Can Hair Grow Back Over Areas That Had Radiation?

I had radiation treatments to the back of my head, and hair in that particular place doesn't grow. I have to keep my hair short in order to hide the bald spot. Please, I want this spot to grow like it used to more than anything. -Samantha

Doctor Answers 4

Does hair grow back after radiation

Your question would be a good one to ask of the radiation doctor who did the treatment, because the specifics of the dose that actually hit the skin may affect the answer.

Having said that, it is certainly possible for hair to regrow in some cases after radiation.  Typically regrowth would be seen in the first 1-2 years after the treatment if its going to happen.  In other words, if the radiation was 4 months ago, you may get some (or even near complete) regrowth.  If the radiation were 3 years ago, with no regrowth, then it's much less likely.

You may wish to consult with a hair transplant doctor, because sometimes hair transplantation can be an option for localized patches of persistent hair loss post radiation.

Seattle Dermatologic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

FUE Hair Transplant for Radiation Hair Loss

Yes, it is possible for hair to grow back after radiation treatment. It is also possible that the hair will never grow back. A major determinant is whether or not the scalp damage caused by radiation heals with scar / fibrous tissue formation. This is is pecially important if you have lost hair in the area for more than 6 months. In this case, a biopsy would be helpful useful in making that determination. Such a scenario is called cicatricial alopecia (hair loss associated with scar formation). Hair transplantation could be a recourse. If your hair loss has been for less than 6 months and there is no clear evidence of scar formation, then there is still a chance that you may regrow some hair. In this instance the use of minoxidil may be helpful. You should consult a dermatologist for an evaluation and treatment.

Sanusi Umar, MD
Redondo Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Hair Loss after Radiation

It is possible that your hair will grow back with time after the radiation treatment.  If not, there are other options available to you.  Find a hair transplant surgeon that you trust who can give you a personalized consultation.  Good luck!

Hannah Vargas, MD
Kansas City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Hair loss after radiation therapy

As you have heard, hair may eventually grow back in the treated areas. You need to give this a little more time.  In the meantime, you would be best served by an in-person consultation with a hair transplant surgeon.  We have offices in Columbus, Cincinnati and Cleveland.  Here you can learn about all of your options, including topical and non-invasive treatments that can be done while we wait and see what happens to that area.  If a transplantation surgery is needed, your surgeon can discuss what that entails and what to expect.  Good luck!

Allan J. Parungao, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.