Hair loss is one of the upsetting side effects of chemotherapy in most women. Hair loss takes place in patients who have undergone chemotherapy because the treatment aims at suppressing cells that divide rapidly–the cancer cells. However, even normal healthy cells can divide rapidly, which includes the cells of the scalp i.e.the hair follicles. Once chemotherapy commences and starts to combat cancerous cells, it may as well destroy your hair cells too. After a few weeks of treatment, you may start losing your hair and this might be a good time to start researching wigs for cancer patients. The amount of hair loss varies among individuals, as some may lose their hair entirely, whilst others may simply experience hair thinning.
Certain chemotherapy drugs are responsible for the hair fall. Some may only affect your scalp while others may even cause hair to fall from the eyebrows, eyelashes and pubic regions. The hair loss is not always dramatic. You may see hair on your pillow after you wake up, clumps of hair in your comb or hairbrush or while you take a bath. Hair fall at this stage can be very saddening so you might need some
support at this time—this can be provided by your friends or family.
The treatment timing and the dosage amount also affect the rate of hair fall.
Weekly treatments accompanied with small dosages of drugs often leave mild effects and minimize hair loss. Other treatments split the dosages between 3-4 weeks, however, the dosage is much higher and the effect is more drastic.
Hair loss tips
Hair loss due to chemotherapy can be unattractive, but there are ways you can make yourself still look good till your hair grows back. Try the following tips:
• Do not use over-the-counter hair regrow shampoos as they are ineffective?
• Try not to perm or color your hair. Bear in mind that while chemo is in process, even if you are not experiencing hair loss, your hair follicles are still affected by the treatment. Therefore, the results may not come out as expected, for example, your hair will not be fully colored or fully premed as desired.
• It is recommended that you use a mild shampoo like a baby shampoo every 4-5 days so that your hair looks healthy. Thoroughly rinse your hair and pat dry, do not rub or pull. Avoid using hair dryers and straighteners during the treatment process.
• If you are going through dramatic hair loss, it is ideal to experiment with some wigs. There are many natural-looking wigs for cancer patient’s available, try to get something that matches your original hair color. Cutting your hair short might make it appear more voluminous plus it is easy to maintain. You can wear your wigs more easily with shorter hair too.
• You can use hats and scarves to cover your head too, they’ll keep your head covered and prevent sunburn as well—these are available in an array of different styles, pick one that suits you best. These will be great to wear when you are not wearing your wigs for cancer patients.
What to expect after treatment
Your hair might take about 6 months to grow back after the completion of therapy. It is possible that your hair may grow during your treatment; it is just good to know that your hair will grow back at some point. The hair that grows back might not be the same as your original hair; it may be darker, curlier, or wavier or simply exhibit changes in color or texture.