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Cancer & Hair Loss

In honor of October’s Breast Cancer Awareness month I thought this blog post should be

reflective of hair loss related to treatments people undergo for cancer.


While I am far from a cancer expert, I am myself a breast cancer survivor who lost MOST of her hair due to chemotherapy so this is something that is close to my heart.


Hair loss can be devastating, some people are comfortable rocking their bare look but for others we need the security of something adorning our heads. Thankfully, there are options and I am going to discuss some of them as well as share some links in hopes that they will help someone if they need it.


Wigs

When you are undergoing treatment, hair loss may be gradual or sudden. If you are considering a wig that looks like your own hair, it is a good idea to go get fitted and meet with a wig specialist prior to starting treatment. The professional will be able to look at your hair and design a wig that will closely simulate your hair color, style, and thickness. There are also pre-fab wigs you may like or if you want to change up your look you could also choose something completely different! Ask your oncologist for a referral to a trusted wig specialist in your area.You may also be able to get a free wig through the American Cancer Society Wig Bank.


Some people are opposed to the thought of wearing a wig due to the fact that they can be hot and uncomfortable. I have to say that I believe the wigs now are made much more comfortable than years ago. I wore a wig for a short time and I did not find it to be uncomfortable or feel overheated in it at all and the one I wore was very long (human hair).


Wigs come in human, synthetic, and synthetic blends. Human hair wigs are normally the most expensive but they can be washed and styled just like your own hair. Synthetic blends will usually have some stylability but won’t withstand high heat, and you absolutely cannot use heat on a completely synthetic wig it will melt.


Head Coverings


Head coverings can be very chic or casual so you are sure to find a style that suits your personality. There are simple scarves, beanies, caps with hair, bandanas, etc., the list goes on. For a list of organizations that provide FREE head coverings to cancer patients click HERE.



As a side note, you may want to invest in a small cap covering for your head to use while you sleep, or under a hat or wig, as the scalp can feel more sensitive from treatment as well as the lack of hair. Simple cotton caps are comfortable and inexpensive.


Cold Cap Therapy

Cold cap therapy is designed to slow or halt hair loss. The caps use extremely cold temperatures to slow the circulation in the scalp during treatment inhibiting the chemo drugs from circulating in that area and thus preventing hair loss. There are mixed feelings on using the caps by medical professionals since it is technically preventing full circulation of the chemo drugs. I used the caps during treatment and compared to others who underwent the exact same treatment my hair loss was significantly slower and I never lost it all. There are several companies to research and speak with to see if this is an option for you, I used these.


There is also financial assistance available for the Cold Caps, click HERE for a link to the Rapunzel Project which can tell you more and provide links to applications.