It may seem surprising that the number one question women asked when diagnosed with cancer is not “am I going to die,” but actually “am I going to lose my hair?” When beauty editor Caitlin Kiernan received the shattering diagnosis of cancer, she was obviously concerned about her health. But as a working professional, she also wanted to learn how to look her best while feeling her worst. Caitlin called on her list of extensive contacts–from top medical doctors to hair stylists, makeup artists, and style mavens–to gather the best and most useful tips to offset the unpleasant effects of treatment. In her book Pretty Sick: A Beauty Guide for Women with Cancer, she talks about how it seemed that her job and her health were not reconcilable. When she would ask about how to keep herself looking good, she would receive judgment about how this was a time to be focused on her health, not her beauty. Keirnan says the two are not mutually exclusive because feeling pretty and confident helps many of us get through the day. Other reasons women are often concerned with their physical appearance as they fight cancer include not wanting to frighten or upset their children, and not drawing critical attention at work.


  • Caitlin Keirnan, former fashion columnist & beauty director, cancer survivor and author, Pretty Sick: A Beauty Guide for Women With Cancer

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