Hair Loss During Chemotherapy: Why It Happens and What to Expect

hair loss during chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a way to stop cancer by using drugs. In some cases, chemotherapy can cure cancer entirely. Other times, it simply stops the tumor from spreading.

It is well-known that many cancer patients go through hair loss during chemotherapy. But why does that happen? And does hair grow back after the treatment is over?

Here are some questions you might have on this topic:

Why Does Chemotherapy Cause Hair Loss?

Cancer drugs are extremely strong. Their role is to stop rapidly dividing cells. After all, cancer comes from abnormally fast cell division.

The problem is that this also has an effect on your hair. Hair cells are rapidly dividing cells.

Does It Have an Impact on Body Hair As Well?

Chemotherapy has a negative effect on all of your hair. This includes the eyebrows and eyelashes as well as body hair. Furthermore, your nails and toenails can be impacted too.

Is There Any Way to Stop Hair Loss During Chemotherapy?

In order to stop cancer drugs from having an effect on hair, doctors have tried to slow down hair growth. One way to achieve this is by applying ice to the scalp. Experience shows that this is an effective approach for 50%-65% of breast cancer patients.

Does Hair Grow Back After the Treatment Is Done?

After chemotherapy is over, hair generally grows back. But it is important to keep in mind that the new hair might have a different structure. Some find that their hair is less curly or more curly than it was before the treatment.

A Final Word

While some cancer drugs have milder side effects than others, it’s not always possible to avoid hair loss during chemotherapy. People who don’t have to repeat their treatment can simply wait for their hair to grow back. Others might need to look into cosmetic solutions such as wigs.