Firstly, a warm welcome to Cancer Hair Care. This section “Men’s Room” is especially to support men with tips and ideas more suited to males.
This section has been written by Cancer Hair Care Founder & UK’s Leading Cancer Hair Loss Expert, Jasmin Julia Gupta. Jasmin has supported over 5000 people, men, women and children, with their hair care issues during cancer treatment.
“On both an emotional and practical level there are several considerations when getting prepared for hair loss. These range from dealing with how you feel about it, to getting organised with a hair cut, a hat, wig or looking good with a bare scalp. When I talk with men about their concerns for hair loss during cancer treatment they have told me that they would prefer a shorter guidance section with some key points for me. This section is the result of input from other men who have experienced hair loss during their treatment and wanted to help create some bespoke support for others
My team of hair loss advisors and I are here to support you. We hope you will find this section helpful” Jasmin Julia Gupta
Q and A of helpful tips for men
I’ve just been diagnosed with cancer and am waiting to find out what treatment I am having, how shall I get ready for hair loss?”
In terms of hair loss it’s really important to know that not all treatments for cancer cause hair loss as a side effect of treatment. There are over 200 types of cancer and many different chemotherapy and other drug treatments. Whilst many people assume that all chemotherapy treatments cause hair loss, they don’t.
Radiotherapy only causes hair loss as a side effect of treatment at and around the specific area of treatment. the radiotherapy is to the head and sometimes neck area. With this in mind it’s really important to wait until your doctor or nurse can tell you about your specific treatment and if hair loss will happen to you.
I’ve been told that my chemo will cause hair loss, when will my hair fall out?
Your nurse will be able to give you an advice sheet that lists all of the side effects of your specific brand of chemotherapy treatment. Usually this sheet will tell you when hair loss is likely to start. Commonly most people find that hair loss starts within 10 days to 3 weeks after their first chemotherapy treatment.
Will my facial hair also fall out?
If you chemo causes hair loss then anywhere that hair grows hair can fall out. It’s best to plan for this. This include facial and other body hair. Many men have told us that they didn’t expect the hair on their face including eyebrows, eyelashes, nose hair and other facial hair to fall out.
Will my hair grow back after treatment?
Yes. It is normal to plan for your hair to grow back after treatment.. In other words, the hair is only temporarily affected and it is very rare for the hair not to grow back at all. This is so very rare that most advice sheets will not mention it – occasionally and very rarely hair doesn’t grow back. This can be as a result of long term medication or could be another hair problem where the person may have been affected by hair loss regardless of the cancer treatment - BUT most of the time is does grow back.
The hair normally starts to grow back after treatment when the chemotherapy drugs are not affecting the hair growth cycle.
Is there anything that can prevent hair loss?
Yes. Scalp Cooling can help to reduce or prevent hair loss. Your nurse will be able to tell you if your hospital offers scalp cooling and if it would be suitable for you. You can read more about Scalp Cooling in our section dedicated to this subject.
Am I entitled to a wig?
Yes. All NHS patients are entitled to a wig that can be provided by your local wig supplier to the NHS. Ask your nurse for a wig referral. You can choose to go along to your appointment and try on a wig without being committed. This is an ideal way to discover if wearing a wig may be suitable for you.
Should I cut my hair before it falls out?
This is entirely a personal choice. Many men say that they feel better once they have cut their hair very short and made the adjustment of how they look. Some men also choose to shave their facial hair off before it falls out. It is not recommended to cut your eyelashes.
Hair loss is often patchy and falls out over a number of weeks. With this in mind it can be a good idea to cut hair short prior to hair loss. However you can also cut your hair when it is falling and any time during treatment. The scalp can be tender and sore during hair loss and so cutting hair before treatment can be an advantage.
I don’t want people to know about my cancer treatment but hair loss will reveal this. Any tips of how I can keep this private?
Yes. Over the years many men have told us that they wish to keep their cancer treatment private and the only thing that reveals this is hair loss. The best piece of advice we can give you is to perhaps consider doing a charity head (and if applicable beard shave), including your eyebrows. Perhaps choose an non cancer related charity then start a Justgiving or other sponsored head shave. Many hairdressers will be happy to help you and in turn you can raise money for charity and keep your privacy. This way whenever your lack of hair on your head and face is a talking issue you can say that you had a sponsored head shave. So many men have told us that they did this and it really worked!
Remember you can also cover up with hats and a wig if you choose.
When will my new hair grow back?
Normally very soon after treatment is complete.
For the majority of men, once their treatment is completed, the hair starts to grow almost immediately. Within a matter of weeks a fine layer of hair may be visible and whilst this new re-growth may be thinner, thicker, or a different texture and colour, you can normally expect to see a good re-growth covering the scalp within 4 - 6 months. Most people will see they have a short crop style forming over this period of time.
Other areas of body hair such as underarms, facial and pubic hair can be slightly slower, but again you will normally see some hair quite quickly.
We hope that this information has been helpful to you. If you have any feedback or questions our helpful team are here to guide you. You may also like to browse the rest of our website for additional and more in-depth information.
With best wishes
Jasmin Julia Gupta and team
UK’s Leading Cancer Hair Care Expert
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Please kindly note that Cancer Hair Care and The Caring Hair Boutique are not designed to provide medical advice. You should always consult with your doctor if you have any medical concerns or queries.