Hair Regrowth After Chemo: What Steps Can I Take To Regrow My Hair?

Published: 12th March 2008
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Hair is one of the first parts of your body that would be seriously affected by chemotherapy. But this should be no cause for despair because once chemotherapy has successfully eliminated cancer agents in your body or your treatment reaches its end, hair regrowth can take place after a period of time.

Chemotherapy and Hair Loss

Chemotherapy utilizes powerful agents to kill growing cancer cells in your body. Unfortunately for cancer patients, chemotherapy medications are unable to make the distinction between cancer cells and other growing cells such as those responsible for keeping your hair healthy and making it grow. As such, chemotherapy agents will also work on killing hair cells and this result to hair loss.

The type of chemotherapy you are undergoing as well as the dosage and frequency of treatment can affect the nature and severity of hair loss. You can know what exactly to expect from your chemotherapy treatment by consulting with your physician.

Reducing the Need for Hair Regrowth after Chemotherapy

Although hair regrowth is greatly possible once your chemotherapy treatment ends, there are things you can already do prior or during your treatment to reduce the need for hair regrowth later on. Prevention is still, after all, the best cure.

Scalp Hypothermia

This is also known as cryotherapy. This method utilizes ice packs and other similar objects and devices and placing them on the scalp areas. These instruments reduce the effects of chemotherapy and consequently the possibility of hair loss as well. Unfortunately, scalp hypothermia is not without flaws. The process itself is uncomfortable. Secondly, reducing the effects of chemotherapy introduces a small risk of recurring cancer cells in the scalp area.

Minoxidil: Hair Regrowth after Chemotherapy

This is one of the two treatments approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for hair loss. It is a topical solution that you will have to directly apply to affected regions of your scalp. It can be used for both men and women although the latter are encouraged in using the 2% formula rather than the 5% solution. Minoxidil is nevertheless said to be more effective for women than men. After a specified period of time, users can experience hair regrowth usually in the top area of the scalp.

Coping with Hair Loss and Chemotherapy

Of course, whatever method you've taken to ensure hair regrowth will only produce visible results after several months. Meanwhile, you will still be forced to adapt to having fewer or no hair. This is a very trying time, and here are a few things you can do to alleviate the discomfort caused by temporary loss.

Take care with your choice of hair products.

You cannot afford to use just any kind of hair product right now. Look for hair products with formulas that have been proven to be mild and gentle. Harsher ingredients can jus exacerbate your problem.

Practice proper hair care.

Comb or brush your hair gently. Remember to hold your hair when using a comb or brush to untangle knots. If you don't, you might end up pulling and breaking your hair off. Avoid subjecting your hair to excessive and frequent blow drying and cosmetic hair treatments. Avoid using nylon pillows as they can irritate your scalp.

Wear a wig.

A wig nowadays is not as uncommon as you think. Wigs can look entirely natural on you just as long as you've chosen the right size and fit.

About the author: John Tulley manages the: Hair Regrowth Blog. This Blog is updated on a regular basis with advice and information about alopecia and hair regrowth after chemo. Please visit my Hair Loss Treatment site for further information.

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