A guide to coping with chemotherapy hair loss

How to deal with hair loss

You might not think about how important your hair is until you face losing it. Both men and women report hair loss as one of the side effects they fear most after being diagnosed with cancer. The shock of seeing yourself bald and for others to see you like this can become devastating and very challenging to deal with. This can be the hardest stage of treatment but there are many things you can do that may help to improve your confidence. 

Chemo hair loss tips

1. Give yourself time
It is important to give yourself time to adjust to your new look. It's fine to feel upset but remember that losing hair is usually temporary. For me it took till the end of my 6 months of treatment to feel confidence with my hair loss. I never thought I could leave the house without a wig or hat, but I eventually did! It may take time but you are not alone. 

2. You're still you
It may be disorienting to look in the mirror and not recognise yourself. Remember that you’re still the same person on the inside. Try to celebrate who you are and focus on those qualities. 

3. Take Time out
Take time to do something pleasurable to take your mind off your diagnosis. Watch a movie, read, or take a walk. Trying behavioural health strategies can be a huge help, such as relaxation techniques, deep breathing and meditation. Or check out our self care blog for more ideas. 

4. Support Groups
Share the challenges of hair loss with friends and family, or a cancer support group. In this setting, you can get ideas and advice about how others coped with changes in their appearance. 

How do you cover a bald head during chemo?

It may take a while for you to adjust to your new appearance, but trying on wigs and headwear is a great way to boost your self-confidence. Consider changing your hair colour or style. You may want to try out a variety of ways to tie headwear. Even though there are so many types of wigs and headwear available, you may still feel that that is the thing that people will notice and comment on. The following tips will help you feel more confident about your hair loss situation. 

1. Try wearing jewellery 
This may help people to notice and comment on your jewellery, rather than your headwear/wig.

2. Try wearing glasses
This can help with the loss of eyebrows and eyelashes.

3. Emphasise your assets
Experiment with ways to enhance your appearance. Try new makeup and clothes to accentuate your other features. Take care of your skin and nails. If your eyebrows and eyelashes start to fall out, choose eyebrow pencils and eyeliners that are the same colour as your natural colour or a shade lighter.

4. Try wearing bright colours
Brightly coloured tops, ties, or scarves may help you feel like your hair loss is not the main part of your appearance. 

5. Wear your favourite clothes
This can help make you feel good and being comfortable in your clothes will make you less stressed.

6. Try a scarf pad
A scarf pad is a full cap made from soft organic cotton terry cloth that can be worn under a scarf or headwear. This provides fullness and volume to the top of the head, giving the illusion of hair underneath.


Discover more hair loss tips • Hair Loss 

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