The Gift of Support: Helping Someone Cope With Hair Loss

Hair loss sucks.

I most recently shared an intimate journey with a close friend going through breast cancer. Her experiences made me more aware of the emotions and decisions that breast cancer survivors face. Out of empathy (not sympathy), I looked for ways to support her.

Many of my friends, family, and acquaintenances have suffered hair loss. Thus, here is my first article on GGS regarding the gift of support for hair loss. No little trinket or bobble is going to suffice in these circumstances.

There are different ways that you can support your friend that are both material and non-material. Coping with hair loss is a challenging experience. Helping your friend by coming up with solutions for hair loss, connecting them with resources, and being a great friend is the best gift that you can give!

Reasons why people lose hair

Here are a list of situations that a person might lose their hair. Each reason is unique, and support may be approached differently. The second half of this article offers ways to support someone going through hair loss.

Hair loss can be a distressing experience that can affect self-esteem and confidence. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, age, hormonal changes, and medical conditions. It can affect both men and women, young and old. The feelings and emotions of the person going through hair loss should not be minimized.

Hair loss due to cancer treatment

Cancer treatment, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy, can cause hair loss. These treatments target rapidly dividing cells, including hair follicles. Hair loss due to cancer treatment can be temporary or permanent, and it can affect the hair on your scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes, and other parts of your body.

Losing hair due to cancer treatment is just one struggle to face. My friend experienced exhaustion, severe vomiting due to her meds, dyhydration, lack of appetite, and fear. Cancer is a whole package of discomfort.

Recognizing that your friend or family member needs extended support is a great place to start.

Bald woman with tattoo on head looking at wig.
Dealing with hair loss due to chemo takes courage.

Resources for hair loss support due to cancer treatments:

Rapunzel Project

The Rapunzel Project is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping chemotherapy patients keep their hair during treatment.

Funds raised by The Rapunzel Project will be used for two related purposes: first, to create awareness that hair loss during chemotherapy can be prevented through the use of specialized cold caps, and second, to purchase specialized freezers, cold caps and related equipment to facilitate this process.

Hair loss due to health condition

Hair loss can also be a symptom of an underlying health condition, such as thyroid problems, autoimmune diseases, and scalp infections. In some cases, hair loss due to a health condition can be reversed with proper treatment.

A person can feel life is out of control when they experience hair loss due to a health condition. It’s even more frightening if they have no answers why. Support your loved one by If encouraging them to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

Hair loss due to male or female pattern baldness

Male or female pattern baldness is a common type of hair loss that is caused by genetics and hormonal changes. This type of hair loss is characterized by a receding hairline, thinning crown, and overall hair loss. While there is no cure for male or female pattern baldness, there are treatments available that can slow down or stop the progression of hair loss.

Although male pattern baldness is seen as normal, men still have a difficult time accepting it, especially when it happens to a young male. The trend of close-shaved heads and complete shaving has been seen as an attractive solution for men. Males either embrace it, shave their heads, or wear a toupee.

Caucasion balding middle-aged man touching bald spot and worrying.
Losing hair to pattern baldness is a sensitive topic.

To women, female pattern baldness is devastating. Thankfully, there are advances in science for hair loss. According to Web MD, some treatments can slow or stop growth. There are also hair transplant options or even permanent wigs attached to the head. Of course, traditional wigs are an option, too.

If you or someone you know is experiencing male or female pattern baldness, it is important to provide emotional support, be sensitive to their feelings, and help them find the right treatment.

Hair loss due to stress

Stress can also cause hair loss, especially if it is chronic or severe. Stress can disrupt the normal hair growth cycle, leading to hair loss or thinning.

No one knows why one person reacts to stress by losing hair loss, and another person shows no outward signs. I have known two such people. The first woman lost hair due to financial troubles and life not turning out as she has envisioned. Another was a young girl who was bullied at school.

African American woman distressed looking at her hair in a hairbrush.
“Hair falling out can be one side effect of stress.

