FAQs: chemotherapy and hair loss

Sadly, hair loss is a near certain consequence of cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

This can be a bewildering and stressful time for patients, as they struggle to cope with a life-threatening illness and a debilitating and often aggressive chemotherapy treatment programme. Add to this a rapid shedding of hair and the corresponding loss of your sense of identity, and the situation is terrifying.

Knowing the facts can sometimes help to allay some of the panic you may feel during your chemotherapy course, even if it’s just about hair loss. The following are a few commonly asked questions about chemotherapy and hair loss, and a brief answer for each:

Q: When in my treatment will my hair start to fall out?

A: This varies from patient to patient, but it most commonly starts to happen after the second treatment.

Q: Is there anything I need to do at this time?

A: The best thing you can do is to take care of your scalp, washing regularly to make yourself feel more comfortable and to provide optimum conditions for regrowth.

Q: How can I cover or cope with my hair loss?

A: Whilst you wait for your hair to regrow after you finish your treatment, it is recommended to seek a temporary solution such as human hair wigs to cover your hair loss in the interim.