Fortunately, we live in a day and age where medical treatments are becoming more advanced every day. It just wasn’t that long ago when there weren’t many options when it comes to chemotherapy, and you were almost guaranteed hair loss. Today, many chemotherapy treatments have a lesser probability of hair loss, and some treatments won’t affect your hair very much at all. If you have consulted with your physician and they have told you to prepare for hair loss, then this article is specifically for you.
While you are focused on bringing as much health to your body as possible, the last thing you should have to worry about is your hair. This is why at New Look Institute, we go out of our way to make this part of your treatment as easy as possible for you. This is what you can expect with chemotherapy and hair loss, and the options you have when it comes to maintaining your stunning good looks while you go through it.
Thoughts on Hair Loss With Chemotherapy
At New Look Institute, we have many clients who have come to us over the years because of the hair loss associated with their chemotherapy treatments. The struggles and emotions vary from depression and loss of dignity to those who have decided to have as much fun with it as possible. While that may sound like somewhat of an oxymoron, there indeed are many of our clients who decide to take the opportunity of hair loss as a way to experiment with their looks. This can be experimenting with the color, style, and different cuts to highlight the hair; and as their locks grow back, they have gained confidence in their ability to find new ways to express themselves. Our goal at New Look Institute is to help our customers find their confidence and keep their scalp as healthy as possible through the process, as well as provide as many options as possible so that they feel empowered to get healthy and feel good.
Why Does Hair Loss Occur During Chemotherapy?
Chemotherapy is a drug treatment process that contains highly powerful medications that are designed to attack rapidly growing cancer cells. Unfortunately, chemotherapy drugs also attack other cells that have rapid growth, such as those in your hair follicles or hair roots. Chemotherapy doesn’t usually only affect your scalp, it can also cause hair loss all over your body. This includes pubic, armpit, eyebrow, and eyelash hairs, although each patient can experience varying levels of this hair loss which has to do with the difference in medications, doses, and frequency of treatments.
Some chemotherapy medications are less or more likely than others to affect the hair, so for specific details, you should talk with your doctor about the specific medication you will be taking, and they will tell you what you should expect.
What Should You Expect When Starting Chemotherapy Treatments?
Once you begin your chemotherapy treatments, hair usually starts to fall out about two to four weeks from the date of your first treatment. Depending on the specific medication and the dosage, it could fall out very quickly in clumps, or gradually over time. It is normal for many of our clients to find an accumulation of hair on their pillow, hairbrush, or in the shower drain. Many clients also describe that their scalp feels tender.
Hair loss continues throughout the treatments and usually for a few weeks after the treatment is completed. Complete baldness or simple thinning of the hair depends on the type of treatment you receive.
Will Hair Grow Back After Chemotherapy Treatments?
While it may take a few weeks after your chemotherapy treatments are completed for your scalp to recover, you can expect to start seeing hair growth directly after that. As your hair begins to grow back, it may be a little different than the hair you lost. These differences can include a slightly different texture or color, but the difference is usually temporary. Some clients experience curlier hair or even grey hair, and usually, after the cells that control pigment and texture recover from the treatments, your hair will grow back more normally.
Are There Treatments that Prevent Hair Loss from Chemotherapy?
The short answer is no. There aren’t any treatments that can guarantee that your hair won’t fall out during the process of chemotherapy. Some treatments are being explored to help regulate some of the loss, but none of them have been effective.
Scalp hypothermia is a treatment option that uses a closely fitted cap that is cooled by chilled liquid. This cap is placed on your head during treatments to slow blood flow to your scalp. The idea is the drugs are less likely to have an effect on your hair if there is less blood flow there while the drugs are being administered.
Minoxidil is a drug in shampoos that is approved for hair loss, but it doesn’t usually prevent hair loss. Studies show that it does speed up hair regrowth, although specific studies on chemotherapy patients need more research to determine its effectiveness in cancer patients.
At New Look Institute, we recommend seeing a trichologist who can ensure that your scalp is staying healthy during chemotherapy treatments so that when the treatments are completed you have a personalized plan to help ensure quick growth and recovery of your hair. Your trichologist will help you formulate a plan that assists in the proper nutrition and scalp treatments that are designed specifically for your body and what you are going through.
How Can I Make The Best Of It?
Before treatment, stop in for a consultation at New Look Institute. Our trichologist can help you with a treatment plan and options for increasing scalp health before you start chemotherapy that will give you the best options for hair regrowth when it is time. You may start working with our trichologist right away on wig or prosthesis options so that you can maintain your confidence with a stylish look that agrees with the new, healthy you!
While you are going through chemotherapy treatments, make sure that you visit with your trichologist who can closely monitor your scalp, whether you have chosen a wig or prosthesis or not, and ensure that your scalp is healthy and ready for hair regrowth as soon as possible. Your professional partner may recommend several topical solutions to help reduce any tenderness you are feeling or provide you with shampoo options that stimulate hair regrowth soon after your chemotherapy stops.
There is Hope if You are Going Through Chemotherapy and Hair Loss
Don’t let the potential for hair loss get you down. Take control of something that you can feel good about and plan for a way to feel incredible in your skin. As you work towards health in your body, you don’t need to stress about your hair, instead trust the professionals at New Look Institute to help you with a beautiful way to move forward with style and flair. Whether you are looking for a way to grow your natural hair out better than ever before, or you are interested in the stylistic options of a prosthesis or wig, we have your back, and our number one goal is your confidence. Stop by for a consultation today.