In both situations, the persons had loving and supportive families who helped to change their stressful circumstances. Consider the different ways that you can help yourself or a loved one manage the stress:

If you or someone you know is experiencing hair loss due to stress, it is important to address the underlying stressors and find ways to manage stress, such as exercise, meditation, or therapy such as exercise, meditation, or therapy.

Hair loss due to other factors

Other factors that can contribute to hair loss include nutritional deficiencies, medications, external factors, and hair styling practices. For example, tight hairstyles, such as braids, weaves, and ponytails, can cause hair loss due to traction alopecia. Hormonal conditions can also cause hair loss, including polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

If you or someone you know is experiencing hair loss due to other factors, it is important to identify the cause and find ways to prevent further hair loss.

Supporting a friend with hair loss can be a delicate situation. It is important to listen to their concerns, provide emotional support, and help them find the right treatment or coping strategies. You can also help them find resources and support groups for people with hair loss. Remember, hair loss is a common problem, and there is no shame in seeking help or support.

Bald man wearing a wig.
Attractive wigs in men’s styles are available for males who have lost hair. Picture: before and after wig application.

Tattoo on head for hair loss

Scalp micropigmentation (or scalp pigmentation) is an alternative option to wearing a wig for hair loss. According to Cleveland Clinic, micropigmentation is a medical terms that describe the process of applying a tattoo on the head to “cover bald spots or thinning hair without surgery. Providers use thin needles to deposit tiny dots of pigment (color) on the scalp. This treatment can cover bald spots or create a shaved head look.”

Micropigmentation is also a choice for thinning hair or partial hair loss. Some people may also reference it as “3d micropigmenation” as it gives the impression that hair is present. Micropigmentation can also be used to mask scars and birthmarks.

Of course, a decorative head tattoo is always a choice and has become culturally acceptable. Know that head tattoos can fade, especially when exposed to sunlight.

Left: closeup of caucasion bald man adding to a decorative head tattoo; right: African American man getting a scalp micropigmentation for hair loss.
A decorative tattoo, or a “scalp tattoo”/micropigmentation are alternatives to wearing a wig for hair loss.

It’s important to note that micropigmentation doesn’t grow hair. Cleveland Clinic informs that “Scalp micropigmentation doesn’t grow hair or change your natural hair growth. It’s not a hair loss treatment. It also won’t cause hair loss or damage your existing hair follicles. Scalp micropigmentation is a way to make it look like you have fuller, thicker hair.”

It’s important to know that micropigmentation is not the same as tattoo ink, so they resist fading or color change.

Micropigmentation or microblading for eyebrows

Micropigmentation for eyebrows is also available. Hair loss can extend to all parts of the body, including eyebrows. Some men and woman may choose to draw in eyebrows, or apply cosmetic eyebrows.

“Microblading” is the term for applying ink to the eyebrows. It offers a natural look without the hassle of daily application of other solutions.

African American woman receiving microblading for eyebrows.
Microblading eyebrows (micropigmentation) is a natural looking solution for eyebrow hair loss.

Helping a friend choose a medical wig

If your friend is experiencing hair loss due to medical treatment or a condition like alopecia, they may consider getting a medical wig. Here are some things to keep in mind when helping your friend choose a medical wig.

What are medical wigs?

Medical wigs are designed specifically for people experiencing hair loss due to medical reasons. They are made with high-quality materials and are often more comfortable and breathable than regular wigs. Medical wigs come in a variety of styles, colors, and lengths, so your friend can choose one that matches their natural hair or try out a new look.

A wig expert poised ready to help customers in a wig shop.
A wig expert is ready to assist clients with compassion and care.

Medical wigs cranial prosthesis

One type of medical wig is a cranial prosthesis. This is a wig that is custom-made to fit your friend’s head and is often covered by insurance. Cranial prostheses are designed to look and feel like natural hair and can be a great option for people undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatment.

