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Hair CareWellness

Hair Growth After Chemo: What Can You Do?

Chemotherapy is a medicine-based treatment used to cure cancer of different parts of the body. It has gained much traction these days because of immense success in the field of oncology.

On the one hand, it has changed the world of oncology by repeated success in cancer management. On the other hand, it is associated with deleterious side effects in hair loss, weight loss, and skin blemishes.

This article will explain why it all happens and how much time it takes to see hair growth after chemo.

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Why does hair loss happen after chemotherapy?

hair loss after chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is based on killing the rapidly dividing cells, eventually controlling the malignancy. Ever wonder why we lose hair right after the chemo? Yes, it is because of the side effects of anticancer drugs.

The curing mechanism of cancer medication is based on killing the cells in the body. They enter different cells of the body and stop their growth. Like other cells of the body, once the anticancer drug enters the hair follicles of our scalp and body, it arrests their growth and hair fall results.

It is a common phenomenon and is associated with all kinds of chemotherapy medications.

How will you see hair growth after chemo?

Just after the hair loss, one feels extraordinarily disappointed, and about 3 percent of the US population goes into psychosis after chemotherapy-induced hair loss.

After the cell-killing effect of chemotherapy medication, the body’s whole hair roots and follicles get destroyed. It is good to know that it is reversible, and we can have all the hairs back in a couple of months.

Just after stopping the chemotherapy medication, the cells start growing again, and we see the sprouting of hair follicles in about two to three months. It is a physiological process that takes time.

Many people become curious after the cancer treatment whether they get their hair back or not? 90% of the time, you can get yours back, but patience is the ultimate key.

Will your hair look and feel the same way?

Hair fall after the chemotherapy is temporary, and we can get our hair back as soon as the hair follicles develop again. It is a common question that can our hair look the same way? Yes, they can even look better than your old hair. It is because of two reasons:

  1. New hairs start growing again from scratch, and they have strong roots.
  2. Old hair gets dim after repeated sunlight exposure. So new coats will shine more and have more thickness.

How long will it take to see hair growth after chemo?

It is debatable how long will you see hair growth after chemo.

According to the recent research carried out by the American Society of Dermatology, it takes around four months to see the hair back on your body after chemotherapy.

Initially, the hairs are weak and thin. As soon as time passes, they start growing at half an inch per month, and we have them back.

Are there solutions for hair growth after chemo?

Hair growth solutions usually work on the hair roots and follicles and enhance the growth of hair. They not only have a role in hair growth after chemotherapy but can help in all kinds of hair fall.

Different hair growth solutions are available, including minoxidil.

Rogaine is a popular hair growth solution that healthcare practitioners mainly recommend to hair loss sufferers after chemotherapy.

What product factors are best for hair growth after chemo?

It is essential to choose the best ingredients to boost post-chemo hair growth. According to ACD’s research, it is found that hair growth solutions can only increase the speed of hair growth.

They have nothing to do with hair strength and thickness. Furthermore, it was found that artificially prepared formulations are more effective than natural ingredients.

However, there are side effects to artificial formulas that you should always consult with your doctor before using.

If you’re looking for a natural alternative that won’t leave a dent elsewhere, the most effective natural ingredient that increases hair growth is Biotin.

Always consult your dermatologist if you’re in doubt.

Home remedies for hair growth after chemo

While hair growth solutions will usually deliver better results, you can also follow these home remedies for hair growth after chemo:

  • Palm oil
  • Onion and raspberry juice
  • Aloe vera
  • Coconut oil
  • Rosemary oil
  • Fish oil
  • Ginseng

Will hair grow back for your eyelashes and eyebrows?

Like scalp, the hair on the eyebrows and eyelashes also grow back after the chemotherapy. They follow the same physiology as they happen with the hair of the scalp and entire body. They take more time than scalp hair. However, the new hair is more shiny, solid, and thick.

How can you prevent hair loss in chemotherapy?

It used to be impossible to stop hair loss in chemotherapy. However, various techniques can be used to prevent hair loss after chemotherapy.

The main principle of the method is to decrease the flow of blood to the scalp so that anticancer medication doesn’t act on the hair follicles.

Scalp cooling hats like this are usually available in the hospital.

scalp cooling cap for chemo

cancerhaircare.co.uk

They decrease the blood flow to the scalp; hence there is little or no hair loss after the chemotherapy. Apart from the scalp cooling hats, scientists are now working on chemotherapeutic drugs that cannot affect the hair cells.

Conclusion

Hair loss after chemotherapy is a natural process. There is nothing to worry about as we can see hair growth after chemo in about three to four months. Not only your head of hair is affected but also your eyelashes and eyebrows.

Various solutions and home remedies are available that can increase hair growth after chemo.

It is essential to contact your healthcare practitioner if you do not get your hair back three to four months after chemotherapy.

References

“Chemotherapy and Hair Loss: What to Expect during Treatment.” 2020. February 28, 2020. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/chemotherapy/in-depth/hair-loss/art-20046920.

Iain S Haslam, Eleanor Smart. 2019. “Chemotherapy-Induced Hair Loss: The Use of Biomarkers for Predicting Alopecic Severity and Treatment Efficacy.” Biomarker Insights 14. https://doi.org/10.1177/1177271919842180.

Saraswat, Neerja, Ajay Chopra, Aradhana Sood, Parul Kamboj, and Sushil Kumar. 2019. “A Descriptive Study to Analyze Chemotherapy-Induced Hair Loss and Its Psychosocial Impact in Adults: Our Experience from a Tertiary Care Hospital.” Indian Dermatology Online Journal 10 (4): 426.

Dr. Ahmad Chaudhry M.D.
Dr. Ahmad Fayyaz Chaudhry earned his MBBS degree from Punjab Medical College, Faisalabad, in 2020. During graduation, he enrolled himself in the Dermatology Ward DHQ Hospital Faisalabad for all the necessary training required to pass the bachelor's exam and encounter dermatological diseases daily. Currently, he is posted as a House Physician in the Medical Unit 3 Allied Hospital Faisalabad, where he encounters all kinds of hepatic, cardiac, neurological, and dermatological diseases daily.

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