How long can I wait after chemotherapy starts, before I have to cut my hair?

We at Chemo Diva are often asked, “How long can I wait after chemotherapy starts before I have to cut my hair? ” We know you want to keep your hair for as long as possible. You don’t want to cut it prematurely. And yet, you also don’t want to wait so long that you miss your opportunity to have your halo wig made with your hair. So where is the sweet spot? Unfortunately, that’s not always such an easy answer. But we can share our experience with it, and give you some recommendations.

How aggressive is your chemotherapy?

The first thing you’ll want to do is ask your doctor or nurse about the type of chemotherapy you are being prescribed. Ask them what they would expect, based on their observation of other patients with similar treatments.

Our customers usually report that their hair starts to fall out just after the second treatment. But everyone is different, and your type of chemo or regiment might be more aggressive. Check out this guide on drugs most likely to cause hair loss.

When is it too late?

The trickiest part of the waiting game is that there is not much warning that your hair is starting to fall out. Individual hairs will start to detach and hang away from your scalp. When this happens, your hair might start to look matted or frizzy. At this stage, it will be hard to gather your hair properly into little ponies. If there is very little falling out, hopefully, you can still save what is left. If there is a LOT falling out– it could be too late. While you might be able to get the ponies cut, much of it won’t actually be caught in the rubber bands. During shipping, the loose hairs will work their way out. Your ponies end up in a snarly mess. Yep, we have received orders just like this. There is not much we can do with your hair after this happens.

So, when is the best time to cut your hair?

Your safest bet is to cut before any chemotherapy. But most of our customers do just fine, waiting until after their first treatment. 🙂

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