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Managing the Visible Side Effects of Breast Cancer Treatments

Visible side effects of breast cancer treatments: Hair loss continued...

Sometimes hair begins to grow back even before treatment is completed. When it does grow back, it may be thinner or a different color or texture.

Tips for handling hair loss

Hair loss can be difficult, especially for women. But there are many things you can do to prepare and make the process easier. For example, many women find it helpful to cut their hair short before too much hair comes out. This is less disturbing than having huge clumps of hair come out in the shower or waking to large amounts on the pillow. Here are some other tips that may help:

  • Ask your oncologist for a "cranial prosthesis" prescription to help ensure insurance coverage.
  • Check with wig retailers and makers, your hair stylist, or the American Cancer Society to learn about wig and hair product options.
  • Before you begin chemotherapy and lose your hair, match your hair texture or color to wigs. This is also a good time to have the wig styled, if needed. However, if you get fitted with a wig early, know that it may fit slightly differently once you lose your hair.
  • Consider purchasing scarves, turbans, caps, or hats ahead of time.
  • Prepare loved ones, especially children, for how you will look with your hair gone. Reassure children that your hair will grow back. It may help to involve them in choosing scarves and other hair products.
  • If you choose to go bald, remember to use sunscreen on your head when in the sun and keep your head warm in cold climates.

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