Cancer cells are identified by their nature of rapid
reproduction, i.e., they grow very fast and divide fast.
The chemotherapy drugs, intended to kill cancer cells,
might also affect other cells with a similar property.
This is the reason why there are a few side effects
when undergoing the chemotherapy treatment. The latest
advancements in biotechnology are making it possible
to develop drugs that identify the cancer cells more
accurately and thus reducing the side effects.
Some of the fast-growing or fast-dividing cells that
might become targets for chemotherapy are
The cells in the hair follicles: This is the reason
why cancer treatment is often associated with hair loss.
But the hair lost during this process does grow back
once treatment has ended.
The cells in the stomach and bowel lining: When the
drugs act on these cells, it might lead to nausea and
diarrhea. However, doctors prescribe supplement drugs
to control this. Another helpful suggestion will be
to time the meals properly to avoid full stomach when
the drugs take effect.
The Blood Cells: In some cases, the blood cells will
also get affected. The red cells carry oxygen to keep
other cells alive and the white cells help keep the
infections away. This might lead the patients to be
more prone to infections and find them harder to fight
off. But the hospitals will ensure that the blood levels
are monitored and take appropriate corrective actions.
Other side effects include feelings of lower energy
levels and extreme fatigue. Chemotherapy drugs can also
affect the fertility of both men and women.
We understand how difficult it is to face hair loss
along with cancer diagnosis, and we at Allure Hair are
trying to putting you at ease through this transitional
Even when a patient keeps his cancer a secret, sudden
hair loss and the wearing of hair wigs or scarves will
probably indicate to any observer into recognizing that
the person is having some form of cancer. It’s
up to you who you tell about losing your hair. Some
people tell just their family and close friends, while
others are happy to let everyone know. Of course if
you choose to wear scarves or not to cover your head
your hair loss may be more obvious, while if you choose
to wear a wig many people may not notice that you’ve
lost your hair. The psychological effect of hair loss
among cancer patients suppresses their immune systems
as much as the anticancer drugs and radiation. Looking
good despite what the patients may be going through
can help take control again and can be a vital factor
to the healing process by providing powerful psychological
I advise patients to look at hair loss in a positive
way. “If the chemotherapy is killing those hair
follicles, it must be destroying my cancer cells as
well. So consider imagining your chemotherapy destroying
your cancer cells as it results in the shedding of your
Hair on the head usually determines an individual's
appearance, a phenomenon of such importance that baldness
often leads to severe psychological and/or sociological
disturbances. Losing your hair can create emotions ranging
from anger to depression. Balding women become even
more emotional. Because it's so visible hair loss threatens
your sense of self, your privacy, your sexuality, your
personal image, and your vanity. Most people feel very
self-conscious going out in public. Some people, though,
may find that the experience of losing their hair is
not as upsetting as they thought it would be initially,
perhaps because they are focusing more on the treatment
Seeking emotional support from a support group or counselor
may help you cope with these feelings and get the support
you need and deserve.
Hair loss occurs because chemotherapy targets all rapidly
dividing cells—healthy cells as well as cancer
cells. Hair follicles, the structures in the skin filled
with tiny blood vessels that make hair, are some of
the fastest-growing cells in the body. If you're not
under cancer treatment, your hair follicles divide every
23 to 72 hours. But as the chemotherapy does its work
against cancer cells, it also destroys hair cells. Chemotherapy
drugs cannot make out the difference between the rapidly
dividing cancer cells and hair cells.
During the chemotherapy treatment all the hair goes
into its resting phase known as Telogen. Every one,
at whatever age, who has hair, undergoes this Telogen
phase every day with most people losing 50-150 hairs
but, due to the medication within the treatment, the
hair follicles stay in this resting phase and remain
dormant until the time that the course of treatment
has been completed. Once you have completed your course
of treatment you usually start to see fine white vellous
hairs which can resemble soft baby like down approximately
within 4-6 weeks.
When the course of treatment is completed, the hair
will start to grow back. It is at this point that the
hair is fine (vellous) and normally white in colour
but very soon, maybe within 4-6 weeks, returns to its
natural shade and texture (terminal) as it was before
the treatment had commenced and some patients have reported
that their hair is better than before their treatment
started. Once the hair is in the terminal stage it will
take 12 months for the hair to reach the length of 6
inches, as hair grows at ½ inch per month.
Within a few weeks of starting chemotherapy, you may
lose some or all of your hair. Hair loss does not occur
with all chemotherapy medications and people may have
different responses, even with the same medications.
Some people will lose all their hair, while others may
only experience thinning. Most women do lose some or
all of their hair, usually after their second treatment.
Some chemotherapy drugs affect only the hair on your
head. Others cause the loss of eyebrows and eyelashes,
pubic hair, and hair on your legs, arms, or underarms.
The extent of hair loss depends on which drugs or other
treatments are used, and for how long. The various classes
of chemotherapy drugs all produce different reactions.
