Prepare your loved ones for your possible change in looks. Young children may not quite understand, so be sure to reassure them that your hair will grow back. They may feel better if they help you pick out wigs or other hair coverings.
Try cutting your hair very short when you begin to lose your hair. A short cut will give you some idea of what it will look like when your hair begins to grow back.
Be sure to wear sunscreen or protect your head with a hat or scarf when you're in the sun if you’re not wearing a wig.
Keep your head warm if you’re not wearing a wig. Make sure you wear a warm hat in cold climates.
Visit a wig specialist before you begin chemotherapy if you're going to wear a wig. This way the specialist can see your current hairstyle and color and may be able to suggest a wig that looks like your natural hair. You also may be able to pre-order a custom-made wig.
Find a quality wig salon that can provide good advice on the shampoos, conditioners, and brushes to use on your wig. Good wig salons will clean and restyle wigs as needed. You can ask your local hospital or local cancer support group to refer you to a wig shop in your area.
Find out what your insurance will cover. Some insurers will pay for 80% or more of a wig's cost if the wig is used for medical purposes. Make sure your doctor writes a prescription for your wig so you can submit a claim to your insurance company.
Consider buying more than one wig. This way you can avoid going without a wig while having one cleaned and restyled.
Be creative with other hair accessories. Wraps, hats, and turbans can be very fashionable and affordable.
Be prepared for the re-growth. In some cases, the new hair can grow in with a different color, texture, or wave, but this change usually isn't permanent.
Think about joining a support group to find others in your situation and talk about your appearance concerns. You may even pick up a few tips about managing your new look.
Up next: 6 Tips to Ease Skin Sensitivity
Read about patient and expert experiences with hair loss in the Breastcancer.org Blog:
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