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What causes a patient to lose their hair?
The chemotherapy drugs are so powerful that they attack growing cells in your body. Unfortunately hair, all hair, is a growing cell. Depending on the type of medication and dose, it can cause anything from thinning to baldness.
When does the hair typically grow back?
This is different for everyone but several weeks after your last treatment.
Can the hair texture change with new hair growth?
Typically the hair comes back with a different texture and sometimes color. It can be curlier, straighter or even grey. The difference however is usually temporary.
What causes the change in texture?
The cells that control the pigment and texture need time to begin functioning again after treatment. The different texture and color is usually temporary.
Is the hair strong enough to sustain chemicals such as relaxers, hair color or lightener?
Typically the new hair growth is fragile. It is recommended not to use chemicals until the new hair shows strength. If you’re a hair stylist, remind your client to be patient and suggest alternative ways to style utilizing hats, wigs, scarfs and other hair accessories.
Is it safe to take vitamins that will help the hair grow faster?
There are many hair supplements available, many that are all natural and 100% drug free. (For example Nutrafol and Viviscal)
**** We do not recommend taking any drug or supplement without a doctors advisement.
It's important to remember not to judge.
Try not to use comments like “don’t worry its just hair”, or “it will grow back.” Cancer patients know that but this isn’t about logic, it’s tied to emotion in so many ways. For some it even brings to reality of what’s really going on. Many even cry which is understandable. Be a good listener. Let them know that you are sorry for what they are experiencing, and ask if they need a moment or even a hug.
Help them Accessorize
Remind a client that before they purchase accessories or baseball caps, they should wait until the hair loss is complete. The hats for example will fit much smaller once there is no hair on the head. As well as accessories will not feel same.
Should I just shave my head? What's the best way to ease into this?
Coping with hair loss is a very personal issue. It can be emotional for both women and men alike. Some people in anticipation of losing their hair decide to shave it rather than wait and watch the process happen. It is recommended if you decide to do this (particularly if you are in treatment) that you use a good shaver (preferably new or well sanitized) with a guard. It is best not to use a razor or blade where you have the potential to get nicked or cut, as open wounds could be a site for potential infection. It is best to use a guard with the clippers. You will have some little stubbles left and those will fall out when your hair loss begins and can often be wiped away with a wet towel once the process has begun as well. If you choose to cut their hair, particularly if it is long and ease into the process. This could be the time (if interested) to get the cut you always wanted to try. Maybe even try a new color, just make sure you allow yourself enough time to enjoy the experience before the hair begins to fall out. If you choose to let the process happen. First you will start to see more hair in the shower and in your brush, then you will be able to run your hands through your hair and and with no tugging or pain will be able to pull out handfuls. The more you brush it and touch it the faster it will come out. You can shave even after the process has begun too. Just use the same plan as stated above (no razors or blades).
Where do I find a wig?
There are multiple resources online for wig options. The important part is to make sure you take correct measurements of your head without your hair for the best fit possible. Our favorite resources for wigs are listed below.
How much do wigs cost?
Depending on the type of wig you are looking for, synthetic or 100% human hair, the price range can vary dramatically. Please email [email protected] for additional information.
Are there different types of wigs?
The wig industry has done a great job of creating options for all circumstances. There’re full lace wigs, falls, half wigs, hat wigs and the list goes on. Click the link below to gather additional info about the wig that is right for you.
How do I wash a wig?
With just a few easy steps the wig can be cleaned at home. Please see the video below for a step by step how to.
Should I get extensions?
A general rule with bonded style extensions is that they can be an option with at least 4 inches of natural hair growth. Please consult a licensed professional.
For example the Great Lengths website:
What kind are the best for gentle fragile hair?
We strongly recommend the keratin bond style extensions. Great Lengths started their company with the cancer community in mind, creating bonds that allow moisture and swelling to occur naturally within the bond as to ensure no breakage occurs on your natural hair.
Will the extensions help the hair grow out?
Whether you choose bonded or clip ins, extensions can be a great way to help in growing out your hair. Extensions offer instant results with fullness and length options to help during the growing out phases.
What are Cold Caps?
Cold Cap Therapy is a drug free and non-invasive technique of scalp cooling, proven to be successful in minimizing hair loss.
For additional information:
What is the best way to take care of my hair forever post chemo?
Along with your doctors recommendations, ask about taking a natural supplement specific to your hair such as Nutrafol or Viviscal. Also, staying away from heat styling products and a lot color will help with your hairs overall health.
Are there any salons that I can go to that know how to work with patients going thru chemo or post chemo?
Please see our list of BeYOUtiful stylists to find one in your area!
Are there any stylists or salons that might offer their services or discounts to patients that cant afford hair cuts and extensions post chemo?
Absolutely! BeYOUtiful Day events are happening all over the nation. Check our foundations calendar for a list of those days, locations and stylists.
Are there any stylists that I can talk to about wigs or places I can go to for wigs?
The resources listed here are a great start to help answer any questions. Step by step wig applications can be found here as well.
Do you have questions that are not answered above? Links that we’re helpful to you? Submit your questions and/or suggestions now to [email protected] We will do our absolute best to post and answer your questions. Thanks so much for all the LOVE and support.
*As always, these are our findings and information that was helpful for us. We 100% of the time recommend consulting with your physician.