I’m not going to lie losing my hair is a big deal!!!
How you can help me…wig fund please donate if you can.
I have already cut my hair shoulder length as my hair used to be quite damaged at the ends it looked rather frizzy. Now it’s cut it looks really nice and healthy so I don’t want to lose it, rather hard to avoid though unfortunately.
I don’t think I could have ever shaved it off G.I Jane style like lots of ladies do. I would rather get a pixie cut to see what I’ll look like when it grows back and let it fall out from a short length but even this scares me. A rather negative friend I had at the time said sorry but you won’t suit short hair, I thought that’s nice considering I’m about to lose my hair!!
I could attempt to keep my hair but it would be via a ‘cold cap’ which I have heard is quite an unbearable process, it’s filled with ice and strapped on tight. The cold cap gives you brain freeze and adds a considerable length of time onto your chemo session (around 5 hours instead of 1). Patients often need paracetamol and ibuprofen to help with the first fifteen minutes.
The cold cap sounds painful and can make you feel numb I’m really unsure if I should go for it. The worst thing is that I’m reading a lot of people still lose their hair despite the effort of the cold cap, some have excessive hair thinning which can be covered over.
I could still lose fifty percent of my hair and would have to be very careful with products, combs and the amount that I wash it. I have seen pictures of people who hide these clumps and still come out with lots of hair afterwards.
All cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy get a free NHS wig but I have heard they are synthetic, itchy and uncomfortable! nowhere near as good as a human hair wig. The cost of human hair wigs were a shock (the best ones are around £700).
After chemo your hair can grow back thicker and fuller and even a different colour. It also grows back in tight curls! How strange? A lot of survivors seem to prefer their new hair and find it liberating having short hair or shaving it all off. It’s like a new them at the other side of fighting cancer.
I am nervous about losing my eyelashes and eyebrows. James Cook and North Tees hospital offer a Look Good Feel Good course for free for cancer patients to have a make up tutorial to help with the transition. I ended up going to the one in Newcastle as I met some other patients there it was brilliant.
They also offer a course on headscarfes and how to tie them. I thought about eyebrow tattoos but was recently quoted £325!!!
Update 19 October 2016 – first chemo session today and I went with the cold cap please read the cold cap section for more info and pics. I’ll post pics here of my wigs when I receive them. I am so lucky as so many amazing kind generous people have donated to my wig fund. I never expected to receive so much support and I’ll feel so much more comfortable wearing a nice wig instead of walking around with fifty percent of my hair (if I’m lucky).
Update 5 January 2017
I have had great success with the cold cap I am so lucky to have kept so much hair. This is the most I have lost through the first three rounds but it has stopped shedding and is growing back (grey unfortunately).
Update January 2017, now I’m on my 5th chemo my bottom eyelashes are completely gone! but luckily waterproof eyeliner helps to create the illusion of lashes, these are drawn on..