Why chemo hair loss is about more than wig or no wig

KarinSiegerKarinSieger Posts: 61 Cancer Counselling Specialist

Losing our hair can be like losing part of who we are and more. How to cope with chemo hair loss?

Dear all,

When I knew I was going to lose my hair, there were several options open to me, in terms of how to prepare and how to cope. But the emotional impact was the hardest.

In this article I try and talk you through, why chemo hair loss is about more than wig or no wig and how to cope.

I also recorded a video on this and the link to that is in the article.

You can read the article here.

I hope it's of use.

What's your story?

Very best.


Karin Sieger
Psychotherapist | Writer | Podcaster | MA, BA (Hons) | Reg. MBACP (Accred)
Helping you create new possibilities!


  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 842 ✭✭✭✭✭


    Hi Karin,

    Losing hair and throwing up are probably the two major things people associate with having chemotherapy.

    I know when I was diagnosed with cancer and was told I had to have chemo, my first thought was of the probability of being sick. But when I went for my pre-chemo assessment, that was not so much the issue, having been reassured about the many anti-sickness drugs that were available for me to have.

    What was the issue though, was the thought of losing my hair. I was told it was a sure thing. I think I remember saying to the nurse, 'but I like my hair, I don't want to lose it!', sobbing my heart out.

    I considered my hair to be my best feature by far, well the only good feature to be honest! Lol! 😂

    I was also told what day to expect it to start happening. Like clockwork, it started exactly as described. Clumps on the pillow, or on my brush. Washing my hair, towel drying...lol!! 😃I didn't expect it to be painful though, which it was. Very. My head and scalp became very tender.

    Shortly after it began to fall out, I decided to have it shaved off, my hairdresser came to the house. My eldest daughter, unbeknown to me had also decided to have her hair cut very short to support me.

    Getting used to a cold head in winter was odd, wearing a beanie hat to bed, but then having extreme fluctuations of body temperature, so the hats( I had several), would be on,off, on, off... constantly! Haha.

    I couldn't bring myself to wear a wig, partly for my youngest daughter who found the hair loss very hard, but the thought of me wearing a wig worse. I found hats and scarves. Because it was winter, wearing them was a little easier than if it had been summertime.

    Since all my treatment has finished, my hair has not grown back like it was before. Very different colour, and very patchy growth. I have more around the back than I do on top! Now I keep it very short as I have found I can no longer be bothered with fussing over my hair like I used to do, never wanting a hair out of place! Now I really can just wash and go!! Hahaha 😂😂.

    Lou x

  • KarinSiegerKarinSieger Posts: 61 Cancer Counselling Specialist


    Hi Lou,

    Thanks for sharing your own experience with chemo hair loss.

    I agree, there are practical and emotional issues - for us all, women and men, and those living with us.

    And it also means that we can no longer try and keep what we are going through private. It is obvious that something is happening to us.

    As I say in my article, overall the worst moment was losing my eyebrows and eyelashes. Because I had not thought of that and it had not been mentioned. Quite obvious really, but it had not occurred to me. It did take some getting used to, esp as I decided against make up, because my skin had become quite sensitive.

    Best wishes for you.


    Karin Sieger
    Psychotherapist | Writer | Podcaster | MA, BA (Hons) | Reg. MBACP (Accred)
    Helping you create new possibilities!
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