If you are going through the process of chemotherapy, you may be experiencing hair loss. This can be difficult to deal with during this hard time in your life and can make you feel as if you are losing a huge part of yourself. Here's what you need to know about hair loss and how you can cope with it:
Why Chemotherapy Causes Hair Loss:
Chemotherapy is designed to kill growing cells, which includes hair follicles. Unfortunately, hair loss does occur for a number of people, but it affects people in different ways. For example, you may only experience hair thinning instead of complete hair loss. Typically, hair loss or thinning occurs within two weeks of chemotherapy treatment. You should also be aware that hair loss doesn't just happen on your head. Hair loss can also affect eyebrows, arm hair, leg hairs, and more.
How to Cope with Hair Loss:
When you begin to experience hair loss, there are a quite a few ways to deal with it, such as:
- Using a mild shampoo
- Avoiding putting your hair up in a ponytail
- Using a satin pillow cover
- Not using hair dryers or hair dyes
By avoiding harsh treatment of your hair, you can keep it healthier and potentially fuller during your time of chemotherapy. Although you may still experience hair loss, you can at least keep your hair around for a longer period of time.
How to Potentially Prevent Hair Loss:
It is uncertain whether you can truly prevent hair loss. However, there are a couple of methods that people have used that they believe helped them to avoid it. These methods include:
- Scalp Cooling: While undergoing chemotherapy, you can apply a cool towel over your head. The idea behind this is that it contracts the blood vessels so that the medications administered during chemotherapy do not reach the hair follicles. You may want to talk to your doctor about this to determine if scalp cooling is right for you. Some believe that scalp cooling can prevent the chemotherapy from working properly since it can potentially prevent the medications from killing cancerous cells.
- Scalp Massaging: Scalp massaging is another way to potentially avoid hair loss. Although there is no proof that this helps, it can at least be comforting during this difficult time.
Understanding hair loss can help you to better cope with it when undergoing chemotherapy. Just be sure that you are prepared for it and purchase a hair cover before you go through the treatment.