Illness and the effects of certain treatments often make visible changes to one’s physique. Chemotherapy may cause you temporarily to lose your hair. Such side-effects can affect your morale and your well-being.

Hair care

  • If you lose your hair during chemotherapy, it will grow again some weeks after the termination of treatment. Its color and texture will not always be the same when it grows back.
  • Hair loss is sometimes accompanied by tingling or itching. This stage is often experienced as a difficult one. The care team will support you and propose alternative head coverings. You can wear a scarf (preferably of natural fibre: cotton or silk), a beret, a hat or a wig.
  • Your body hair may also change; however, the loss of eyebrows, underarm or pubic hair varies from one person to another.

During the summer a scarf is often easier to wear than a wig. The care team will gladly give you some good tips on different ways of knotting it.

Quality criteria for the choice and care of your wig

  • Make an appointment with the wig-maker if possible before you lose your hair. If you have already lost it, take along a photo of yourself that you like.
  • A medical wig is designed to be worn on a bald head. It should not have any thick seams or roughness on the inside because this may injure you.
  • It should be finely woven and transparent so that one can see your head at the roots in the normal way.
  • The wig must fit perfectly to allow you to move about without it slipping. After-sales service must include adjustments at no extra cost.
  • The retailer, even if not a specialized wig-maker, must offer to trim and correct the model as best suits your appearance.
  • High quality wig-makers and retailers offer to visit you in hospital at no additional cost.
  • A wig can be washed with a normal soft shampoo, rinsed well and left to dry in the air. No specific care products are necessary.
  • High heat can damage a wig. You are recommended not to expose yours to the steam when you open the oven, while you are cooking food, using a steam iron station, in the sauna etc.
  • A disability insurance or AI (for those of working age) or AVS (for retirees) will reimburse the costs of a wig on the basis of a flat annual fee. Good wig-makers or retailers will take charge of the administrative paperwork for you.

+ N.B.
Ligue Suisse contre le cancer brochure
Soigner son apparence durant et après la thérapie [Taking care of your appearance during and after treatment]

Download the sheet Hairloss


Last update : 08/02/2019