Chemotherapy is a super powerful treatment option for those fighting cancer. Because this treatment option is so powerful, it does come with quite a few side effects, one being hair loss.
Fighting cancer is hard enough. On top of all that you have to cope with the loss of identity which comes with losing your hair. That's why wigs can be a fantastic option for women going through chemo.
Why does chemotherapy cause hair loss?
Chemotherapy works by targeting rapidly dividing cells, a characteristic of cancer cells. However, other cells in our body, like those in our hair follicles, also divide rapidly. When chemotherapy drugs attack these cells, it can result in hair loss.
It's important to note that not all chemotherapy drugs cause hair loss, and the extent of hair loss can vary from person to person. Some may experience thinning, while others might lose their hair entirely.
When does hair loss begin?
Typically, hair loss starts within a few weeks of beginning chemotherapy. The rate and extent of hair loss largely depend on the type of drug, dosage, and individual reaction. Some patients might notice clumps of hair on their pillow, while others may see it while brushing or washing their hair.
Can you prevent hair loss from chemotherapy?
Currently, there are no treatments which 100% guarantee that you won't experience hair loss from chemotherapy. However, there are some treatment options which have found to be effective for many chemo patients.
*Please speak to your doctor before beginning any treatments
Cold Cap Therapy
Also known as 'scalp cooling caps' or 'scalp hypothermia', this treatments involves wearing a closely-fitted cap which is cooled with a chilled liquid during chemo sessions. The cold cap slows blood flow around your scalp making the chemotherapy drugs less likely to effect your hair. However, cold caps can also be an expensive option which deters many people from using them. There is also a risk that cancer may reoccur on the scalp as this area is not being effectively treated.
Minoxidil is a very popular drug for treating any form of hair loss. However, the research is unclear on how effective it really is. Minoxidil also comes with many side effects which deters many people from using it. Even so, minoxidil may be a viable option for preventing hair loss.
Hair regrowth after chemotherapy
The good news is that for most people, hair begins to grow back several months after chemotherapy ends. Initially, the texture or color of the hair might be different, but over time, it often returns to its original state.
Be Gentle: Use a soft brush and mild shampoos. Avoid coloring or perming your hair until it has grown back fully.
Stay Patient: Hair grows at an average rate of half an inch per month. While waiting, consider rocking shorter hairstyles.
Which wig is best for chemotherapy hair loss?
There's a few factors to consider when choosing a wig when going through chemotherapy hair loss.
Most chemotherapy patients will opt for a wig with a lace-front. As we mentioned earlier, the extent of hair loss is often unknown. Some people may only lose some of their hair, others will lose all of their hair (often including brows and lashes!). Choosing a lace-front wig will cover all bases whether you lose all your hair or not.
A 'lace-front' is a thin strip of transparent lace at the 'hair line' of the wig. It gives the illusion of a real hair line, without having to have your own hair line at all. Even if you don't have any hair, your wig still look realistic
Wig Cap Type
Another aspect to consider is the type of wig cap you will be wearing. For many chemotherapy patients, itchiness is common when losing hair. This means you'll want something extra comfortable for your scalp which won't iritate it further.
Most of our chemotherapy customers will, therefore, opt for The Game Changer Wig. This is our most luxurious and comfortable cap type. The inside of the cap is made of a super soft 't-shirt-like' material with smooth silicone grip inside. It's also our most secure cap type. Additionally, the Game Changer has a lace-front to make it look super realistic.
Chemotherapy and battling cancer is an incredibly difficult process. We hope that we can make the process a little bit easier through helping you find the perfect wig. Hair loss, no matter what the cause, can feel disillusioning and scary. Wigs can be a great option for helping you feel like yourself as you kick cancer in the butt 👊
Always, always here if you need someone to talk to, vent to or find your dream hair!
Sending love xx