You are here: Home Day to Day Living How To Look Good ... Hair Loss From ... Summary
Information about all aspects of finances affected by a serious health condition. Includes income sources such as work, investments, and private and government disability programs, and expenses such as medical bills, and how to deal with financial problems.
Information about all aspects of health care from choosing a doctor and treatment, staying safe in a hospital, to end of life care. Includes how to obtain, choose and maximize health insurance policies.
Answers to your practical questions such as how to travel safely despite your health condition, how to avoid getting infected by a pet, and what to say or not say to an insurance company.

Hair Loss From Treatment And How To Deal With It


Next »


Chemotherapy, radiation and certain drug treatments may cause hair loss (alopecia) or a change in the texture or color of your hair.

  • If you have chemotherapy and other drug treatments, hair loss can happen on your scalp, face, arms, legs, underarm and pubic area. 
  • If you have radiation treatment, hair loss is only on the part of the body that is being treated.

The extent of hair loss depends on the specific treatment and your individual response to it. 

Intense scalp tenderness for a day or two often signals hair loss.(The tenderness will go away when hair starts to fall out.)  Hair does not generally fall out all at once. It generally sheds over several days or weeks or longer, coming out in handfuls or patches when you wash or comb your hair. Sometimes hair comes out just from touching it. For some people, hair loss happens in less than one day.

Your doctor can tell you if your treatment is likely to cause hair loss.

Before the start of treatment which may have hair loss as a side effect,, it is advisable to do the following:

  • Decide how you want to handle hair loss if it happens. Hair replacement alternatives include wigs, going bald, hats and caps, scarves and turbans. You can switch back and forth among the various alternatives. 
    • Shaving your head before chemotherapy-induced hair loss begins reduces the mess from falling hair. It also can act as a measure of control, which can help with coping.   
    • If you are going to use a wig, purchase one while you still have hair so you can make a match.  Free wigs are available if cost is an issue.
  • Learn proven tips for caring for your hair during treatment. For instance, you can hold on to as much hair as possible for as long as possible by wearing something like a hairnet or soft night cap to sleep, keeping your hands away from  your hair, and not washing it.
  • If you have lhair that isat least 10 inches long, consider cutting it and donating the hair to a group such as Locks of Love offsite link which makes wigs for children for free or on a discounted basis.


  • Free or low cost wigs are available.
  • For tax purposes, wigs are "Medical Expenses" if your doctor writes a prescription for "Hair Prosthesis" or "Hair prosthesis required because of hair loss caused by cancer treatment."

Some people feel more in control of the situation by cutting off all hair when hair first starts to fall out. This alternative saves the possibility of clogging drains and hair on the pillow when you wake up.

If you lose all your hair:

  • Remember that hair will almost always grow back after treatment ends, although it may be a different texture or even color.
  • Keep your scalp moisturized and protected from the sun.
  • If you have a garden, collect your hair and leave strands in bushes and trees. Birds will use it to make soft nests.

Hair loss may be one of the first outwardly obvious physical signs of a health condition. Women often have a more difficult time dealing with hair loss than men since they are not usually used to seeing themselves or other women without hair. Share emotions with family and friends, and possibly a support group and/or cancer buddy - it does help.

If the fear of potential hair loss is keeping you from undergoing chemotherapy, consider scalp cooling devices which are currently only available outside the United States. Cold caps lower the blood flow in the scalp which decreases the amount of chemotherapy drugs which reach the hair follicles on your head. The concept behind the caps is that the less drug that reaches your hair, the less likely the hair is to fall out. Cold caps are only suitable for certain drugs and certain types of cancer. There is no guarantee that cold caps will prevent hair thinning or loss for everyone. Since the device is not FDA approved, proceed only with extreme caution. To learn more, see: offsite link

For additional information see:

To Learn More

Please share how this information is useful to you. 0 Comments


Post a Comment Have something to add to this topic? Contact Us.

Characters remaining:

  • Allowed markup: <a> <i> <b> <em> <u> <s> <strong> <code> <pre> <p>
    All other tags will be stripped.