.  I know one in Ballarat who evens works after hours for the privacy of his clients who need that help.
  • Mags44
    Mags44 Member Posts: 71
    edited April 2022
    Thanks @June1952, that is a great idea. How do you add your broad location to your profile?
  • June1952
    June1952 Member Posts: 1,781
    Hi @Mags44 - Go into the little wheel where you normally sign out and you will see Edit Profile.  There is a spot for your location.  Perhaps even do a separate post with hairdresser required near your location.