For many cancer patients, Chemotherapy can slow the disease’s progression. Hair loss is one of the adverse effects that it may have. Hair loss is more likely to occur after some chemotherapy treatments than others. Most of the time, hair loss starts one to four weeks after commencing Chemotherapy. The type and dosage of chemotherapy drugs you take can affect how much hair you lose. Chemotherapy-related hair loss is typically very transient. If you lose hair as a side effect, it will likely begin to grow back within a few months of your treatment completion.
How does Chemotherapy affect hair growth?
Chemotherapy treatments are potent pharmaceuticals that target cancer cells’ accelerated cell growth. Unfortunately, these medications also target your body’s other quickly expanding cells, including those in your hair roots. Chemotherapy may result in hair loss, not just on your scalp but elsewhere on your body. Your pubic hair, armpit hair, eyebrow hair, and other body hair can fall out occasionally. Different chemotherapy medications can result in anything from first signs of hair thinning to complete baldness. Some chemotherapy drugs are more prone to induce hair loss than others. The medication you will be taking should be discussed with your doctor or a nurse. They will be able to inform you what to expect. Fortunately, chemotherapy-related hair loss is typically transient. Three to six months following your therapy, you should see hair growth.
Things you should know about Hair loss due to Chemotherapy
- Continue washing your scalp with a gentle shampoo and conditioner once you start losing your hair to remove any extra oil and dry skin.
- You may discover that you often prefer to go without head coverings. Wear a hat, scarf, or sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to shield your head from the sun if you must be outside.
- Gently handle any new growth or leftover hair. Avoid using relaxers, hair dye, bleach, peroxide, and other chemical treatments while receiving Chemotherapy and for a few months after. You should also avoid heated styling products like curling irons, hot rollers, and hair dryers.
- When your hair grows back, don’t expect it to look exactly like your previous hair. It could have a unique hue, texture, or thickness.
- Remember that even though chemotherapy-related hair loss is difficult, some people discover that by trying out new looks, they can have fun and feel more in control. Examples of such looks include wearing a wig different from your typical hairstyle, layering a beanie and a scarf, or embracing the look of having very short or no hair.
No treatment will ensure you won’t lose your hair while undergoing or following Chemotherapy. Numerous therapies have been researched as potential hair loss prevention measures, but they have yet to prove 100% successful.
- Avoid using chemical products if your hair has become accustomed to them at least three months before Chemotherapy. Your scalp can breathe and prepare for the therapy by avoiding external stimuli.
- If you take any medications for conditions like thyroid disease or diabetes, let your doctor know. In that scenario, your doctor will investigate it and try to prescribe prescriptions that won’t interact with the ones you’re already taking. Your hair is shielded from unfavourable side effects.
- Before Chemotherapy, follow a planned and balanced eating plan for three months. Include natural immune stimulants in your diet to help you resist adverse consequences like hair loss.
- You can maintain your composure and relieve mental stress by doing outdoor yoga during sunrise or sunset. In addition, vitamin D from sunlight is absorbed by your body and strengthens the roots of your hair.
- To combat excessive hair loss, use herbal hair care products that improve the condition of your scalp.
- Ensure the cap fits your scalp properly before asking your doctor about cold cap treatment.
- Do not wash your hair for three days following Chemotherapy if you wore a cold cap throughout the procedure.
- Washing your hair more than twice a week is not recommended. Make your scalp feel better by using herbal shampoo. Only use cold or lukewarm water to rinse your hair. Do not take a hot shower.
- Use a muslin cloth to pat your hair dry gently. Avoid using a hairdryer or using a turkey towel to rub your hair.
- Avoid brushing or combing your wet hair. Only when your hair has dried should you remove tangles. Handle your hair carefully using a wide-toothed plastic comb or a soft brush.
- Avoid sporting hairstyles that need you to cinch your hair tightly and secure it with an elastic.
- Avoid using chemical hair products like bleach, perms, relaxers, dyes, and hair colours while your hair first grows back.
- Avoid using hair straighteners, dryers, hot brushes, and heated rollers since they damage your hair by applying too much heat.
- For ten minutes, use your fingertips to gently massage your scalp daily. Use a carrier oil like coconut oil and an essential oil like peppermint oil to promote hair development.
- Eat foods high in protein, vitamins, and minerals to strengthen your hair follicles.
- Always wear a hat or scarf when you are outside to shield your scalp from damaging sunshine and pollutants.
Your hair growth rate and your new hair’s texture can be improved with regular head massages with peppermint and jatamansi extracts. Use a herbal shampoo to handle your hair and gently calm your stressed-out scalp.
There are techniques to manage hair loss, a typical side effect of many chemotherapy treatments. The possibility of hair loss as a side effect of your cancer therapy should be discussed with your medical team. If the adverse impact is anticipated, you can consider how you wish to treat it. Applying minoxidil to your scalp before and during Chemotherapy is unlikely to prevent hair loss. However, some studies suggest it may speed up hair regeneration. Consider utilizing scalp cooling caps, getting a short haircut, or starting the wig selection process.