Chemotherapy and Hair Loss

Alopecia Medicamentosa is the medical term for the hair loss that results from chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

Although chemotherapy is designed to treat cancer cells, unfortunately, it often affects parts of your body not directly affected by the cancer itself. Hair loss is one of the potential side effects of such treatment.

However, AMGEN a biotechnology leader, indicate that scientists have made a great deal of progress in developing therapies to help prevent and manage the side effects of chemotherapy. Newer supportive care treatments have led to vast improvements in the management of symptoms associated with cancer treatment. Some people don’t experience side effect at all.

You should know however, that hair loss is typically a side effect of chemotherapy and when hair loss does occur it normally begins two to three weeks after treatments commence.

In the interim, there are several steps that you can take to manage potential hair loss.

  • Cut your hair before it falls out. The experience of losing hair is sometimes worse than dealing with it once it’s gone.
  • Plan ahead. Shop for a wig (hair prosthetic) before you hair is gone, especially if you wish to match your natural color. Or take the opportunity to try a different color. Note: Talk to your insurance company as some companies cover the cost of a wig (cranial prosthetic) or discuss this with the staff at Hair Enhancemenets.
  • Try hats or head scarves, these are good alternatives or a compliment to a wig.
  • Remember to cover your head or use sunscreen on your scalp. Skin that has been covered with hair may be particularly sensitive to the sun’s UV rays.
  • Treat you new hair gently once it grows back. Avoid chemicals, bleach, peroxide, or colors.