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Dealing With Chemotherapy Hair Loss

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

When you are facing treatment for cancer, you might think that hair loss would be the least of your worries. However, chemotherapy hair loss is one of the most distressing side effects for a great many people. The medications that you are taking to kill the cancer cells in your body, will also affect the cells that are in the roots of your hair.

Why Does Chemotherapy Hair Loss Happen?

The medications that you are taking to kill the cancer cells are not cell specific. They will focus on attacking the cells that are rapidly dividing. The cells in your hair roots are also rapidly dividing cells. The medication does not differentiate between the cancer cells and the cells in your hair. Currently, there is no way to use a medication that will only attack the cancer cells.

Treatment Options For Hair Loss

There has been some success with a couple of different treatment options for hair loss. However, there has not been a treatment that has proven to be one hundred percent effective. The treatments that have been tried are:
• Minoxidil- This particular treatment has been applied during chemotherapy and after the treatment has ended. It has not been shown to have any affect on the hair loss, but might speed up regrowth when treatment has ended.
• Scalp hypothermia- This treatment involves placing ice packs on the scalp during chemotherapy treatments. The ice will slow down the blood flow to your scalp and could lessen the effect of the chemotherapy drugs on the scalp area. The results are limited in about fifty to eighty percent of patients. It is a very uncomfortable treatment to endure and can even be painful.

Coping With Chemotherapy Hair Loss

If you are undergoing chemotherapy treatment you should prepare yourself to lose your hair. Cutting it short is one option that many people consider when they are faced with the loss of their hair. Some have even opted to shave their hair off so that it will not fall out in uneven patches. Shorter hair can also have a fuller look if you cut it off before it begins to fall out.

Wigs and head coverings are another option for people who are facing chemotherapy hair loss. If you prepare ahead of time for the inevitable hair loss it can be a lot easier to take. Consider all of your options for head coverings and choose those that you feel the most comfortable in. Remember, you are dealing with a serious illness and must focus all of your attention on fighting off your disease.


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