For many blood cancer patients like Anna Mamwell losing their hair is an unfortunate and unwanted side-effect of treatment due to chemo's inability to distinguish between cancerous and other fast growing cells such as hair follicles.
To help patients like Anna who face the prospect of losing their hair during chemo we asked patients to share their experiences along with any tips and advice they had for coping without their hair. Read on to find out more about their experiences and recommendations:
1. Jane Leahy
"I've lost my hair once already and I'm currently going through that 'itchy, painful scalp' phase prior to it all falling out having had my transplant. Seems daft to be recommending shampoo on a post about hair loss, but I've found Head and Shoulders itchy scalp shampoo and conditioner has really soothed my painful scalp. I've opted to shave and wear cotton caps and scarves too."
2. Michelle Hattam
"I lost my hair twice. Once with chemo and then it grew back a bit and then again once I went to transplant! I thought I would be completely devastated but to be honest it was a relief to get shot of with loose hair everywhere! I began to realise that it didn't define me as I was still me just without hair!! What was more important than anything ultimately was my health and recovery. Now I am rocking a new shorter style and more importantly life is good!! Xxxx"
3. Emma Louise Bottoms
"I got the nurse to shave mine as I was tired of leaving hair everywhee. When it starts to come out, the texture changes and it's just not the same anymore. I actually found it made my life a bit easier because hair to wash would've just been another chore. I had a break from chemo due to an infection and within a month, I had a thin layer of hair so I know when the treatment is over, it won't take long to grow back."
4. Nicola Taylor
"I have very short hair ....so when it started to fall out,and it was lying on every surface,dinner plates,pillows etc,I asked my daughter who is a hairdresser to shave it off and I immediately felt liberated because tufts that were there , were making me feel low.....My lovely mum knitted me some cotton hats in varying styles for the cold days,and I bought summer hats ...xx"
5. Kate Common
"I had the nurse cut mine. I have thick hair but keep it short, I found that my hair started to grow back before it had all dropped out, so had a very, very short cut!! I wore hats when I needed them. I refused to have a wig, I couldn't do with all the fussing of the wig ladies, trying to match my colour and style, so stuck to knitted hats and summer hats."
6. Janette Ritchie
"I asked a nurse to shave mine off because I couldn't bare the thought of it falling out all over the place. Then I got busy crocheting hats. I got a free wig but it was hot and itchy and made me look like Rod Stewart!"
A huge thank you to everyone that shared their experiences of hair loss to help others affected by blood cancer. If you have any further tips or suggestions or would like to share your own experiences please don't hesitate to leave a comment in the box below.
Read Anna's original blog about her own experiences of losing her hair