Why Hair Loss During Chemo?

Let's face it...together...

As ladies, when we are faced with a classic chemotherapy treatment, one of the most dreaded side effects we fear is hair loss. For many of us, our hair is part of our image, the way the public sees us when we step outside the comfort of home. About 65% of patients who undergo classic chemotherapy experience some hair loss, from thinning to full blown hair loss, depending on the particular drug(s), frequency of treatments, the combination of drugs you receive, and of course, your individual body makeup/overall health. Hair loss is very common during chemotherapy for breast cancer as well as other cancers, though some drugs and methods of administration are more likely than others to negatively affect hair follicles.

It is rather funny to me, though not uncharacteristic, that one of the few things I recall about my chemo cocktail is Adriamycin (doxorubicin). In my particular case, the use of Adriamycin allowed my oncologist to accurately predict the day/date when I would turn on my shower and watch my hair fall to floor. Yes, a humbling experience, but then she'd ALSO told me when I could expect my hair to begin growing back! Truthfully, I really appreciated the long period when I didn't need to shave my legs etc. because I had full body hair loss. The great news is that cancer treatments have come such a long way over the past 20 years and treatments are often more targeted/precise now.

Why hair loss? Chemotherapy drugs are designed to kill rapidly growing cells throughout the body by interfering with their division and growth. While these drugs can be effective in eliminating cancer cells, they also damage normal cells in our bodies which divide rapidly. This includes hair follicles (leading to hair loss - alopecia), cells in the digestive tract (leading to nausea and vomiting), and cells in your bone marrow (leading to fewer red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets). 

During those months when a patient has shaved her head, or just naturally lost all her hair from chemo, there may be moments when wearing that perfectly cute wig may be a bother. Epifany True 100% Natural Scalp Soothing Oil is formulated to provide comfort and relief from tender, dry, itchy and often sore scalp and skin. The ethically sourced certified organic ingredients which include sunflower seed and jojoba seed oils, help to provide a calming effect to the skin which often feels like it has been sun burnt. This is a time when treating the body well is really important during the journey, and Epifany True Scalp Soothing Oil offers gently, organic support. This oil blend is a perfect gift of love and comfort. 

The good news is, chemotherapy-induced hair loss is almost always just temporary and reversible. The period of regrowth is often very exciting, better than we expect, sometimes with new texture which may change over several years. Thumbs up to everyone who joins a friend or family member in "just being there" during the journey back to wellness.