What is it?

Chemotherapy Hair Loss is an unfortunate side effect of lifesaving cancer treatments.

Certain forms of chemotherapy affect the mitosis of cells within the hair papilla, the result is that the hair ceases to grow, and falls out suddenly. The hairs don’t shrink away and fall out gradually as in the normal last stage of a hair growth cycle but can fall out within days of the medical treatment. This condition is called Anagen Effluvium (as hair falls whilst still in their establishing growth / anagen phase.
This happens with quite a few of the drugs used in the treatment of cancer but when the drug is essential to health it is not a matter of choice.


What can be done?

The first and best thing I can do is to prepare you for this situation.  I gently advise my patients that the hair will fall, sadly it’s inevitable, but I then advise them on how to cope with the trauma and reassure them that hair almost always grows back after chemotherapy.

Advance knowledge has great value and hopefully consulting with Ireland’s first female Trichologist at Hair Hospital will give the highest level of reassurance.  Appointments include assessment of your situation, carried out with a sensitive, caring, pragmatic and practical approach, giving you essential information, hair care tips and hair piece dressing/styling.

It’s very rare that hair does not grow back (although this is a possibility following high doses of chemotherapy). Happily your hair may begin to grow back even before you finish your course of treatment and at first the hair is very fine I can offer careful treatment and styling until you have a full head of hair again (probably after 3-6 months).


Cooling the scalp can sometimes help to reduce the amount of chemotherapy drugs that reach the hair follicles on your scalp. This reduces, and in some cases prevents, the hair from falling out.

Together we can make you as comfortable with what you’re going through as possible. Call me.


Cervical Cancer Awareness

Cancer Focus Northern Ireland

Macmillan Cancer Support

NHS Cancer Support

Marie Curie Cancer Care

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