Hair loss and choosing a wig

Hair loss is one of the greatest fears of breast cancer patients. Indeed, some of the medications used in the treatment of breast cancer can damage hair follicles. This leads to complete or partial loss of head and body hair. Besides, radiation therapy can also have a negative effect on hair, especially when it is directed at the head and neck areas. 

At the same time, it is worth knowing that not all patients lose hair during the treatment. Even taking the same drug does not imply there will be the same side effects. Therefore, among the patients who are prescribed the same medication, some might lose hair while others – might not.

Hair loss usually begins 1-3 weeks following chemotherapy and reaches its peak in 1-2 months. At the same time the skin of the head becomes very sensitive and requires gentle care and bathing.

The good news is that in most cases hair begins to grow back even before the treatment is over. That said, the new hair might have a different color, be curlier or straighter, thicker, or thinner. However, this change is usually temporary. 

Advice for the duration of treatment: 

* Use a soft brush to brush your hair.

* Choose a shampoo that will not irritate the skin. 

* When the hair begins to fall out, cut it short.

* Once you have lost hair, apply sunscreen to the skin of the head to protect it from sunburns.  

Wigs

Whether to wear a wig is a matter for each woman to decide. Some patients try to preserve their usual appearance and choose wigs. Others prefer light scarfs, handkerchiefs, caps, and bandanas. Sometimes patients don’t choose either option, and simply do not cover their head. Each option has a right to exist.

If you decide to wear a wig, here are a few recommendations:

– Choose a wig even before you lose your hair. This will allow you to make the best choice – one that will match your appearance as close as possible. 

– To choose a wig of the same hue as your hair, look at the color of the hair on top of your head. 

– You may choose a wig with the same haircut and color as your own hair. Or you can experiment and choose a color or haircut that you have never had.

– Try a few options until you find the one you like the most.

– Synthetic wigs are easier to style and care for, than the wigs made of natural hair. They also cost less.

– Wigs made of natural hair can be cut, styled, and dyed just like your own hair. This wig lasts longer, but may react to weather changes, require restoration, or more frequent styling.  

– Use special wig care products.

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