Chemotherapy And Hair Loss
Certain chemotherapy medicines used to treat breast cancer can cause the hair on your head to become thin or to fall out completely. Some chemotherapy medicines can also cause hair loss on other parts of your body, such as your eyebrows and eyelashes, pubic hair, and hair on your legs, arms, or underarms.
Whether you lose your hair and how much you lose depends on a variety of factors. This includes the type, combination, and dose of chemotherapy medicines you get, as well as other medical conditions , nutrition status, and stress. The timing of chemotherapy treatments also affects hair loss. Some types of chemotherapy are given weekly and in small doses, which may minimize hair loss. Other types of chemotherapy are scheduled every 3 to 4 weeks in higher doses and may be more likely to cause more hair loss.
Talk with your doctors before chemotherapy begins so you know what to expect in your individual situation. If you find out that you will be receiving chemotherapy medicines that are likely to cause hair loss, you may want to look into the possibility of using a scalp cooling system or manual cold caps during your infusion sessions to help limit the amount of hair you lose. Read more about preventing hair loss with Cold Caps and Scalp Cooling Systems.
Some of the chemotherapy medicines used to treat breast cancer that can cause hair loss are:
12 months: 46 inches of hair
Recommended Reading: How To Treat Stress Related Hair Loss
Hair Loss From Stress: How Long Does It Last
Everyone loses up to 150 hairs from their head every single day. But, if youre losing more than usual or have started to notice patches on your scalp, this could point to an underlying cause.
Its thought that up to 68% of all men will experience hair loss at some time in their lives. Male pattern baldness is the most common form of hair loss and is genetically pre-determined. It can even begin to happen as early as 20 years old.
Hair thinning is common for women as they age and according to NHS estimates, female pattern baldness affects 50% of women over the age of 65.
But what about hair loss from stress? Is this actually a thing and how long does it last?
Check out our pick for hair loss products here. These are what we have used.
Hair Thinning Vs Hair Loss
Whether youre experiencing excessive hair loss, or your hair strands are becoming gradually thinner over time, both of these problems often share a common cause.
High levels of chronic or severe stress shortens the growth phase of each hair follicle, and can quickly deplete nutrients your hair needs to stay strong. This means youll either notice more hair shedding, youll have thinner, more brittle strands, or both.
Today, women experience more chronic stress than previous generations, so targeting this is a big part of the overall puzzle to treating hair loss.
Other types of hair loss not necessarily caused by stress include:
- Androgenic alopecia often causing women to lose hair around the crown of the head and is often seen with PCOS as a result of higher than normal androgens in women.
- Alopecia areata an autoimmune condition causing patchy hair loss and frequently seen with autoimmune disease, like Hashimotos hypothyroidism.
Also Check: What Does God Say About Worry And Stress
Treating Stress From The Source
Wary of this advice, I decided it was at least easy and affordable to try. So I cancelled my next appointment at the dermatologist and didnt buy any special oils or scalp massage tools.
Instead, I went out with friends. I worked out. I took my vitamins. I watched movies. I cried when I felt like crying. I made an effort to do five minutes of breathwork and ten minutes of meditation in the morning. I slept in when it felt good. I went to therapy. I meal prepped. Basically, I lived my life.
And you know what? The next month, I did see new hairs start to come in. And more, the month after. Until finally, the spot went away completely.
Temporary Hair Loss Is Normal After A Fever Or Illness
Fever is a common symptom of COVID-19. A few months after having a high fever or recovering from an illness, many people see noticeable hair loss.
While many people think of this as hair loss, its actually hair shedding. The medical name for this type of hair shedding is telogen effluvium. It happens when more hairs than normal enter the shedding phase of the hair growth lifecycle at the same time. A fever or illness can force more hairs into the shedding phase.
Most people see noticeable hair shedding two to three months after having a fever or illness. Handfuls of hair can come out when you shower or brush your hair. This hair shedding can last for six to nine months before it stops. Most people then see their hair start to look normal again and stop shedding.
Telogen effluvium causes noticeable hair shedding
Telogen effluvium causes noticeable hair shedding, but thats all you should experience. If you have a rash, itchy scalp, or burning, something other than telogen effluvium is likely causing your hair loss, and its time to see a dermatologist.
Recommended Reading: What To Do When Your Boyfriend Is Stressed And Distant
Diet Deficiencies: Your Hair Is What You Eat
The essential vitamins and nutrients, like protein, that you get from a healthy, varied, and well-balanced diet ensure good health all throughout your body, making sure all your organs and internal systems are working just as they should. Poor nutrition or following a severely restrictive crash or fad diet can lead to all kinds of nutrient deficiencies, which in turn can result in hair loss, from thinning hair to patches of baldness.
Habits And Lifestyle Changes
Changing your lifestyle and habits can often help to reduce stress. If you often feel stressed, try using the techniques below to limit your exposure to sources of stress and manage stress when you experience it:
If your hair loss is caused by chronic stress, understanding and coping with the stress in healthier ways may help you to regrow some or all of the hair that youve lost.
This is something that youll need to discuss with your healthcare provider.
