2449 Vineville Ave Macon, GA 31204
|Medical Chemo Patients|
If you choose to cover your head:
Get your wig or hairpiece before you lose a lot of hair. That way, you can match your current hair style and color. You may be able to buy a wig or hairpiece at a specialty shop just for cancer patients. Someone may even come to your home to help you. You also can buy a wig or hair piece through a catalog or by phone.
You may also consider borrowing a wig or hairpiece, rather than buying one. Check with the nurse or social work department at your hospital about resources for free wigs in your community.
Take your wig to your hairdresser or the shop where it was purchased for styling and cutting to frame your face.
Some health insurance policies cover the cost of a hairpiece needed because of cancer treatment. It is also a tax-deductible expense. Be sure to check your policy and ask your doctor for a "prescription."
Losing hair from your head, face, or body can be hard to accept. Feeling angry or depressed is common and perfectly all right. At the same time, keep in mind that it is a temporary side effect. Talking about your feelings can help
Pampering your hair while you have it:
While you still have hair, you want to treat it well. Here are some tips that will help keep your hair — and your scalp — healthy when you begin radiation treatments:
Working up to the reality:
Because hair loss is such an emotional experience (for men as well as women), spend some time getting used to the idea of yourself without hair, especially if your doctor expects the loss to be permanent. The idea is to figure out how to maintain a positive body image after your hair is gone. For obvious reasons, this is easier to do before you lose your hair.
Choosing an alternative head covering:
A wig is not your only option. Some women prefer to wear a scarf or turban instead of a wig after they lose their hair. Most men — and a few women — go about with bald pate gleaming. Will people stare? Some may; if they do, just flash a confident smile and go on your way. Going "topless," of course, is fine when you're at home. If your bare head gets cold at night, consider buying or making a stretchy, cotton knit cap that will keep your head warm and your dreams in place.
Some people invest in a signature hat to wear outdoors to protect their bald scalps from sunburn, which is important all the time but especially so during cancer treatments. All these decisions are personal, so do whatever feels right for you. There are no rules except those you make, and you can always change the rules to suit yourself.
Cutting your hair:
You may want to make an appointment to have your hair cut short. This proactive approach provides you with an emotional way station between having a full head of hair and none at all. If all your hair comes out, it's easier to manage losing short hair than long — for a while, anyway. And if only a little of your hair ends up falling out, the hair that is left will look thicker and fuller if it's short.
Hair falls out in single strands and in clumps. Once it starts coming out, hair will lie on your pillow, litter your collar, and coat the walls of your shower. Frankly, it's a mess — such a mess that you may find yourself dialing your hair stylist and asking for an appointment to have your head shaved.
If you suspect that you may become weepy while having your head shaved, ask if you can schedule the appointment after hours or if there is a private room where you can get the job done and then don your wig or head covering before leaving the salon. Keep in mind that you are not the first person to make this type of call, and you will not be the last. Most stylists are happy to do what they can to help you through this difficult appointment.
Replacing eyebrows and lashes:
Whether to replace your eyebrows and lashes is a personal decision: Some women choose not to bother, and some feel comforted when they look in the mirror and see the eyebrows and lashes they expect to see.
If you are a woman accustomed to running an eyebrow pencil over your brows to thicken or darken them, you may do fine when it comes time to draw them on from scratch. If you've never owned an eyebrow pencil, you may want to buy one before treatment begins and pay attention to that bony arch above each eye. That's where the brow goes. Usually, a natural brow starts out fairly thick near the bridge of the nose, thickens slightly right above the iris, and then tapers off on the other side. You can actually buy a set of eyebrow stencils and play around, seeing what shape suits you. Some people opt for permanent cosmetics, or tattooed eyebrows. If that interests you, make an appointment before your eyelashes fall out so the aesthetician can match the color and shape of your natural brows.
As for eyelashes, you could invest in a pair of false eyelashes or glue on false lashes one at a time, though that strikes us as a lot of trouble. You could also put a little eyeliner on the edge of each upper and lower lid. Another option is tattooed eyeliner, which you would have forever.