Chemotherapy and hair loss

Particularly traumatic, especially for women, hair loss is one of the main side-effects of chemotherapy. By destroying cancer cells, chemotherapy also acts on other cells, including those of the hair bulb. Contrary to popular belief, hair does grow back after this type of treatment. Here are a few things you should know about regaining your hair after chemotherapy.

How long does it take for hair to grow back after chemotherapy?

Hair starts to grow again as soon as the body eliminate all chemical elements which accompany the drugs used in chemotherapy. The process therefore requires a lot of patience. Hair regrowth after chemotherapy takes between 4 and 6 weeks.

As well as eliminating the cancerous cells, the treatment also destroys the fast-growing cells, including those at the hairline. This is why, when the body no longer contains any trace of chemical elements, the hair regrowth resumes its rhythm.

It should be noted, however, that some treatments such as hormone therapy, used in women with breast cancer, have also been shown to have an impact on hair regrowth. In this case, the process will be much slower. The regrowth of thinning hair after chemotherapy cannot be ruled out either.

Will the new hair look like it did before or will it change completely?

A large majority of women who have undergone chemotherapy are concerned about whether their new hair will return to its former appearance or change radically. First of all, it's worth remembering that hair loss is mainly due to the deterioration of the cells that produce hair. During chemotherapy, these cells are no longer able to produce new hair. In order to function normally again, the root cells (hair follicles) therefore need recovery.

During regrowth, the new hair can regain the texture they had before or look different. A woman who used to have thick, straight hair may end up with much finer, curly hair, and vice versa. In general, the change is temporary. The impression of having thick, coarse hair is also quite common, but this sensation gradually disappears as the hair grows back.

In some women, the first hairs are also lighter or darker than the original colour, or even grey. White hair can also grow back after chemotherapy. The hair will gradually regain their pigmentation and density after a few months. In all cases, the new hair will regain healthier condition after 3 to 4 months.

Is there a specific treatment for hair regrowth after chemotherapy?

As mentioned above, regrowing hair after chemotherapy requires a great deal of patience, just long enough for the hair follicles to be able to regrow. function properly. After chemotherapy, the hair grows by 1 to 2 cm a month, at the same rate as healthy hair.

Today, it's becoming increasingly common to find products that vitamin-based hair regrowth as well as serums applied directly to the scalp. The effectiveness of this type of product varies from one woman to another.

Natural tips to stimulate hair regrowth after chemotherapy or radiotherapy

Eliminate toxins and boost regrowth

Eliminate toxins generated by drugs promotes hair regrowth. Rich in vitamin E, castor oil, for example, is an ideal ally. Applied in very small quantities directly on the scalp Every evening before going to bed, it helps to eliminate the last of the toxins present in the hair bulb.

Massage the scalp with castor oil after chemotherapy

A healthy scalp is good for hair regrowth. But how do you regrow hair after chemotherapy? Visit massage with a vegetable oil or moisturising cream (such as a face or body cream) will help stimulate this regrowth. Visit circular movements hair regrowth treatment after chemo activate blood circulation and improve the supply of nutrients, vitamins and minerals that hair needs to grow again. For 2 to 3 minutes, gently massage the entire scalp.

Use a mild shampoo

Gentle shampoo helps hair to grow back after chemotherapy. Thanks to carefully selected ingredientsThe product creates a healthy environment for healthy hair. Always use paraben-free formulas, Free from sulphated surfactants and silicones. As well as washing the hair, this type of product will strengthen it without damaging it. Also remember to adopt the right gestures, By avoiding washing your hair every day, for example, and using lukewarm water at between 30 and 37°C.

Protecting the skull from the cold

Ensure that the skull stays nice and warm is also important for promoting hair regrowth after chemotherapy. The cold tends to constrict blood vessels, which slows down blood circulation and hair growth. So don't hesitate to wear a cap or scarf on your head, day or night.

Diet, a help for hair regrowth after chemotherapy

What you eat also has an impact on whether a woman's hair grows back after chemotherapy. A healthy and balanced diet that focuses on products rich in vitamins and minerals is essential for get beautiful hair. It is also advisable to eat foods rich in sulphur proteinssuch as tuna, chicken or egg yolk.

Above all, you must not don't eliminate fats from your dietbecause they play an important role in thevitamin assimilation. Foods rich in vitamin B, such as lentils and green vegetables, strengthen hair fibre. Note that a zinc or an iron deficiency is also detrimental to hair health.

What to avoid to promote hair regrowth after chemotherapy

Hair that grows back after chemotherapy is still delicate and sensitive. That's why it's important to avoid certain actions that risk weakening them more. Avoid at all coststie up hair with elastic bands. At catching hair rubber tends to create knots. By removing them, you run the risk ofpull out your hair from the root.

An staining too early should also be avoided. In the early stages of regrowth, hair is still too fragile and can break easily. If you want to dye your hair, it's always advisable to be patient. at least 6 monthsThis will give your hair enough time to become strong and resistant. Start gently with a vegetable or temporary colour that won't affect the scalp. Always opt for paraben-free products, ammonia- and resorcinol-free.

Answers to your questions about hair after chemotherapy

How does your hair look after chemo?

After chemotherapy, hair is particularly fragile. That's why it's important not to damage it any further with unsuitable products, such as elastics or shampoos containing ingredients that are not healthy for the scalp. With the right gestures and a healthy diet, it is possible to regain beautiful hair after treatment.

When should you cut your hair after chemotherapy?

Contrary to popular belief, having your hair cut does not accelerate regrowth after chemotherapy. Only the hair roots are responsible for hair growth. If you want to accelerate regrowth and make your hair more vigorous, you can work directly on the scalp by massaging it. Giving in to the call of the scissors when you reach a length of 1 to 2 centimetres will help you to get a nice basic cut.

Does Taxol make my hair grow back?

Hair regrowth after Taxol chemotherapy is much slower than normal, even sub-optimal. Once the body no longer contains traces of the chemical elements from the drugs taken during the treatment, hair regrowth will resume its normal pace.

Jean-François Cabos

Jean-François Cabos is the creator of a unique hair care method based on the research he coordinated, which led to the publication of the book "Cheveux, Racines de Vie" with Hélène Clauderer by Robert Laffont (Collection "Réponses/ Santé").

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