Hair pain, eyelashes and eyebrows

Hair pain

Some patients experience ‘hair pain’ several days before the hair loss begins. One patient said: ‘It felt as though I was constantly being poked on the scalp with needles. It also hurt when my head touched something, like my pillow.’ Another patient described it as ‘the feeling that you used to get when you had a pony tail that was too tight’.

Eyelashes and eyebrows

The hair on the head falls out sooner than elsewhere on the body. Eyelashes and eyebrows fall out more gradually than the hair on the head. Beard growth will slow as well. The loss of downy hair on the body can cause you to get cold faster.

Camouflage for the loss of eyelashes and eyebrows

Eyelashes and eyebrows can also fall out because of chemotherapy; that happens later than the loss of hair on the head. Eyelashes and eyebrows are key elements of the face. Camouflaging can be done by means of make-up, false eyelashes and eyebrows or tattoos/permanent make-up.

Eyelashes you can draw in yourself. Have someone to demonstrate it for you. Patients report that the use of a template produces an unnatural result. The loss can also be camouflaged by wearing sunglasses or (fake) glasses. The loss of eyebrows is made less noticeable by wearing a wig with bangs.

Some patients immediately felt like a different person by using a bit of make-up. Others do not use it because it takes too much energy.

Without eyelashes, longer hair can get into the eyes. This can be painful and/or cause minor inflammation. Sunglasses or (fake) glasses can help with this as well.


  • Ask a beauty specialist for advice about camouflaging the loss of eyelashes/eyebrows with make-up.
  • Find out whether there are workshops in your hospital from ‘Look Good, Feel Better’ ( These devote attention to caring for the appearance, and you are taught practical tips and techniques.