The stages of hair loss during chemotherapy and how to look your absolute best!
Losing your hair to chemo? No problem. I’ve got you, girl. Been there, done that. Is it an easy road? No! But you’ll have an opportunity to try just about every hairstyle imaginable, so you might as well embrace it and make the best of each stage.
So, let’s take it from the top. The doctor tells you that you’re going to lose your hair. This is what you’ll need to do:
- Get a satin pillowcase. If friends or family are asking what they can do for you, tell them to head on over to Morning Glamour for these fabulous satin pillowcases. Why? Because when your hair starts to fall out the, weft of a traditional cotton pillowcase will hurt. Who knew?! And let me tell you, once you sleep on a satin pillowcase, you’ll never go back. They’re actually really good for your hair and skin and honestly you just feel kind of like the princess that you really are. Just saying.
- Get a fun baseball cap with hair extensions from Headcovers. Honestly, I probably wore this more than my wig! Why? Because you can throw it on to hang around the house in, run for errands. It’s just so easy and it creates a hairline that you may not have. Wigs are awesome, don’t get me wrong. But these hats are really great when your energy is low and you just don’t feel like fussing.
- Consider investing in a wig. I had a beautiful wig made of human hair. I did’t wear it every day because at times I felt like it was just too much to deal with when I wasn’t feeling well. However, when I was heading out for dinner or attending special events like my college reunion…these were times when I really wanted to look my best. I went to a local wig shop called Design by Flora and they treated me like royalty. I scheduled a consultation before I lost my hair to select my wig, then went back for my fitting after I lost my hair (they can’t properly fit a wig until the hair is gone, and they can get it nice and snug to your head). Since we’re still in quarantine, I checked their website and they are doing virtual consultations and ship nationwide. Note: Check with your insurance carrier! You might have coverage for a “hair prosthetic”! Definitely see if you have coverage as human hair wigs can be very expensive.
In addition to products, I thought I’d share my own hair loss journey. and the steps that I took to take the sting out of losing my hair:
- I asked my doctor approximately when would my hair fall out.
- One week before that time frame, I got a super short pixie cut. Why? Because for me, I felt it was too traumatic to have my long locks just start to fall out. It was also a way for me to begin to let friends, family and just acquaintances in town know that I was going to be getting chemo and losing my hair. Again, this is a very personal choice. I just wanted to transition into the whole thing as smoothly as I could.
- I remember being at my desk one day, shortly after I got this really cute pixie cut. My desk was white, and as I was typing I thought to myself…what are those things on my desk? It was my hair! My scalp was also very itchy, so I knew the time has come for me to shave my head soon. Again, this is a very personal decision but I wanted to remain in control.
- I woke up a couple of days later and I couldn’t bear the itch any longer. I went into my bathroom at around 5:30am. My hairstylist told me to simply shave my hair with a men’s electric razor when my scalp got unbearably itchy. As I began to buzz, my sweet little daughter who was only 7 at the time knocked on the door. (Side note: you know how kids run around saying what they want to be when they grow up? Well, Erica was on a hairdresser kick!) I said Erica, would you like to shave Mommy’s hair off? Of course she screamed, “YEAAAHHH!!” So we stepped into the bathtub and she shaved my head. We laughed so hard. Who knew that a traumatic moment like that could be so silly!
- Of course, when Erica left the room and I looked in the mirror I had my moment. I lost my hair. This was it, I thought. Here we go. I just kept telling myself that it was temporary. And it is!
My hairstylist Jackie Timpone of Mania Hair Studio was amazing. She walked me through every single stage with so much style and grace. From my pixie to short hair with waves, a fun bob and everything in between, she worked with every stage to make it as fashionable as possible. Products and different styling tools are also really helpful.
You’re probably thinking, we’re in the middle of a pandemic….my hair salon is closed! No problem! There are plenty of fun hair accessories that you can order online. Just play around and experiment and find a look that works for your length.
For example, how cute is this hair clip set from Anthropoligie?
And these tie-dyed headbands from Free People??? OMG soooo pretty!
One of my all time faves (and I wish this brand was around when I was going through chemo) is Style Esteem. Look at this beauty! Just throw it on and you’re ready to go!
Also totally obsessed with these from J. Crew Factory, so inexpensive and perfect for summer!
So there you have it, my hair journey from beginning to end. I hope you find this guide helpful, and please don’t hesitate to drop me a line if you have any questions at all! Hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am SO here for you!