My friend visited a local wig shop that offered kind and patient service. Someone had given a tip to have the store bill the wig as a “cranial presthesis” for insurance purposes. Insurance should pay for medical wigs. If insurance doens’t accept the submitted claim the first time, make sure the company selling the wig is using the correct phrasing on the bill.

A natural wig can cost hundreds of dollars, a cost that adds to the stress of experiencing hair loss due to cancer.

Cancer hats with hair

Another option for your friend is a cancer hat with hair. These hats are made with synthetic hair attached to the top, so it looks like your friend is wearing a regular hat with hair. Cancer hats with hair are a great option for people who want a more casual look and don’t want to wear a full wig.

My friend chose this as one of her options after hair loss due to chemotherapy treatments. Wearing a wig can feel not secure, the fear of the wig falling off is real. Having the security of a cap gave her the confidence to go back out in public.

Medical wigs for Alopecia

If your friend has alopecia, they may want to consider a medical wig designed specifically for this condition. Alopecia wigs are made with a special cap that adheres to the scalp, so they stay in place even during physical activity. They also come in a variety of styles and colors, so your friend can choose one that matches their natural hair or try out a new look.

A young man from my local town experienced Alopecia. As a young person, it could have affected him adversally from a mental state. The wonderful thing about small towns is that everyone is your friend or neighbor. The entire town understood his condition and never made him feel awkward.

Woman with Alopecia.
Some people with Alopecia embrace their bald appearance.

Today, he is a thriving member of the community with a wife and children. He has embraced life without hair.

When helping your friend choose a medical wig, it’s important to keep their personal preferences and needs in mind. Encourage them to try on different styles and colors to find one that makes them feel comfortable and confident. Supporting a friend with hair loss can be challenging, but helping them choose a medical wig can be a great way to show your support and help them feel more like themselves.

Support groups for Alopecia hair loss:

How to support a friend coping with hair loss

It can be difficult to watch a friend go through hair loss, but you can be a source of comfort and support during this challenging time. Here are some ways you can help your friend cope with hair loss:

Educate yourself on wigs or hair therapy replacements

Hair loss can be a sensitive subject, so it’s important to approach the topic with care. Educate yourself on wig and hair therapy replacement options so you can offer helpful suggestions if your friend is interested. You can also offer to accompany your friend to appointments with hair replacement specialists.

Helping pick out a wig or toupee

If your friend decides to wear a wig or toupee, offer to help them pick one out. Go with them to a wig shop or help them shop online. Encourage them to try on different styles and colors until they find one that makes them feel comfortable and confident.

Revelation is a wig shop in Decorah, Iowa that offers sensitive service and guidance. I am honored to share their link after the exceptional and caring service they demonstrated to my friend going through cancer treatments.

They explained the different types of wigs and how to attach them. The owners also take the time to provide private support and suggest hair styles. My friend actually enjoyed the visit. Her hair was starting to go gray, and she chose a wig in a color of her more youthful days.

Mannequin heads with wigs.
Finding solutions to hair loss, such as shopping for wigs, is a way to support a friend.

Finding a new hairstyle

If your friend is not interested in wearing a wig or toupee, help them find a new hairstyle that they feel comfortable with. There are many stylish and flattering haircuts for people with hair loss, such as short pixie cuts or longer styles with layers.

Listen to your friend’s concerns

Hair loss can be a difficult and emotional experience. Be there for your friend and listen to their concerns without judgment. Let them know that you are there to support them and that you understand how difficult this time can be.

If your friend or family member appears to really be struggling mentally, you may need to encourage them to seek counseling. That’s where friends and family members are valuable, they can give perspective when depression sets in and thoughts become clouded.

Find a hair loss support group

Encourage your friend to join a hair loss support group where they can connect with others who are going through similar experiences. Being part of a support group can provide a sense of community and help your friend feel less alone.

Benefits of support groups for hair loss:

  • emotional support
  • tips and advice
  • sharing of experiences of treatment options
  • a safe place to go without a wig
  • online or distance options add convenience via Zoom, etc.

