Chemotherapy drugs are extremely powerful and designed to destroy active, rapidly dividing cells. Unfortunately, these effects are non-discriminatory.
In other words, they don’t only attack the rapidly multiplying cancer cells, but also attack other healthy, rapidly dividing cells in the body — such as cells in the hair follicles which are in the growth/active phase.
Radiotherapy has the same end result, although the process of cell death occurs through irradiation, not through drugs. Depending on the dose of radiation, this may have reversible or irreversible effects on the cells.
Hair loss caused by chemotherapy and radiotherapy is often called, Anagen Effluvium.
Unfortunately, there are a number of other commonly prescribed drugs for illnesses and conditions apart from cancer which can also lead to hair loss, or trigger the onset of alopecia.
Fortunately, most of the time hair loss from chemotherapy is temporary. Most patients regain a full head of hair six months to a year after their treatment ends. In some cases though, hair may return with a different texture or colour.
Hair loss following radiotherapy generally adheres to the same re-growth trend as hair damaged by chemotherapy. However, high doses of radiotherapy over lengthy periods can mean a longer recovery time for the hair and in rarer cases can cause permanent hair loss.
If hair loss is caused by medication, this is generally temporary and once the medicine is no longer taken, hair growth should resume.
How we can help
From a cosmetic point of view, we can potentially help once your hair has stabilised and is starting to grow back.
Depending upon the length of your hair and the pattern of loss, we can either use carefully applied and baby-fine Mark Glenn hair extensions as a temporary measure whilst your hair grows back; or alternatively, our more advanced Kinsey System for female hair loss where the loss is more substantial.
We can advise accordingly during a free consultation at our London studio.