Some of the drugs used to beat back cancer unfortunately can also cause your hair to fall out. “Chemotherapy is like a nuclear bomb,” says Dr. Glashofer. “It destroys rapidly dividing cells. That means cancer cells, but also rapidly dividing cells like hair.”
What to do: Once chemotherapy is stopped, your hair will grow back although often it will come back with a different texture (perhaps curly when before it was straight) or a different color. Researchers are working on more targeted drugs to treat cancer, ones that would bypass this and other side effects. In the meantime, Here's How to Deal With Thinning Hair During Chemo .
I’ve always been aware that my 3C/4A baby fine strands and low density hair is genetic, I’m OK with what I cannot control. However, I’m menopausal (very low female hormones – HRT is not an option), I’m also taking high blood pressure meds, long term steroid therapy and low dose chemo based drugs therefore I’m thinning and shedding even more. How can I counteract the side effects of these drugs?
My current regimen is very gentle on my scalp and tresses: Co-wash/deep condition weekly, finger detangling in the shower (lots of slip); low manipulation styles (twists and updo’s); sulfate free shampoo monthly; moisture shampoo bars; oils and milks instead of heavy creams/gels. I supplement with regular massages of JBCO w/Red Pimento to stimulate the scalp. I haven’t seen vast improvement over 3-4 months but I’m not expecting miracles overnight, so I will re-visit every three months. I just started to Henna again (monthly for now) and will wait and see if this helps thicken the strands and improve density.
Multiple vitamins, including biotin, have been promoted for hair growth, but solid scientific studies for many of these claims are lacking. While taking biotin and other supplements marketed for hair, skin, and nails probably won't worsen anything, it may also not necessarily help the situation. Therefore, advertised hair-regrowth supplements should be approached with mild caution. There is only anecdotal evidence that oral or topical application garlic , onion juice, saw palmetto, coconut oil, evening primrose oil , apple cider vinegar, creatine, and pumpkin seed oil are of benefit for hair loss.