Protecting Your Hair From Heat

What You Should Know About Chemotherapy & Hair Loss

Were you diagnosed with breast cancer and had to undergo surgery for treatment? If you are now worried because you have to undergo chemotherapy and can possibly lose all of your hair, you might find that wearing cold caps can prevent it from happening. Take a look at the information in this article for more insight about undergoing chemotherapy and how wearing cold caps can help you prevent major hair loss during the process.

Why Is Chemotherapy Done After Breast Cancer Surgery?

Although you underwent surgery to get rid of the cancerous cells in your breast, it does not mean that treatment was completely successful. There might still be a few cancerous cells that are hidden in your body. Chemotherapy is a technique that is used to destroy any cancerous cells that are still present in your body. The drugs that are administered will depend on the severity of your condition, and some chemotherapy drugs can cause a greater amount of hair loss than others. For instance, the chemotherapy drug called Adriamycin can cause complete hair loss in a rapid manner, but Methotrexate might only lead to your hair thinning out.

Why Does Chemotherapy Cause Hair Loss?

Chemotherapy causes hair loss because it is targeted at killing the cells in your body that divide in a rapid manner. It does not only affect the cells that caused your breast cancer, but it can also affect healthy cells like the hair follicles in your skin. Hair follicles can actually divide faster than many of the other cells in your body, which makes them a good target for chemotherapy drugs. The speed at which your hair falls out depends on the dosage that you are given and type of chemotherapy drugs that are administered. However, wearing cold caps during chemotherapy treatment might help you avoid complete hair loss.

How Can Cold Caps Prevent Complete Hair Loss?

The results of wearing cold caps can vary between each individual that undergoes chemotherapy. Some patients might only retain a small portion of their hair, while others might not lose much hair at all. Basically, wearing the cold caps during chemotherapy sessions can narrow the blood vessels that are in your scalp. When blood vessels are narrow, it leads to a smaller amount of the chemotherapy drugs traveling through them, which means that your hair follicles won't die in large quantities. Speak to your physician about allowing you to wear a cold cap when your chemotherapy sessions begin.