Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy uses drugs that destroy cancer cells but also damage healthy cells including those cells found in the hair follicles, which means that some of the drugs used can cause hair loss not only on the head but all over the body, this in itself to some, is more traumatic than the cancer itself, as it is so visual.

The hair loss usually begins two to three weeks after the first dosage of chemotherapy, the scalp can begin to feel tight and tender to the touch and the hair will come out gradually over a few days, it is advisable to shave the hair off completely rather than sit watching it fall out over a period of time.

The hair loss is only temporary and depending on the type of drugs being used during the treatment can sometimes begin to come back whilst still undergoing treatment.
Who's Affected?
Men women and children can all be affected by hair loss often caused by one of the following:-
  • Side effects of chemotherapy
  • Alopecia
  • Male pattern baldness
  • Trichotillomania
  • Side effects of prescription drugs such as thyroid drugs or drugs for anaemia
  • Other causes of hair loss be stress or simply old age
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Frequently Asked Questions
  • I am starting a course of chemotherapy and have been told that the drugs will cause my hair to fall out, when should I start to look for a wig?
    We would always advise looking for a wig before starting chemotherapy, as most people want a wig that looks as close to their own hair style and colour as possible, it is important therefore for the stylist to see the look that you are trying to achieve.
  • At what stage will I lose my hair?
    Hair will start to fall out within the first few days after chemotherapy to within a few weeks, depending on the type of chemotherapy you are receiving, for example we have found that with the drugs given for most breast cancers the hair will begin to fall out 17 days after the first chemotherapy. Not all drugs cause hair loss some just cause the hair to thin but your consultant will be able to advise you on the effects of your particular chemotherapy.
  • Which are the best synthetic or human hair Wigs?
    This is down to personal preference and budget. Some people like the fact that with human hair you can blow dry, straighten or roller it and change the look depending on your mood, however human hair is obviously expensive. Synthetic hair wigs are very low maintenance, you simply wash them in warm water give them a shake and leave them to dry.
  • Will my hair grow back?
    Your hair will grow back after treatment, although to start with your hair will be very fine, very much like baby hair, although overtime it will thicken up and you can expect your normal growth pattern to return.