Hair growth after chemotherapy
By Prof. Dr. Soner Tatlidede 2021-09-03
Hair growth after chemotherapy is one of the main concerns for people who have to get a chemotherapy treatment and have to deal with hair loss: something that can be traumatic for many patients due to the radical change in personal image that losing all hair entails, and that adds to the stress and fear that already causes a disease like cancer.
But, does hair grow back after chemotherapy? Many people who contact our clinic interested on the cost of a hair transplant, ask us about hair treatment after chemotherapy, or if complete hair regrowth after chemotherapy treatment is possible. We know how important is for patients who have overcome cancer to start a new stage in their lives: and recovering their hair can be very helpful to do so. So, let's talk about how to make hair grow back, healthy and strong.
When does hair grow back after chemo?
Will hair grow back after chemotherapy? Generally, yes, but it depends. After chemo, it takes time for hair to grow back and regain its original condition and appearance; that time varies in each person, and depending on the treatment. After completing the last cycle of chemotherapy, most patients will see their hair starting to grow again a few weeks after their treatment, usually about a month later; however, in other cases it may take 2 or 3 months.
However, hair regrowth after chemotherapy is not always possible; if the chemo treatment has been applied on the head, it may take 6 months or more for hair to grow back, and in some cases the loss of hair in some areas may become permanent... so that the only solution will be getting hair implants.
Apart from those cases, usually all lost hair due to chemo is recovered, but growth rate may be slower than usual; besides, it’s normal that at first, new born hair has a different appearance and even a different shape from the original one. Normally, after a year, patients will have recovered all hair. It is also very important to follow medical advice on hair care.
And, how soon after chemotherapy can I dye my hair? This is also a common question among patients getting chemo. If we are thinking of dyeing our hair, we must bear in mind that our scalp will be dry and irritated by chemotherapy treatment for the first 4-5 months; so, we must be careful and use not aggressive and natural hair products.
How can I encourage hair growth after chemotherapy?
In order to learn how to encourage hair growth after chemotherapy, we have to follow several tips and recommendations. First of all, it is convenient to shave that fluff and thin hair after chemotherapy treatment is over – a thin hair comes out just at the beginning of the hair regrowth process - so that hair can grow back uniform and stronger.
However, it is better to avoid products for hair loss, since they usually contain very aggressive chemical components that we already said before that are not recommended. It is advisable to wait at least a month and a half to start a comprehensive treatment on scalp, too; however, before and after that waiting period, we can stimulate and strengthen hair growth with a healthy and balanced diet, and doing sports in a moderate way.
Other useful tips on how to improve hair growth after chemotherapy, and make it grow healthy, are the following:
- Wash your hair with lukewarm water and using a special shampoo, as mild as possible
- Never use a hairdryer, but dry your hair gently by tapping it with a towel, and letting the rest of the moisture to dry by itself
- Brush or comb hair gently, without sudden movements or pulling your hair
- Wear a non-aggressive haircut or hairstyle
- Do not apply chemical products to hair, since they can weaken new hair and cause damage to scalp
- Use moisturising and regenerating products for hair and scalp, at least once a week
- Do not expose hair to extreme temperatures (cold, heat) or direct sunlight for a long time
- Reduce the level of stress, since this is one of the main causes of hair loss
- Do exercise several days a week, since in addition to reducing stress, it tones muscles, and improves body defences and blood supply
- Take vitamins to strengthen hair, especially those from group A, B, C, D and E, which are vital to get a healthy hair and scalp
- Follow a healthy, balanced diet, something that will help not only your hair, but also to recover your body after chemo.
It is very advisable to follow these tips on how to improve hair growth after chemotherapy; however, the most important tip is to always consult a good specialist before starting any treatment to recover your hair. Clinicana is the best hair transplant clinic in Turkey, and we are specialised in all treatments. Request your free consultation, and ask us for a totally free, no obligation estimate for your treatment.