How to Restore Hair Loss from Chemotherapy?

I had my thyroid removed in 2011, take proper thyroid hormone dosage. I am currently having chemo doxil/carboplatin diagnosed w/ uterinecarcinosarcoma 6/12. Have hair thinning at top of head, in bangs. What do you recommend to help regrow hair?

Doctor Answers 3

Hair loss from chemotherapy

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Most individuals who experience hair loss from chemotherapy will regrow back their hair. 

Only a small percentage will find that their hair is less dense after chemotherapy than it was before chemotherapy. 

Clinical studies have shown that minoxidil (Rogaine) can help shorten the period of hair loss and speed up growth. Minoxidil would be a top treatment recommendation. 

Scalp cooling devices are currently being explored for possible FDA approval. These may reduce chances of hair loss after chemotherapy. These are used while a patient is receiving chemotherapy but are not helpful in the weeks and months after chemotherapy. 

Vancouver Dermatologist

Hair loss from Chemotherapy

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Having transplant with hair loss related to chemotherapy I always wait a minimum of one year after chemotherapy is finished before evaluating patient.  If hair loss is localized and there is good donor hair then the patient is a good candidate.  However, if hair loss is everywhere then there may not be adequate donor hair.  And again, you must wait one year after chemotherapy. 

Jack Fisher, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon

Hair Loss following Chemotherapy

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Most chemotherapy has its greatest impact on the fastest growing cells in the body. As a cancer tends to be a group of cells with unregulated or poorly regulated growth, the chemotherapy has its primary effect on these cells. But since cells of the skin, hair and gut also turn over at a higher rate, some of the side effects of chemotherapy impact these systems as well.

Hair loss associated with chemotherapy is usually something that is self limited. It should improve after the chemotherapy is finished. This is different from hair loss associated with radiation treatment from cancer, which can be permanent. Some people might try Rogaine to recover from the hair loss quicker, but I'm not sure this provides a significant improvement. You should talk to your oncologist and a local dermatologist about options that you might have for your hair loss. Good luck.

Andrew Kaufman, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 16 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.