Cancer is one of the diseases that can hugely affect your hair growth rate. This mainly happens due to the use of chemotherapeutic drugs. So, when one is diagnosed with cancer, the first thing that strikes the mind is hair loss. But there is nothing to worry about hair loss will happen but it is temporary in nature.
Why hair loss happens in chemotherapy?
To cure cancer, it is important to undergo chemotherapy. Even though chemotherapy has got many side effects, it is regarded as the best option to attack rapidly growing cancer cells and spreading across the body. But in the process the growing hair cells also get destroyed. Chemotherapy drugs cannot discriminate healthy cells and dangerous cancer cells. One of the obvious side effects of chemotherapy is hair loss. You can lose the hair on your head, facial hair, public hair and body hair including eyelashes and eyebrows.
The rate of hair loss during the treatment of cancer with chemotherapy may vary from person to person. This is because the rate and amount of hair loss depend on a lot of things such as the type of drug you are prescribed by the doctor, the timing of your chemotherapy sessions, how aggressive the nature of your treatment is, how healthy your body is during the treatment, other health problems and so on.
Is there any way to prevent hair loss?
There is no way to prevent hair loss during chemotherapy treatment. Till date no medicines or techniques are available to stop hair loss during chemotherapy treatment. To the most the rate of hair loss can be reduced by using tight bands or ice caps which reduce blood flow to the scalp and few hair follicles are exposed to chemotherapy treatment. But this can impact the effectiveness of the treatment to stop the growth of cancer cells. So you need to be ready for the side effects and must not worry much about your appearance. This is the time when your focus should be on your health rather than your appearance.
Temporary hair loss
Hair loss that happens due to chemotherapy is temporary and the hair will grow back with time. But the time period for hair growth differs from person to person. Usually hair starts to grow back again after three to ten months of the treatment. The new hair can be of different shade or texture. For instance, if your hair was straight and black before the treatment it may grow back curly and the shade may also be lighter.
Some tips to cope with hair loss:
It is quite common to feel frustrated during cancer as it will cause hair loss. Hair is a symbol of beauty and the mere thought of losing it can make you go crazy. But this is definitely not the time to think about your hair as your health should be your priority at this time. There are many simple and easier ways to cope with hair loss, such as.
- No matter how your hair looks, you need to take care of it in a very gentle way. No harsh chemicals on your hair and avoid heating devices completely. When you wash your hair allow it to dry naturally. Brush and comb your hair gently.
- Before your doctor starts the chemotherapy sessions, you must consider a haircut. When your hair is cut short it looks fuller which will in a way make you feel happy.
- Be ready with chemotherapy side effects by shopping for wigs that matches with your hair color, scarves, and hats and so on. When you cover your hair people will notice the level of hair loss and you will feel confident.
- In case your scalp becomes itchy and sensitive, shaving the head is a good option to consider. Men prefer to shave their hair rather than women as the patchy hair loss is more visible in them.
- During and after chemotherapy you must make sure that your head is not exposed directly to the sun or to cold air. You can protect it with some good quality sunscreen or by covering your hair with a cap or a scarf. Sunscreen will prevent sunburns which can be very uncomfortable for you.
- Hair may be different in texture and color when it begins to grow back and so you need to be mentally ready for the change. Also the rate of hair growth will be show and so you need to be patient.
- Use gentle and mild hair care products such as shampoo or conditioner. It will be better if you can use products made of hundred percent natural ingredients with no chemicals at all.
- If you are losing your eyebrows and eyelashes due to chemotherapy you can consult a reputed cosmetologist to get an idea about how you can draw eyebrows with makeup and use false eyelashes.
- Try to maintain your body heat during hair loss as a huge amount of a person’s body heat is generated through the head. Always wear warm clothes and do not go out in the cold as if you fall ill the condition can worsen.
- Until your hair starts grows back, you must keep your scalp well moisturized. This will help the skin feel more comfortable and there will be less itchiness.
- Keep yourself away from stress and tension during this time as it can impact your health. Once your body becomes healthy there will be healthy hair growth. But stress will hamper your hair growth rate.
To conclude, cancer and chemotherapy sessions throw a number of challenges that you need to cope with. But when you are mentally prepared for the side effects such as hair loss, things become easier for you and half the battle is won. Hair will grow back but it will take time and till then you need to keep your patience. So, fight cancer confidently and you will surely win!