Here at Simone Thomas of Bournemouth Dorset we see many cases of hair loss in children. Over the next few weeks our blogs will be about hair loss in children and the common conditions associated with it.
For children with cancer, hair loss can be important and traumatic and for others, especially very young children, this loss can be relatively unimportant. For teenagers, hair loss can be devastating, and you will need to do everything you can to help your teen find a satisfactory way to cope with this problem. Your child will need to know if hair loss is likely to occur because of his or her treatment, and you will need to make plans to cope with this in ways that make your child most comfortable. The good news is that there are a number of non-surgical hair loss treatments your child can consider in covering his or her head.
Not all chemotherapy medications cause the chemotherapy hair loss or thinning of hair, so first ask the health care team about the recommended treatment and whether chemotherapy hair loss is expected. If your child must have radiation to the head, it is likely that they will suffer from radiotherapy hair loss from the head of wherever the radiation is directed. In many cases, hair may not grow back in the radiated area; talk with your health care team for more information and what is likely to happen in your child’s case.
Why hair loss? In the case of chemotherapy, hair loss occurs because some anticancer drugs are made to kill fast-growing cancer cells. However, certain normal cells, like hair cells, are also fast-growing; chemotherapy affects these cells, too. For almost everyone, hair begins to grow back several months after chemotherapy ends. While the hair may initially be of a different texture and even a somewhat different colour than your child’s original hair, this difference is usually temporary.
Chemotherapy hair loss usually begins several weeks after the first or second chemotherapy treatment — but this varies from individual to individual. Your child’s hair may begin thinning gradually before falling out faster and in larger quantities. There really is no rhyme or reason – the hair loss is dictated by the medication and treatment prescribed. There are variations of cancer hair care depending on the child, some children may want their hair cutting into a shorter style before hair loss begins, others may not. Some children may want to wear a wig, others may choose a scarf or hat, others may choose to wear nothing – it really is up to the individual child. There are a small selection of wigs available on the NHS, you may also be able to get funding for a wig via The Little Princess Trust – you can contact them directly and they will refer you to the nearest participating wig salon. Here at Simone Thomas hair loss clinic of Bournemouth Dorset we have a selection of human hair wigs and synthetic wigs that your child can try on to see if they want to wear a wig during treatment. We have trained stylists and Hair Loss Directors trained to work with your child to find the solution for their cancer hair loss that is right for them.
If you have a child suffering from chemotherapy hair loss or radiotherapy hair loss, please call us on 01202 760 003 to arrange a private consultation with a hair loss specialist.