Hair Loss and Chemotherapy
Updated: May 30, 2021
Many people take their health for granted and realize its true importance once they're on the verge of losing it. Cancer is a life-threatening ailment, and it has been on the rise for the last few decades.
While this disease takes quite a toll on your physical and mental health, it also affects your physical appearance by inducing hair loss. Both males and females suffer from intense hair fall once they undergo chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is the most prominent cancer treatment in the world today.
It uses radiations to combat the uncontrolled production of malignant cancer cells. However, while destroying the cancer cells, it also ends up damaging our regular body cells, which leads to hair loss.
The Process of Hair Loss
Your hair starts falling a month after the treatment begins, and you could lose hair from your head and all over your body. It could fall in the form of strands or big clumps, and it varies from person to person.
Furthermore, people also experience tenderness in their scalps. Losing hair is quite distressing, especially for women, but you need to stay motivated and determined. Most people have their hair grow back after a few months of chemotherapy.
Your hair will be a little thin and brittle as compared to your hair before treatment, but it will eventually recover to its original healthy state. You might also notice a difference in the texture of your hair as many people have curlier hair after chemotherapy, and their hair color changes as well.
How to Prevent Hair Loss Due to Chemotherapy?
Post chemotherapy hair loss is inevitable, but it doesn't mean that you can't try different techniques to prevent it. The following are a few tried and tested hair loss prevention techniques: 1. Scalp Cooling Caps
The process of using a scalp cooling cap is also known as scalp hypothermia, and it involves the use of a cap containing cool fluid. You can place this cap on your head, and it retards the blood circulation in your scalp, which eventually reduces the effect of chemotherapy on your hair.
However, these caps might end up doing more damage than good since they will reduce the beneficial impact of chemotherapy on your scalp, which might cause it to resurface. Therefore, it would be best to consult your doctor before starting this treatment.
Minoxidil is a drug that can help with chemotherapy-induced hair loss. While this drug doesn't prevent hair loss, it can certainly help to regrow your hair. However, there is very little evidence supporting this claim.
How to Deal with Chemotherapy-Induced Hair Loss?
The following are a few well-researched tips for optimal hair loss management:
1. Be Careful with Your Hair You need to have a gentle approach to dealing with your hair. You should avoid coloring your hair or going through any sort of hairstyling treatment. It's also best to avoid heating tools and air-dry your hair. Furthermore, it’s also advised to use a brush with soft bristles to avoid unnecessary hair tugging and pulling.
2. Go for a Cut
One of the best and most common hairs management techniques is going for a haircut. Whether you're in the early stages of your therapy and losing your hair or growing it back again after the treatment, a haircut works wonders in giving your hair a thicker and healthier appearance.
Some people also end up shaving their heads to avoid the constant hassle of dealing with sporadic hair loss. Furthermore, shaving your scalp also reduces scalp irritation and itchiness caused by the treatment.
3. Wigs for the Win There are different ways to cover your head. You could wear a cap, tie a cloth around your head or wear a headscarf. But we think everyone would agree that wearing a wig is the best way to cover your hair loss and enhance your physical appearance.
Fortunately, there are several types of wigs available today, and you can get them in all shapes, sizes, and hair colors. Bluepoint makes custom wigs for medical hair loss and the cost is covered by insurance. If you are interested in a custom wig to assist you during your journey, visit our website at https://www.bluepointmed.com/ or email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. Scalp Protection Most people experience baldness after chemotherapy, and it takes some time for the hair to grow back. Therefore, you should strive for optimal scalp protection and prevent it from the harsh external weather by keeping it covered with a hat, scarf, or wig. It would help if you also used sunscreen on your scalp to keep it safe from the harsh UV rays from the sun.
5. Join a Support Group Everyone understands the trials and tribulations that are experienced by cancer patients. It takes quite a toll on both your mental and physical health as it becomes difficult to cope up with the repeated treatments and your deteriorating health. Therefore, it’s always helpful to have a group of people to support you and keep you motivated throughout your battle with cancer and your journey to recovery. While most people have the love and support of their loved ones, having the support of people who are going through a similar situation leads to more effective results.
Cancer patients can talk about their problems, challenges and get genuine, helpful advice from these groups. Furthermore, they can also share their victories with other cancer patients and motivate them never to give up.
Chemotherapy is a primary cancer treatment, and hair loss is the inevitable side effect of this treatment. While dealing with cancer is quite challenging on its own, the additional pressure of dealing with your physical appearance adds to the tribulations of these ailments. However, you could try different techniques to cope with hair loss and manage it.
You could opt for scalp cooling caps or completely shave your head and look for different ways to style a headscarf that would suit you. It would also help to look for some wigs as there is a massive variety of wigs to choose from, and you should also join a support group to share your trials and accomplishments with other cancer fighters and survivors.