One of the most common side effects of chemotherapy is losing one's hair. For many women, their hair is their crowning glory, and it is often one of the defining factors of womanhood and femininity. For a woman who maybe have breast, uterine, or ovarian cancer, losing all or part of their reproductive organs is more than enough. Losing their hair on top of it just seems like adding insult to injury.
Obviously, when one is fighting for their lives, hair is the least of their concerns, but it can still be psychologically difficult and stressful. While there are no guarantees, there are some things you can do to lessen the likelihood of losing all of your hair and feel better about yourself while you go through this process, such as:
Treat Your Hair With Kid Gloves
Don't color or perm your hair. Skip the curling irons, straighteners, and blow dryers. Even shampoos can be harsh on your hair. Washing your hair daily isn't a necessity for most people. Even if it tends to be oily, simply rinsing it is usually good enough. Wrap your hair in a towel to absorb excess moisture and then allow it to air dry. Rather than using a comb or brush, use your fingers to gently work through it once your hair is completely dry. You may also want to consider getting your hair cut shorter as well, which can help thinning hair look fuller.
Buy A Wig
While this may sound counterintuitive, buy a wig while you still have all of your hair. A wig is already styled, and since you won't be styling your natural hair while you go through the chemotherapy process, a wig will help you feel better about yourself. It's hard to walk past a mirror and catch a glimpse of yourself when you aren't looking your best. It gets even harder once your hair starts thinning or falling out. If you get a wig while you still have your own hair, the transition will be easier for you. It will also help the wig specialist fit you for the right kind of wig.
Exposing your scalp to a cold temperature can lessen your hair loss. This works by the cold constricting the scalp's blood vessels, which prevents damage to the scalp. Women used to do this by using ice packs, but nowadays there are products called chemo cold caps that are made specifically for this purpose.