This week Victoria Derbyshire showed a video removing her wig and revealing her shorter hair style now that it’s grown back after her chemotherapy treatment.
Losing your hair when you’re going through chemotherapy can be devastating for many women, as it was for her. For many, you’re losing your crowning glory and something that defines you and is an important part of how you look. For Victoria, having the job she does I can imagine that the wig option gave her the ability to look ‘normal’ while carrying on working.
Whoever you are and however you feel about it – there are options. Some of the wigs I saw were great and you would never have known. You can experiment with a different style or colour, wear scarves or hats.
I always knew my hair was going to grow back, so I wasn’t too bothered about losing it temporarily. I had it cut short before I started treatment so there was less to lose, in length at least.
I decided not to have the cold cap treatment, although I did give it a try.
- It’s painful (think brain freeze when eating ice-cream but worse).
- It extends the length of the chemotherapy sessions by a couple of hours at least.http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/victoria-derbyshire-takes-off-wig-in-emotional-video-following-cancer-treatment_uk_58e22dc2e4b0b3918c84c3cd
- It doesn’t always work – you will still lose your hair but you may just lose less of it.
The amount of hair loss is different for everyone. A few people won’t lose any, most will lose some to varying degrees. I lost most of mine – the grey ones lasted longest! After the first treatment I had my head shaved as losing handfuls of hair each day and the sparse hairs that were left was worse than being bald.
I didn’t take up the wig option either. By all accounts they’re itchy, hot and not that comfortable – unless you can afford a well-made one. If you do go for this option – definitely get it cut into a style you like rather than as it comes.
I found being bald was liberating and apart from being cold (my chemo started in September) as I was hair-free over the Winter, it was also hassle free – minimal washing, no hairdryer or products needed. I did have a selection of little skull caps and scarves I wore to keep my head warm and spare the shock to others. If it had been the Summer – perhaps I would have braved being bald a little more.
I often forgot I didn’t have any hair – except when I looked in the mirror, caught my reflection in a shop window or wondered what family and friends thought – sitting with the bald version of me!
It will grow back and quite quickly as soon as your chemo finishes. Within a few months you’ll have a good head of hair – short and possibly fine to start with but it’s back. Mine is now slightly darker, slightly less grey and at the beginning there was a little more wave, although I seem to have lost that sadly – my hair being mostly straight and fine. I’ve stuck with the shorter style, at least for now.