What is Medically Necessary Hair Loss Replacement?
- What is a hair prosthesis?
- Will my health insurance cover this?
- I am battling chemotherapy; can you help?
- What about Alopecia patients?
- I want to look like ME again!
Reclaim Your Self-Confidence Today With Natural Medical Hair Enhancements!
Hair Replacement Associates is devoted to the needs of people experiencing medical hair loss who are undergoing chemotherapy, recovering from chemotherapy, radiation or surgery.
We are committed to easing you through this transition time with a wide variety of natural looking hair enhancements on site in a private, serene, environment.
Let Hair Replacement Associates help you minimize the devastating effects of hair loss! Call 781-449-4677 Today for Free and Private Consultation!
Frequently Asked Questions
How much hair is lost?
The clinical term describing hair loss is alopecia. Hair loss usually occurs two to three weeks after the beginning of chemotherapy or radiation therapy. The rate at which people lose hair varies, as each person responds differently to treatment. Several days before hair loss occurs, your scalp may become very itchy and sensitive.
Chemotherapy may affect all body hair. Since scalp hair is generally in an active growth phase, it is affected by chemotherapy more often than other body hair. Alopecia is usually temporary among patients receiving chemotherapy. The degree of hair loss is dependent on the dose and drug used.
Radiation therapy affects hair in the area being irradiated. With radiation therapy, hair loss may or may not be permanent. The amount of hair loss can range from thinning to complete baldness. The quantity of hair loss as a result of radiation therapy is dose and site-dependent.
Why does hair fall out?
Cancer cells divide and grow rapidly. Hair is also made up of fast-growing cells. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy are designed to destroy any cells that multiply quickly, and cannot differentiate between cancer and hair cells. This causes the hair to fall out at the root.
When does hair grow back?
Normally, hair does not grow back until you have completed chemotherapy. Some people do experience hair growth before the therapy is completed.
Radiation therapy may retard hair growth. Regrowth does not usually begin until several months after the radiation treatment is completed.
It may take six months to one year for hair to regrow to its prior length; hair generally grows about a quarter of an inch every four weeks once you have completed the treatment.
If you want to have your hair chemically curled, it is best to use a mild body wave. In order to prevent damage to the recovering hair shaft, wrap your hair loosely on the largest curling rod for a short amount of time.
If you want to color your new hair, a safer, gentler way to do so is by using a semi-permanent color. Do not bleach hair to lighten.
What hair alternatives are available?
There are a number of natural-looking hair enhancements that will stay in place, are easy to care for, comfortable to wear, and reasonably priced.
Cranial Prostheses (hair enhancements) create a more natural look.
Cranial Prosthesis can be made from synthetic hair, human hair, or a combination of the two.
Any Cranial Prosthesis should be fitted and shaped to suit each individual.
What special care does a Cranial Prosthesis require?
A Cranial Prosthesis should be washed only when needed, or after about 20 wearings if made from synthetic hair. Less care is better. Human hair enhancements usually need to be cared for every week.
Soak the Cranial Prosthesis in a mild, gentle shampoo for a few minutes using cool water and rinse thoroughly.
Pat with a towel to remove excess moisture and shake the Cranial Prosthesis vigorously. Hang it over a tall object (soda bottle) or spread it on a towel to dry if you don’t have a hair enhancement stand.
Do not brush synthetic hair enhancements while wet.
Style after hair enhancement is thoroughly dry. Do not use a curling iron or hair dryer on synthetics or blends as this will burn the hair.
Use caution when opening your oven, dishwasher, grille while wearing your hair enhancement, letting the extreme heat escape before going close to it
Always use a vent brush for straight styles or a pick for curly styles.
Avoid using standard hair brushes because they can create excessive tension, over-stretching the hair and damaging it.
Think “reverse” when brushing your hair enhancement. Start from the ends and work gradually toward the root area of the wig. When using a wire pick, also work the curls from ends to root area.
Will the Cranial Prosthesis be comfortable?
If fitted properly and securely, your hair enhancement will be comfortable. We recommend wearing a cotton skull cap under the hair enhancement to reduce itching. All hair enhancements can be re sized to fit your head.
Tips for securing Cranial Prosthesis:
Adjustable tabs, pull in to tighten, let out to loosen.
Double-sided tape placed in base of hair enhancement base at forehead and on both ear tabs.
Using hairpins, place through nylon cap and wig on both sides and back of head.
Roll on adhesive can be placed directly on scalp and washed off with water.
What should I know about hair and scalp care during therapy?
Use a mild shampoo and conditioner weekly.
Pat dry gently with a towel, do not rub.
Comb hair very gently.
Avoid electrical hair appliances; let hair dry naturally.
Consult your doctor before having any chemical processing done on your hair.
Always protect your uncovered scalp with sunscreen while outside.
Wear a night cap for sleep if you find you are losing body heat with an unprotected scalp.
You might find that sleeping on a satin pillowcase reduces friction.
Will insurance cover my Cranial Prosthesis?
While every insurance plan is different and there is no guarantee of coverage in all cases, these guidelines may assist you in obtaining insurance reimbursement.
Get a prescription from your Oncologist.
Prescription should read “Cranial/Prosthesis for medical purposes”
Obtain a receipt from HRA of the above prescription.
Submit to insurance, prepare for denial of the claim.
Resubmit if declined, include a picture of yourself without hair and request a review by medical review board. Send new claim to claim supervisor.
Educate your insurance company. Explain that the prosthesis is needed as a medical necessity and is not cosmetic.
Have your doctor write a letter on your behalf.
Keep a copy of all correspondence, document telephone conversations (with dates and person spoke to) in writing. Most policies do not spell out exclusions under prosthetics; check your policy carefully.
Massachusetts law provides coverage for a Cranial Prosthesis of at least $350 per calendar year for anyone within Massachusetts health insurance undergoing cancer treatment.
Do I need to make an appointment before coming to HRA?
Making an appointment for a Cranial Prosthesis fitting is paramount to us so we can give you our full attention and reduce your wait time. By scheduling ahead, we can verify the necessary prescription and insurance information, which will minimize your wait when you come in for your consultation. You can be confident that we will make every effort to accommodate your needs.