What is the best way to cope with hair loss during and after chemotherapy? You should plan to manage hair loss during treatment. You may not experience total hair loss, but being prepared for hair loss will allow you more peace if it actually happens. If you are planning to buy a wig, it is best if you purchase the wig before your therapy starts. Matching your natural color and texture will be easier while you still have your hair.

Before you start having therapy, start being kind to your hair. Bleaching, coloring, or perming your hair can make it weaker. Try to avoid using heat on your hair; avoid hair dryers and curling irons. This also will prolong the loss of your hair because your hair will be healthier.

If you are facing chemotherapy, you may want to consider cutting your hair. Short hair looks thicker than long hair and it wont be so easily noticed. It might make it easier on you and your emotions if your hair is short before it starts falling out.

Easy Does It

Other measures you can try while having chemotherapy is to continue to be kind to your hair. Protect what hair you have by using a satin pillowcase, using a softer brush, and washing your hair only when it is necessary. When you do shampoo, use a gentle shampoo without chemicals or detergents that can dry out your scalp.

Some patients have shaved their head instead of allowing the hair to fall out in clumps. Patients report that shaving their head eases the irritation and itching that accompanies gradual hair loss from chemotherapy. It may also look better than hair that is patchy and sparse during therapy. It may also be easier to keep your head covering or wig in place if you are using one.


Most of all, you need to protect your scalp from too much sun or cold. Using a covering or sunscreen will protect the scalp. Remember it isnt used to being exposed to the sun or the cold weather. Your scalp may easily be sunburned and body heat escapes through your head.

After chemotherapy is completed, it will take a few months for your hair to grow back, and it still needs love and attention. It will be fragile and easily damaged. Dont use heat on it, get a permanent, or use dye for at least six months after chemotherapy. Your scalp may be sensitive and could irritate your scalp.

For women especially, the loss of hair may be a blow to their self-esteem and make them feel less feminine. Your emotional health at this time of your life is as important as your physical health. If it will make the process easier, then prepare ahead and have a wig or some beautiful scarves, or head coverings ready for the possibility of hair loss.

Classes are often offered for women who are experiencing hair loss because of cancer treatment. Contact the American Cancer Society to find out if they have Look Good…Feel Better classes in your area. The classes are free and provide beauty tips on coping with hair loss during chemotherapy.

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