Will Chemotherapy Make Me Lose My Hair?

Whether you will or will not lose your hair during chemotherapy for cancer treatment depends in part on the types of cancer drugs that are a part of your treatment plan. Often, breast cancer treatment involves a combination of chemo drugs and the different combinations may contribute to hair loss during your treatment. Keep in mind that every body, and every cancer, respond differently to chemotherapy. 

Chemotherapy Drugs and the Likelihood of Hair Loss:

Drug Hair Loss?
Abraxane (chemical name: albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) no
Adriamycin (chemical name: doxorubicin)    yes
Carboplatin (brand name: Paraplatin) yes
Cytoxan (chemical name: cyclophosphamide)          yes
daunorubicin (brand names: Cerubidine, DaunoXome)           changes
Doxil (chemical name: doxorubicin) yes
Ellence (chemical name: epirubicin) yes
fluorouracil (also called 5-fluorouracil or 5-FU; brand name: Adrucil) no
Gemzar (chemical name: gemcitabine)        thinning
Halaven (chemical name: eribulin)  yes
Ixempra (chemical name: ixabepilone)        yes
methotrexate (brand names: Amethopterin, Mexate, Folex) changes
Mitomycin (chemical name: mutamycin) yes
mitoxantrone (brand name: Novantrone) yes
Navelbine (chemical name: vinorelbine) yes
Taxol (chemical name: paclitaxel) yes
Taxotere (chemical name: docetaxel)         yes
thiotepa (brand name: Thioplex) changes
vincristine (brand names: Oncovin, Vincasar PES, Vincrex) changes
Xeloda (chemical name: capecitabine)        no

Losing your hair can be an incredibly difficult time for many women during cancer treatment. Talk to your doctor about questions you have about your chemo drugs and their side effects. 

Thank you to the Breast Cancer Foundation for providing this fantastic information on hair loss caused by chemo treatment drugs.