Chemotherapy hair loss and cancer hair loss can be emotionally difficult to deal with. It’s only natural to feel fear and confusion when facing something as potentially life changing as cancer. There is so much medical information provided to you about your treatment options and what to expect. It can be very overwhelming. You may have questions about chemotherapy and radiation and its possible side effects, particularly hair loss.
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Chemotherapy drugs are powerful medications that are used to attack rapidly multiplying cells, such as cancer cells. Unfortunately, these drugs also target other rapidly reproducing cells in your body such as active hair cells.
Various drugs are used in chemotherapy treatment. The amount of hair loss depends on the amount of drug used as well as the type. Some drugs are more likely to cause hair loss than others, and some doses can cause anything from minor thinning to complete baldness.
Talk to your medical provider for specific information on the drug you’ll be using in your treatment and what to expect.
Radiation therapy is the use of high energy rays to target cancer cells and keep them from growing. Radiation therapy will affect all cells in close proximity to the targeted treatment area. If this area is the head or neck, hair loss is a possible side effect.
Chemotherapy or Radiation Hair Loss: What to expect?
Hair usually begins to fall out 1-3 weeks after the start of the treatment. It may fall quickly or gradually and continue for up to a few weeks after the cessation of treatment. Whether your hair thins or you become completely bald depends on the type and dose of the treatment. Again, some treatments do not cause hair loss.
It may take a few weeks or more for your hair to start growing back again. When it does, it may be a different texture or color from your hair before treatment. It may take some time for the cells that control pigment and/or texture to begin functioning again. The difference is usually temporary. In the meantime, you may choose to conceal your hair loss with a hat or scarf. Or you may opt to wear a natural and custom made human wig.
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NOTES: To give our clients the attention they deserve, our services are available by appointments only. We serve cancer patients in Trappe, Pennsylvania.