Chemotherapy Hair Loss: Why It Happen & How To Prevent It?

Chemotherapy Hair Loss
Some people post many questions on quora about chemotherapy hair loss.
Chemotherapy Hair Loss
Are you searching on google about “why chemo causes hair loss?” If yes, Then do not worry about this I am here for you. 
Chemotherapy Hair Loss


Chemotherapy Hair Loss


In this article, I will explain to you in detail or in-depth about chemotherapy hair loss, And also more so on.
Chemotherapy Hair Loss


Why does chemotherapy cause hair loss?

Hair loss is a simple thing in chemo. 
Because in chemo treatment target all rapidly growing-cancer cells in your body, And at the same time Chemo also targets all healthy rapidly growing cells in your body. 
Chemotherapy Hair Loss


Chemo targets your rapidly growing hair-cells. 
Chemo Destroys the fast-growing cancer cells in your body as well as the fast-growing hair-cells, And that’s why your hair falls out during chemo or after chemo. 
Your hair falls or starts to fall within a few weeks after chemotherapy starts.
Chemotherapy Hair Loss
The main cause of hair loss in chemo is the medication taken in therapy. 
Chemotherapy Hair Loss


The Chemo powerful medications designed for target and attack rapidly growing cells.
Chemotherapy Hair Loss


Some chemo medications like “Adriamycin, Methotrexate, Cytoxan, 5-fluorouracil, Taxol”. 
Chemotherapy Hair Loss


These medications are taken during chemo due to which does not just cause hair loss on your head but others cause the loss of also eyebrows and eyelashes, pubic hair, and hair on your legs, arms, or underarms. 
Chemotherapy Hair Loss
Fortunately, the hair loss in chemo is mostly temporary. 
Within 3 to 6 weeks of the end of your chemotherapy treatment, your hair starts growing.

What should you expect?

During Chemotherapy treatments, your hair starts falling within 2 to 4 weeks. 
Chemotherapy Hair Loss


In this treatment your hair falls out very quickly, During the treatment, your hair starts falling or your hair continues for a few weeks after the treatment ends.
You’ll likely notice of loose hair on your pillow, hairbrush or comb, or sink or shower drain.

When will your hair grow back?

Chemotherapy Hair Loss
Within 3 to 6 weeks after treatment, Your hair will be recovered and your hair will grow again. 
The hair that will grow after treatment may not be the same as before, new hair might have a different texture or color, But do not worry about this Its usually temporary.
Chemotherapy Hair Loss


Chemotherapy Hair Loss


Chemotherapy Hair Loss


Chemotherapy Hair Loss

Does chemo result in permanent hair loss?

Usually, chemo hair loss is temporary, But depending on the dosage and medication prescribed, many patients may experience permanent hair loss. 

Can hair loss be prevented?

No, treatment exists which can guarantee you that your hair will not fall out during treatment or after the treatment.
Discovered in many investigations that applying Minoxidil (Rogaine)(2), Scalp cooling caps(3) treatments can prevent hair fall but these also are not absolutely effective.

How to make the best of it


Before treatment

Be gentle to your hair
Before Chemo treatment try applying organic shampoo, Organic conditioner, Organic oil(depending on your hair porosity) to your hair as it strengthens your hair roots.
Stop using hair color, chemical shampoos, or conditioner. Stop using straightener or heating devices such as curling irons and hot rollers.
Consider cutting your hair.
Plan for a head covering(4)
You can even shave your head 

During treatment

Baby your remaining hair
You can continue to use your gentle hair strategies during chemotherapy treatment. 
Use a soft brush. You can wash your hair only when necessary. You can use organic shampoo.
Consider shaving your head
If you have long hair then you feel itchy, sensitive, and irritated on your scalp during chemo treatment and while your hair is falling out.
If you shaving your head, It can reduce your irritation and It can save you to the embarrassment of shedding.
Protect your scalp
Your scalp may be sensitive as you go through treatment, Due to which you might feel irritated when your scalp is in a hot or extremely cold environment. 
You can protect Your scalp with a head covering.

After treatment

Continue gentle hair care(5)
You can continue to use your gentle hair strategies after chemotherapy treatment. 
Do not use color, chemical shampoo, or conditioner, straightener, or heating devices such as curling irons and hot rollers in your hair until your hair grows completely or becomes completely strong.
Be patient.
Your hair will grow slowly that it might not look normal. But your hair growth takes time. Be patient.

Stages of hair growth after chemo | Growing hair after chemo | Chemotherapy hair loss timeline

If you Know about stages of hair growth after chemo, This can help you to better understand your hair regrowth(hair grow after chemo).
The following timeline indicates what you can expect to happen after chemotherapy:
  • 2–3 weeks: your Light hair forms.
  • 1–2 months: your Thicker hair starts growing.
  • 2–3 months: An inch of your hair may have grown.
  • 6 months: Some 2–3 inches of your hair have grown.
  • 12 months: your hair may have grown 4–6 inches.

