Chemo hair loss is an unfortunate part of cancer, but it’s not the end of the world.
Chemotherapy is a commonly used treatment for cancer. If you have been diagnosed with cancer and you’re going through chemotherapy treatment, or you’re due to start treatment soon, you may be battling the side-effects or worrying about how treatment will affect your general well-being, your health and energy levels and your appearance. It’s well-documented that some people experience adverse reactions to chemotherapy drugs, and experiencing effects like hair loss can be distressing at a time that is already incredibly challenging. If you’re worried about losing your hair or you’re considering treatment options for hair loss after chemotherapy, hopefully, this guide will prove useful.
Chemotherapy and Hair Loss
Most of us take our health and beauty for granted until something happens that makes you reevaluate your life. You may never have realized how precious your hair is to you until you start seeing loose pieces or notice bald spots as a result of going through chemotherapy treatment. While some people deal with hair loss very well, for many, it can be very distressing. Chemotherapy causes hair loss because as well as targeting cancer cells, the drugs also destroy some healthy cells, including cells in the roots of the hair. This prevents regrowth for a temporary period, as well as causing the hair to fall out. You may experience hair loss all over your body.
Some chemotherapy drugs are more likely to result in hair loss than others, and the dosage can also affect the speed and severity of hair thinning. Everyone is different, but most people start to notice their hair falling out 2-4 weeks after the beginning of the chemotherapy course. At first, you may find that there are pieces of hair on your pillow when you wake up or that your brush fills up much quicker when you comb or wash your hair. Hair loss often continues throughout treatment, but in most cases, hair will grow back once treatment is completed.
Hair Growth after Chemotherapy
In the majority of cases, people who have had chemotherapy treatment lose their hair during treatment and then find that it starts to grow back once the course finishes. To begin with, your hair may look and feel different. Some people find that their hair grows back a slightly different shade and it’s also common for the hair to be curlier or straighter than normal. It is also possible for the hair to be gray when it grows back, even if you didn’t have any gray hairs before you started chemotherapy treatment. This is because it can take time for the cells that control the pigment color to work properly again.
Dealing with hair loss: are extensions an option?
No matter how mentally prepared you are for hair loss when it comes to finding hair on your pillow or your brush, it can be very upsetting. Even if you know that you’re going to lose your hair, when it actually happens, it can be difficult to process. For many people, the hair is part of their identity and losing it knocks their confidence. When you look in the mirror, and you don’t look like you anymore, this can be tough to take, especially when you’re going through treatment, you’re worried about the future, and you’re trying to cope with other side-effects. Although chemotherapy usually causes temporary hair loss, it can take a long time for the hair to grow back, and if you’re used to having long, flowing locks, you may not want to hang around waiting for your natural hair to grow.
If you have been through chemotherapy and you’re desperate to have long, healthy, glossy hair again, one option you may consider is . You can’t have extensions during treatment, but once your hair starts to grow back, it is possible to have extensions fitted to add length and body. Most salons will offer extensions once the hair has reached about 4-5 inches in length.
Hair extensions can be made from natural human hair, and the difference they can make is amazing, especially if your lack of hair has been getting you down. Many people say that they feel like their old self again and their new hair gives them a confidence boost. Hair loss can be an outward sign of cancer, and for some, having healthy, shiny locks makes them feel like a ‘normal’ person again. You can go to the shops or arrange a lunch date without worrying about whether to wear a scarf or a wig or to be brave showing off your natural hair and you don’t have to feel apprehensive about people looking at you or feeling sorry for you.
The Benefits of Hair Extensions After Chemotherapy Treatment
You may not even give styling your hair a second thought when you’re in a rush to get out of the door, but the reality is that most of us would miss our hair terribly if it suddenly started to fall out. Your hair can make you look and feel great, and without it, you may feel like you don’t look or feel like you anymore. Although it’s prevalent for the hair to grow back after chemotherapy, it can take a long time for the hair to reach the length you had it before the start of treatment. Many people also find that their hair is completely different when it starts to grow back. For some, the hair feels wiry, and it’s a lot curlier than it was before, and for others, it may be completely straight when they had curly hair before. The color can also vary. Hair extensions give you the opportunity to enjoy thicker, longer hair much faster. A few hours in the salon can provide you with gorgeous, glossy locks that would have taken months to grow. The hair that is used for extensions is usually much healthier than your natural hair following treatment, as chemo hair loss can make the hair thinner and more brittle than normal.
Having hair extensions will have an incredible impact on your look, but most importantly, it can also boost your confidence. After weeks or months of treatment, you may be feeling depressed, and you’re probably not feeling as confident about your appearance as you did before chemotherapy. New hair can give you back your confidence and enable you to feel more comfortable in your own skin. You may find that you’re more outgoing with your new hair, and you don’t find it as daunting to be around others.
Tips for Choosing the Best Extensions
If you’re thinking about having hair extensions after chemotherapy treatment, it’s wise to look for salons that have experience in treating people who have had chemo. They understand how the hair grows back and they’ll be able to give you answers to your questions. With extensions, it’s always worth paying for high-quality. You want a professional job and hair that looks and feels beautiful. Search for stylists with experience and have a look at portfolios to see different images and styles and get an idea of what you can expect. Speak to your stylist about what you want, and they’ll be able to give you some recommendations. Before you have your extensions fitted, your stylist will look at your scalp to make sure that extensions are suitable.
If your hair is growing, you may be worried that having extensions will interfere with regrowth. However, having extensions fitted should not have any impact on the natural process of your hair growing back. You can choose from different lengths, and your stylist can talk to you about colors and shades. It’s usually not advisable to color hair for at least six weeks after the final chemotherapy session.
If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of walking around with no hair or very short hair once your treatment is over and the hair has started to grow back, you may be wondering what you can do to feel more confident. During treatment, it’s not possible to have extensions, but you could consider wearing a wig. In times gone by, the selection of wigs was very limited, and the quality was generally rather poor. However, today, there’s a wider range of styles available, and some look incredibly lifelike. It’s worth trying some different styles and seeing how they suit you and how you feel when you look in the mirror. Wigs aren’t a permanent solution, but they can help you to feel more confident during treatment.
Chemotherapy can cause several side-effects, but most people are acutely aware of hair loss. Losing your hair can make you feel like you’ve lost your identity and it can have such a profound impact on your confidence and self-esteem. If you have been through chemotherapy and your hair has started to grow back, but you long for a healthy, full head of hair again, hair extensions could be an option. This is a means of getting gorgeous hair in an instant, and it can make a positive difference to your well-being. If you are considering having extensions, it’s hugely beneficial to look for a salon with expertise and experience in treating people who have been through chemotherapy.