Support throughout treatment

Chemotherapy and radiation are powerful tools to fight against cancer, but they also cause hair loss that can be shocking

Chemotherapy is extremely powerful. It attacks the growing cancer cells; unfortunately, it will also attack other cells in your body, including cells that make your hair grow, which can cause everything from thinning hair on the scalp to losing hair all over the body. 

About 14 days after starting Chemotherapy treatment, the experience of thinning hair or hair fallout will occur. 

This can happen gradually or quickly, including the experience of losing clumps of hair. The hair loss will continue throughout treatment and until about a month after treatment. Whether your hair thins out or you go completely bald is determined by the kind and amount of your treatment.

A person may feel that everyone notices their hair loss immediately. However, as a rule, we usually lose approximately 50 percent of our hair before it becomes noticeable to others.

We are proudly accepted as a Chemo GirlsTM salon

Chemo GirlsTM Hair Extensions are used after chemo for post-chemotherapy hair recovery. This is a technique that was created for cancer patients who have gone through hair loss due to chemo. It is used without the need for wigs or hairpieces and limits any kind of hair damage as it grows back. The natural hair can be as short as 1½“ inches. With this system, you can achieve length as long as you want with fully natural-looking hair. World Hair Institute has been selected to be the only Hair Replacement Salon specifically trained in Chemo GirlsTM Extensions method to help women of all ages who have gone through chemotherapy and are looking to have their hair restored.

Frequently asked questions about cancer and hair loss

If you are one of many people who are facing cancer and are undergoing cancer treatment, the chances that you will lose your hair is significant. Although cancer specialists consider hair loss an expected “side effect” it can come as a shock to the individual who is living with hair loss.

Not everyone who develops cancer will need chemotherapy. The choice of treatment will also depend on the type of cancer.

The type and amount of medication will determine if there will be a loss of hair. You should consult with your doctor or other specialists involved in your treatment concerning what to expect.

As you recover from the chemotherapy, so does your hair. Your hair usually starts growing back about a month to six weeks after the treatment is stopped. Hair, in general, grows about half an inch per month. The new hair may have a different texture than it did before treatment; straight hair may return curly or the opposite may happen. 

The color of the hair may be dull, grey, or different than before. This occurs because the cells are not yet completely controlled. For instance, the pigment of your hair may be a different color shade. This is normal and is usually a temporary side effect caused by chemotherapy.

If the treatment you are going to receive is expected to create hair loss, then you must know that there, unfortunately, is no known treatment that can prevent the hair loss.

Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to treat an illness; radiotherapy is the use of radiation in treatment. Generally speaking, chemotherapy is a drug used for many illnesses. However, in common language, we have come to associate it mainly with drug treatment due to cancer.

Radiotherapy is mainly, but not exclusively, used for cancer treatment. However, not everyone with cancer will need radiotherapy. Radiotherapy uses ionizing radiation to kill cancer cells. Radiation treatment is administered by machines that produce a beam of high energy x-rays. The beam is directed at the cancer cells.

For some tumors, radiotherapy may be given in the form of radioactive pellets or seeds placed close to or into the cancer cells.

While chemotherapy may have an “allover influence” on your body, radiotherapy usually affects only the concentrated area that is treated. Therefore, it is likely that you may lose your hair if radiation is administered specifically to the scalp.

As with chemotherapy, your hair usually grows back after ending your treatment. However, different amounts of radiation create different outcomes for hair loss. Higher doses can, in some cases, cause permanent hair loss. Consult with your doctor or other specialists who are involved in your treatment concerning what to expect.

Radiotherapy will likely affect the skin surrounding the treated area. The skin of the particular area may become reddish or look suntanned and may be sensitive and feel burned. Consider investing in lose clothing either made of silk or a similar soft fabric. Also, you would be wise to use bed sheets made of similar materials. Be cautious to avoid sunlight and coldness, as the skin of the treated area may become very sensitive. You may want to look to scarves or hats for protection.

Unfortunately, no treatment can guarantee that your hair won’t fall out during cancer treatment. If your doctor has informed you that your hair is likely to thin or fall out due to treatment, it would be wise to plan ahead and look into what preventative steps and options you may have. 

Our best tip is to work on strengthening your hair before treatment begins. Strengthening your hair may be a good investment and may delay hair loss during treatment. However, if your doctor has told you that you are receiving strong doses of treatment, the following steps may not be worth your consideration. Please remember that all suggestions should be discussed with your doctor.

Here are some ways to help strengthen your hair:

  • Avoid perms, color or any other treatments that put stress to your hair.
  • Blow-dry your hair as little as possible or allow your hair to dry naturally. Any form of heat to the hair can cause it to become more fragile.
  • If you have medium to long hair, consider getting a shorter haircut. Short hair seems to look more full and it may make it easier for you when the hair loss begins since it will be less noticeable to you as well as others.
  • Make sure your vitamin and mineral intake is as sufficient as possible. Have your doctor take a blood test if necessary.
  • Use vegan paraben free hair products.
  • Use a good quality hair mask, such as vitamin-infused hair treatments once a week.

Try to receive all the support and help you can from your family and friends, for both research purposes and moral support. There is a lot of information to be found about cancer from many websites. There are blogs available where people who are going through cancer or are cancer survivors, talk with one another and share ideas and support. Also, you should ask your doctor or nurse if they know of any cancer support programs or groups you can be a part of.

After finishing chemotherapy, and once the hair begins to grow back, many cancer survivors want to eliminate their use of a wig. The challenge is that hair often does not grow quickly as one would like.

One of the ways we can help promote this is by converting your full wig into a topper. Or, as we often do, by combining the topper with hair extensions. There are other options that would be worth looking into such as the Chemo Girls™ Hair Extensions after Chemo. Please contact us and we will get our creative team working for you!

Please see us as soon as possible after getting diagnosed. You can fill out the consultation form online or if you prefer, please call us! We want to talk to you and see how we can help you during this time. 

We have many hair additions from top of the head, partials, to full coverage available for you to come in and try out.

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Set up your free personalized consultation to learn how we can help during your treatment and after as your hair begins to regrow.