Chemotherapy Hair Loss

Chemotherapy is a common treatment for cancer. Unfortunately, chemotherapy treatment tends to cause some unwanted side effects. As reported by both male and female cancer patients, one of the most common side effects of chemotherapy treatment is hair loss.

Why does hair loss occur during chemotherapy?

The medications used in chemotherapy treatment are very powerful. They work to attack rapidly growing cancer cells. However, those same medications will attack your healthy cells as well. This means that the heathy cells which are responsible for hair growth will likely be destroyed, causing cancer patients to lose their hair. 

How much hair loss will there be?

The amount of hair loss you experience will depend on the medications you have been prescribed. Certain chemotherapy medications are more likely to cause hair loss than others, with the dosage also affecting how much hair you may lose. Some cancer patients may experience hair loss very soon after starting chemotherapy and others will only experience it after several treatments. In the best case scenario, you may just have a mere thinning of hair.

Where will hair loss occur?

It is most common to lose head hair from chemotherapy treatment, but hair loss is not restricted to your scalp. The medications you take may also cause facial hair loss, meaning that your eyebrows and eyelashes can fall out. In addition, you may also lose hair from your legs, chest, underarms and pubic area.  

When does hair loss start?

If you do experience hair loss, it will generally start 2-3 weeks after your first chemotherapy treatment. Once chemotherapy ends, it can take anywhere from 4-12 months to regrow a full head of hair. 

How can you manage hair loss during chemotherapy?

You may find it difficult to cope with losing your hair as you undergo chemotherapy treatment. For instance, it can be disheartening to look at yourself in the mirror and see a constant reminder of your diagnosis. Your hair can also form a big part of yourself and losing it may affect your self-confidence, or even make you feel sad and vulnerable.

On the other hand, there are ways which you can manage your hair loss. Certain hair care products may help mitigate the loss of hair. For example, Aurora Direct’s Follact Hair Care Range is specially designed to help people manage their hair during chemotherapy. Their products are gentle on the skin and suitable for all skin types. The Follact Hair Care Range also contains an active botanical ingredient which acts on the hair follicle to stimulate regrowth and help reduce hair loss.

Sources of Information: 

https://www.cancercouncil.com.au/cancer-information/cancer-treatment/chemotherapy/side-effects/hair-loss/

https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/chemotherapy/in-depth/hair-loss/art-20046920