Chemotherapy related hair loss
Hair loss may be one of the more difficult aspects of cancer treatment.
Our self-image affects our self-esteem, and when we loose our hair
it may be emotionally upsetting. Being educated and understanding
your options will support you in making accurate choices that feel
right for you.
experience is different and being educated and preparing in advance
will support you in dealing with the cosmetic issues of the cancer
Determine in advance
the amount of hair loss, if any, you can expect.
hair loss is usually temporary, depending on the type of treatment
you receive. Hair loss may occur during the first few weeks after
your first treatment and will begin to grow back a month or so after
your final treatment. The growing process will seem slow at first,
since few of us have ever experienced near total hair loss before.
The color and texture may seem different than you remember, do not
worry, it almost always returns to its original condition and color.
A hair prosthetic
(wig) may be the most emotionally supportive investment you make during
your treatment. Looking as much like you as possible will
contribute to your overall comfort and self-esteem. Advance preparation
may be the key to your success with your hair needs. Your physician,
nurse or oncologist would be a place to start. They may have information
regarding hair loss consultants in your area. Should you decide to
participate in a support group, speak with others in the group about
their experience and request referral information.
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To avoid the discomfort of shedding hair, many people choose to have
their head shaved in the very early stages of hair loss. Many of our
clients have expressed a freedom as a result of the shaving process,
mentioning they feel more in control and are relieved that they do
not have to deal with all their hair falling out. Shaving is most
often the choice when excessive hair loss is experienced.
If you are planning
to purchase a hair prosthesis plan ahead, arrange an appointment with
a hair replacement professional as soon after you know that you are
going to loose your hair as possible. A qualified professional will
be able to guide you through the process, insuring the fit and comfort
as well as the color, density, length and style. Most often we suggest
that the esthetic elements reflect the hairstyle and color of your
own hair, prior to the medication, to insure your personal comfort.
Make an inquiry with your insurance company, they may cover all or
a portion of the expense.
only touches the most common types of hair loss. Many other hair loss
conditions exist and there are endless amounts of information available
regarding hair loss. For more information about hair loss refer to
Making an informed, educated choice:
- Visit a hair
loss consultant prior to your hair loss. This will provide the professional
with accurate color samples as well as an opportunity to observe
your current hairstyle.
- Request to
see hair prosthetic samples. Examine the interior to determine comfort,
Comfort and fit are very important.
- Synthetic hair
is often an appropriate choice for anyone needing coverage for the
period of approximately one year. If you know you will be without
hair longer than one year a human hair prosthetic may be a consideration.
Ask to see a human hair prosthetic and compare. A hand tied front
and top may be more desirable. Request to see both machine made
and hand tied.
- As with all
personal experiences comfort is important. A private, secure environment
along with trained hair loss consultants will greatly enhance your
visit. Professional advice, both technical and esthetic will provide
the most attractive and comfortable results.