Following treatment, it may take a few weeks for hair to recover and begin growing back. When the hair does start growing back, it will most likely be slightly different for the original hair. This difference is usually temporary, but the newly grown hair may have a different texture, color or may even be curlier than before chemotherapy.
Preparing for Hair Loss
While the prospect of losing your hair during cancer treatment may cause anxiety, patients can best prepare emotionally by planning ahead. Focusing on making yourself comfortable with your appearance before, during and after your cancer treatment is essential. The earlier you are able to prepare for your hair loss, the better you will be able to cope when your hair begins to thin and fall out.
Tips to Help with Hair Loss
When hair loss occurs and during the period when hair begins to grow back, patients may experience that their scalps are dry, extra tender or even itchy. Keeping your scalp clean by using a gentle moisturizing shampoo and conditioner may help, as well as using creams or lotions to help moisture the scalp. Even gentle scalp massages may help your scalp feel better. Here are some other tips:
Cut your hair short. A shorter style will make your hair look thicker and fuller, as well as make your hair more manageable to deal with when you begin to lose hair.
See a cosmetologist, who can provide tips on what to do when eyebrows or eyelashes are lost, such as using make up or false eyelashes.
Tips for Covering Your Head
If and how to cover your head depends upon your comfort level. Some patients choose wigs, scarves, bandannas, caps or hats, while others choose to leave their heads uncovered. And others prefer switching back and forth, depending on whether they are in public or at home with friends and family. Which option is best for you ultimately comes down to which offers you the most physical and emotional comfort. Should you decide to cover your head, here are some tips:
While hair loss is an unfortunate side effect of chemotherapy that just about all patients go through, it’s also a sign that your chemotherapy is working and helping you to fight your disease. And, thankfully, it is a temporary side effect, as your hair will start growing back.
Please visit our chemotherapy side effects page to learn more about other possible side effects during cancer treatment.