Read Also: Can Stress Cause High Blood Pressure
Causes Of Hair Loss And Baldness
A variety of factors from illness to poor nutrition to hormonal imbalances to major stress can contribute to hair loss. If youre experiencing thinning hair or baldness, you need to get to the root of the problem to determine the best treatment.
Hair loss whether baldness or noticeably thinning hair can occur for a number of different reasons. Sometimes hair loss is a side effect of a health problem that needs to be addressed and will remedy itself when the health problem is properly treated. When hair loss is due to a condition involving the hair itself, as in the case of alopecia, the hair loss can be permanent.
Treatment For Hair Loss
Most hair loss does not need treatment and is either:
- temporary and it’ll grow back
- a normal part of getting older
Hair loss caused by a medical condition usually stops or grows back once you’ve recovered.
There are things you can try if your hair loss is causing you distress. But most treatments are not available on the NHS, so you’ll have to pay for them.
No treatment is 100% effective.
Read Also: How Does Meditation Help With Stress
How To Grow Back Hair Loss From Stress
Most hair loss does not need treatment and is either:
- temporary and itll grow back
- a normal part of getting older
Hair loss caused by a medical condition usually stops or grows back once youve recovered.
There are things you can try if your hair loss is causing you distress. But most treatments are not available on the NHS, so youll have to pay for them.
No treatment is 100% effective.
How Much Do Hair Restoration Treatments Cost
We’re going to be honest with you: it’s not cheap.
Supplements typically start around $75 a bottle, while in-office treatments can go into the thousands, and transplants can cost upwards of $10,000 or more. However, if you are noticing bald spots, or that your hair has become thinner overall, your best bet is still to visit a trichologist or dermatologist, who can help develop a customized treatment plan to avoid causing further damage.
Plus, most offices can work with you to create an affordable payment plan.
Also Check: Why Do We Stress Eat
When Should I See A Doctor About My Hair Loss
Its a good idea to see a healthcare provider if your hair loss lasts more than 6 months or if you have any other symptoms like patches of hair loss, itching, or other irritation. You may need an additional workup for other causes of hair loss such as hormonal causes, nutritional deficiencies, or autoimmune hair loss. There may also be some treatments available while you wait for the hair to regrow.
Protect Hair At Night From Frizz And Breakage Using A Silk Pillowcase
If youre still sleeping with a cotton pillowcasestop! Not protecting your hair at night is one of the most common mistakes that causes breakage, frizz, and dry, brittle hair.
The friction of your hair being rubbed against a rough, cotton pillowcase for 8 hours every night is terrible for your hair.
Heres how to protect your hair at night:
- Swap out your cotton pillowcase for satin or silk. The slippery fabric reduces friction.
- Try a silk head wrap or scarf at night. This reduces friction even more, and helps your hair retain moisture overnight.
Read Also: What Is The Best Way To Manage Stress
Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia
Central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia may occur as a result of hair products or styling techniques that damage hair follicles. The use of hair relaxers, blow dryers, curling irons, and hair extensions can cause central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia, as can the process of creating a permanent wave, or a perm.
The frequent application of oils, gels, or pomades can also cause this condition, which may be reversible if you stop using these hair products or styling techniques. Our dermatologists may recommend taking medication to help hair grow back.
You May Like: Which Nioxin Is Best For Thinning Hair
Myths Associated With Stress Hair Loss
Misunderstanding your hair problems can be dangerous, so lets dispel the most common myths about stress hair loss.
- It appears immediately. Stress hair loss takes anywhere from 6-12 weeks to appear, based on hair growth cycles. Your hair goes into a resting stage to protect itself when under stressful situations, as most studies suggest. Once your hair cycle returns to normal, it pushes the hair out to grow new strands. It is possible for hair loss to appear up to three months after that stressful event.
- Minor stress can cause hair loss. A stressful event can be physical like surgery or trauma. It can be emotional, like a divorce or loss of a job. Stress can also be hormonal, like switching birth control or recently having a baby. Anxiety hair loss doesnt usually happen because you are stressed about your morning commute.
- Any hair loss is stress-related. Stress does not equate balding. Just because you see your hairbrush covered in day-old hair or you are sweeping up more hair than usual these days does not mean it is stress-related. It may be damaged hair breaking off. Make sure you are not damaging your hair if you want to maintain thickness.
Photo Credit: Unsplash
Don’t Miss: What God Says About Stress
How To Grow Out Layered Hair
If youre like most women, youve probably spent a lot of time and money in the salon getting your hair layers cut. And now that youre growing out your layers, you may be wondering how to make the process go as smoothly as possible.
Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to help your hair grow out evenly and without too much damage. Here are a few tips:
1. Start by using a good quality hair serum or oil. This will help to keep your hair healthy and hydrated as it grows.
2. Be gentle when you are styling your hair. Avoid using too much heat or pulling on your hair too hard.
3. Try to avoid wearing your hair in a high ponytail or in a tight bun. This can put a lot of stress on your hair follicles and can cause damage.
