How Can I Prepare For Hair Loss?

When faced with a cancer diagnosis, and a treatment plan that could result in hair loss, we understand that this can be an extremely difficult time. Hair can make up such a huge part of our identity, and whether we like it or not, is a part of our daily routine from a very young age. From having a head full of hair to tame daily, to the potential of it falling out during your treatment, there is sure to be some adjustment time. We have compiled a short list of things that you can do before your chemotherapy or medical treatment begins, to try to help with the changes you may experience.

Woman Getting Hair Cut At Salon - Cutting Hair Shorter To Help With Hair Loss Shock
  1. Cut your hair shorter
    You may consider cutting your hair shorter before your hair begins to fall out from treatment. If you’ve always had long hair, having a large change of style and length, right before another large change (hair loss) might minimise the shock. It may also be less overwhelming with shorter hair coming out as opposed to long strands at a time. Short hair can also make your hair look and feel thicker.

    Rack of hanging Wigs - How To Prepare For Hair Loss
  2. Purchase some headwear or wigs and familiarize yourself with them
    Pre-purchasing some wigs or headwear and familiarising yourself with how to use them prior to your cancer treatment means you may be more comfortable with wearing and styling them when the time comes to use them. If you’re already overwhelmed with the hair loss you are facing, it can be an added pressure to learn how to use these items if you leave it until the hair loss has begun. You can view our range of comfortable and stylish cancer headwear on our website or visit our shopfront in Officer to view our large selection of high-quality wigs.

    Woman Shampooing Hair Carefully - Prepare For Hair Loss By Looking After Your Hair With Quality Natural Products
  3. Look after your hair and scalp
    To help prevent hair loss, treating your hair delicately and carefully may help to delay some of the hair loss. Try to avoid harsh styling products, heat and chemical treatments and rough towel drying. Wash your hair with natural and gentle products and use a wide tooth comb when brushing to reduce tension and pulling on the hair follicles. You may find that once treatment has begun your scalp might get quite sensitive, so just be gentle and look after your body!

    Woman speaking with her family
  4. Reach out to your support network, family and friends
    This can be a difficult time for you, and we know that your friends and family will want to support you through this. Don’t be afraid to open up and speak with them about how you’re feeling. They may also feel a little unsure about how to discuss hair loss with you, so if you can bring it up first and openly talk about it (if happy to) it may assist in starting the conversions to help you feel more comfortable.

    Reach out on cancer support groups - Woman typing on laptop
  5. Join a hair loss support group
    There are many places to go for resources and support on hair loss outside of your inner circle. These will include people who have been through a similar experience and can share their own stories and journey with you. Sometimes it can be reassuring to know that you are not alone. Speak to your hospital or GP who can put you in touch with medical or local groups, or you can seek out support groups on social media.

  6. Positive body talk
    To help to provide yourself with positive support when undergoing hair loss, you may consider getting some stickers or affirmation cards to place around your home or take with you to treatments. Place body-positive sticky notes in places where you will see them each morning and evening to stay optimistic. Search on Spotify, Listnr, or Apple Podcasts for body-positive and encouraging podcasts from inspirational women. You could also create a Pinterest board, specifically around beautiful bald women, beautiful headwear and wig tips and tricks to have a positive space to visit and view when you’re feeling down or confused about your hair loss experience.

These are by no means a must-do when you are undergoing chemotherapy or treatment that may result in hair loss. However, from our own experience and from talking with others, these are some suggestions which, if comfortable, may help you with the adjustment and make your experience a little bit easier.


Some additional hair loss FAQ’s

Why does hair fall out when undergoing chemotherapy?
Hair falls out as a result of the chemotherapy and other treatments targeting fast growing cells in the body – including hair cells.

Does everyone’s hair fall out?
People’s experiences with hair loss vary, however your hair loss will mostly depend on the type and strength of treatment you are undergoing. Your doctor can help to manage your expectations around hair loss based on the treatment plan they are prescribing.

Can I stop hair loss?

Scalp cooling is a treatment being investigated to determine if this is successful in preventing hair loss safely, and the use of Rogaine and hair growth treatments while in recovery have been thought to speed up the hair growth process. At this stage, there is no safe or proven method to stop hair loss when undergoing some medical treatments. The priority is your health, and recovering from your cancer or illness, so take your time to look after your body first and foremost.


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