How to Care for Your Scalp During Chemotherapy

by GregP_WN

Hair loss during chemotherapy treatment can make anyone feel self-conscious. Not only that, but not many people know how to care for their bald head caused by chemo. Below are some notes shared by WhatNexter’s about how they cared for their scalp during chemotherapy. As one of our WhatNexter’s put it, you’ve got to let your balditude shine!


This information is from WhatNexter’s themselves and should not substitute the advice of a health care professional. Consult your doctor about these suggestions.

WhatNexter’s have...

- Used baby shampoo.
- Wore a high SPF sunblock on their head if they were in the sun.
- Walked around the house without a cap or wig to let their head breathe.
- Used a cap liner under wigs to eliminate some of the itchiness.
- Used a soft brush when shampooing.
- Used head and shoulders all-in-one.
- Applied olive oil before bed and wore a sleep cap over it if their head felt prickly.
- Bought a silk pillowcase.
- Had their caregiver put warm washcloths on their head at night and give them a scalp massage.
- Used a sticky lint roller to gather loose hair from their head. (Seems weird, but they say it works!)
- Slept in a recliner on nights that their head felt extra sensitive because it relieved the weight on their head.
- Pat their head dry when they got out of the shower instead of rubbing it dry.
- Used a regular bar of soap instead of shampoo on their head.
- Bought 100% cotton hats to wear.
- Asked their doctor if they experienced any scalp sores.
- Were referred to a rash specialist by their oncologist that helped them care for more extreme side effects from hair loss.

If you are looking for hair loss accessories, the American Cancer Society has a page on Where to Find Hair Loss Accessories including places to order wigs, hats, sleep caps, bandanas, scarves, turbans, and other accessories. It might be helpful to do some trial and error. WhatNexter’s have had to remind themselves that it is just hair and it will grow back!

“I am about a year out of chemo and I'm sitting here with the fullest head of hair! It's still short hair, but good healthy thick hair. I focused on what made me comfortable for a while, and then all of sudden, found a freedom and strength in that. I knew it would grow back and this would be behind me!” -debco148, Breast Cancer, Stage II

Related Questions: I am going through chemotherapy and my hair hurts. What should I do?
My hair is beginning to fall out. What should I do next?
How do you take care of your scalp during chemotherapy?
What do you do about scalp sores?

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