Chemo Hair by Debbie Damhosl

"Joy is the best makeup."

OK, so you got some bad news. You need chemotherapy. What is going happen to my hair?


Not all chemotherapy drugs cause hair loss. Depending on the chemotherapy drug, your hair may gradually thin; or you may lose it all at once. Be assured that within a few weeks after your treatment ends, your hair will start to grow back. As your hair begins to grow, the texture will be different. It is likely to be curlier than before. It usually takes 6 months to a year for your hair to return back to normal.


The best advice is be prepared. This is where your hairdresser is key. Set up a time when the both of you can talk and review your options. No one knows your hair better than your stylist. This does not have to be devastating. You can make the best of a bad situation and have fun. This is the perfect time to explore your wild side. Think outside the box. Had you been considering a different color or a different style? Perhaps you would like to see yourself with shorter hair or a long trendy cut. This normally would take a good year to grow, but you could have a beautiful look in just a few days.


The first thing you need to do is to have your stylist measure you for your wig. Decide which style you would like to wear. You may want to keep your look and that is just fine. It is your choice. Do what is right for you. I always tell my customers to go short. Pick out a new style. It is psychologically easier to lose shorter hair. This also allows you to experience life with less hair before it succumbs to chemotherapy. Some clients prefer to take charge and have their hair shaved off. It is totally up to you. There are those that have shaving parties during which loved ones may themselves participate in the process by having their hair shaved off. Today there are countless varieties of head coverings to choose from including wigs, hats, and scarves. Remember—at night your head can get cold so it is important to have something soft and warm to wear. This is all about you.


Let's talk about wigs. Should you select natural hair or synthetic? I would opt for synthetic. These wigs are much easier to care for and easier on the wallet. Synthetic wigs require much less maintenance and look just as good. All you need to do is pick the style and have it customized for you. The beauty of these wigs is that they are wash and wear. No curlers and no irons—just shampoo and go. It is that simple, and best of all, you cannot go near any heat. That means no work in the kitchen. Take care of you. You are still you with hair or not.   Bald is beautiful. Remember—this is a temporary situation.

Tips for Managing Treatment
Tips for patients, kids, every age, and chemo hair