Hair follicles are very sensitive to chemotherapy and radiation. Both of these treatments cause hair loss. Hair loss might be temporary or permanent. If your hair loss is temporary, it might start to regrow about 3 to 6 months after your transplant. You might notice that the texture or color of your hair may be different when your hair begins to regrow.
- This side effect can be emotional. Talk to your nurse or social worker about wearing scarves, hats, or wigs. Ask about the “Look Good, Feel Better” program available through the support of the American Cancer Society, the National Cosmetology Association, and the Cleveland Clinic Cancer Center. All who participate in the program will receive a complimentary gift bag of skin care and cosmetic products. Studio fifty-one is a program housed in the outpatient area that offers complimentary wigs, scarves, and caps to all Cleveland Clinic patients being treated for cancer. Studio fifty-one is supported by the American Cancer Society, The Scott Hamilton CARES Initiative, The Margaret Rose Giltinan Fund, Jeffrey Paul Salon, the Cleveland Browns, the Cleveland Indians, the Cleveland Cavaliers, and patients.
- Avoid frequent shampooing. Use a mild shampoo (such as baby shampoo) without any perfumes.
- Wash your scalp with warm water. Avoid rubbing your head; do not scratch your head. Pat your scalp dry with a soft towel.
- Avoid excessively combing or brushing your hair.
- Avoid using hair sprays, oils, or creams.
- Avoid using heat sources on your hair (including hair dryers, rollers, curling irons, or flat irons).
- Do not perm or color your hair. Ask your health care provider when you can once again color or treat your hair.
- Protect your head from the sun, cold, and wind by wearing a head covering (such as a cap, turban, scarf, or hat made of cotton or a cotton blend).
- Protect your scalp from sunburn by applying lotion with sunscreen daily (SPF 30 or greater).