Hair loss (alopecia) is a common side effect of chemotherapy, but not all drugs cause hair loss. Your doctor can tell you if hair loss might occur with the drug or drugs you are taking.
If hair loss does occur, you may find that your hair becomes thinner or falls out entirely. Its common that the hair usually grows back after the treatments are over. Some people even start to get their hair back while they are still having treatments.
How to care for your scalp and hair during chemotherapy?
– Use a mild shampoo.
– Use a soft hair brush.
– Use low heat when drying your hair.
– Have your hair cut short. A shorter style will make your hair look thicker and fuller.
– Use a sun screen, sun block, hat, or scarf to protect your scalp from the sun if you lose hair on your head.
– Avoid brush rollers to set your hair.
– Avoid dying, perming, or relaxing your hair.
If you choose to cover your head:
– Get your wig or hairpiece before you lose a lot of hair. That way, you can match your current hair style and colour.
– You may also consider borrowing a wig or hairpiece, rather than buying one. Check with the nurse or social work department at your hospital about resources for free wigs in your community.
– Some health insurance policies cover the cost of a hairpiece needed because of cancer treatment. It is also a tax-deductible expense. Be sure to check your policy and ask your doctor for a “prescription.”
Losing hair from your head, face, or body can be hard to accept. Feeling angry or depressed is common and perfectly all right. At the same time, keep in mind that it is a temporary side effect.
Some people who lose all or most of their hair choose to wear turbans, scarves, caps, wigs, or hair pieces. Others leave their head uncovered. There are no “right” or “wrong” choices; do whatever feels comfortable for you.