Why Does Hair Loss Happen When Going Through Chemo?

Hairloss | Breast Cancer Car Donations

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko under Pexels License 

Why Does Hair Loss Happen When Going Through Chemo?

An individual who’s been diagnosed with breast cancer goes through many challenges. Amid their emotional distress and physical discomfort, they have to undergo chemotherapy, a medical procedure that seeks to eliminate cancer cells from their system.

Adding to their misery, breast cancer patients lose their hair as a result of chemotherapy. Why does hair loss happen when going through chemo? To avoid confusion and unnecessary worry, Breast Cancer Car Donations sheds light on this issue.

In case you’re not aware, the primary purpose of the drugs that are used in chemotherapy is to destroy the cancer cells that are found in the malignant tumor. However, these drugs can’t tell the difference between the rapidly dividing cells of a tumor and the highly active follicle with cells that frequently divide to grow hair. This means that while chemotherapy drugs are designed to effectively destroy all rapidly dividing cells in the body, the breast cancer patient’s hair is not exempted from taking the fall along with the cancer cells.

All About Chemotherapy-Induced Alopecia

Chemotherapy-induced alopecia (CIA) or hair loss is a common side effect of cancer treatment, which is why the sight of breast cancer patients covering their hair is all too familiar. The level of hair loss is highly dependent on the type of cancer that an individual is diagnosed with, the specific drug that was used, and the pattern and dose of the treatment. Although the patients’ locks grow back after they’ve completed their treatment, some still refuse to go through chemotherapy simply because the very thought of losing their hair is much too distressing for them to handle.

The first wave of CIA is experienced within one to two weeks from the onset of treatment. Although the exact pattern depends on the person’s hair, oftentimes, the first to see hair loss are the areas of the head that experience high friction during sleep. These include the top of the head as well as the sides above the ears. By the third month of treatment, the hair loss is often complete.

However, within one to three months after chemotherapy is finished, hair starts to grow back. Some patients are surprised to see temporary changes as hair regrowth takes place. For example, 60% of them report a change in hair color and structure before their hair eventually turns to normal.

How Breast Cancer Patients Can Make the Best of It

If you are a breast cancer patient about to undergo chemotherapy, you can manage CIA. Before chemo starts, you should try to avoid bleaching, coloring or perming your hair to increase the chances of making it stay on your head a bit longer during the course of your treatment. You can also consider cutting it to make it look fuller and make the transition to total hair loss a little better. It might also be a good time to plan for your hair covering such as scarves, wigs or hats to conceal the impending CIA.

As you go through chemo, try using a soft brush to keep your hair in place or using a gentle shampoo. You can wash your hair as often as you need to. To reduce the irritation that you may feel during your treatment, you may also consider shaving your head to avoid the embarrassment of shedding. Lastly, make it a point to protect your scalp with sunscreen or covering because sunshine or extreme cold can easily irritate your scalp.

After you complete your treatment, remember to be gentle with your new hair growth by holding off bleaching or coloring until your new hair becomes stronger. Keep in mind the hair regrowth takes a considerable amount of time, so be patient.


Save Lives by Donating a Vehicle Today!

You don’t have to get stuck with a clunker that you no longer intend to keep. If you donate it to Breast Cancer Car Donations, you can forget about spending a fortune on repairs, maintenance, insurance, and registration for that unwanted piece of metal. Plus, you’ll get to help us raise funds for the critical programs that our IRS-certified 501(c)3 nonprofit partners deliver for the benefit of those whose lives have been touched by breast cancer. Through your donation, breast cancer patients in your local area can avail themselves of various breast health services.

You can start off by completing our simple online donation form. We’ll call you back on the same day you submit the form to arrange your vehicle’s free pickup from a location of your choice. You can also opt to call us at 866-540-5069 to make your vehicle donation.

Before you know it, you’ll receive your 100% tax-deductible receipt by mail. You can use this receipt to receive a top tax deduction in the next tax season.

If you need more information about the ins and outs of our vehicle donation program, check out our FAQs page or send us a message online. We accept almost all types of vehicles regardless of their age, mileage, and condition. We also accept vehicle donations anywhere in the United States since we have car donation programs in all 50 states.

Help Us Save More Lives Now!

Call us at 866-540-5069 to make your vehicle donation now. Together, we can save more lives.