Chemotherapy and Hair Loss

Hair loss is one of the most well-known and most feared side effects of chemotherapy. And for good reason – the majority of men and women who undergo chemotherapy treatment will experience some degree of hair loss. But everyone who undergoes chemo experiences hair loss differently, so it’s difficult to know what to expect or how to mentally prepare for it.


In general, hair loss usually begins with two to four weeks of starting chemotherapy treatment. The loss doesn’t just occur on the head, but can affect hair all over the body, including eyelashes and eyebrows.


chemo and hair loss


Sometimes, hair falls out in clumps, while it is sometimes more gradual – you might just notice more strands in your brush and hair that is thinning overall. Depending on the severity and pattern of your hair loss, you may decide to shave your head before it is completely gone, or simply style it in a way that masks some of the loss.


The hair loss will generally continue for the duration of the chemo treatment and for a few weeks after it ends. Hair usually regrows within six months, and it may come in with a different color or texture, because the cells that control the pigment of your hair are not yet functioning. As such, this is usually a temporary change.


So is there a way to prevent hair loss caused by chemotherapy? Unfortunately, there is not. Some drugs are more likely to cause hair loss than others, and the level of loss may also be affected by the dosage and duration of treatment. Your doctor should be able to help you prepare for hair loss as a possible side effect of chemotherapy.


Going through chemotherapy is difficult for many reasons, and hair loss can add a significant mental burden to an already difficult time. Make sure that you have support during this tough time.


If you’re experiencing hair loss caused by chemotherapy or radiation, DK International can help. At our discrete Twin Cities hair loss salon, our experienced and compassionate hair restoration experts can help you find an answer for your hair loss, whether you’re interested in wigs, hairsystems, or other hair solutions. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Why Chemotherapy Causes Hair Loss

We all know that chemotherapy causes hair loss, but what you may be wondering is why it causes hair loss.  Sometimes it’s helpful to know why your body is experiencing a traumatic event, such as hair loss, in order for you to wrap your mind around it.  After reading this blog, you will understand the scientific reason why hair falls out due to chemotherapy.

When someone is diagnosed with cancer, it becomes a devastating life-changing event.  When you discuss your treatment options with your doctor and decide on chemotherapy, another devastating event is receiving the knowledge that your hair will fall out from the treatment.  Soon after a patient’s first chemo treatment, 90% of the hair in the anagen, or growing phase, can fall out.  This type of hair loss is called anagen effluvium and occurs after any insult, such as chemotherapy; to the hair follicle that impairs its growing activity.

Scientists have discovered that cancer is rapidly dividing cells.  Malignant tumors are toxic and can spread, thus impairing important functioning parts of the body, even if the cancer originally began in an area such as the surface of the skin.  Chemotherapy is meant to slow down or stop the dividing cells.  However, the unfortunate part of this type of treatment is that chemo doesn’t differentiate between the different kinds of rapidly dividing cells in our bodies, such as hair follicles in the growing phase.

Chemo may be necessary to stop some forms of cancer.  Loss of hair is less important than loss of life, which is why many cancer sufferers opt for the treatment.  However, when a woman loses her hair, it can feel like she is losing a piece of her identity.  DK International, a Minneapolis metro hair loss salon located in Chanhassen, MN, knows the importance of keeping your spirits and confidence high while fighting off cancer, which is why we went into the hair replacement business.  By contacting us today for your free one-hour consultation, you’ll be on the road to being your best self and in the best position to fight this disease.  During your consultation, we’ll help you choose the best wig to fit your style and budget.  We’ll answer your questions and ease your fears.  Be sure to connect with us on Facebook to find out how we’re helping our clients with their hair replacement needs!