Regional Cancer Center ~ Erie, PA

Alopecia – Hair Loss

Hair Loss

Alopecia, or hair loss, may occur as a side effect of the chemotherapy medication's attack on the hair follicles. This typically occurs 2-3 weeks after treatment begins and hair loss can happen over a period of one day or take several weeks. Scalp hair is usually lost first; other body hair, including eyebrows and eyelashes, can also be lost. The hair loss is not permanent and usually starts to grow again 6-8 weeks after treatments are complete. When your grows back, the color and texture may be different than before the loss.

Scalp Care

  • It is not unusual for the scalp to be somewhat sensitive after the hair is lost.
  • Use mild shampoos on your hair and scalp during loss. Cleanse the scalp with mild shampoo even if hair loss is complete.
  • Protect your scalp by using ski-caps, large-brimmed hats, turbans or scarves.
  • Protect your eyes with sunglasses and eye drops if eyelashes have been lost.
  • Ask to speak with the RCC social workers for information on wigs or click here for available resources.
  • Shop for a wig before hair loss occurs/consult your hair dresser.

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