What Are Chemotherapy Caps?

Kesha Ward

The medications used for chemotherapy treatment are powerful drugs that combat the growth of cancer cells. Unfortunately, these medications also attack other cells in the body, including hair roots. When the hair roots are attacked, hair falls out. Chemotherapy caps help cancer patients deal with the hair loss that results from the treatment by covering and concealing the hairline and scalp.

Chemotherapy caps help cancer patients deal with the hair loss that results from the treatment by covering and concealing the hairline and scalp.
Chemotherapy caps help cancer patients deal with the hair loss that results from the treatment by covering and concealing the hairline and scalp.

Chemotherapy caps are typically made out of materials that are not itchy; instead, they should be soothing to the scalp, which may be sensitive because of treatment. There are a number of companies that sell these caps, and caps can be found in just about every color and in various styles. The caps are also durable enough to be worn daily while the hair grows back.

Rounds of chemotherapy can cause many patients to suffer from adverse physical and psychological effects.
Rounds of chemotherapy can cause many patients to suffer from adverse physical and psychological effects.

The loss of hair from chemotherapy treatments is often an emotional experience. Concealing hair loss with the right headwear can be a difficult task. Chemotherapy caps are often chosen because they are comfortable enough to wear all day and completely cover the hair line.

Many chemotherapy patients wear wigs to cover up hair loss.
Many chemotherapy patients wear wigs to cover up hair loss.

There are also caps that have been designed to keep the scalp cool while chemotherapy drugs are being administered. Some oncologists and patients believe that hair loss can be minimized if the scalp is kept cold. The cap reportedly works by reducing the flow of blood to the scalp by causing blood vessels in the scalp to shrink. When these vessels shrink, the chemicals in the chemotherapy drugs are believed to be unable to reach the hair follicles.

Chemotherapy caps can be adorned with pins, buttons and other embellishments for a fun personalized look. They are found in a variety of materials and colors. Retailers may even sell hand-knitted caps, which can offer a unique appearance coupled with high-quality craftmanship.

There are other alternatives to chemotherapy caps. For instance, many patients wear wigs in an attempt to cover hair loss. Often, chemotherapy patients select wigs that closely resemble their own hair. These wigs have to be durable because they are often worn for 12 hours or longer every day. After repeated wear, wigs can become uncomfortable and irritate the head and scalp. Chemotherapy caps allow patients to take a break from wigs and can be used to accessorize and complement attire.

In fact, chemotherapy patients who choose to conceal their hair loss have a number of options. Scarves, hats, turbans and wigs can conceal the loss of hair while adding a stylish element to the appearance of the wearer. The key is to find headwear that fits comfortably.

A diagram of normal blood and blood from someone with leukemia, which is sometimes treated with chemotherapy.
A diagram of normal blood and blood from someone with leukemia, which is sometimes treated with chemotherapy.

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