Written by Jessica Tellez, Hairstylist at Urban Betty

This blog is pretty personal to me since I’m now one and a half years out from my own cancer diagnosis. I’ll be drawing both from my own experiences and research that I’ve done. I’ll be discussing the emotional toll hair loss takes, what the options are for prevention and wigs, and why chemo sometimes takes HAIR.

When I was diagnosed, my biggest fear was my life. My second thought was, “How can I be a hairstylist and not have hair?” Luckily, I had the BEST team on my side. My dearest friends, colleagues, and clients who showered me with constant compliments on my head shape helped me gain the courage to go without the hot wig. I wore one of the 7 wigs that I purchased exactly one time. They were simply too hot. Chemo forced me into early menopause, so added heat only added to my hot flashes.




I made the personal decision to spend money on my eyebrows (microblading) and not on cold caps. I was already always cold in my treatment room so I had no desire to be any more uncomfortable during those hours. That won’t necessarily be the same struggle for everyone. Here is the science behind cold caps: the cold from the cap you wear shrinks blood vessels, thereby reducing amounts of chemo reaching your scalp and hair follicles. According to, the cold also decreases the activity of the hair follicles, which slows down cell division and makes the follicles less affected by the chemotherapy medicine. Typical temperatures range between -15 and -40 degrees Fahrenheit. Prices are usually around $380 a month to rent for the duration of treatments.




Wigs are another option. This can be the perfect tool to try out new styles, colors, and alter egos! So many women are able to introduce themselves to a side of their personality they never knew existed. Want to be a wild red head but too afraid to take the plunge? Bingo. Always think about trying out long dark tresses? Got it. Ever wonder if blondes really do have more fun? Find out. It’s all available for you now! Also, side note – there are several organizations online who can provide cancer patients with FREE wigs. Explore your options.




Why do Chemo patients lose their hair? Because chemo targets rapidly divided cells. Do you know what hair cells and cancer cells have in common? They are both rapidly dividing cells. Chemo doesn’t differentiate between the two cell types. Some chemo only affects the hair on your head, some will make you completely hairless (this was me), while others won’t change your hair at all.




After all was said and done, I didn’t mind the way I looked without hair. There were days that I loved being completely hairless and even considered shaving my head after treatments were done, I loved it so much. A great shade of lipstick, big hoop earrings, and a nice microblading was my life for a bit, and all things considered, I was pretty lucky. I came out of it a lot stronger and with a new outlook on life.