Cancer and Hair Loss

Hair loss is common due to some cancer treatments but cold caps, wigs and other products which are available help you to cope.

People undergoing cancer treatment are affected by hair loss in different ways. Partial hair loss or thinning are experienced due to some treatments, while other treatments can lead to people losing hair from all over their body.

Hair loss by radiotherapy is caused in the area where the treatment is concentrated, whereas different types of chemotherapy drugs have varied effects on the hair. Your doctor is best equipped to advice you regarding what to expect.

Preparing for hair loss:

Handling Hair Loss

If you prefer wearing a wig, then you should visit a wig specialist prior to your cancer treatment so that it will be helpful to match your style, texture and hair color.

According to many cancer patients, hairdressers are best suited to style your wig. They do such a good job that no one can tell that you are wearing one.

Trimming your hair:

Trimming the Hair

Some people prefer cutting their hair very short before the therapy as it makes them feel more comfortable. This ensures that the hair loss will not appear as striking when it happens.

Using cold caps during chemotherapy:

Cold Caps during Therapy

During some chemotherapy treatments you can wear a cold cap which is a hat. The blood flow to the scalp is reduced due to its cooling effect which in turn decreases the amount of chemotherapy medication that reaches the scalp. This aids in preventing hair loss.

It is generally worn for 15 minutes prior to each chemotherapy treatment.

Eyelashes, eyebrows and makeup:

Using False Eyelashes

Due to some chemotherapy treatment people may lose their eyelashes and eyebrows. There are workshops held by many cancer support groups to help patients learn techniques such as using makeup, eyeliner, eyebrow pencil or false eyelashes as these techniques helps a lot.

Options for cancer hair loss:

Other Options

Other than wigs, you can include fringes, hairpieces or scarves. Cancer support groups hold demonstration of different types of head-wear so that people can try them out and decide what suits them. They are also provided with information about where to get them. These groups also advice patients about options for eyebrows and eyelashes. Cancer treatment can be very taxing, but these choices help us to cope with life.

After all these, the basic hair care can at least improve the hair growth on later stage.