Hair loss tips for men

Chemotherapy drugs are powerful medications that attack rapidly growing cancer cells. Unfortunately, these drugs also attack other rapidly growing cells in your body, including those in your hair roots. This may make you feel anxious about the possibility of hair loss and how it may affect you mentally, but it's okay to feel upset. Remember losing hair is usually temporary and will re-grow after treatment ends.

Most men during cancer do not ask for the help they need. It can become very difficult when losing your hair, revealing the fact you have cancer. To combat this, some men have come up with the idea of doing a sponsored head shave. This way whenever your lack of hair on your head and face is a talking issue you can refer to that. Great way to raise money for charity, whilst helping you come to terms with your hair loss. 

Speak To Your Doctor 

To help boost your confidence and reduce stress, your doctor will tell you whether your particular chemotherapy treatment is likely to cause hair loss. If you are going to experience hair loss ask them to describe the likely course of hair loss. That means not only your scalp, but also your eyelashes, eyebrows and the hair on your arms, armpits, chest, legs and pubic area. This allows you to plan ahead for head coverings, whilst lowering your anxiety and stress. 

Always remember hair loss is different for everyone. Whether you're hair thins or you become completely bald will depend on your treatment. It might come out slowly over time or fall out fairly quickly in clumps. Or you may notice your hair is dryer, thinner and duller. If your hair is going to fall out, it usually begins within 1 to 3 weeks after treatment starts.

Cutting You Hair Shorter 

To prepare yourself for hair loss, try cutting your hair or beard shorter. In this process, you will gain a greater sense of control, which can reduce stress but also this will have less impact on you when the hair does fall out. Family and coworkers will get used to seeing you with this different style, so when your hair starts to disappear, the change won’t be as dramatic. Depending on the length of your hair, you might even consider a buzz cut.

Shaving Your Head and Face

During treatment you may be ready to shave your head. This will eliminate the trauma of watching your hair fall out. This is my top tip! I wished I had shaved my head earlier, as it was distressing to wake up each morning seeing a pile of hair left on the pillow. Some people shave their heads once hair begins to fall out to prevent scalp irritation or itchiness. When you shave, make sure it is an electric razor. This will help reduce the risk of being cut and developing an infection. 

Adapting A New Look

Adapting to this new look may become difficult, so you may want to experiment with different styles of hats and wigs, to see what you feel comfortable in. You can try a hairpiece that can be attached to a hat and gives the illusion of a full head of hair. Or experiment with ways to enhance your appearance so you can feel good about yourself, like buying new clothes.

Or you may want to simply embrace the shaved head as a fashion statement, changing your workplace image in the process. If you do get a wig, find a specialty shop that matches your natural hair colour and texture and get it styled ahead of time, this will make it easier to match it to your real hair. 

Eyebrows

As well as your hair, your eyebrows may fall out. This can become the hardest part but if you know this is going to happen, you can prepare yourself. There are a couple of tips men can use to help feel comfortable with your new look.

Using an eyebrow pencil can be a simple trick. Instead of filling in the whole eyebrow, which may become too obvious, try filling in missing hairs with short strokes. Or choose a stylish pair of glasses (with or without a prescription) with frames big enough to hide the eyebrow area.

For tips on hair loss read - 'Caring for your Hair During and After Cancer Treatment'