How to Cope with Chemo Hair Loss?

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  1. Practice a gentle hair care and do it carefully! For instance, when you need to comb or brush your hair, use a wide-toothed comb /soft-bristle brush!
  2. Avoid any hair styles that can increase hair loss such as pulling /braiding hair into a ponytail, the use of harsh shampoo, hair dryer, electric rollers, hair coloring products, etc.
  3. And wash your hair less frequently and wash it gently!

The use of a wig!

Many patients often choose to wear a wig to help hide the spots of the hair loss and keep confident. If have a plan to wear a wig, it’s better to purchase it before your treatment begins. This can help you find one that meet to your hair color & texture.

Since you usually need a smaller wig as your hair falls out, one that can be adjusted may be your best option. And to save more money, you can buy a wig with prescription (particularly true if the cost is covered by your insurance).

There are some types of wig to choose from. If you are looking for one with minimal care, synthetic wig may be your best choice. It is less care and also less expensive than a human hair wig.

Try different styles of wigs until you find one that you really like and can help you keep confident. If necessary, consider purchasing more than one week. For instance, you can buy 2 wigs that you like – one for special occasions, and one that you can use daily.

The use of scarves or turbans

People have their own style to cope with chemo hair loss. And scarves or turbans can be an alternative choice when the use of a wig is not the option.

In other words, not all people find wigs are helpful. Some find that the use of a wig can be itchy or hot.

And if you choose to use turbans /scarves, make sure to use one that is comfortable on your scalp. Use the right fabric – choose cotton instead of polyester /nylon! Cotton items are relatively safer and more comfortable to stay on a smooth scalp.

Other helpful tips

These may include:

  1. During summer, you should protect your scalp from sun. Therefore, use a hat or apply sunblock for extra protection.
  2. And in winter or cold weather, you can use a hat /scarf outdoors – this can help reduce the body’s heat loss.
  3. The use of a hair net may also help. Use it when sleeping at night on a soft, satin pillowcase! This can help keep your hair from coming out in clumps.
  4. Since the effect of chemotherapy can affect other hairs of the body, it’s also good idea to be gentle with your eyebrows and eyelashes.
  5. And again, avoid using any hair loss treatment since it will not work effectively when you still take your chemotherapy medicines. Furthermore, there is also chance for it to interact with medicines that you are taking.

If necessary, consider taking a counseling to get emotional support since the problem may cause depression or anxiety (as noted before).

Will chemo hair loss grow back (prognosis)?

The effect of chemotherapy on your hair to fall out can be noticed about 1-2 weeks after you take the first treatment. And as you lose your hair, you scalp can be sensitive when you comb /brush your hair.

Fortunately, in most cases the hair will grow back, and this usually occurs about 6 weeks or 2 months after you have completed chemotherapy. Permanent chemo hair loss is very rare.

But your hair that returns may be different than before. The changes may include the color and texture.

And when you notice any new regrowth of hair on your scalp, it may be easier to break at first. Therefore, it’s recommended to avoid any poor hair styles (such as the use of dyes and perms) for the first few months. If necessary, keep your hair short to make it easy to style!

Citations /references:


All of these references accessed on August 2014


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