Words of Encouragement for Cancer-Related Hair Loss

Pictured above is Courtney Lamb, whose story is part of the CaringBridge How We Heal Series.

For many, hair is one of the most beautiful and important parts of personal identity. Hair helps everyone express parts of their personality and cultural upbringing. It can even connect people to precious memories, like a first haircut as a child, or your mother brushing your hair each morning before school. 

Hair is an incredibly special part of who we are, and so when hair starts to fall out from chemotherapy and other treatments, it feels like a loss. For those experiencing cancer-related hair loss, know that these feelings of sadness are valid. Losing your hair is a loss, and on top of everything else you’re going through, it’s okay to feel overwhelmed.

Cancer-related hair loss is a significant life change, but you are not alone. We asked members of the CaringBridge community who have been in this position to share their stories and words of encouragement. Through their quotes, we hope you find strength and confidence to move forward during this new stage of life. 

Find Empowerment in Your New Look

Pictured above is Caroline Wright, whose story is part of the CaringBridge How We Heal Series.

Whether you let your hair fall away on its own or decide to shave, try to embrace your new look with confidence. Consider adopting an attitude of self-discovery and use this as an opportunity to try new things. 

Experiment with accessories, such as hats, wigs, scarves and even bold jewelry. Embrace any feelings of liberation that may come from the time you’ll save on hair care. If you struggle, seek out inspiration from others and their stories about cancer-related hair loss.

“I shaved my hair off when it started to fall out. I found it empowering when things felt so out of my control. I found cute hats, caps, and scarves to wear. Six months post chemo. It does grow back.”

Debra M.D.

“I remember the first time I saw myself bald. My hair came out in the shower, kind of shocking. Know that everything else will fall into place. . .your hair will grow back, and having short hair for a woman is empowering, you feel free.”

Nicole S.G. 

“I found losing my hair was one of the most difficult parts of my cancer journey because it was an announcement to the world that I was sick. But those feelings only lasted briefly and I came to appreciate my quick morning routine without having to wash/dry my hair. And no more bad hair days! When it started to grow back, it also gave me the opportunity to experiment with short hair for the first time in my life! As many others have said, this too shall pass. You got this!!!”

Kris R.D.

Channel Worries & Nerves Toward Healing

It’s normal to feel anxious when you start to lose your hair, but you don’t have to dwell on these feelings. Consider taking control of your fears by channeling that energy into something positive.

When you start to worry, try to reframe your thoughts. Think about the kind things you’d say to a loved one if they were going through the same thing. Apply those words to yourself, and direct your valuable energy toward healing, self-care and the future. 

If you struggle to find the words, read these cancer hair loss quotes to inspire you.

“Don’t worry about your hair loss, use that energy in getting better. I was eating ice cream and had an itch. When I scratched my head, my hair fell into the ice cream. I looked at my husband and said, ‘Let’s shave my head, one less thing to worry about!’”

Darlene B. 

“My advice: try to embrace every day and love what you are given. Take everything one day at a time, and turn it all over to God and try not to worry. Often, what you worry about never comes to pass.”

Susan R. 

Know That This is Temporary

Many hardships are temporary, including hair loss from cancer. Remind yourself that what you’re experiencing won’t last forever. 

You may have a mix of emotions during your healing journey. You may feel angry or sad. Meet your feelings with respect and kindness, and know that this too shall pass. Try to notice the positive things around you to help you cope with what you’re experiencing.

“I read a book during chemo that said this is all temporary. I repeated that over and over as I grabbed handfuls of hair. I cried as I screamed ‘this is all temporary.’”

Stefanie B. 

“Hang in there, as this too shall pass. Our hair doesn’t define who we are. Take the time to rock some fun hats, scarves, headbands. You’ll learn a lot about yourself, and have fun with it at the same time. I’m 8 months post-chemo, and just had my first “haircut” this week. I’m loving my new look!”

Karen M.W. 

Know Hair Loss Does Not Define Your Beauty & Worth

Pictured above is Andre Beasley, whose story is part of the CaringBridge How We Heal Series.

