As well as fighting a serious life threatening disease, cancer patients often have to cope with the harsh reality of losing their hair during treatment. Many choose to shave their head when this starts to occur, but losing their hair can further increase the trauma experienced during their struggle against the disease. For women this can be particularly difficult.
Some cancer patients who suffer hair loss choose to wear a wig until their hair grows back. But only inpatients, children and a few other groups of people are entitled to free wigs on the NHS, and these are usually acrylic which many people dislike due to their synthetic nature. Privately bought wigs made from real human hair are generally very expensive, and as hair will usually grow back some time after cancer treatments, are often not financially viable for those with budget constraints.
Free service for chemotherapy hair loss women
Fortunately for those in the North East, a new service aims to provide help for people suffering from female hair loss as a result of undergoing chemotherapy. The Head to Toe and Pampering Service at Newcastle’s Marie Curie Hospice has recently begun offering those who have suffered hair loss during cancer treatment a chance to regain their confidence.
The new scheme is run entirely by volunteers, and gives patients the opportunity to try on and purchase a wide range of fashionable headwear in a private setting. The range includes headscarves, hats and hairpieces.
One of the volunteers who started the scheme, Diana Middleton, was inspired to do so after seeing how hard it was for her friend to find suitable headwear after she started losing hair due to chemotherapy treatment.
“At that time there wasn’t anywhere available to buy head wear,” Ms. Middleton told the Journal Live publication. “If you have suffered hair loss it is very difficult to go into a shop in Newcastle and try a hat or scarf on, so they can book an appointment with us and it’s completely private.”
The Head to Toe service is available to anyone in the North East who has lost their hair during cancer treatments such as chemotherapy. It is open every Friday morning. Those who attend can take their time to find suitable headwear in a comfortable environment, either on their own or with the assistance of a volunteer.
Chemotherapy and hair loss
Those undergoing chemotherapy treatment for cancer often lose their hair. This is because the chemotherapy drugs used to target the cancerous cells do not discriminate between good and bad cell types, and so also attack healthy hair follicles and other elements of the patient’s body.
Hair loss due to chemotherapy and other cancer treatments is usually limited to the period of time in which the patient is undergoing the treatments, and should eventually grow back in time.