Category Archives: Hair Managment options

Writing for the Guardian this week is the artist and former Daily Mail journalist Jane Kelly, who was diagnosed with Stage Four ovarian cancer in April 2010. In her articles, Kelly speaks in detail of the wholly unexpected impact of losing her hair after chemotherapy and how she found ways to manage her hair loss.

Kelly firstly described what losing her hair after chemo felt like:

“Chemo makes most people go bald and in June my hair began its journey into the shower tray. I was warned this would be distressing, and it was: stepping out of the shower after the second chemo session, seeing clods of hair lying like drowned mice around the plughole, I felt breathless with shock at what I’d lost.”

The 54-year-old then tried to find ways of managing her hair loss condition. She tried standard and human hair wigs from a number of sources, but never felt truly comfortable in her own skin until she took the bold step of shaving off all of her remaining hair.

Kelly then says that she then discovered the elegance of fashionable ladies’ turbans, taking inspiration from glamorous Dynasty star Joan Collins, who famously said:

“I must give good hair and if I don’t, I will give good hat. For trips abroad, or for accessorising with a gold sling-back, nothing beats a turban, darling.”

One of the most devastating side effects of chemotherapy for women is hair loss, as it can negatively impact self-esteem and confidence. Whilst the sufferer will be relieved to be free of cancer, the treatment can have more long-lasting effects.

Speaking to Wales Online this week was Cathy Fisher, a breast cancer survivor who lost all of her hair during chemotherapy treatment. She has explained her battle with hair loss – marking it as the worst part of her illness – and the effect it has had on her life.

Cathy, now 45, started to lose her hair during her third course of chemotherapy. She describes what happened:

“I woke up one morning feeling like death and I looked at the pillow and there was my hair. It was devastating.”

Cathy took the bold step of cutting all of her hair, but this upsetting experience made her feel even worse. She says that she no longer felt attractive in her partner’s eyes.

Describing how she felt when the hair started to grow back, Cathy says:

“I couldn’t wear a scarf over my head or a wig because it was too hot so I was walking around with this awful hair until it grew to a certain length and I became socially acceptable again.”

For women like Cathy who lost their hair during chemotherapy, there are now more advanced solutions available to help. You could try hair replacement treatment, or one of the increasingly realistic human hair wigs now being made.

Losing your hair can knock you for six, shattering your confidence and changing your perception of yourself and your place in the world. Some people will take the view ‘it’s only hair’, but it isn’t only hair; it’s an integral part of your self-esteem.

From being a young child to an adult woman, we are conditioned by the media, entertainment and fashion industries to believe that shiny, healthy hair is a symbol of beauty, youth, femininity and sexuality. This is why losing it can be so devastating, as we feel that all of these ‘attractive’ qualities are robbed from us, often without warning.

Confidence-boosting tips

The key to regaining your self-esteem and confidence when interacting with the world is acceptance. Once the initial panic of losing your hair has passed, you can accept what has happened and start to look for solutions.

Here are some confidence-boosting solutions for:

Temporary hair loss (caused by hormonal changes such as pregnancy)

Whilst you are waiting for your hair to fully grow back; human hair wigs are a great idea. Some of the latest wigs are extremely realistic, so you never need to feel self-conscious about your appearance.

Permanent hair loss (caused by alopecia, female pattern baldness)

Hair replacement treatment has improved rapidly in the last few years, with solutions such as the Intralace system offering you a way of disguising hair loss even if you cannot cure it.

Many women notice changes to their body after pregnancy, one of the most upsetting being hair loss. But what causes this to happen, and what solutions are available to treat your hair loss problem?

Causes of post-pregnancy hair loss

At any one time, around 90 per cent of your hair is in the ‘growing’ phase whilst 10 per cent is in the ‘resting’ phase. This ‘resting’ hair falls out every few months, allowing new hair to grow in its place.

The hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can disrupt this cycle, causing more hair than normal to simultaneously enter the ‘resting’ phase. This is called telogen effluvium, and it usually occurs a few months after giving birth in around 40-50 per cent of women.


Like many other changes that take place during pregnancy, this type of female hair loss is generally temporary. Although you may notice thinning or light shedding, the condition of your hair should improve approximately 3-5 months after giving birth as the hormone levels start to return to normal.

However, this condition can be extremely distressing for women, especially if you have the stress of being a new mother to contend with as well. This is why hair loss specialists have developed a number of interim, such as human hair wigs.

Although nothing can be quite as devastating as cancer, some of the side effects of cancer treatment can be fairly traumatic. For women, this means hair loss.

Chemotherapy treatment attacks all rapidly-dividing cells, regardless of whether they are healthy or not. As hair follicles grow so fast, these are amongst the first to be depleted. This results in rapid shedding of the hair, at a rate that can be alarming and upsetting to the patient.

Losing all your hair at once can be a frightening and debilitating experience, especially for women living in a world that sees thick, healthy hair as a sign of youth and beauty. Breast cancer charity founder and radiation oncologist Marisa Weiss elaborates on this, saying:

“There are studies that show that for many women, losing their hair is worse than losing a breast. That’s because you can conceal the loss of a breast, but hair loss is so obvious and apparent,”

Preparing for hair loss caused by chemotherapy

The best defence against the rapid hair loss caused by chemotherapy is to prepare for it ahead of time. It generally happens to everyone who undergoes the aggressive treatment, but you needn’t let it come as a shock.

But what are your options? Some women choose to take back control of the situation and shave their heads before their hair can fall out, whilst others prepare to use headscarves and other head coverings. One of the best options, however, is human hair wigs, which can now be made to look as realistic as your original hair. Consult a hair loss clinic or human hair wig specialist to find out more.

For a lot of women suffering from hair loss or hair thinning, the simplest solution is to cover up the problem area with a hat or a human hair wig. This isn’t a permanent solution, but is it preferable to extensive and potentially expensive hair loss treatment and medication?

The answer is that it is different for everybody, and which option you choose to some extent hinges on how you feel about your hair loss and your new self-image. Some sufferers find their hair loss devastating to their self-esteem and are willing to do whatever it takes to recover their hair. These women take advantage of the latest treatments for female hair loss, and can end up with a successful and permanent solution in place of hair that may never grow back naturally.

Other patients choose to embrace their hair loss, throwing off society’s typical association of hair with beauty and youth and celebrating their own ‘bald is beautiful’ look.

For those less willing to give up on their hair but who aren’t convinced that medical or cosmetic treatments are worth the hassle, the perfect compromise is human hair wigs. The latest wigs are so realistic; other people need never know the hair isn’t your own.