Losing your hair from cancer can feel traumatic. But remember, your hair does not define you. No matter how you look, real beauty comes from genuineness and self-love. The most important person’s opinion is your own, so affirm your worthiness and beauty.

“You’re still beautiful no matter what, hair or no hair.”

Rose L.S.

“My hairdresser shaved my hair off for me once I knew chemo was scheduled. He found me two attractive wigs that I wore to school and church, and many people didn’t know I’d lost my own hair. When it came back in, it was curly and much more fun than before. There are many more important things to deal with than hair!”

Roberta E.H. 

“You’re still beautiful and handsome, hair doesn’t make your personality.” 

Peggie O. 

What Advice Would You Share?

To those experiencing cancer-related hair loss, you are not alone, and there are communities that understand what you’re going through. 

If you’re looking for a place to start, consider trying the American Cancer Society’s Reach to Recovery app. This free program is specifically designed to connect people facing breast cancer with trained volunteers who are breast cancer survivors. Sometimes speaking with others who have been in your position can help inspire confidence and strength. 

For those who have gone through a hair-loss journey, please feel free to share your advice and words of encouragement in the comments below. Your story may help give courage to those going through hair loss.

Don’t Go Through Your Health Journey Alone

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  • Crystal Craig

    As a retired nurse who was diagnosed with breast cancer 7 yrs ago, i had 4 different chemotherapy drugs. I knew that when i lost my hair, that it meant that the chemotherapy was doing its job. Hair loss was one of the symptoms ( fingernails and toenail issues, G I symptoms as well). My hairdresser insisted on coming to my home to buzz my hair, after I told her that I wanted to preempt the loss of the longer hair. Everyone is different, i was going on a pre-planned pilgrimage to Europe , and didn’t want it to come out in large wads while traveling. To me, losing it that way would have been more disconcerting than losing tiny hairs. My hair started growing back around 3 weeks after my 3 chemotherapy drugs were completed. The 4th drug that i had to continue, didn’t affect the regrowth as much. I chose not to recolor my hair and the texture went from naturally wavy to straight. Wigs, bold/larger jewelry, soft hats, scarves will allow you to show your personality. My wig was so close to my real color and style that most people didn’t know i was wearing one. Be at peace, know that it will grow back and be kind to yourself. God Bless

  • Uncle Bill

    Remember please “hair loss” is an outward sign something very important is going on inside, and CANCER is the BIG LOSER!!

  • Ellen

    Losing my hair was only one of the impacts of breast cancer. The amazing part was how I grew as a part of the process. I am not sure why, but it made me realize so much about myself. I am now 5 years cancer free and so much happier than I have ever been. It put life into perspective for me. I am a kinder person that cherishes my friends and family. I no longer worry about everything and realize how much time I wasted on things that just don’t matter. For me, breast cancer was a blessing in disguise. I hope you to can find some silver lining!

  • Bette Fugitt

    Hi, I had my hairdresser shave my head once my hair started falling out from chemotherapy. Best thing I ever did! Then I found a wonderful website called Headcovers Unlimited (headcovers.com) created for people with cancer created by a woman who had gone through chemotherapy. There are tips, wigs, head coverings, scarves at reasonable prices. I didn’t bother with the wigs. The head coverings kept my head warm in cold weather. Hope this helps.

  • Robin Saxton

    I found my bald head empowering. It was odd. I was sad initially but definitely recovered quickly. I’ll forget I’m bald and go outside without giving it a second thought.

  • Debbie Forsyth

    God could only make so many perfect heads. The rest are covered with hair! You must have a perfect head and just choose to cover it most of the time.

  • Toni B.

    I had hair down to my waist before I started this journey. I got it cut to my shoulders. My hairdresser pointed to the hair on the floor and commented, “Look at the plumbing bill we avoided!” (She is a good friend.)
    Now, it’s been 18 months of baldness, and I kinda like it. The new babies in our lives LOVE my look! And, I like all the giggles and smiles they gift to me.
    I knew my hair was high maintenance, but I didn’t realize just how much energy I used to put into it! It is a blessing that I don’t have to fuss with it right now, and can enjoy hats, scarves, etc.