Chemotherapy is used to treat cancer using powerful drugs. Cancer cells grow very rapidly and the potent chemotherapy chemicals destroy them. Countless lives have been saved, prolonged, and enriched by this treatment. However, like most other medicines, there are side effects, such as hair loss. Since hair follicle cells also grow rapidly, the drugs cannot tell the difference between these and the cancer cells, they attack all fast growing cells in the body. This is why hair loss can be a result of chemotherapy.

Your doctor knows what side effects are likely depending on the drug given. today, some new chemotherapy drugs can recognize the difference between a cancer cell and a hair follicle cell. In this way, the hair of the patient is saved. Otherwise, patients can expect to lose all hairs which are in the active growing phase of the growth cycle—which includes 90% of all hairs. Different drugs, though, cause different hair loss patterns: taxol (paclitaxel) causes sudden overall loss, while Cytoxin (cyclophosphamide) causes partial loss as the hair thins out without total loss.

Some patients invest in wigs, which can be a useful solution during the hair loss period of chemothearpy treatment. wigs can be inexpensive for a poorly made model, while professional, convincing wigs can cost into the thousands. Since hair loss is temporary, patients undergoing chemotherapy typically opt for wigs and these can give a real lift to the psychological effects of losing one’s hair (and for a short shaved style micro Scalp Pigmentation is also a viable option, discussed later). Of course, wigs are not permanent and can come off when not intended. For this reason, some patients become creative and use a variety of alternatives such as spunky caps or graceful hats, scarves, or turbans.

Thankfully, chemo-induced hair loss is often not a permanent condition (though there are exceptions). Hair usually grows back within 6-8 weeks following treatment. Some doctors recommend the use of minoxidil, which is the same as Rogaine, since this product has been shown to accelerate hair regrowths up to months sooner. Some temporary side effects include curlier hair with a different texture. Hair usually returns to normal within a year.


There’s no question that radiation treatment saves lives. Cancer patients have benefited greatly from this type of therapy for years, but the cure also has side effects, which includes hair loss. Side effects increase with the severity and longevity of radiation applications.

Because hair follicles are vulnerable to radiation, most patients will lose hair within three weeks after onset of medical care. for this reason, it may be wise to anticipate this and cut your hair shorter before receiving treatments. This way the hair loss will seem less drastic. If you’d rather wear a wig, it’s best to shop before your hair loss, since that makes it easier to match colour and style.

Depending on how much radiation is administered, as well as what other drugs you’re exposed to, such as chemotherapy, hair loss may be temporary or permanent. If loss is temporary, hair will generally re-grow 3-6 months after treatments; however, the hair may be thinner or have an unusual feel.

After hair loss, the scalp becomes sensitive to radiation. After several weeks of therapy, it may become dry and itchy. Although these symptoms are generally temporary, if they manifest, be sure to contact your doctor. usually this can be treated with a cream. Be sure you use it as directed. Also, keep in mind that home remedies may interfere with treatment, so it’s best to stay away from them during radiation doses.

There are ways to minimize the scalps reaction to radiation:

• Avoid scratching and rubbing the scalp

• Use mild shampoo (baby shampoo works for many)

• Shampoo less often• Avoid using hot water, warm is better

• Be gentle and pat dry gently with a soft towel

• Stay away from hair sprays, oils, or creams, unless prescribed by your health care

• Professional Avoid heat sources such as hair dryers, rollers or curling irons

• Avoid a lot of combing or brushing of hair

• Permanent hair dyes and perms should be avoided for at least a month after

• Completion of treatments wear caps, hats, or scarves over your head, preferably cotton or a blend of cotton, to guard against sun, cold and wind irritation

Medical treatments with hair loss as a potential side effect