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Grow Hair Back after Chemo  

Chemotherapy is a common treatment for cancer and can be very effective depending on the type of cancer, its stage of development and factors related to the patient.  The treatment involves the administration of powerful anti-cancer drugs into the body.  These drugs have the unique ability to find cancer cells and kill them.  It does so by detecting cells which exhibit rapid growth.  This is normally a distinguishing factor for cancer cells as opposed to normal and healthy cells.  However there are some cells like hair cells which also show rapid growth.  So the drugs can attack and affect these cells as well.  This is why a common side effect of chemotherapy is a loss of hair.  But this need not permanent and further discussion and details will be covered concerning how to grow hair back after chemo. 

Hair loss is a common chemotherapy side effects. Many patients especially women fear the loss of their hair as a result of their chemotherapy treatment.  They may be concerned that their hair will not grow back.  However in almost every case, a person’s hair does grow back a few months following therapy. 

The degree of hair loss as a result of chemotherapy can have a lot to do with the specific types of drugs used during treatment and the dosages given.  Some drugs like Cytoxan, Taxol, and Adriamycin tend to cause excessive hair loss and may also affect eyebrow, eyelashes or hair on other parts of the body. 

Hair usually begins to fall out within 10 to 15 days after the start of chemotherapy treatment. In general the loss will be rapid and you may lose 50% of your hair within a week after it begins.  This normally continues throughout the duration of the treatment and then about a month following the conclusion of the treatment or until the anti-cancer drugs work through your system. 

New hair growth would then normally occur within 2 weeks following this. It may take several months for the hair to grow completely back in and there may be some changes in the color and texture of the hair.  This is generally a temporary situation and you can expect for your normal color and textured hair to eventually appear. 

To help to accelerate the regrowth of your hair, proper planning and preparation is key.  Take steps to strengthen your hair so that it can better withstand the powerful chemical treatments.  Avoid chemical treatments like permanent waves or coloring since they can damage hair which is not at all desirable before treatment.  And consider getting your hair cut shorter so others can get used to seeing you in a more closely cropped style. 

This can make the transition back to new hair following treatment easier and faster.  And it can help to hide the fact that your hair will initially be thinner than normal until the regrowth is complete.  Another option to consider is to wear a wig until your new hair grows in sufficiently.  This can give a person more confidence and make the transition to the regrown hair easier.