Hair Loss Advice During Cancer Treatment

11th February 2020 12:00

Rhona Weir - Lead Hairdresser

"How to cope with hair loss during cancer treatment"

Q&A with Lead Hairdresser Rhona Weir on how to manage hair loss during cancer treatment

Q&A with Lead Hairdresser Rhona Weir on how to manage hair loss during cancer treatment

11th February 2020

Rhona Weir - Lead Hairdresser

"How to cope with hair loss during cancer treatment"

We caught up with our very own Hairdresser Rhona Weir, to find out more about what to expect regarding hair loss during chemotherapy, how best to manage the effects and some good advice on wig care.

Will it hurt when I lose my hair?

It can be sensitive, sometimes it can feel tingly or itchy, but it will not hurt.
Will it grow back after treatment?

After chemotherapy is finished, your hair should start to grow back in, it may take a little longer or happen very quickly. Your hair could grow back with a little curl or wave through it. This may happen if your hair follicles have been damaged by chemotherapy treatment. This can be known as the chemo curl.


Can I put colour in my hair?

I would advise that you have a colour test on the back of your ear first and would recommend waiting at least 6 months. If you take a reaction to colour during the test I would advise you delay this. The effects of chemotherapy may still be in your system.


Do I need to get my hair shaved off?

No is the answer to this question. No one should ever feel pressured to do this. It is a very personal decision.


Do I shave my own hair when it comes back through?

I would tend to leave my new hair that is coming back through, this can be such a happy time to see your own hair coming back after so long. If you decide to shave it this is fine too. This again is a personal choice.


Will I lose all my hair after chemotherapy?

You may lose all your hair depending on the treatment you are receiving, your hair may also thin slightly due to treatment but you may not experience total hair loss. Everyone has different experiences when having chemotherapy. Usually hair loss will commence just before the second round of treatment. If you are having radiotherapy this would only affect your hair if radiotherapy treatment was directly to your head and neck.


What can I do to keep my head warm during the colder months?

Keeping warm is really important during the winter months as you can lose a lot of heat through your head. Wearing your wig will keep you nice and warm and you can also wear a hat or a scarf depending which is most comfortable for you.


What will happen on my first visit with the wig consultant?

On your first visit we will have a chat about what may happen during your treatment and what to expect.


Are there different styles of wig I can try?

Yes, we will always try on a wig on the first visit to make sure that we can supply the correct style and colour. Also, there are many different sizes so we like to ensure you will get the right fit.


Will I be able to take a wig home on my first visit?

You will be able to take one away with you if we have the correct style and colour in stock.


How long does it take for a wig to be delivered?

This is something that is out of our control however we will notify you as soon as it arrives.


What happens if I do not like the wig I have ordered?

Please do not worry about this we can always re-order something new for you. This can be a stressful time and you may change your mind.


What do I need to maintain my wig?

Along with your wig you will receive a care pack which includes shampoo, conditioner, hair spray, fibre oil, a brush and a stand. If you have any questions about any of these products you can discuss with your consultant at your appointment.


Can you cut the wig if I feel it is too long?

Yes this is something we can do when we supply you with your wig.


How much will this all cost me?

Your wig is covered by the NHS, you will receive a prescription from your consultant or nurse. Bring this along to your appointment. Your care pack is funded by Beatson Cancer Charity.


Beatson Cancer Charity’s hairdressing service, located in the Wellbeing Centre, offers a wide range of hairdressing and wig-fitting and supply services. Our experienced stylists can offer advice on hair loss issues and can provide patients with emotional and practical support.

For help and advice call 0141 301 7667 or find out more about our Wig-fitting Service here.