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You might not realize about how important your hair is until you face losing it. And if you have cancer and are about to undergo chemotherapy, the chance of hair loss becomes very real. Both men and women commonly report hair loss as one of the side effects they fear most after being diagnosed with cancer.
Popular MTV star Diem Brown has been blogging about her second fight with ovarian cancer for PEOPLE magazine and this week discussed her fears of losing her signature blonde locks. She was quoted in her blog saying, "I know people..."it's just hair"... ugh, if I hear that one more time! It's almost humorous to me now. I've even tried that mantra on myself while hoping to suppress my fears. But I'm going to be real: Yes, "it's just hair," but this part of the chemo process is the most visual sign to me – and to others – that I am ill."
Brown's fears are all too common, but luckily, there are steps men and women can take to possibly prevent hair loss and stimulate growth following treatment. Cold cap therapy is becoming increasing popular, the therapy, which decreases blood flow to the scalp, causing the blood vessels in the scalp to shrink. This, in turn, blocks the harsh chemicals in the chemotherapy from reaching the hair follicles. While this is new technology, it does show promise for many patients.
While there is no sure way to prevent hair loss during treatment, there are several known ways to stimulate healthy hair growth following treatment - including low level laser therapy, hair vitamin supplements, and maintaining a healthy diet.