Facing Hair Loss from Cancer Treatments - dummies

Facing Hair Loss from Cancer Treatments

By Alan P. Lyss, Humberto Fagundes, Patricia Corrigan

Part of Chemotherapy and Radiation For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Many forms of chemotherapy cause temporary hair loss, and radiation causes permanent hair loss for the body part treated. Losing your hair is an emotional experience, so you need to spend some time getting used to the idea of yourself without hair. You can also take some steps to care for your hair before it falls out and your scalp afterward:


  • Prepare yourself emotionally by deciding that a lack of hair will not cause your self-esteem to suffer.

  • Choose a wig ahead of time — if you plan to wear one — so you can match your own hair.

  • Consider cutting your hair short so the loss is not so dramatic.


  • If you don’t wear a wig, protect your scalp from the sun with a hat.

  • Sleep in a stretchy, cotton knit cap if your head gets cold at night.

  • If you are female, discourage comparison to Telly Savalas, Patrick Stewart, or Howie Mandel.