4. If you have to put your hair up, try using a soft hairband or a band that is made from fabric, rather than metal.
5. Make sure to use a good quality hairbrush or comb. A brush with soft bristles is best for avoiding damage.
6. Try to avoid using harsh chemicals or products on your hair. These can often be too harsh and can damage your hair.
7. Get regular trims. A trim every 4-6 weeks can help to keep your hair looking healthy and prevents it from becoming too damaged.
8. Be patient. The process of growing out your layers can take some time, but with a little bit of effort, you can make it happen.
Massage Your Scalp With Peppermint Oil
Massaging the scalp actually increases blood flow to hair follicles, which means they have access to more nutrients with which to grow .
When we notice more hair fall or thinning hair, sometimes we feel its best to touch our hair and scalp as little as possiblenot wanting to cause more hair to fall out. But this can actually have the opposite effect.
Stress essentially shuts down hair follicles by reducing blood flow to the scalp, which restricts oxygen and nutrients. This is why women often notice gradual thinning. So we want to stimulate blood flow to hair follicles to deliver oxygen and nutrients.
The best way to stimulate hair growth is with an essential oil massageespecially one containing peppermint oil . My favorite recipe for a healthy hair massage is:
- 3-5 drops lavender essential oil
- 3 drops peppermint essential oil
- Mix with 4-6 oz of a carrier oil, like coconut or jojoba
For thicker hair, add 3-5 drops of rosemary or cypress.
Take a look at more essential oils to help flakiness, thinning hair, or for growing hair longer!
Read Also: Can Stress And Anxiety Cause Sleep Apnea
How To Identify Stress
Telogen effluvium usually causes diffuse thinning, a type of hair loss that affects your entire scalp. If you have telogen effluvium, your hair will normally look thinner and less dense than normal, especially under bright light.
Normally, telogen effluvium doesnt cause a receding hairline, crown hair loss or other common symptoms of androgenetic alopecia . It also usually doesnt cause patches of hair loss, which are a common symptom of alopecia areata .
How much hair loss is normal in the shower? Its normal to lose between 50 and 100 hairs every day. Diagnosis of telogen effluvium is usually made if you shed more than 100 hairs daily, or if you dont quickly regrow the hairs you lose as a result of stress-induced hair loss.
Stress-induced hair loss can usually be identified by looking at the hairs you lose. Since the hair loss from telogen effluvium occurs during the telogen phase, many of the hairs you lose should have a small, white bulb at the root.
If youre worried that you might have telogen effluvium, the best option is to schedule a meeting with your healthcare provider. Theyll be able to identify and diagnose the type of hair loss youre experiencing, making it easier to choose an effective treatment.
Does Stress Cause Hair Loss
One word answer yes. According to reliable evidence, chronic stress can cause three types of hair loss:
- TELOGEN EFFLUVIUM – Chronic stress forces hundreds of hair follicles into the telogen or resting phase. The affected follicles suddenly stop undergoing stem cell regeneration, and after about 2-4 months, the hairs attached to the follicles fall off.This process occurs during normal shedding, but where only 5-10% of hair follicles shed, chronic stress can crank it to a staggering 50%.
- TRICHOTILLOMANIA – Trichotillomania is an impulse control disorder that compels the sufferer to pull their hair, usually to cope with negative emotions such as tension, stress, and anxiety.So, the memes and social media stickers you see pulling their hairs out in response to stress aren’t exaggerations. Stress can actually make you rip your hair out.
- ALOPECIA AREATA – In this condition, chronic stress causes the body’s immune system to attack hair follicles, causing them to fall off. The hairs may fall out in clumps and chunks, leading to stress bald spots or stress balding.
Why does stress cause hair loss?
Chronic stress pushes hair follicles into a resting stage by stimulating the body to release cortisol.
In a few months, hair strands would start falling out from the roots during simple actions of washing, combing, or even brushing fingers through the hair.
Stress caused by poor nutrition can also starve the hair of nutrients, leading to poor hair health, breakage, and hair loss.
Read Also: How To Overcome Stress And Depression
Online Forum Aims To Teach How To Deal With Pandemic Stress
Chan School session breaks down what it is, what it looks like, and ways to ease it
These initial findings in mice need to be further studied before they can be safely applied to humans. Harvards Office of Technology Development has protected the intellectual property relating to this work and is exploring opportunities for collaboration on its further development and eventual commercialization.
Last year, Hsus group discovered how stress affects another type of stem cell in the hair follicle: the melanocyte stem cells that regenerate hair pigment. The researchers found that stress activates the sympathetic nervous system and depletes melanocyte stem cells, leading to premature hair graying. With the new study, the two findings together demonstrate that although stress has detrimental impacts on both hair follicle stem cells and melanocyte stem cells, the mechanisms are different. Stress depletes melanocyte stem cells directly via nerve-derived signals, while stress prevents hair follicle stem cells from making new hairs indirectly via an adrenal-gland-derived stress hormones impact on the niche. Because hair follicle stem cells are not depleted, it might be possible to reactivate stem cells under stress with mechanisms such as the Gas6 pathway.
Beyond the potential application of the Gas6 pathway in promoting hair growth, the studys results have broader implications for stem cell biology.