Can You Have Hair Extensions After Cancer Treatment?

Here at New Image hair extension salon in Manchester, we see a surprising number of women who have been through cancer treatments. As you are no doubt aware, traditional cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy can leave people with dramatic hair loss, which in turn affects their self-confidence.

It is understandable that women with hair loss want to do all that they can to restore the looks they are accustomed to. However they often have a lot of questions about the plausibility of having hair extensions installed, given that their own hair may be patchy or weakened at best.

We have therefore put together an article answering the most common questions about hair extensions after cancer treatment:


Can I have hair extensions installed at all?


This is the first and most obvious question. The simple answer to this is yes, you can have hair extensions installed provided that you have enough hair regrowth for us to properly attach the extensions to.





However, your hair would need to have grown evenly, and on average we need about five or six inches of hair in order to properly fix extensions in place. The hair needs to be growing from the crown area downwards, and whether we can attach them to your hair also depends on your hair type. For example, if it is very curly, it may be more difficult at such a short length.

If you are looking to grow your own hair back, check out our top tips on the best products for growing your hair. The longer your hair is, the easier (and cheaper) it will be to install hair extensions for you.



Should I consult my Doctor before having hair extensions?


We would advise discussing the possibility of hair extensions with your healthcare provider, yes. Do bear in mind though that your Doctor may not know much about hair extensions and the effect they are likely to have on your hair. They should know whether it is OK for you to dye your hair, and we would prefer that you check this out with them if you’re thinking of having us dye it for you.

If in doubt, we advise steering away from harsh chemicals and sticking with natural, plant-based dyes that are unlikely to place unnecessary strain on your immune system.


Can I have hair extensions if I have alopecia?


There are different types of alopecia, but the term alopecia is generally the name for hair loss. It is a common side effect of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy and bone marrow or stem cell transplants. Alopecia can also be caused by other conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis or type 1 diabetes. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease that causes your immune system to attack your hair follicles, although the cause is unknown.

In our Manchester hair extension clinic we have seen many women with alopecia. On many occasions we have successfully installed hair extensions for alopecia sufferers, but whether we can or not depends on the severity of the alopecia and the way that it has manifested on the scalp. We can do our best to cover it for you, but we would need to book you in for a free consultation in order to give a definitive answer.


Which types of alopecia are not compatible with hair extensions?




There is one type of alopecia that we can’t work with, unfortunately. That is traction alopecia. Traction alopecia is hair loss caused by a pulling force on the hair. It can happen because you have worn your hair in tight hairstyles such as ponytails, high buns or pigtails too much, for example.


If you have this type of alopecia, we won’t be able to install hair extensions for you. That’s because the weight of the hair extensions could worsen the condition, which is obviously the opposite of the effect you want to achieve. A lot of women have hair extensions installed so that they can allow their own hair to grow back naturally underneath. This can only happen when the hair extensions are properly installed, usually with strategically placed micro rings.


If we feel that the hair extensions are going to be of detriment to your natural hair growth, we won’t be able to install them. The best thing you can do is have a chat with us and together we will work out what is right for you.


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