Breaking Bald: Caring For Chemo Hair Loss

Chemotherapy related hair loss is shocking. While some women feel better taking control and shave hair off pre-treatment, others prefer to let it fall out naturally. Either way for most women, being bald is a new experience.

When my hair fell-out, I took my despair and frustration out on my cluttered shower. Into the trash went my beloved collection of shampoos and conditioners. Next, I attacked my sink top. Into my drawers went styling creams, brushes, and sprays. As I glimpsed my bald head in the mirror, I sighed with regret and thought, well for now, when it comes to my hair, my work here is done.

Actually, this turned out to not be true. Following hair loss, the skin on your scalp still needs attention. Here’s how to give it the tender loving care it deserves.

  • Wash your scalp with a gentle, fragrance free shampoo. Do not use body soap which can be irritating.
  • Moisturize scalp everyday with a mild, unscented moisturizer to prevent dryness, flaking, and itching.
  • Protection is a must! Chemotherapy makes skin ultra sun-sensitive. Avoid direct sunlight if possible. Cover up with sun protective hats and 30+ sunscreen. Sunscreen should protect against both UVA and UVB rays, and be worn year-round.
  • A soft sleep cap or turban at night will protect a sensitive scalp and keep it warm. Satin pillowcases reduce friction and rubbing.
  • Try a gentle scalp massage. It increases blood flow to the skin, reduces stress, and feels good!

Whether you are a “bald is beautiful” girl or someone who prefers, “never to be seen without a head scarf or wig,” one thing is true, hair loss is extremely personal. Today there are many stylish options available to cope with hair loss including wigs, hats with hair, pre-tied head scarves, exercise caps, and head scarves with beautiful patterns that can be tied many ways.

Even without hair, the styling doesn’t need to stop! See for yourself in our section on hats, head scarves, and more!