Looking after your hair

It's normal to feel like your hair forms a big part of your identity, which means losing it or dealing with changes can be especially tough. You're not alone if you feel this way but remember that you do have options.

Hair care

Dealing with changes to your hair like thinning and dryness can be tough. Sometimes it grows back in a different way which can be difficult if it’s not what you’re used to.

  • Use baby shampoo and a soft brush while you’re on treatment
  • Let your hairdresser or barber know what you’re going through so they can help find a style you can manage.
  • As tempting as it might be to try a different style, avoid colouring, perming, tongs or straighteners throughout treatment and for six months afterwards.

Hair loss

People deal with losing their hair in different ways. For some, it can be a traumatic experience, while others take it in their stride. If you’re struggling with this, our self-esteem advice could help and remember that there are plenty of things that you can do.

  • Look after your skin by washing your scalp regularly with a gentle face wash rather than shampoo
  • After rinsing with warm water, pat dry and massage your scalp with a moisturiser to keep your skin feeling nourished
  • If you’re going out with nothing covering your head, be sure to apply sun cream with a high SPF.

Roisin’s lost her hair a few times. In her video, she gives some ideas about how you might want to handle it.

Eyelashes and brows

Losing your lashes and brows can be just as challenging as losing your hair. You can always use products like eyeliners, brow pencils and false lashes to help you feel better.

  • Staff at makeup counters can help find products that work for you and show you how to use them
  • YouTube tutorials can be great for showing you how to be creative with your makeup
  • If your eyes are feeling sore or sensitive, have a chat with your care team for some advice.

Roisin gives some more tips about what you might want to do if you’ve lost your eyebrow hair or eyelashes.


Wigs can help you feel more like yourself when you lose some or all of your hair. They can also give you an opportunity to explore new hairstyles and colours you might not usually.

  • Your care team will be able to recommend a good supplier. Take along a friend or family member to help you find the right one
  • Don’t place yourself under any pressure and go for one that makes you feel comfortable
  • There is a range of options when choosing a wig; you can go for something custom-made, off-the-shelf, with synthetic or real hair. Try on a few and have some fun
  • Always ask the seller or manufacturer how you can keep your wig in good condition.

*If you are a hospital inpatient or you are aged 18 or under and in full-time education, you are entitled to a free wig. This also applies if you, your partner or parents are receiving certain benefits. Find out more about help with health costs.

Published June 2017
Review date: 2020

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