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Many of our clients at Advanced Hair Solutions who are scheduled to undergo chemotherapy and/or radiation treatments have questions about potential loss of hair and other related side effects of their treatment.  At Advanced Hair Solutions, we are happy to spend as much time as needed to thoroughly answer all of their questions.  Some of the more frequently asked questions are answered below.  If you have other questions, or need additional information, please feel free to call us or schedule an appointment to see us.

Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

Q. Why will I lose my hair when undergoing chemotherapy treatments?
A. In chemotherapy drugs are administered to destroy rapidly producing cancer cells. Cancer cells are some of the most rapidly reproducing cells in the body, but other cells, such as those which contribute to the hair shaft and nails, are also rapidly reproducing. Unfortunately, while chemotherapy drugs preferentially destroy cancer cells, the drugs can also destroy those cells responsible for normal growth of hair and nails. Chemotherapy drugs are poisonous to the cells of the hair root responsible for hair shaft formation.

Q. Will I lose all of my hair?
A. The amount of hair loss depends upon the type of drugs and the dosage prescribed. Not all chemotherapy drugs cause hair loss. For further details regarding the extent of expected hair loss, please consult with your physician.

Q. When will hair loss begin once I start my chemotherapy treatments?
A. Typically, hair loss begins approximately 1-3 weeks after your first chemotherapy treatment and total hair loss generally occurs in about 1-2 months.

Q. Will my hair eventually grow back?
A. In most cases, hair loss from chemotherapy and radiation treatments is temporary. You can expect normal hair growth to return approximately 3-4 months after your final treatment.

Q. Will the new hair growth be like my original hair after the chemotherapy treatments?
A. New hair may be different from the hair that was lost. Due to the absence or alteration of pigment, the hair may grow back white, gray or a different color from hair that was lost. Eventually, as the pigment cells return to normal, the original color should return. Many men and women find that the new hair is thicker in texture and sometimes curly. But with time it will return to its original thickness.

Q. Will I also lose my eyebrows and eyelashes?
A. Some individuals do lose their eyelashes and eyebrows, but, in most cases, early management and proper application of our exclusive eyebrow solution has been effective in preserving your natural eyebrows during treatment.

Q. What are some of my options once I begin to lose my hair?
A. Depending on the nature and the extent of the hair loss, you have several options available.  Some people choose designer headwear such as scarves, turbans, and caps, while others opt for a fashionable wig or custom cranial prosthesis.

Q. When should I come in for a consultation?
A. Advanced Hair Solutions offers complimentary consultation and expert assistance in selecting and fitting of wigs and prostheses.  We know that the prospect of losing your hair is scary, but scheduling an appointment as early as possible will mean that you will get the best results because the best color, style, and length can be determined.  This way, you will have already made preparations for impending hair loss and will be able to manage it at the time of your choosing.  We think you will be surprised at our ability to make you look beautiful in a soft, natural way.

Q. Do the wigs look natural?
A. Happily, fakey-looking "wigs" are a thing of the past. Technology has advanced to the point where natural- looking wigs are worn by many women of all ages simply for lazy hair days, or to wear different fashionable hairstyles. Advanced Hair Solutions offers a wide selection of wigs which were designed to provide beautiful hair solutions for today's woman. They have been carefully handcrafted to ensure a natural look and feel. Each individual design offers beauty, comfort, rich colors and distinctive highlights. You can look the way you would like. And you can actually enhance your self-image.

Q. Won’t a wig be hot?  Itchy?  Uncomfortable?
A. No. You’ll be surprised at how comfortable a wig is to wear.  We carry a large selection of wigs that have been handcrafted and specially designed using the softest, lightweight materials to ensure the ultimate in comfort, style, and natural appearance.

Q. How can I be sure my wig won’t shift or fall off?
A. Your wig should fit both comfortably and securely.  Most wigs come with an adjustable elastic band; however, if additional security is needed, specific clips, tapes and adhesives can be used.  Our specialist will discuss your preferences and security needs during your consultation.

Q. Could a wig cause damage to my scalp, or slow my own natural hair growth?
A. No, absolutely not.  Wearing a wig will not harm your scalp or inhibit regrowth.  In fact, a wig will make you feel better and more confident about your appearance, while helping you to maintain body heat and prevent overexposure of sensitive skin during this time.  Many women choose to wear their wig until their own hair has grown in enough to style and shape.

Q. What is the difference between human hair wigs and synthetic wigs?
A. Human hair wigs tend to be more expensive and need more servicing. Synthetic wigs are less expensive, easier to style, wash easily, dry quickly and need less care. Both can look very natural. A comprehensive evaluation is required to determine the best hair replacement option for you.

Q. What is a cranial prosthesis?
A. A cranial hair prosthesis is a hair system designed specifically for those suffering from hair loss due to medical conditions. Prostheses contain a combination of fabrics and compounds that are used to recreate natural hair growth patterns and the look of the scalp. All materials in the prosthesis are treated to resist dirt, oils and body acids while providing maximum comfort. Cranial hair prostheses are different than department store wigs in quality, performance and service. Prostheses are made with specialized material based on the needs of the individual. They come in a variety of colors and styles. The fit is adjustable to each person's size and is also custom cut and styled. A department store wig has a set style - what you see is what you get. Often, they don't fit correctly and have a heavy, fuller appearance.

Q. Are there different types of prostheses available?
A. There are variations on the types of styles, but basically three categories of prostheses are available: Machine-Made, Hand-tied Pre-Designed and Full Custom. At AHS your hair replacement technician is dedicated to  assisting you in making the best choice for you.

Q. How long will a prosthesis last?
A. This depends on a number of variables: a person's lifestyle, occupation, their activities and proper care. Our hair professionals will provide instructions on how to get the most wear and the very best look possible from your hair prosthesis, as well as recommend the proper hair care products to use. Hand-tied prostheses are usually more durable than machine-made wefts.

Q. How much will a wig/cranial prosthesis cost?
A. Several factors influence the cost of your wig/prosthesis:  the type of wig (synthetic or human hair) and wig construction (pre-designed or custom.)  As a general rule, cost increases as we customize the system.  Detailed prices will be discussed during your consultation.

Q. Will insurance cover the cost of my cranial prosthesis?
A. Increasingly, insurance companies are realizing that cranial prostheses are a necessity for those suffering from medically related hair loss. We will discuss the extent to which your insurance may cover all or a portion of your expenses during your consultation.

Q. What is a sleep cap and why should I have one?
A. A sleep cap is a soft cotton cap that you can wear every night.  Once hair loss begins, some women wear one to keep hair fall under control.  A sleep cap is recommended to maintain body heat and keep your scalp protected.

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Referred By: American Cancer Society, Hospital Cancer Centers, Michigan Hair Salons and Many Satisfied Clients.

Professional Affiliations: The American Hair Loss Council, The National Alopecia Areata Foundation,
Rochester Chamber of Commerce, The "Look Good...Feel Better" Program.

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