Chemotherapy and Hair Loss
Hair loss is just one of the unfortunate side effects that comes with chemotherapy. Chemotherapy targets rapidly dividing cells and unfortunately hair is a rapidly dividing cell.
What is the best way to care for your scalp after hair loss related to chemotherapy?
Keep your scalp clean and choose clean and natural shampoos to cleanse the scalp. We recommend a shampoo that is hydrating and organic. Most shampoos are filled with chemicals that can irritate and dry out the already-compromised scalp. We recommend avoiding shampoos with sodium lauryl sulfate, parabens or methylparaben. Look for the The chemical names that have prefixes ethyl-, butyl-, methyl- or propyl-, these all come from the paraben family even if the word “paraben” isn't in the name. These preservatives are not healthy to use on your skin or hair.
Do not use scalp stimulating products during chemo and while you are actively losing your hair These are great post-chemo, but they may be an irritant during chemo. Unfortunately, chemotherapy-induced hair loss will not be helped by these products while you are losing hair
After you are finished with your treatment you can use scalp/follicle stimulator products that help nourish and support new hair growth. We do not recommend using heavy lotions full of petroleum and fragrances. Petroleum suffocates the skin. Dermavitality soothing scalp cream is formulated to nourish your skin and calm irritation and inflammation related to chemotherapy induced hair loss. Our soothing scalp cream for chemotherapy will nourish your scalp and keep the skin hydrated and healthy,
Some patients experience cradle cap. We formulated our scalp care cream using natural and organic soothing ingredients that help prevent this side effect and moisturize your scalp. This helps prevent inflammation, Our soothing scalp lotion is formulated with natural organic moisturizers and is combined with anti-inflammatory botanicals.
You can wear a soft beanie that will comfort your scalp. Do not wear anything that causes more irritation if you are experiencing discomfort.If you want to wear a wig, use a soft wig cap over the scalp until any tenderness subsides.
Once treatment starts and hair loss begins, the reality of your cancer diagnosis is always staring back at you in the mirror. Not seeing the person you used to be, can be disheartening and difficult.
Dealing with hair loss, both emotionally and physically, can be easier once you know what to expect.
Why Does Hair Loss Occur with Chemotherapy?
Chemotherapy-induced alopecia (hair loss) is related to chemotherapy which is targeting all fast-growing dividing cells. The hair follicle is a highly active structure with a host of cells that frequently divide to produce the growth of hair; therefore, it is affected by treatment.
When Does Hair Loss Occur?
Hair loss often begins between the 14th and 21st day after your first treatment. You may experience it a bit earlier depending on the type of treatment or if you’ve had surgery before starting treatment.
What Happens When I Lose My Hair?
Usually, it begins with the loss of just a few strands. You may notice some tenderness in areas of your scalp. This is an indication that hair loss will occur relatively soon. You may wake up one day and not notice any hair loss at all, then by the middle of the day you start shedding hair. The shedding will start lightly and increase in volume. This is when some patients decide to shave their head to prevent the annoying shedding that occurs in the shower and while sleeping.
For those who lose hair, the decision to shave their head is always black and white: YES, I am ready, or NO, I am not. When that time comes, you can make the decision on where or how you want to go about shaving your head.
Some ladies are proactive and decide to cut their hair short before hair loss. Some also shave their heads prior to experiencing hair loss because they want the choice and control of when they lose their hair. Most already have wigs picked out.
A word of caution NEVER use a straight edge razor to shave your head. This can cause infection. We suggest using a clipper the stubble left behind will fall out as time goes on. It is best to sleep in a soft chemo beanie to capture those hairs, so they do not get all over your pillow.
What Are Other Possible Side Effects of Hair Loss?
Some people breeze through hair loss and experience no side effects at all.
What are the side effects of hair loss?
Some patients do not experience any of these symptoms but many experience things such as:
Tenderness, pain, or soreness on the scalp·
Cradle cap (crusty or oily scaly patches) or dry, flaky scalp·
The scalp feeling warm to the touch·
Rashes in small clusters·
Sore bumps known as folliculitis (inflammation of the hair follicles)
Some words of encouragement, because it all sounds so scary. If you have discomfort, it will pass! You may have none of the symptoms listed above, or you may have a few. If you experience any unpleasant side effects, they will last about two to three weeks or less. Our soothing scalp cream and soothing scalp spray can help lessen these unfortunate side effects. The soothing scalp spray for chemo patients not only soothes the scalp but can also be used after treatment to help with hair growth. The scalp spray is an extremely fast-absorbing and lightweight hair soothing spray formulated with hair growth peptides that stimulate keratin production which is a key structural protein of hair. Formulated with calendula and orange blossom water which provides your scalp with intense moisture and nourishment these help soothe and nourish your scalp during treatment and after our Keratin (Hydrolyzed Corn Protein & Hydrolyzed Soy Protein) and Growth Peptides (myristoyl hexapeptide-16, myristoyl pentapeptide-17) support regrowth of your hair.
There are ways you can minimize these negative side effects. And our soothing scalp cream and spray bundle is a great way to support your scalp and hair during and after treatment.
A new advancement in scalp, hair, eyelash and brow support.
Will I Lose Eyelashes and Eyebrows?
This will depend on your chemotherapy drugs, as well as the amount of treatments you have. It is possible if you are undergoing 12 chemo treatments or more to lose all of your eyebrows and eyelashes. Eyebrow and eyelash loss usually doesn’t occur until later in your treatment.
When Will My Hair Start Growing Again?
Every person is different in how fast his or her hair starts to grow back. Some see growth towards the end of treatment, while it takes others three to six months to really start seeing good results. Once the hair starts growing, you may notice a change in texture or color. It may come in curly!
Let the Beauty of Who You Are Keep Shining Through
Our passion is to offer clean natural products to those who are undergoing treatment. We offer products that provide support for your inner self and minimize the side effects of chemotherapy induced alopecia. We want to help support outward confidence in your appearance so you can look in the mirror and see the beautiful YOU looking back.
1. Radiation Dermatitis: Recognition, Prevention, and Management https://www.cancernetwork.com/view/radiation-dermatitis-recognition-prevention-and-management
2. Topical treatment of radiation-induced dermatitis: current issues and potential solutions: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7295106/