The frequency of your treatments will also affect hair
loss. Some types of chemotherapy are given weekly and
in small doses, and this minimizes hair loss. Other
treatments are scheduled every three to four weeks in
higher doses, and may be more likely to cause more hair
loss. However most hair loss is not permanent and hair
usually grows back after treatment is over.
Once the hair starts to shed, it will not be affected
by handling, such as brushing or shampooing although
some patient think that, if they do not handle their
hair, it will not fall out. In fact this is not the
case. This type of diffuse loss means general thinning
all over the scalp and body and not in patches.
While most women are very comfortable wearing a wig,
many prefer wearing scarves, while very few choose to
show off their baldness proudly. Accepting the fact
that you need to wear a wig can be very emotional, but
a wig can also be the solution to helping you feel more
like yourself again. With a wig you can look and feel
just like a ‘normal’ person, and not a cancer
patient. The key is to try and accept your wig, because
there is no shame in wearing one.
People will respond to you losing hair in different
ways, and you may find some reactions difficult to deal
with. If people don’t know what to say it may
help put them at their ease if you bring the subject
up first. You need to be prepared for the possibility
that not everyone will be as supportive as you’d
like, and that can hurt. But lots of people will react
well, so try not to withdraw from your friends or your
Informing your children about your Hair loss
If you have children, of whatever age, you may wonder
what to tell them about your cancer. We know that children
are less anxious if they know what’s happening,
and that it can be less frightening for them to know
what is going on even if they don’t fully understand.
So even though you may find it difficult, in most cases
talking with your children about your cancer will help
them and you.
Your children may find it upsetting to see you without
any hair. It may help if you prepare them for the fact
that you may lose your hair, tell them what you are
going to wear on your head and let them know that your
hair will grow back after some time.
Some children may be frightened by your bald head. The
more positive you and your partner can be about it,
the better. If your kids are old enough, you can assert
your “coolness” by going bald. But if they
are still scared despite your best efforts, it may be
best to keep it covered when they are around.
Radiation or Radiotherapy
Radiotherapy uses high-energy x-rays to treat cancer.
Like chemotherapy, it also affects healthy cells, but
only in the specific area being treated. This means
that you will only lose hair from that particular area
of the body which is being treated. For example, if
you’re having radiotherapy to the breast and lymph
glands in your armpit you’ll only lose underarm
hair, and for men, chest hair. If radiation is used
to treat the breast, there is no hair loss on your head.
But there might be loss of hair around the nipple, for
women who have hair in that location. Radiation to the
brain, used to treat metastatic cancer in the brain,
usually causes complete hair loss on the head. You will
be informed by your doctor or counselor about the likelihood
of you losing your hair before treatment starts.
After radiotherapy your hair will usually grow back.
You may find that the regrowth is patchy, and it can
take six to twelve months to grow back completely. It’s
also possible that the hair may not grow back at all.
This will depend on the dose of radiotherapy and the
number of treatments you’ve had.
How long will it take for my hair grow back after chemotherapy?
If you had chemotherapy, here's a general time table:
- two to three weeks after chemotherapy ends: soft baby fine hair
- one month after: real hair starts to grow at its normal rate
- two months after: an inch of hair
How long it takes to grow back a full head of hair (and pubic hair, lashes, and brows if you lost them too) varies from person to person.The hair growing back is often a total different texture kinky and dry and length (very slow growing. )It's quite common for hair to grow back differently after radiotherapy or chemotherapy treatment. There are several reasons why it happens.
When hair is damaged by radiotherapy or chemotherapy, the weaker hair follicles are destroyed completely whilst the stronger ones often recover. In most people, this means that hair on the top of the head thins more than hair at the sides - the same pattern you see when people go bald naturally for other reasons.
Although it may look as if it is all one colour, most people's hair actually contains several different hair types - this is why real hair tends to have more depth of colour than artificial wigs. Everybody has some hair that's finer than the rest - this is the first to grow when we're babies, and it's often the last to go. Because some hair types are stronger than others, some people's hair will actually change shade after treatment. This doesn't mean that something has colored it, but just that differently colored hair strand follicles have died out.
Hair is often kinky after radiation treatment because, when the body is irradiated, it does not affect the body unequally. This means that follicles can be damaged at one side but healthy at the other. When they create hair, it's squeezed out at an angle, making it curl. While it could be straightened by pressing with hair straighteners, this is likely to damage fragile hair further. The hair is likely to stay the way it is, at least in terms of its thickness and shape. However, there's no reason why it needs to stay dry. What it needs is proper nourishment to produce healthier hair in the future. Improving your blood circulation will help more nutrients to reach your hair follicles, so try to get more exercise and make sure you eat a healthy diet.To overcome the nutritional deficiencies, changing diet and including supplements will strengthen the immune system. You can also try gently massaging your scalp with coconut or olive oil (avoid citrus oils, as they can dry the skin more). Try not to wash your hair too often and never wash it without using conditioner. You may never be as happy with it as you were before your illness, but it's still worth bringing out the best in it.
Generally, the hair most likely to fall out is the hair that tends to grow back the fastest. The hair on the top of your head grows faster than your eyebrows or eyelashes.
