Coping with hair loss during cancer treatment

Losing your hair during cancer treatment can be a very emotional time, and how you feel about it is deeply personal.

For many people, hair is a big part of our identity. Some people find losing their hair extremely distressing, while others find it liberating.

You can talk to your doctor about wearing a scalp cooling cap during treatment to help minimise hair loss. If that’s not for you, there are many things you can do to help you manage your hair loss.

If you do experience hair loss, below are the top five top tips from our Facebook community on how to stay positive and confident during your treatment and beyond.

1. Try and keep hair loss in perspective

Know that your hair will grow back, and you are still you until it does. Be patient and know that when it does grow back, although it may look slightly different to how it did before, it will grow back healthy.

As difficult as it may be, try to accept it and embrace your new look. Once you accept losing your hair, you can put your energy elsewhere. Remember, you can do this.

2. Take control

Consider shaving your hair as soon as it starts to fall out. For many patients, shaving their hair was one thing they could have control over. This can be really empowering during a time when there is so much happening to your body that you can’t control. It also means you won’t have to deal with it falling out in stages which can be upsetting for some people, especially if it falls out during the night or when you wash it.

Involve your friends and family to mark it as a positive milestone in your cancer recovery.

3. Look to the future

Remind yourself that losing your hair means that the treatment is doing its job. It’s not the cancer itself that makes your hair fall out, but the cancer treatment killing off the cancer cells.

Losing your hair is another step towards beating your cancer.

4. Consider trying a new look

You may wish to try wearing a wig or invest in some colourful headscarves or turbans and match them with a bright lipstick. In cooler weather, you could wear a cap or a beanie.

There are lots of comfortable options such as bamboo, cotton and silk, or you could even knit or crochet your own.

5. Embrace the new you

Losing your hair doesn’t mean you can’t still look or feel attractive.

Wear your new look with pride. You’ve earned it.

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