What happens when the cancer wig comes off at night?

Cancer  hat, cancer wigWhen a woman loses her hair due to chemotherapy, it is more than just a personal issue that affects her self-esteem.  Hair loss can also put undue stress on her social and intimate relationships.  Even though women facing hair loss have the option to wear a cancer hat, wig or headscarf, it still creates a dramatic change in their overall appearance.  And whether one wants to believe it or not, hair loss can have a significant impact on loved ones as well.

What is most troubling about this issue is the fact that most women rely on their partner or significant other to be a source of strength and unconditional love during this difficult time.  When the general public offers nothing but thoughtless comments and prying questions, and the image they see in the mirror just reinforces that image, women expect their spouse to make them feel accepted and loved.  But in many cases, when the chemotherapy wig comes off at bedtime, it can be a little discomfiting for men.  Let’s face it: some men have a really hard time with the reality of baldness in women, regardless of the circumstances.

Women facing a complete loss of hair from chemotherapy often feel isolated and alone, especially when there is a perceived lack of empathy from the ones they love.  Rather than taking this personally, it helps to remember that a loved one may have a difficult time witnessing chemotherapy-induced hair loss because it is such a noticeable reminder that the person they love is in a battle with cancer.  What may seem to be a negative reaction to a partner’s hair loss could be based on their own fears – fears of being alone, fear of change, of growing old and of their own mortality.

Before you start making assumptions about the motivation behind your partner’s reaction to your hair loss, take the opportunity to open up the lines of communication and find out what is driving this behavior.  And remember, cancer hair loss is only temporary.  By the time you both get used to the cancer wig or chemotherapy hats, your hair will be growing in again.

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