Patients who undergo chemotherapy often lose a great deal of, if not all of, their hair during the process. Most patients will eventually get their hair to grow back, but there are a few things they can do to speed up the process and ensure that they get a strong head of hair. While each patient will experience a different rate of hair growth after chemotherapy, they can find help to get things underway in a healthy manner and pave the road for the new hair growth.
One of the best ways to ensure proper hair growth after chemotherapy is to care for your hair before the therapy starts. Patients should avoid hair coloring, hot blow-drying and using curling irons. Treat the hair gently to get the most out of it for as long as it stays around. This will also ensure that the scalp is as healthy as possible so that after the chemotherapy sessions, hair has a better chance of returning with ease.
After chemotherapy, ensure that the scalp is massaged regularly and that you wash the scalp and the returning hair with a very mild shampoo and conditioner. Do not shampoo more than a few times a week until the hair starts to fully come in. Avoid any hair damage from coloring treatments and perms, and avoid high heat that a blow-dryer will produce. Take care in how much exposure your scalp receives to weather and sun.
The hair that comes in will likely be thinner than it was before and will also often be a different color. The texture and color will eventually return to normal -- but while it is starting in it is important that you refrain from being rough on the hair, including using a towel to dry the hair. Drying the hair by simply wrapping it in the towel and letting it absorb the moisture will go far in protecting new follicles.
Chemical Hair Growth
As a last resort you can purchase chemicals such as minoxidil (aka Rogaine) to help you regain your hair. Although the chemical can help you get hair quickly -- and is safe -- it can be a cumbersome project. There are also some less expensive versions of the hair growth chemical sold at most drug stores. Doing your homework on the individual products is wise, as is discussing the possibility with your physician before you get started.