Hair loss can be very distressing and is a common side effect during cancer treatment.
It’s important to remember that in most cases, hair will regrow after your treatment finishes.
Chemotherapy induced hair loss commonly occurs two to three weeks after the start of treatment. Symptoms can range from thinning of the hair shaft, hair breakage, partial hair loss to total hair loss. Hair regrowth takes approximately three to five months. In very rare cases hair may not regrow. Some people experience changes in the characteristics of their regrown hair, including different colour, texture or patchiness (more common with radiation therapy).
Before treatment begins, your care team will talk to you about the risk of hair loss relevant to your recommended treatment. You will be able to discuss how hair loss will impact you and have opportunities to access counselling and psychological support before, during and after cancer treatment.
There are a number of strategies you can try to help you manage the impact of hair loss, including:
Scalp cooling may help reduce hair loss while undergoing chemotherapy treatment, however there is minimal evidence to suggest that it works for everyone as a preventative measure and it shouldn’t be used for some cancers. Scalp cooling is offered at a number of our centres. Talk to your care team to see if scalp cooling could be an option for you.
Find out how to become a patient at Icon Cancer Centre, or request more information from your nearest centre.
A list of credible support agencies to help you through all stages of your cancer journey.
Helpful information on finding the right support when caring for a loved one with cancer.
Our patients share their perspective and advice on receiving and coping with a cancer diagnosis.