Chem and radiation therapy can cause hair loss. It is a choice you make.

You can choose to cover your head with a hat, scarf, or wig. There are several types of wigs to consider. You want to pick one that you feel confident in.

You can learn more about wigs for cancer treatment.

Hair loss from chemotherapy depends on the types and doses of drugs you receive. Hair loss from radiation depends on the part of the body being treated, according to the National Cancer Institute.

After your first treatment, hair loss can occur a few weeks later, but it may not happen until after the second cycle. Your oncologist can give you a timetable of what to expect and let you know if your treatment is likely to cause hair loss.

If your doctor tells you that you will lose hair, you can start to prepare. Some people have hair, while others have no hair. You can wear a mesh cap to catch hair that falls. If you have long hair, you can sell it or donate it.

It’s important to remember that hair loss from chemotherapy is temporary, according to the The American Cancer Society.. Sometimes, small amounts of hair will grow back between sessions. After the treatments, it’s likely that your hair will start to grow back within a few months.

It may grow back in a different color, texture, or thickness. For example, it may be more curly, straight, thick, or fine. Often, these changes are temporary, and your hair returns to its pre-chemo state after a while.

To prevent some hair loss, you can wear a cold cap during chemotherapy treatments. This may slow the blood flow around your hair follicles and reduce how much chemotherapy reaches them.

However, cold caps may not be appropriate in all treatment instances. They can also come with a high cost and negative side effects. Speak with your oncologist if you’re interested in learning more about this option.

Chemo can cause hair loss and irritation to the skin, so treat your hair and scalp gently. Use gentle hair products, brush your hair with a soft bristle hairbrush, and sleep on a silk pillowcase. Chemicals, dyes, and heat treatments are not recommended.

There are many factors to consider when choosing a wig.

Ask yourself that.

  • How often will you wear it?
  • How long will you use it?
  • How much money do you want to spend?

It is a good idea to consider the climate around you, especially if you live in a place with frequent hot or rainy weather.

Decide if you want a wig. You can also use side pieces and ponytails to attach to remaining hair. Think about accessories that could be used.

If you want to wear a wig that is in line with your current hairstyle, you should take a few pictures of your hair and recent photos. Cut a lock of hair to represent your wig color. Natural light is always a good way to compare wigs and hair samples.

If you decide to try out a new style, color, or length, you should gather a collection of photos to use for inspiration. You can have a conversation with your hairdresser. Buying a wig is a great way to try out a new look.

To make sure you get a proper fit before measuring your head. If you can, choose an adjusted wig in case your head size changes. If the chemo increases the sensitivity of the hair, wigs have a band that reduces heat.

Wigs are made from materials and construction.

Synthetic wigs

Synthetic wigs are often cheap and durable. They need minimal styling and keep their color.

Synthetic wigs take up to 12 hours to dry.

Human hair wigs

Human hair wigs are more expensive but can look and feel natural. They are easier to dye, cut, and style, and last longer. They need more upkeep because they fade in sunlight.

According to Breastcancer.org, wig construction options include:

  • Basic. Wefted wigs are made of rows of hair strands that are sewn onto fabric. Temperature-wise, they are the coolest option, plus they offer volume. Wefted wigs are the cheapest type, costing around $75 to $150.
  • Lace front. This option features a sheer lace fabric with hand-tied hair at the front hairline for a more natural look with movability. Prices range from around $150 to $200. Custom lace front wigs will cost more.
  • Monofilament. These wigs are made by hand-tying hairs into a lace wig cap for a natural look that’s easy to style. They’re cool, lightweight, breathable, and feature a less voluminous look. You can buy a full wig or just a crown, part, or top. They cost around $200 to $300.

“You can buy wigs online or in person. Ask for advice from your treatment center’s professionals. You can talk to your hairdresser.”

You can shop in person to make sure you get the right fit and to see how the wig looks. If you need to have the wig re-fitted, you can visit the shop.

If you prefer privacy, you should check the shop for private one-on-one services. If it is possible to try on and return wigs where you live, you should do so.

If you have insurance, you should look into if your policy covers wigs. If you have a hair wig prescription, some plans will cover it.

Original Medicare parts A and B don’t regard wigs as a medical necessity and won’t cover them. Meanwhile, certain private Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans cover wigs, though coverage plans vary.

You may be able to claim a wig as a tax deductible expense.

Wigs need to be maintained.

You can have your hair cut after you buy your wig. Only those designed for wig care are used if using products, combs, and brushes.

You should wash your wig every 10 to 14 days. You may need to wash hair more frequently if you use hair products. Cool water may cause glue to melt. Afterwards, use a towel to wash it off. The wig should be placed on a stand.

Do not use heat treatment on your wig. If you choose to use a blow-dryer, use the cool setting. Keep your wig away from the heat, dust, and humidity during storage. You may want to cover it to keep it protected.

Do I need to wear a wig cap under a wig?

You can wear a wig cap under your wig to protect your hair and make it easier to style.

If it feels too hot, tight, or uncomfortable, you can go without one.

Where can I find free or inexpensive wigs?

People with cancer can find wigs that are free or inexpensive. Contacting: Consider it.

  • The American Cancer Society.
  • CancerCare is a program for cancer patients.
  • The Foundation of the Verma.
  • The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is for people with leukemia and lymphoma.
  • The Sierra Vista Butterfly Club is open.
  • Wigs and wishes.

Be easy on yourself during the time of chemotherapy.

Make sure you prepare for potential hair loss and have an idea of your wig preferences — including the type of materials, construction, and style.

It is normal to experience a range of emotions during treatment. You should acknowledge your feelings throughout the process.

Contact a health professional, join a support group, or reach out to a trusted loved one for additional help.