Coping With Hair Loss
Hair loss is a common side effect of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. It occurs because these
treatments affect normal cells as well as cancer cells. Not all types of chemotherapy and radiation
therapy cause hair loss, but if it does happen, these tips can help.
Oncology: Coping with Hair Loss
Making Hair Loss Easier
• Get a short haircut to make hair loss seem less sudden.
• Use soft brushes and mild shampoos.
• Towel dry your hair. Or set your hair dryer on low heat.
• Don’t color or perm your hair.
• Have a wig made before hair loss occurs. Buy one or find out
how you can borrow one.
• Fill in missing patches of eyebrow with a makeup pencil.
When You’ve Lost Your Hair
• Wear a hat, scarf, or turban. Doing so can protect
your scalp as well as make hair loss less obvious.
• Have someone shave the remaining patches if your hair loss
has been uneven.
• Expect that there may be changes in the color or
texture of hair that grows back after treatment ends.
Taking Care of Your Scalp
• Use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 on your scalp any time you go outside. Wear hats and
• Keep your scalp clean.
• See a skin doctor about any changes in skin color.
• Ask your doctor to suggest a mild shampoo and lotion.
• If you wear a wig, take it off for a while each day. This allows the skin on your head to breathe.