Dealing with Hair Loss and Cancer

by Karen Glowacki

BaldwomenHair loss resulting from chemo is traumatic for most women and men. From itchy scalps to wigs and scarves, it's hard to figure out what will make you feel most comfortable as you deal with the loss of your hair...and not being sure exactly how your hair will look when it does return. To get some insight from those who have been through it, we asked the WhatNext network how they dealt with their hair loss. Here's what they had to say:

From RE16:

  1. I have extremely thick hair so it was a bit of a shock. I choose to buy a good wig and wear scarfs. I lost my hair in the winter time so I always wore a night cap to keep my head warm while asleep.
  2. One thing to be aware of is that some people find that they experience a very sore scalp during the hair loss process. For me my scalp became super sore, however once all my hair had fallen out the soreness totally went away.
  3. There are perks though, such as how much faster one can get ready to go somewhere because you do not have to fuss with your hair. I must say when it grew back it was amazing how much I missed having the wind blow through my hair! It is rare now that I complain about a bad hair day!

From PhillieG:

  1. I never lost my hair. I have stage IV colon cancer and it seems that they chemo they give for that makes the hair thin but it never all went away. At first I was ready for it to go and had doo-rags picked out!

From Rathgirl:

  1. It was weird because the day it started my doctor came in and said that my hair is probably going to start falling out soon and a couple hours later 
  2. I was playing with it and I pulled a huge clump out. The nurses set up an appointment with the salon that they have at the hospital to get my hair shaved off because that is what I thought was the best thing to do instead of getting hair everywhere. The salon did it free of charge thankfully.
  3. My dad had bought a Remington hat for me to wear earlier that week I wore that back up to my room. I felt so much better after it was gone. I did feel a little bit like people where staring when they weren't but I guess that is normal. Before i started treatment I had hair so long that it went to the middle of my back then my aunt cut it really short then within a matter of days after she cut it for me I had to get it shaved off.
  4. I have to admit I did kinda get emotional when the person at the salon was shaving it but not like I thought. Now I don't worry about how my hair looks as much and what others think about how I look.

From Brooklynchele:

  1. I knew I would lose my hair. I purchased a wig before I started chemo. I also purchased several scarves.
  2. When my hair started coming out in clumps in the shower, I just shaved it off.
  3. I ended up only using my scarves because they were quick, easy, and comfortable.
  4. I plan on donating my wig since I never wore it.
  5. Losing my hair didn't bother me. It certainly made it much easier to get ready for work in the mornings!

From Jess:

  1. During my wife's chemo she lost her hair, she wore knitted caps, scarfs, and hats. But at home she went natural.
  2. It didn't bother her until it started to come back in and was itchy.
  3. She felt a bit bad about having others see her without hair but I told her it was more than hair that made me love her. From surgery all the way thru her treatments I was by her side. And that is where I stay.

From MamaHugs:

  1. I had very long hair when I was diagnosed, so knowing I was going to lose it, I cut it off and donated it to Locks of Love.
  2. I sported a short "do" for a few days and then it started falling out. It was easier for me to have short hairs fall out than my long hair. In a few days, I decided to have a party and shave it! It gave me control.
  3. Since I was diagnosed with mets, I have lost my hair a couple times. I have decided hair is over-rated! I was never able to wear a wig as they were hot and itchy on me. I decided to make it fun and buy tons of scarves and wear a different one every day when I'm in a bald phase.

To read more experiences, please join the conversation by clicking here.

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