A Heart-Rending Side Effect of Chemotherapy: Coping with Hair Loss


chemotherapyHair loss due to chemotherapy affects your appearance and affects you emotionally. Even if you’ve never been vain about your hair, the loss may be heart-rending. You may feel unattractive, isolated, and very fragile. Pamper your hair and scalp to keep your hair for as long as possible and to prevent the loss from being so emotionally debilitating.

Hair Loss Due to Chemo

Chemotherapy drugs attack the cancer cells that are rapidly growing in your body. Unfortunately, they also attack other developing cells, including the hair roots. Hair loss can include your eyelashes, eyebrows, leg hair, and other body hair. Although some people experience only slight thinning, many others lose all their hair. The amount depends on the type of treatment you receive.

Helpful Tips

Pampering your hair and scalp may help your hair stay around a bit longer while undergoing chemotherapy treatments. These tips include:

Gentle Hair Treatment:  Avoid perms, coloring your hair, bleach, or using heated styling tools. Allow your hair to dry naturally when possible. Tip: If you have a prescription for a wig, health insurance may cover part or all of the cost. Talk with your doctor about the likelihood of dramatic hair loss.

Shampooing Your Hair: Wrap your hair in a towel for about 30 minutes to absorb excess water instead of rubbing it briskly with the towel. Use a wide-toothed comb to detangle your hair and never use a brush while it’s wet. This helps prevent hair loss due to rough treatment.

Haircuts: Shorter hairstyles typically look fuller than longer styles and thinning hair will be less noticeable. This type of style will also help you transition to a wig or new look created by wearing turbans, scarves, etc.

Hair typically starts to grow again a month or two after chemotherapy ends. Although it may be a slightly different texture or color, the hair roots gradually recover and start to grow again. In the interim, you can wear fashionable wigs, scarves, turbans, hats, or whatever makes you feel comfortable, or you can simply face the world with your baldness to demonstrate that you’re a true warrior and survivor!

At Custom Hair Tampa Bay, our high-quality medical wigs allow patients to retain a semblance of normality. A beautiful, natural-looking wig removes just one of the challenges you’re facing as you battle illness. To schedule a free consultation at one of our three locations click here.



Photo Credit: cuncon Via Pixabay