Will I Lose my Hair?

Hair loss does not happen to everyone.

Right now it is important to clarify whether or not hair loss is likely to happen to you. If you have only just been diagnosed, you may have not yet been offered treatment options. Once you know, the Oncologist and/or nurses can tell you if the treatment you will be receiving which is specific to you, will result in total hair loss or just thinning of the hair.

It is a common misunderstanding that all chemotherapy treatments cause hair loss, in practice they do not.

Once you receive this information it is highly advisable to come into us before treatment starts to pick out your prosthesis.

Does It Hurt When The Hair Falls Out?

Why does it hurt?
If you do experience this, whilst not pleasant, it is normal and will normally stop once the hair has all fallen out. It can be explained by understanding that your skin may be more sensitive as a result of chemotherapy and that when the hair is moving through the dermis (skin) layer and as it falls out can be that little bit extra sensitive for some. In our experience, people with long thick hair may experience this more, as the weight of the hair is putting extra pressure on the scalp.

What can I do to help reduce the sensitivity?
There are a few things that you can do to help reduce the sensitivity

  • Do not tie the hair back into a bun / ponytail
  • If you have long hair, consider getting it cut short
  • Do not wash your hair in a shower, as the pressure of the water pelting down on the scalp can cause the scalp to become tender
  • When washing your hair do not vigorously rub but just gently massage
  • Do not dry the hair with the hairdryer on a high heat
  • Gently comb the hair
  • Use a gentle shampoo without any chemicals or fragrances

It is at this stage, many of our clients will make an appointment to get their hair cut shorter or even a pixie hair style, as they do not wish to see their hair fall out and also helps to reduce sensitivity. As our clients have come into us and picked out their prosthesis before any hair loss, at this stage they will wear it home.

Should I shave my hair?
If you experience sensitivity to the scalp, it is advised not to shave your hair, as it can make the scalp inflamed, very sensitive to the touch and can become very dry and itchy.

When will my new hair grow back?

Regrowth of your new hair will generally start after you have finished the treatment that affects your hair.

At what speed does new hair grow?

The growth rate of hair can vary from person to person a great deal. The average hair grows at approximately half an inch (1.25centimetres) a month. It’s important to remember that following chemotherapy the hair nearly always grows back but it can take a while.

For most people, once treatment has finished the first new hairs can peek through quite quickly, usually this means that the new hair is visible within a matter of two to three weeks. Following treatment your body may be run down and depleted of nutrients this can be part of the reason why it takes a little longer than normal to grow.

The hair growth often returns to a quicker and more stable rate once the body has recovered and regenerated. This may feel frustrating but there are plenty of ways to enhance your short hair until it reaches the length you like.

Some people may notice that their hair starts to grow back before treatment has ended. Either way, the new hair growth may be a bit patchy and uneven to begin with.

Often the slowest growing areas are around the hair line at the front of the head, nape of the neck, and the crown area. Everyone should find that normally after 2 – 3 months a covering of hair will be visible and so a very short crops style will start to evolve. In our experience, on average, it takes around 5 – 8 months before the hair is long enough to have a short textured style.

What is Difference between Hair Loss & Hair Thinning

Hair Loss
Hair loss refers to complete loss of hair, resulting in none or very little hair remaining.

Hair Thinning
Hair thinning means that your hair may look and feel thinner then normal (less volume). This means that some hair may fall out, but that you won’t experience complete hair loss. You may find that one particular area of you hair feels and looks thinner, or there is just less hair all over.

The amount that your hair thins is individual to you.

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