How Does Chemotherapy Treatment Cause Hair Loss?


chemotherapyHair loss is one of the more unpleasant side effects of life-saving chemotherapy. In fact, 47 percent of women consider it the most upsetting part of the treatment, according to Skin Therapy Letter. Fortunately, the problem is only temporary in most cases and can be disguised with wigs, scarfs and hats.

Hair Cells Are an Unintended Casualty of Chemotherapy Drugs

Chemotherapy drugs target and kill rapidly growing cancer cells in your body. Unfortunately, other types of cells that divide rapidly, such as hair follicle cells, also die as a result of the therapy. You may notice clumps of hair in the shower just a week or two after beginning chemo. The American Cancer Society notes that hair loss usually intensifies around the first or second month of treatment.

Hair loss doesn’t affect everyone who receives chemotherapy and doesn’t always cause complete hair loss. Your doctor can tell you if the drug you’ll receive is likely to cause hair loss.

Regrowth Occurs Slowly and Steadily

Once your treatment finishes, hair begins to grow fairly quickly. Many people notice peach fuzz about two or three weeks after their last treatments. Recognizable hair may begin to sprout from your head as early as one month after your final therapy session. By the second post-chemotherapy month, your hair may be one-inch long or longer.

Surprisingly, your new hair may not look like your old hair. Hair may initially be a different color or might be unusually straight, curly or rough. In many cases, these changes are only temporary.

Wigs Can Help You Look Your Best During Chemotherapy

Concerns about your appearance can make undergoing chemotherapy even more difficult. Luckily, a wig can help you ensure that the way you look doesn’t change, despite your hair loss.

It’s a good idea to pay a visit to a hair loss center before hair loss begins. The hair loss professionals can design a wig that looks just like your current hairstyle or even create a brand-new look for you.

Although cheap wigs draw attention to the fact that you’ve lost hair, custom-made, high-quality wigs use real human hair. Thanks to your new wig’s natural appearance, no one will ever know that your new hair isn’t your own.

Wearing a wig can boost your self-confidence during a very trying period of your life. If you’ll be undergoing chemotherapy soon, Custom Hair Tampa Bay can offer solutions that will help you maintain your normal appearance throughout your treatment. To schedule a free consultation at one of our three locations click here.



Photo Credit: C_Scott Via Pixabay



Skin Therapy Letter: Chemotherapy-Induced Hair Loss

Mayo Clinic: Chemotherapy and Hair Loss: What to Expect During Treatment

American Cancer Society: Hair Loss