Temporary hair loss (alopecia)
is the most
common visible side effects of chemotherapy. Most patients undergoing chemo lose their hair from the treatment.
The fact hair loss affects the
appearance of the patient, it causes not
only physical problems but
also emotionaland behavioral
as well. In fact, alopecia is often
the first sign indicating that an individual is undergoing chemo treatment. No one wants to lose their hair,
both men and women. Although the loss is
temporary, hair loss is the most fearful side effects of anti-cancer drugs.
Cancer cells divide and
multiply rapidly and anarchically. Therefore, the main goal of chemo drugs is to damage or kill all cells that
reproduce quickly. Hair follicle cells are among
of the rapidly dividing cells in the body. Unfortunately, chemotherapy drugs cannot differentiate between these
cells and cancer cells; they also damage cells of the hair follicles, causing hair loss.
Some patients start
experiencing hair loss as early as the second week after the first treatment; others can wait until the second
cycle of chemotherapy to start losing their hair. The hair can begin to fall suddenly or slowly;
certain patients may lose all of their hair, other just some of it. In addition to the head, other parts of the
body such as eyelashes, eyebrows and pubic area can also lose hair.
What You Can Do?
There are no effective
treatments or prevention methods for chemotherapy-related hair loss. Tight bands
or ice caps are used by some patients
with no successful results. In fact, these
techniques cause headaches in most users.
The good news is that from
three to six months after the completion of the therapy the hair
will resume growth after treatments without taking alopecia medications.
In most people however, the new hair may have different color, texture or curl.
there is no treatment, you can take steps to control or reduce discomfort associated with baldness:
Shave or Cut
Hair – if you don’t lose your hair completely, you can
cut your hair short or shave your head when the hair begins to fall out. Shaving your head can make the
alopecia go unnoticed if you are a man.
Wearing Caps and
Scarves – this technique is the easiest and most
comfortable mean to hide your hair loss problem. All over the internet, there are plenty of
caps and scarves specially made for people undergoing chemotherapy.
Wigs - purchasing a wig does not cost much, and you
can find wigs made especially for chemo-related hair loss. In fact, before you even start the
chemo you can purchase your wigs. In addition, some insurance companies will pay for a wig, as
long as you have it written as a prescription from your
When to Call Your Doctor?
Hair loss is a common side effect of chemotherapy; there is no need to see a health care