14 Things to Know About Managing Chemotherapy Hair Loss | chemotherapy hair loss prevention

  • Not all chemotherapy causes hair loss:-
Not all chemotherapy treatments are causes of hair loss.
Chemotherapy Hair Loss


Before starting Chemo treatment talk to your doctor about this, Your doctor can help you learn what to expect and when to expect it. 
Chemotherapy Hair Loss


Chemotherapy Hair Loss


  • Scalp cooling caps might help prevent hair loss
Chemotherapy Hair Loss


Chemotherapy Hair Loss


If you wear a scalp cooling cap during chemotherapy, It will help you to prevent your hair loss. 
Scalp cooling cap slows down the blood flow of your hair scalp. scalp cooling cap prevents the medications taken in chemo from reaching your hair And Its use has less effect on your hair follicles. 
Chemotherapy Hair Loss


Chemotherapy Hair Loss


According to the International Journal of Cancer, scalp cooling caps reduce the risk of hair loss in people undergoing chemotherapy.
  • A short haircut might make a difference
If you keep your hair short during chemotherapy then it gives you many benefits. 
If you have short hair after chemo then hair loss might be less noticeable. 
If you don’t cut your hair short then after chemo hair loss might make your scalp feel itchy, irritated, or sensitive. 
If you are going to start chemo treatment then definitely think about it once.
  • A variety of head coverings are available
Chemotherapy Hair Loss
When your hair starts falling after a chemo treatment, If you feel self-conscious about hair loss, You can wear a head covering wigs or scarves or hats, It might help you. 
It also helps you to protect your head from sunlight exposure and cold air.
  • Some health insurance plans cover wigs
If you have health insurance, then the cost of your chemo treatment may be partially or fully covered. 
You can also take help from many nonprofit organizations. They also help fund the cost of wigs for people in need.
  • Talk to your doctor about hair loss: 

Not all medication is taken during chemo treatment cause hair loss. If you want to make your hair loss less scary, You can talk to your doctor about what will really happen.

  • Go easy on your hair: 
If you want to slow down your hair loss then you should stay away from chemical shampoo, color, perm, straighten, rollers, curling irons, or straightening irons. Try to Use a soft-bristle hairbrush, Try to let your hair air-dry.
  • Take care of your scalp

After losing your hair, You might be feeling on your scalp itchy and tingling sensation. 

You can try organic moisturizing shampoo and conditioner in your scalp it helps you And also tries to take gentle lotion massage on your scalp.
  • Minoxidil:
Chemotherapy Hair Loss


Using minoxidil on your scalp does not stop hair fall, however, it been proven to hurry hair growth in breast most cancer suffers who’ve misplaced their hair, It could even delay the loss.

  • Talk about your feelings:
Chemotherapy Hair Loss


 During treatment or after treatment you might be feeling angry, depressed, or embarrassed about your hair loss.  

It can help you to share these feelings with someone who understands. 
If you talk openly with your children or close family members can also help you all. 
It can help you to share these feelings with someone who understands.
  • Connect with a chemo support group(1)

They Help you to feel better, more hopeful, and not so alone, They Give you a chance to talk about your feelings and work through them, They Help you deal with practical problems, such as problems at work or school.

  • Rest easy

Try to wear a soft cap or turban on your head, It helps you to collect loose hair as it falls out. 

  • Make the most out of your appearance
Chemotherapy Hair Loss

You can buy beauty products or a new pair of earrings or a pretty, colorful scarf.

  • Be patient: 

Do not worry about this, Your hair starts growing under 4 to 6 weeks after you finished chemo. 

Many times, your hair grows in different color or texture, but this is temporary. Please be patient.

Diet tips to keep hair healthy during chemotherapy

Chemotherapy Hair Loss


  • Try to eat Dark leafy greens during chemo and also try to eat Swiss chard, spinach, and other dark leafy greens.

 This can be very helpful for your hair because It will give you vitamins A and C which are very important for your hair during chemo. 

It will help you in producing oily substances in your body like sebum, A natural conditioner for your hair.
  • Try to eat Salmon (choose wild Alaskan salmon) during chemo. 

This can be very helpful for your hair scalp because It will give you Omega-3 fatty acids and protein which are very important for your hair scalp during chemo. 

If you do not like to eat fish, try a high-quality fish oil supplement.
  • Try to eat Beans and legumes during chemo. 

This can be very helpful for your growth because It will give you iron, biotin, zinc, protein which are very important for your hair growth during chemo. 

Avoid high-dose biotin supplements.
  • Try to eat Nuts, Walnuts, Cashews, almonds, and pecans during chemo. 

This can be very helpful for your hair scalp because it will give you vitamins and minerals, omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linoleic acid, zinc which are very important for your hair scalp in during chemo.

