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Hair Loss After Chemo

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The last thing you would want to hear from your doctor is that you have been diagnosed with cancer, but what makes it even worse is having to go through chemotherapy. Many cancer patients are afraid to do this treatment because of its side effects like hair loss. It is bad enough that you are sick, but what’s worst is when people see you lose your hair.

Now, the effects of chemotherapy vary from one person to another. Some patients just experience thinning hair, while others completely go bald. Hair often fall off in clumps when showering or brushing, and sometimes, you may even find chunks of hair on your pillow as you wake up. Patients often experience hair loss two weeks after they have started the treatment and it gets worse overtime.

The main purpose of chemotherapy is to destroy cancer cells. However, not only cancer cells get killed, but also the good cells that promote healing and hair growth. The reason why patients suffer from hair loss during chemotherapy is because the drugs used in the treatment are so potent that they damage hair follicles.

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Depending on the drugs used, some of them make you lose hair on your head, while others even cause you to lose your eyebrows, eyelashes, and pubic hair. Furthermore, too much radiation can even lead to permanent baldness in a few patients. The worst part is that whenever you see yourself in the mirror, you get reminded of your illness.

The good news is that months after chemotherapy, most patients grow their hair back - though it might not be the same in the beginning as the color and texture of the new hair might differ from before. Some people will wonder why their new hair is curlier than it originally was, while others may experience temporary graying of hair. What’s important is that you should not dye your new hair as it will grow normally in time, after your body regains the cells that were lost during the treatment.

With every problem comes a solution, or a prevention at least. Though we cannot promise a treatment for this, it is best to be ready for any situation that you will face during chemotherapy. The very first thing you should do before getting yourself into the therapy is to know the medication that you will be taking by asking your nurse about it. Different drugs have different effects and it is best to be aware of what is coming. The next thing you should do is to inform your family (especially children), so that they will not be scared or shocked when they start seeing the changes.

During chemotherapy, your hair follicles will weaken, so you will have to take extra care of it. To do this, try and avoid products that contain chemicals like alcohol as this will make your hair more brittle. When grooming, use wide-tooth combs, and avoid using blow-dryer. Those who suffer from thinning hair could opt for a shorter cut instead, while a wig would work for those who lose all their hair.

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