Your new hair may be just like your old hair, or it may be thicker and curlier, or straighter, than your original hair. And your hair might grow back a different color. Women who dyed and processed their hair might not remember what their hair was like originally and may be surprised by the new natural color and texture. Eventually, your hair usually goes back to the way it used to be after the effect of chemotherapy on the hair follicle wears off. Within 4 to 6 months after your treatment ends, you should have a good head of hair.
Very, very rarely, permanent baldness occurs after many years of strong chemotherapy: Hair follicles get shut down, so there is no new growth. Remember, this situation is extremely rare. If you are one of the very, very few women who remain bald, you may mourn your hair for quite a while. But you can become an expert on what to do to make yourself feel attractive, and help other women deal with their new loss.
Q:Why would you call a wig, Spare Hair?
A: The word wig is not a very positive one. It's a harsh word with a hard connotation. I really am presenting Spare Hair, Hair Alternatives, Hair Solutions or even better Fashion Hair.
Celebrities wear them not only when they have to but often when they want to. We are even talking about Hair extensions, either woven, glued or clipped in. Think of a wig as an extension to your own hair if you prefer.
IT'S NOW TIME TO GET TRENDY AND IN THE GROOVE by checking out Fashion Hair and I guarantee that you will be amazed at what could be you. Whether wearing for a medical reason or for occasion only; you will have the same choice for styles colors and comfort. Either way Spare Hair, Wigs, Fashion Hair is here to stay.
Will medical insurance cover the cost of a wig?
Wigs ( CRANIAL PROSTHESIS )are not covered by medical insurance in India though they are a side effect of a remedy for treatment. Your emotional well-being is an important part of your medical recovery process. They are treated as a cosmetic item. Insurance coverage for clients with medically related hair loss is available in many other countries. If a person requires a wig while or after receiving therapy for Alopecia or cancer, they are eligible to receive reimbursement from their health insurance plan.Wigs are covered, in part or totally, by health insurance abroad.Most insurance companies abroad will cover from 80% to 100 % of a cranial prosthesis.
Contact your insurance company and ask if they cover “cranial prostheses” (wigs) required due to medical hair loss, how much they cover, and what documentation they require. There should be a section under covered expenses related to prosthesis, prosthetic devices or medical durable equipment. Though a wig and a cranial hair prosthesis are similar the “wig” should be called “cranial hair prosthesis” for insurance purposes.Cranial prosthesis’s are different from ready to wear fashion wigs in quality, performance, and service. Prosthesis’s are made of specialized material, for individuals with severe hair loss.
You will need to get a prescription from your doctor for a cranial prosthesis. Request your doctor to write a "PRESCRIPTION" for "CRANIAL PROSTHESIS".
Notify us about your medical need for alternative hair and we will also mention it and send you an invoice and receipt for a cranial prosthesis.
Enclose a letter to the insurance company stating the necessity of a prosthesis.Detail the emotional effects that your medical treatment has had on your life. Discuss the financial aspects of frequent cranial prosthesis purchases (if applicable). Mention that a prosthesis is just as medically necessary as a prosthetic limb or breast - it replaces a missing body part - hair, as well as counteracting the psychological distress secondary to alopecia.
If your insurance company denies insurance coverage, you can appeal.
Never file an insurance claim for a wig. Always call it a CRANIAL PROSTHESIS.
If you don’t have insurance contact government hospitals or NGO's. There are various NGO's who offer medical assistance in most states for individuals who meet certain income guidelines.
These are guidelines only. Always follow the procedures stated by your insurance company so you can obtain the fullest benefits possible. Individual insurance companies may have other or additional steps to complete.
WE DO NOT PROCESS INSURANCE CLAIM(S) OF ANY KIND at present. As per our knowledge no Insurance company in India gives claim for wig due to medical hairloss.
What is the difference between a wig and cranial prosthesis?
A wig is a artificial covering of human, animal or synthetic hair worn on the head for personal enhancement, for cultural or religious reasons, for fashion or various other aesthetic and stylistic reasons, as part of a costume by actors to help them better resemble the character they are portraying, or to conceal hair loss or baldness. A ready machine made wig has a set style - what you see is what you get.
A cranial hair prosthesis is a nonsurgical hair replacement solution specifically designed for medical hair replacement applications for those suffering from hair loss due to alopecia, side effects of chemotherapy treatments, and variety of other medically related hair loss situations. Unlike an off-the-shelf wig, prosthesis is custom made to fit the clients head is sturdy and durable and exactly duplicates the patient's hair to what it looked like before the hair loss occurred. . Precise head measurements are taken and real human hair is selected to match the hair texture, color, density, part and hairline. Often variations of the hair color are blended for a more natural appearance. The hair is hand tied onto a base material that resembles scalp. The base, which is breathable and very comfortable, is attached with a semi-permanent bond. From that point, it is just like your own hair, to wash and style as you wish. The cranial prosthesis gives you a totally natural appearance. Your result is a full, lush head of hair that looks real because it is real.