How to Encourage Hair Growth After Chemotherapy
Cancer patients are so keen to grow their hair back right away following a cancer treatment. We all know that having cancer is a terrible experience. But now that you’ve successfully overcome it, you still can’t feel completely happy because of the damage it left.
Hair loss is just one of the by-products of cancer. Most cancer patients suffer from complete hair loss or baldness which adds to the already devastating experience you have to overcome. However, that hair loss is just temporary, and the possibility of re-growing new hairs is still very big with the help of hair loss treatments.
So how do you re-grow your hair after chemotherapy or any other cancer treatment?
Understanding chemotherapy first and what are its effects
Chemotherapy is treatment where strong and powerful medications are used just to kill the deadly cancer cells immediately. However, these drugs don’t have the ability to determine which cells are good or bad.
They attack all cells that divide rapidly not just the cancer cells. Unfortunately, the hair cells are among the rapidly dividing cells that are mostly attacked.
Hair loss caused by chemotherapy often leads to hair loss on the scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes, armpits and in other parts of the body. The extent of hair loss will depend on the amount of dosage or the strength of the drugs you are going to use.
Below are some of the drugs that are most likely responsible for your hair loss during chemotherapy:
• Cytoxan or cyclophosphamide
• Adriamycin or doxorubicin
• Adrucil or fluorouracil
• Taxol or paclitaxel
What happens after chemotherapy?
All cancer survivors want to see their hair grow again after chemotherapy
In fact, most of them are so impatient to re-grow their hair. This is totally understandable since they know that the hair loss is just temporary. They all want to get back to their normal lives just like before and re-growing their hair as fast as possible will help them in getting back to their usual self. A faster hair re-growth will also help in boosting the cancer patient’s confidence to return to his or her normal life.
What should you expect after a successful chemotherapy?
• 10-15 days following chemotherapy.
This is the time where the hair loss usually starts. The hair loss goes at a rapid pace that more than 50 percent of the hair will fall out in just one week. The hair loss will continue until the effects of the drug are gone.
• Two weeks after all chemotherapy sessions are complete.
The hair re-growth process can also start even if you are still undergoing chemotherapy. The hair growth will continue to proceed in about 4-5 weeks. You can expect a half an inch hair growth rate per month after all chemotherapy sessions are complete.
• 4-6 weeks after all chemotherapy session are complete.
By this time, the hair should be growing steadily. The hair growth rate will be different from each cancer patient so it is hard to determine as to how long your hair should be to grow during this period. The hair growth process can also be affected by some factors that may slow or fasten the rate of the hair re-growth process.
• 2-20 months after.
It’s safe to presume that your hair has now regrown completely. However, the texture and color of the hair will be slightly different from the one you had before pre-cancer period. Fortunately, this slight change is just temporary; you can wait for another year or so for your hair to return to its original texture and color.