Medically Induced Hair Loss
Hair loss may be one of the more difficult aspects of some medical treatments. Our self-image affects our self-esteem, and when we loose our hair it may be emotionally upsetting. Being educated and understanding your options will support you in making accurate choices that feel right for you. Each individual’s experience is different and preparing in advance will support you in dealing with the cosmetic issues you may experience. Speak with your doctor to determine in advance the amount of hair loss, if any, you can expect.
Chemotherapy and radiation treatment related hair loss is usually temporary, depending on the type of treatment you receive. Hair loss may occur during the first few weeks after your first treatment and will begin to grow back a month or so after your final treatment. The growing process will seem slow at first, since few of us have ever experienced near total hair loss before. The color and texture may seem different than you remember, however, it almost always returns to its original condition and color.
A full wig may be the most emotionally supportive investment you make during your treatment. Looking as much like “you” as possible will contribute to your overall comfort and self-esteem. Your physician, nurse or oncologist would be a place to start when considering your hair loss options. They may have information regarding hair loss consultants in your area. Should you decide to participate in a support group, speak with others in the group about their experience and request referral information.
To avoid the discomfort of shedding hair, many people choose to have their head shaved in the very early stages of hair loss. Many of our clients have expressed a freedom as a result of the shaving process, mentioning they feel more in control and are relieved that they do not have to deal with all their hair falling out. Shaving is most often the choice when excessive hair loss is experienced.
If you are planning to purchase a wig plan ahead, arrange an appointment with a hair replacement professional as soon after you know that you are going to loose your hair as possible. A qualified professional will be able to guide you through the process, insuring the fit and comfort as well as the color, density, length and style. Most often we suggest that the aesthetic elements reflect the hairstyle and color of your own hair, prior to the medication, to insure your personal comfort. Make an inquiry with your insurance provider, they may cover all or a portion of the expense. Read these helpful tips prior to filing a claim with your insurance provider.
Making an informed, educated choice
•Visit a hair loss consultant prior to your hair loss. This will provide the professional with accurate color samples as well as an opportunity to observe your current hairstyle.
•Request to see wig samples. Examine the interior to determine comfort, comfort and fit are very important.
•Synthetic hair is often an appropriate choice for anyone needing coverage for the period of approximately one year. If you know you will be without hair longer than one year a human hair wig may be a consideration. Ask to see both human hair and synthetic wigs to compare. A hand tied front and top may be more desirable. Request to see both machine made and hand tied.
•As with all personal experiences comfort is important. A private, secure environment along with trained hair loss consultants will greatly enhance your visit. Professional advice, both technical and aesthetic will provide the most attractive and comfortable results.
If you would like more information about how we can help, please contact us to schedule a complimentary consultation.
For more information on hair loss, please see our Links page, where you will find links to groups specializing in different hair loss situations.