hair after chemotherap

Chemotherapy is one of the most effective ways to fight cancer and many other diseases, such as multiple sclerosis. However, it also has side effects, for example, hair loss.

Hair loss as a side effect of chemotherapy is especially severe for women. For ladies, it's much harder to come to terms with such an adverse change in appearance. It always more or less affects the psyche, everyday mood, and self-esteem. It's worth knowing, however, that drugs used in chemotherapy don't still cause hair loss. Sometimes they only lead to their thinning.

Hair loss

In chemotherapy, to weaken cancer cells, medicines called cytostatics are used. They also undermine healthy cells, often leading to undesirable appearance changes. The hair generally falls out after 3 weeks from the start of chemotherapy. Sometimes, however, they fall out a month or two after discontinuation of cytostatics. Hair disappears not only from the head but also from the entire body: from the legs, hands, armpits, and intimate surroundings. After chemotherapy, both hairs on the head and in other parts of the body grow back. To minimize the risk of unwanted changes, it's worth following a few tips that we share with you below.

How to take care of your hair after chemotherapy?

  • Don't rub your hair after bathing! Gently massage the scalp with a towel that absorbs water well.
  • For combing, use soft brushes and combs with widely spaced teeth.
  • Don't use a straightener, dryer, or curling iron. Don't dye or lighten your hair. These treatments may have a destructive effect during chemotherapy.
  • For hair care, use only cosmetics recommended by your doctor.
  • Protect your hair from UV rays. Avoid being in the sun for too long.
  • It's also worth cutting some hair before chemotherapy. Shorter are less exposed to adverse changes.

When will the hair grow back?

After chemotherapy, hair begins to grow back after 5-6 weeks. However, this is a slow, gradual process. For complete regrowth, you must wait much longer, from 6 to even 12 months. At the same time, the hair after chemotherapy is not as good as before its implementation - they are becoming more grey and thinner. But after a while, their appearance returns to normal.

Unfavorable changes in appearance can be masked, e.g., with a wig. It's best to choose one from a natural bristle. Artificial wigs are cheaper but they could be more useful. The alternative can be a colorful cravat, muffler, turban, scarf, or hat. Remember that this is only a temporary solution and that after finishing the medication, your natural hair will grow back.