Hair loss one of the most common side effects of chemotherapy. The good news is that, in most cases, this hair grows back and becomes just as thick and rich as before. However, some patients have experienced an unusual occurrence – their hair grew back curly. This could come as a surprise, especially if a person had straight hair for their whole life.
So, why do we get curly hair after cancer treatment?
Hair Follicles and Chemotherapy
The reason why chemotherapy affects our hair is because of its cell-killing nature. When targeting rapidly dividing cells, chemicals and techniques used during chemotherapy also kill healthy cells. Hair follicles are some of the fastest growing cells in the human body, which is why they are one of the first to suffer during chemo.
Medications like paraplatin, cyclophosphamide, and doxorubicin are some of the most common drugs used during chemotherapy that can cause hair loss. Radiation and hormonal therapies are also known to cause these side effects.
Hair Changes after Chemotherapy
When hair grows back after chemo ends, it can often have a different texture and color. Scientists are still not sure why these changes happen, although changes in color can be explained by the chemo causing hair to grow more slowly, which exposes it to more pigment.
The Bottom Line
Although we are still not sure why some people get curly hair after cancer treatment, these effects seem to go back to normal in most cases. Keep monitoring your hair growth and contact your doctor if you notice something out of the usual.