  • Try to eat Eggs during chemo. It will give you protein as well as biotin, helping prevent dry, weak, and brittle hair.
  • Try to eat Yogurt, Spinach, Broccoli, Garlic, Red bell peppers, Ginger, Citrus fruits, Turmeric, Sunflower seeds, Fruits and fruit juices, Fresh seasonal vegetables in during chemo, eat daily to boost your immunity. Avoid consumption of processed, packaged, and junk foods. 

Impact of vitamins, supplements, and diet on cancer treatment-related hair loss

Vitamin deficiency is the main cause of hair fall. 
During treatment, most patients have a vitamin deficiency or low immunity. 
If you have a vitamin deficiency, Then it is important to find out which vitamins are lacking in your body. 
Blood tests can show if you have low vitamin D, zinc, or iron. Those vitamins are linked to your hair growth.
Other vitamins C, omega-3, and omega-6 fatty acids, amino acids, B vitamins, vitamin A, and vitamin E are linked to your hair growth. 
A healthy diet helps you to keep your hair healthy during chemotherapy. 
Try to make a healthy diet list which includes Dark leafy greens, Salmon (choose wild Alaskan salmon), Beans and legumes, Nuts, Walnuts, Cashews, almonds, and pecans, Eggs.

What are the common side effects of chemo? | 1st chemo treatment side effects

Chemotherapy Hair Loss
Here are some of the more common side effects caused by chemotherapy:
  • Fatigue, Hair loss, Easy bruising and bleeding, Infection
  • Anemia (low red blood cell counts), Nausea and vomiting, Appetite changes, Constipation
  • Diarrhea, Mouth, tongue, and throat problems such as sores and pain with swallowing
  • Peripheral neuropathy or other nerve problems, such as numbness, tingling, and pain
  • Skin and nail changes such as dry skin and color change
  • Urine and bladder changes and kidney problems, Weight changes
  • Chemo brain, which can affect concentration and focus, Mood changes
  • Changes in libido and sexual function, Fertility problems

Which chemotherapy drugs cause hair loss?

  • Alkylating : Ctoxan or neosar (cyclophosphamide), Ifex(ifosfamide), Myleran or Busulfex(busulphan), Thioplex(thiotepa), Hexalen(altretamine), paraplatin(carboplatin).
  • Antitumor antibiotics:- Cosmegen(dactinomycin), Adriamycin or Doxil (doxorubicin), Idamycin(idrubicin).

  • Topoisomerase inhibitors:- Vepesid(etoposide), Camptosar(irinotecan).
  • Antimicrotubule agents:- Taxol(paclitaxel), Taxotere(docetaxel), Ellence(epirubicin), Lxempra(lxabepilone), Marqibo or Vincasar(vincristine), Alocrest or Navelbine(vinorelbine).
  • Antimetabolites:- Efudex(fluorouracil), Gemzar(gemcitabine).

Radiation therapy and hair loss

Chemotherapy Hair Loss


high energy waves are used in radiation therapy, To kill rapidly dividing cancer cells, And also this radiation therapy destroys healthy rapidly growing cells in your body. 
Radiation therapy destroys your rapidly growing hair cells that can result in hair loss. 
hair may grow back after treatment or may not grow back, depending on your dosage and intensity of the therapy, And high dosage might because permanent hair loss. 
FAQS on chemotherapy treatment
  • How can I prevent my hair from falling out during chemo?
You can use Scalp cooling caps (scalp hypothermia) and Minoxidil (Rogaine).
  • What percentage of chemo patients lose their hair?
Approximately 65%.
  • How many days after chemo does hair fall out?
Hair usually begins falling out 2 to 4 weeks after you start treatment.
  • Is it better to shave your head during chemo?


  • Does hair grow back GREY after chemo?
hair grows in gray, and then a few months later, it returns to their natural color.
  • Can chemotherapy cause permanent hair loss?
hair loss is rarely permanent, and it should grow back once treatment is over.
  • Does hair grow back thinner after chemo?
Around 58% of respondents said that their hair grew back thinner, while 32% said that theirs did not change.
  • Does everyone get sick from chemotherapy?
Not everyone feels sick during or after chemotherapy, but if nausea affects you, it will usually start a few hours after treatment.
In this article, I have explained in detail about chemotherapy hair loss and prevention and diet. 
I hope this is helpful to you. 
If you have any questions related to this, then you can ask through comment. 
If you like this article, please share it and comment on it.






Hi, I Am Ijaj Seikh & I Am Indian.

For the past 4+ years, I’ve been a Hair Loss Specialist & Hair Care Advisor & Owner of Mrijajguide.

Working on your behalf, I’ll Explore effective Hair Loss Treatments.

I'll discover new research on hair regrowth treatments to transform your thinning hair to fuller thicker hair. 

Your feelings are important to me, and I look forward to developing a long-term relationship with you as your Hair Loss Specialist & Haircare Advisor.

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