After your treatment
Hair loss is usually temporary. Talk to your doctor about what to expect after your treatment.
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After chemotherapy your hair will grow back. Often the first soft hairs reappear within a month or six weeks of treatment ending. Hair usually grows about 1cm every 28 days. You can expect to have a reasonable head of hair four to 12 months later.
When you finish radiation therapy your hair will usually grow back. The time it takes and the way it grows back depends on the dose of radiation you received. Hair usually grows back a few months after treatment. Occasionally after a large dose of radiation therapy the hair may not recover completely, new growth can be patchy and there may be some permanent hair loss.
As your hair grows back you may notice some changes. It may be curlier, thicker or finer than it was before treatment or it may grow back a different colour. A hairdresser may be able to help you manage thinning hair and hair care during regrowth. If your hair loss is partial, talk to your hairdresser about different styling to give the appearance of thicker hair. Hairpieces can be effective in covering partial hair loss.
Seek advice from a professional about how soon after treatment you can colour your regrown hair and the colours or products that may be suitable for you. If your scalp is sensitive, your hairdresser may be able to recommend henna or vegetable-based dyes that may be gentler on the hair and scalp than chemical hair treatments.
|Look Good Feel Better is a national community service program run by the Cancer Patients Foundation, dedicated to teaching cancer patients how to manage the appearance-related side-effects caused by cancer treatment. Women, men and teens participate in practical workshop demonstrations covering skin care, make-up and head wear. Look Good Feel Better workshops are held regularly in metropolitan and some regional areas.
Call the Look Good Feel Better national office on 1800 650 960 for information or visit the website to register for a free workshop. The website also has practical tips in caring for your appearance.
We thank the reviewers of this fact sheet: Caitriona Nienaber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council WA; Hayley Tuck, Clinical Health Professional, Regional Cancer Support Coordinator, Cancer Council WA; Jacqui Campbell, Nurse Manager – ICON Cancer Centre Hobart; Karen Richardson, Cancer Nurse, Regional Support Services, Cancer Council WA; Marion Bamblett, Nurse Unit Manager, Fiona Stanley Hospital WA; Molly Colussa, Coordinator Practical Support Programs, Cancer Council Victoria; Moira Waters, McGrath Breast Care Nurse, Breast Cancer Care WA; Natasha Girvan, Program Manager, Look Good Feel Better, WA & SA; Rosie Brown, Cancer Nurse, Breast Cancer Netw trangelo, Consumer SA; Tania Ward, Consumer WA.
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