Cancer Treatments and Hair Loss. What You Need to Know

By Mike Goncalves, Owner Stonerose Hair Studio

I have been seeing a few clients who have been diagnosed with cancer. And here is what I have learned.

Cancer treatments and hair loss. What you need to know

The probability of developing cancer at some point in your life is about 40%. Most of us have a close encounter with the disease, either through a friend, a family member, or personal experience. You probably know that cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation can cause hair loss, but you may not know how these drugs affect your scalp, how long it takes hair to grow back, or if it’s safe to colour hair during treatment. Here are some answers to these questions and more.

Radiation and chemotherapy often, but not always, cause hair loss. Chemo can cause hair loss because it targets fast-growing cells, like the hair. Radiation can cause hair loss too, but tends to only effect the area to which it is directly targeted. Some people don’t experience hair loss with cancer treatment, especially if their treatment is fairly brief.

Cancer treatments make your scalp sensitive and dry. For many people, this makes wearing a wig extremely uncomfortable. You may want to wait until you see how treatment effects you before investing in an expensive wig.

Regrowing hair after treatment usually takes 3-6 months. Regrowth does not begin as soon as the treatment ends. Very few people have permanent hair loss from medical treatment.

For the first year after treatment your hair may be a different colour and/ or texture. Often when hair first comes back after chemo or radiation it is coarser, curlier, or a different shade. These changes are temporary. In time your hair will return to normal.


 

Stonerose hair studio
1504 Yonge street Yonge & St.Clair (North of St.Clair on the West Side) second floor.
416-922-0085
Toronto, ON, Canada
stonerosehairstudio.com

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