Everyone aspires to be in a state of optimum health. Nobody wants to be sick. This is why people try to discipline themselves through regular exercise and a healthy diet. The body however can still be susceptible to illness based on genetics or purely out of a series of events that would lead to such a result. Some are curable though others require greater effort to overcome. The important thing to keep sight of is that the state of good health should be restored.


Such is the case for cancer patients. Nobody expects it to happen though when it does, all efforts are made in order to recover quickly. There have been different methods to treat it, but most go the regular route of chemotherapy and other medication. It is this method where hair loss can occur. How much of it is lost however is proportional to how much chemo is in fact received.

The drug content of chemotherapy medication is very powerful. It can eliminate cancer with careful and measured doses though it can also attack healthy cells in the process. The hair follicles are but one of those cells that are affected by this remedy. Its constant bombardment by chemotherapy can result in the hair follicles shrinking resulting in balding.

There is more than one type of hair loss this treatment can stimulate. It could result in total baldness of the scalp to just simple diffuse thinning. This can go on for as long as the patient is receiving treatment. It also means however that the hair loss situation is temporary. There is a good possibility that hair would begin to regrow six months after the last chemotherapy session.

Hair loss begins to manifest itself after about two weeks of receiving chemotherapy. Shedding of hair strands that is either rapid or progressive usually evidences this type of balding. Seeing hair on a pillow, hairbrush or shower drain would become a regular occurrence. The scalp will also feel a bit tender and delicate upon contact. This process should be expected to take place regularly while receiving treatment. The amount of hair that is lost will be directly proportional to the amount of treatment undertaken.

Note that regrowth might not exude the same properties of the original hair. It is possible that it would be lighter in color and thinner in appearance. There is also the possibility that grey strands will grow in some parts of the scalp, in a more wavelike pattern.

The shedding of hair is almost unavoidable when a patient is undergoing chemotherapy sessions and should be prepared as a consequence. Being able to be at ease with hair loss might be easier said than done however it is the best way to deal with the situation. With this in mind, the use of minoxidil might be able to aid in decreasing the amount of hair loss during the process. It may also aid to recover hair growth quicker once treatment is finished. Cryotherapy is another way to reduce the rate of balding. It induces hypothermia upon the scalp, causing the blood to circulate at a decreased rate and slows down the chemotherapy medication from reaching the hair follicles. It creates the risk however that the scalp will receive less treatment than what it requires. Perhaps the best method to combat this unavoidable hair loss is to have a scalp micropigmentation (SMP) treatment. It will create an illusion of hair upon the scalp even if all the existing hair is lost during the chemotherapy sessions.

In sum, chemo-related hair loss is almost a certain reality for the duration of the treatment. A patient should expect this to occur and try his best to place himself in a good mindset to deal with it as best he can.

Is it possible to avoid chemo-related hair loss?