Why Does Chemotherapy Cause Hair Loss?

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Why Does Chemotherapy Cause Hair Loss

Chemotherapy is a treatment option to cure cancer of different types. Cancer doctors have to use harsh chemicals to kill cancerous cells and the whole body gets affected. So hair also becomes weaker and start falling during the course of treatment. A doctor can tell how much hair loss can occur due to particular chemotherapy treatment. Why does chemotherapy cause hair loss? Can we stop hair loss due to chemotherapy? This article discusses why chemotherapy causes hair loss. If you want to know how hair loss can be reduced during chemotherapy, this topic is for you.

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Why Does Hair Fall During Chemotherapy?

As mentioned above, cancerous cells are quite strong and it is not possible to get rid of them without using strong medications. So powerful medications can also attack other cells including but not limited to hair growing cells known as hair follicles.

As a result, it is common for chemotherapy patients to experience mild or major hair loss. It is not just the scalp that gets affected due to it, the hair on other areas of the body including but not limited to eyebrow hair and eyelashes hair also get affected.

The patient can have just hair thinning to complete baldness depending on the doses that a person gets. If you are going to receive chemotherapy, your doctor can guide you about expected hair loss. Do not be worried if you need to take chemotherapy because hair loss from it is temporary mostly.

What Should You Expect During Chemotherapy?

The hair does not immediately start falling once a person starts taking chemotherapy. It can take two to four weeks to start hair loss after starting this treatment. For some people, it can take even longer to start experiencing hair loss due to chemotherapy.

Once hair starts falling, the process may suddenly get quick and a huge number of hairs may start falling all of sudden. Surely, this time is hard for the patient because many other issues start occurring besides hair loss. Unfortunately, the hair will keep falling throughout the course of the treatment.

Related articleHow You Can Reduce Hair Loss During Chemotherapy.

How Early Will Your Hair Grow Back After Chemotherapy?

Good news is; hair will start growing properly once chemotherapy ends successfully. However, it can take weeks after chemotherapy ends to start growing hair normally.
It is also possible that the hair growth pattern and type of hair changes when hair starts growing again. This difference in hair growth and type may end at a later stage.

Can Chemotherapy-Related Hair Loss Be Prevented?

There is no perfect solution for this kind of hair loss but common hair growth methods (including the following) can help.
• Scalp cooling caps.
• Minoxidil (Rogaine).

How To Make The Best Of It

Please note that hair loss is not easy to control or prevent but it is possible to manage it. a person can ensure improvement by taking the following practical steps:

Before treatment

• Always try to be gentle to your hair.
• Try to use something to cover the head.
• Consider taking a haircut with short hair.

Taking Care During The Treatment

• The patient should protect the scalp from all harms.
• The patient should take care of remaining hair like a baby.
• The patient should consider shaving the head to feel better.

Taking Care After the Treatment

• Be patient; it is going to end soon.
• Continue gentle hair care after the treatment.

Covering The Head Can Be Helpful

Covering head during chemotherapy may not make sense but it can be helpful in reducing hair fall. This way, the patient will not focus too much on the scalp hair and will not become worried and stressed. Moreover, the hair will stay safe from harmful factors this way.

It is the choice of the patient to wear a scarf or a wig, or a hat. If a person is not able to decide what suits for covering the head, a doctor or cancer patient can guide the right option of covering the head. It is not necessary to cover the head all the time; but, the more the merrier.

Hair Loss Due To Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy is another option to treat cancer. It is not just chemotherapy, radiation therapy can also attack body cells that grow rapidly. However, this type of cancer treatment only affects the area where treatment is being concentrated. For example, if the head of the person is receiving radiation therapy, the scalp hair is likely to fall.

Your hair usually begins growing back after the end of your treatment. The type of hair the patient grows after treatment depends on the level of radiation received. Radiation therapy also affects the skin of the patient. The area of the body that received radiation may change its color temporarily.

Advanced Hair Growth Treatments

The person who is undergoing chemotherapy can lose a huge number of hair. It is important to mention that the hair will start growing back once the treatment ends. However, if your hair does not start growing again or you just want to grow it faster, you can try an advanced hair growth treatment.

Some of the advanced hair growth treatments include PRP Treatment for hair loss, low-level laser therapy, hair transplant surgery, and topical medication treatment. It is also important to mention that taking care of the scalp and hair is also important besides trying hair growth treatments.

Avoiding Chemotherapy Hair Loss: The Bottom Line

This article discusses why chemotherapy causes hair loss. If you want to know how hair loss can be reduced during chemotherapy this topic might have helped you.
In the end, we can conclude that hair loss occurs during chemotherapy and one cannot stop it fully. However, it is possible to reduce the level of hair loss due to chemotherapy.
Do not hesitate to contact a hair growth expert in your area if you need more details about this topic. You can also read the following articles or you can read educational material online.

Further Study

• Why does chemotherapy cause hair loss? Medical News Today: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319146.php

• Chemotherapy and hair loss: What to expect during treatment. Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/chemotherapy/in-depth/hair-loss/art-20046920

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