Hair loss is usually temporary. After chemotherapy
your hair will grow back. Often the first soft hairs
reappear within a month or six weeks of treatment
ending, and you can expect to have a reasonable
head of hair three to six months later.
When you finish radiotherapy your hair will usually
grow back. The time it takes and the way it grows
back depends on the dose of radiotherapy you
have received. Your hair will usually have grown
back within six to twelve months of completing
your treatment. Occasionally after a large dose of
radiotherapy the hair may not recover completely,
new growth can be rather patchy and there may be
some permanent hair loss. Talk to your doctor about
what to expect as your hair grows back.
As your hair grows back you may notice some
changes. It may be a little more curly, thicker or
finer than it was before or it may grow back a
slightly different colour. A hairdresser may be able
to help you with thinning hair and hair care during
regrowth. If your hair loss is partial talk to your
hairdresser about different styling as this can give the
appearance of thicker hair. Hairpieces are available
and may be helpful.
Before starting to colour or tint your hair again
seek advice from a professional about the colours
or chemicals that may be suitable for you. It is
understandable that you might not want to wait
to dye your hair. If your scalp is sensitive you can
ask your hairdresser to recommend henna dyes or
vegetable-based dyes as these may be gentler on
the hair and scalp than chemical hair colours.
Acknowledgements: The information is based on the expertise of clinicians who work in the area and
consumer experience and was reviewed by: Karen Hall, Clinical Nurse, Cancer
Services Division, Flinders Medical Centre SA; Joy Hills, Support Officer Cancer
Council Tasmania; Frank Hughes - 13 11 20 consultant, Cancer Council Queensland;
Christine Long, Team Leader, Health Professional & Education, Cancer Council
Queensland; Sue Spencer, Clinical Manager Oncology, Breast Care Nurse, Western
Hospital SA; Cancer Council 13 11 20 nurses; Nina Mastrangelo, Consumer SA;
Clinical health professionals at Icon Cancer Care SA.