Chemotherapy And Hair loss: What to Expect During the Treatment?

Whenever doctors recommend chemotherapy to patients, they fear losing their hair. The vision without hair haunts them. But, once they start with chemotherapy, they start losing their hair, and along with that, their self-confidence.
Has it ever occurred to you how chemotherapy and hair loss is related? Can it be controlled? Will the hair grow back? If such types of questions pop up in your mind, read the blog further to quench the thirst for your queries.

What is chemotherapy, and how does it cause hair fall?

Chemotherapy is a drug treatment that helps to cure cancer. But unfortunately, cancer cells grow very fast. So, in chemotherapy, Lazer and heavy chemicals are used to control the growth of these cells.
But one of the side effects of chemotherapy is that patients start losing their hair. Hair from all body parts like head, eyebrows, eyelashes, armpits, and even pubic hair begins thinning. Sometimes, people lose almost all the hair in their bodies. So it gives birth to a lot of inferiority complexes in people.
Since chemotherapy affects the growing cells, it also affects the healthy growing cells such as our hair follicles. When it targets the hair cells, it kills their growth. That is why people lose hair during chemotherapy.

When should one expect during the treatment?

Firstly, not all chemotherapies cause hair fall. It depends on the type of chemotherapy and varies a bit from person to person. Some only face hair thinning, while others can even become bald.
On average, people begin to lose their hair between two weeks to a month after the start of the therapy.
The falling of the hair will continue throughout the treatment. It might even continue after a few weeks of the end of the treatment. The intensity, amount, and speed of hair fall vary from person to person and treatment to treatment.

Will the hair ever come back?

In most cases, the hair loss during chemotherapy is temporary. The hair starts returning within three to six months after the therapy. But, again, the time and growth of hair coming back are different for different people. Moreover, it would help if you were mentally prepared that the new hair you will get might differ from your old hair. They might be different in texture, color, and type of hair. For instance, your new hair might be curlier than your previous hair. They might even be gray for some time till the color giving pigment retains.

How to manage hair loss?

As mentioned before, hair loss and its assertiveness vary. It might be extreme for some, while not harsh for others. It isn’t easy to prevent hair fall during chemotherapy. But you always have ways to manage your hair in a better way.

  • Bring changes before the treatment itself
  • It would be better if you start bringing out little by little changes before the beginning of your treatment. You have to keep in mind that from now onwards you have to be gentlest to your hair than you ever were. Do not use chemicals such as bleaches, colors, gels in your hair. These will worsen the condition of your hair. Also, avoid using heat products in your hair.
    You can already cut your hair shorter and try a new hairstyle. Otherwise, you can start using fancy headbands or scarves to cover your head. If you begin all these before the treatment, it will not make a difference when you lose your hair.

  • Keep pampering your hair during the therapy-
  • Continue nurturing your hair during your therapy. Even though you have the smallest amount of hair left, they matter. Your hair is precious to you. Pamper them. Treat them like a baby’s hair. No matter what, you should not use any chemicals on them. Remember that already chemicals are affecting your cells. If you put more chemicals on top of it, it will cause more damage. Instead, use chemical-free and gentle shampoos, very mild hair oils, and a baby comb.

    • Your hair is vulnerable even after the completion of therapy-
    • It is no magic that you will immediately finish with your therapy, and your hair will be back to normal. They will still be weak. The new hair you get might be different from your previous hair; it might be gray. But do not start coloring them at once. Make sure you do not use any styling products immediately. Give them time to get stronger.

      We understand that hair is a significant part of our personality. Hair represents us at times. Losing them will be hard. You feel nervous or complex when you see others with normal hair. Your baldness might even be a reminder of your disease. But you have to be mentally prepared for that. You have to remember that this hair fall is just a temporary phase that will pass with time.

      So be strong, nurture your hair, and they will definitely be back!

      Content Reviewed by – Asian Hospital Medical Editors