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How to Cope with Hair Loss During Chemotherapy?

Losing hair is an understandable concern for many undergoing chemotherapy. It's a visible side effect of cancer treatment that can affect one's self-image, confidence, and sense of normalcy.

While each patient's response to chemotherapy is unique, many find that preparation and a positive approach can alleviate some of the impact hair loss has on their life. So, let's explore some strategies for dealing with hair loss and embracing the changes that accompany treatment.


Understanding Hair Loss in Chemotherapy

Before diving into coping mechanisms, it's important to recognize that hair loss, or alopecia, due to chemotherapy happens because the powerful medications involved cannot distinguish between cancer cells and other fast-growing cells in the body—like those in hair follicles. This can lead to hair weakening and eventually falling out. It's not just the hair on your head, but eyebrows, eyelashes, and other bodily hair as well.

Preparing for Hair Loss
Mental Preparation
  • Expect it: Coming to terms with the likelihood of hair loss before it begins can make the experience less shocking.
  • Find support: Seek out support groups or counselling services offered through your treatment centre or online communities.
Physical Preparation
  • Gentle hair care: Use mild shampoos, soft brushes, and avoid harsh treatments to manage existing hair.
  • Consider a shorter haircut: Some people find that shorter hair is less distressing when it starts to fall out.
  • Scalp cooling: Although not always effective or available, talk to your oncologist about scalp cooling caps that can sometimes reduce hair loss.
Managing Hair Loss
Embrace Headwear

From stylish hats and colorful scarves to comfortable wigs, headwear can protect your scalp and offer you an opportunity to express your personal style. Many find comfort in the variety that wigs and scarves allow, helping them regain control over their appearance.

Skincare for the Scalp

Without hair, your scalp needs protection from the sun and elements. Moisturize regularly with hypoallergenic lotions, and use sunscreen or hats when outdoors.

Emotional Support

Lean on friends, family, and support networks during this time. Share your feelings and experiences. Often, a shared burden feels lighter.


Accepting hair loss as a step towards healing can be empowering. Some choose to shave their head early on as a way to assert agency in the treatment process.

Life After Hair Loss
Wig Customization

If choosing a wig, familiarize yourself with the variety of styles and materials available, and consider having one custom-fitted and styled.

Eyebrows and Eyelashes

Learn makeup techniques to draw eyebrows and use false lashes. There are many online tutorials and workshops available for cancer patients.

Hair Regrowth

Post-chemotherapy, hair may grow back differently at first—in texture, color, and thickness. Be patient and gentle with new growth, and continue using mild haircare products.


Though difficult, hair loss due to chemotherapy is temporary for most. Keeping focused on your treatment and recovery is paramount. Remember that your strength shines not from your hair, but from your courageous spirit during the face of adversity.

A Message of Hope

Your journey through chemotherapy and hair loss is deeply personal, yet you're not alone. Support and resources are available, and your medical team is there to guide you through each step. Keep hope at the forefront and know that this chapter is just one part of your larger, brave story of survival.