How to Handle Hair loss From Chemotherapy

MARCH 21, 2023

Cancer can be an incredibly difficult journey, and hair loss can be one of the most emotionally challenging side effects of chemotherapy. While other symptoms may cause more physical pain or fatigue, the psychological struggles associated with this particular challenge are a difficult aspect of navigating treatment for many. The emotions connected with Alopecia can range from sadness and vulnerability to anger or depression, especially when faced with unwelcomed questions about why you look different. However, there are ways to prepare so that you can tackle this head-on!

Take some time to yourself 

It’s completely normal to feel down about losing your hair. Just remember that you won’t feel this way forever! Hair loss from treatment is usually temporary. In the meantime, take time to pamper yourself and plan out activities you enjoy doing. Pedicures and massages are always a good place to start :) 

Shop for head coverings

Many women find comfort in covering their hair loss with a wig, scarf or hat. If you opt for a wig, you may like starting with a style and color that is closest to your natural hair. There are also hair pieces like these halo’s from Rene of Paris that you can wear with a scarf or hat and the top is open for breathability. Softie’s by Jon Renau are also a popular choice, especially as sleep caps, because the bamboo fabric is not only soft against irritated skin, but they also wick moisture away to help keep your scalp cool and dry.

Consider cutting your hair short

A short hairstyle can help reduce the shock of potential hair loss, especially if your hair is longer. If things start to get itchy or irritating on your scalp, you might decide to shave your head– it may also give you a sense of being in control.

Handle your hair with care

Be gentle when you brush your hair and avoid styling it with hot tools. Also cut down on the use of hair clips, barrettes, hair ties and anything that causes tension. Use satin pillow cases when you sleep and protect your scalp with sunscreen when you’re outside.

Eat healthy and exercise when you can

Maintaining a well balanced diet, hydrating and trying for daily exercise are key to boosting how you feel. If you need more guidance on setting up a lifestyle routine, talk with your doctor; they may even be able to refer you to a dietitian or rehabilitation therapist who can create a plan tailored to your needs.

Find support

Create a network of friends, family and even professionals that you can turn to. Join a cancer support group and link up with others who have already gone down this path and understand what you’re going through – they will share advice about how to best cope with hair-loss related issues.

Losing your hair can be a visible sign that life has changed, which can be tough to cope with. We hope these tips help you prepare for the bumpy road ahead with confidence and grace.

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