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Chemo and Hair Loss

Why does chemotherapy cause hair loss? How to prepare? How to take care of your hair during a chemotherapy treatment? And when do hair start to grow back after chemotherapy? Because losing your hair is less difficult when you know what to expect.

chemotherapy cause hair loss

Hair loss - or alopecia - is the most known and visible side effect of chemotherapy. In fact, the generic term chemotherapy refers to any treatment of cancer. The cancer cells affect rapidly dividing cells, such as the cells responsible for the growth of hair.

Not everyone lose their hair after a chemo

Chemotherapy uses a specific mix of drugs. The composition of this mixture depends on the type of cancer . Some medications cause hair loss (alopecia) , but others cause little or no loss of hair and hair. 

Take care of your hair during a chemotherapy 

During chemotherapy , it is important to treat your hair gently . Do not wash them too often and always use a mild shampoo. If you use a hair dryer, set it to the minimum temperature. Avoid the sun, stains and perms, which dry out the hair. Curlers and hard brushes are also to be avoided.

 The moment that the hair begin to fall

In general, hair begins to fall 2-3 weeks after the first course of chemotherapy . In some, the fall is gradual. In others, the hair falls in whole plates.

Do not wait until the day your hair begins to fall to begin your search for a your chemo wig. Anticipate and choose your wig or chemo turbans before your first chemo. Do you opt for a wig? Trust a specialised wigmaker.

For chemo scarves , hats and night caps , it's best to go to a store that has collections specifically designed for people on chemotherapy, like our online store in the category for Derma wigs. At any stage of your treatment, you can order chemo scarves, turbans and caps without having to move. And did you know that there is also a model of chemo cap adapted for men?

To cut the hair very short or shave the head

It is not necessary to cut your hair or shave your head, but it is often advisable. Some find the passage of long hair to a bald head less traumatic by having their hair cut very short just before chemotherapy. There is also a practical advantage : once the hair begins to fall, you will not lose long locks, but small tufts. Some find it less difficult. Others choose to shave their head because it gives them the impression of having control over the disappearance of their hair instead of having to undergo resignation.

If you choose to shave your head, use a razor or electric mower and be careful not to hurt yourself. If you are not used to these devices, ask an experienced person to shave your head or go to the hairdresser.

In addition to the hair, other body hair can also fall: the hair of the arms and legs, eyelashes, eyebrows, armpit hair and pubic hair. It depends on the type of chemotherapy and can also vary from person to person.

Getting cold in the head without hair

Everyone who has had chemo knows that a bald head cools faster. Wigs, hats, scarves or chemo turbans are not only for hiding a bald head, but also for keeping your head warm. You will especially cold at night, especially in autumn and winter. Remember to wear a chemo night cap.

Indeed, chemotherapy can make your scalp dry and sensitive, so that the slightest friction may cause irritation.

After chemotherapy, the hair start to grow back

After the chemo, your hair will grow back. In some, they push back immediately. In others, they do not grow until after 1 or 2 months. But they may also start growing during treatment. Often this happens just before or during the last chemotherapy treatment. Good to know: wigs, turbans and other chemo scarves do not stop the hair from growing. Your hair will grow as fast, whether your head is covered or not. It's up to you when your new hair will be long enough to come out without a wig, turban or chemo cap.

The hair may be the same after chemo or not

After chemo, the first hair that repels is often different. The colour is slightly different (it is often darker), but the structure can also change. Sometimes hair regrows curly when it is smooth before, or vice versa. These changes are sometimes temporary, and you find your "real" hair after a few months, even a year. Sometimes, these changes are permanent. Everyone feels hair regrowth differently after chemo: some find that their hair is thicker and stiffer, while others find it softer and thinner. Note that your hair may also change texture under the influence of hormonal treatment.