Is Hair Loss After a Bone Marrow Transplant Permanent?

hair loss after cancer treatment

Sometimes, it’s not possible to avoid hair loss after cancer treatment. After all, cancer drugs are very strong. They target cells that divide quickly, which includes hair follicle cells.

So what happens if you have to go through a bone marrow transplant?

Doctors say that you will likely lose your hair. In addition to cancer drugs, you may need radiation after this procedure. Radiation can also cause hair loss.

It’s important to keep in mind that cancer drugs can affect all your hair. Thus, many cancer patients lose their eyebrows and body hair too. The specifics will depend on which drugs you require.

But is hair loss after cancer treatment permanent? Or will the hair grow back?

About Permanent Hair Loss After Cancer Treatment

In most cases, cancer-related hair loss is temporary. After all, the hair follicles don’t get permanently damaged by cancer drugs. So your hair, body hair, eyelashes, and eyebrows will all grow back.

However, there are a few exceptions.

In a rare number of cases, bone marrow transplants can cause permanent hair loss. So why does this happen? What does science tell us?

For now, there aren’t any large-scale studies about this type of hair loss.

But the scientists did find some interesting results. They discovered that chemotherapy isn’t the only reason why cancer patients lose their hair. GVHD also had an impact on hair loss.

GVHD is graft-versus-host disease. This is a complication that can happen after bone marrow transplants. While some people have mild GVHD, others have severe forms of it.

Science is still working on explaining why this causes hair loss. It’s also unclear how this could be treated.