The number one cause of cancer hair loss is chemotherapy. Of course, it also depends on the type of medication and its corresponding dosage levels. Chemotherapy uses powerful drugs and different combinations of drugs have different effects. These drugs target any cells that have a rapid growth rate. Because hair is always growing these rapidly growing cells get ambushed by the powerful chemo drugs too. This results in eventual hair loss all over the body: the scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows, armpits, and everywhere else.
The degree to which chemo hair loss is experienced will vary depending on the type of medication used and the dosage levels delivered. Hair may simply thin or a patient could experience complete baldness. The good news is that this is only a temporary condition.
When Does Chemo Hair Loss Begin?
Within about two to four weeks from beginning treatment, patients will begin to notice the hair loss beginning. It could be accumulations of hair left behind on a pillow, in a hairbrush, or the bathtub drain. Scalp tenderness may also be experienced. Hair loss usually continues up to a few weeks after final chemotherapy treatment. The hair regrowth process then begins and can take three to six months, depending on many factors: diet, original level of hair loss, etc.
As the patient’s head of hair begins to re-emerge, it often arrives with a surprise. New hair could be a different shade or texture than what previously adorned the patient’s head. This is due to cells adjusting to becoming functional again. This, too, is usually a temporary condition. Most experience an eventual return to their hair’s original state.
However, currently there is no treatment that guarantees prevention of chemotherapy hair loss. If you anticipate a future chemotherapy related hair loss or are already undergoing treatment, please contact us. Professionals are ready to guide you through the process of creating a natural hair piece.