Additionally, many online forums and social media groups provide a platform for people to share their stories and connect with others who are dealing with hair loss. There, they can find support and advice from others who have gone through similar experiences.


I could not possibly list all of the Facebook and Reddit groups. More importantly, a person should scope out the groups for themselves to identify a best fit. Alopecia support groups are listed under the Alopecia section of this article.

Friends enjoying the view of beautiful sunset and embracing.
Family and friends can offer extra support when a love one experiences hais loss.

Activities to reduce anxiety due to hair loss

Hair loss can be a stressful experience, so encourage your friend to participate in activities that help reduce anxiety and stress. Yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises are all great options.

Taking up a “maker” hobby, such as carpentry, knitting, painting, etc. also offers a nice distraction. Many people endorse past times such as fishing, hiking, and enjoying the outdoors immensely theraputic.

Help your friend embrace baldness

If your friend decides to embrace their baldness, support them in their decision. Offer compliments and words of encouragement to help them feel confident and beautiful. Plenty of men rock a sexy bald look. Even women look good bald. Support your friend by gathering photos of celebs and models who are proud of their sleek heads.

One word, though. Not everyone looks good bald, due to the shape of their head. Everyone imagines that heads are perfectly round underneath their hair. It’s not uncommon to disover a flat spot or even a birth mark.

Cosmotologist shaving man's head.
Shaving heads in support of friends and family going through cancer treatments has become a popular event. Credit: Mike Babcock, Flickr.

Apps exist to answer the question, “What would I look like bald?”. They are only a best guess representation, but might be

In that case, your friend may feel sad about the choice of baldness. As a friend, you can be there to gently suggest other alternatives, such as a wig.

Shaving head for cancer support

If your friend is losing hair due to cancer treatment, consider shaving your head in solidarity. This can be a powerful way to show your support and let your friend know that they are not alone. It also helps you feel empathy and gives greater perspective of hair loss.

Remember, the most important thing you can do is be there for your friend and offer your support and understanding during this difficult time.

Spiritual meaning of hair loss in dreams

On a related subject are dreams about hair loss. Dreams about hair loss can be unsettling and leave you feeling confused and anxious. However, according to spiritual beliefs, these dreams may carry a deeper meaning. Here are a few possible interpretations of the spiritual meaning of hair loss in dreams:

Surrender and letting go

Hair loss can be seen as a sign that you must surrender certain aspects of yourself to move forward. In the case of hair loss, the shedding of your physical form can signify a need to make room for new growth or opportunities. This interpretation can be particularly relevant if you are going through a period of change or transition in your life.

Man sitting on cloud with legs crossed.
Having dreams about hair loss could signify many different meanings in your real life.

Loss of power

Hair is often seen as a symbol of power, especially in cultures where long hair is associated with femininity and beauty. If you dream about losing your hair, it may be a sign that you are feeling powerless or vulnerable in some aspect of your life. This interpretation can be particularly relevant if you are going through a difficult time at work or in your personal relationships.

Letting go of vanity

Hair loss can also be interpreted as a sign that you need to let go of your attachment to physical appearance and vanity. This interpretation can be particularly relevant if you are someone who places a lot of importance on your physical appearance or is overly concerned with how others perceive you.

It is important to note that these interpretations are not definitive and may vary depending on your individual beliefs and experiences. However, exploring the spiritual meaning of hair loss in dreams can be a helpful way to gain insight into your subconscious thoughts and emotions.

Different persons experiencing hair loss for different reasons.
Losing hair, for whatever reason, can be depressing. Having a friend help you through it means everything.
Renee Cavvy
Renee Cavvy

Renee brings over 30 years of gift giving experience to holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, workplace and faith events. Every life moment is cause for celebration or those times in life when we need the "the gift of support". Her mission: Let's all be better in appreciating one another, put an end to meaningless gifts that clutter our lives, and give from a place of love and kindness. This midwest mom (and grandma) offers novel and creative ideas to do gift giving better!