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What are ways for me to try and prevent hair loss during chemo? I'm starting treatment in a week or so for breast cancer. Also, does all chemo lead to hair loss?

  • User profile
    Jordan Owashi(Care Navigator)

    Not all chemotherapy leads to hair loss, and it largely depends on the specific medications being used. Each individual also responds differently, so some may experience more hair loss than others even on the same medications. Do you know what medications you will be on? You can also share that with us privately at Unfortunately there are no reliable ways to prevent hair loss, but here are some tactics you can try that may help:

    (1) Cold Caps / Scalp Cooling Systems: This technique involves wearing a tight, chilled cap during chemotherapy sessions. It's believed that the cold reduces blood flow to the scalp, limiting the amount of chemotherapy drugs that reach hair follicles. Some clinical trials suggest these may help reduce hair loss, although they're not effective for everyone and may not be recommended with certain types of chemotherapy.

    (2) Healthy Diet and Supplements: While there's no sure-fire diet to prevent hair loss, a well-rounded diet can support overall health, which includes your hair. Some people also find certain supplements, like biotin, may help with hair health, but there is no evidence to show these supplements can prevent chemotherapy-related hair loss.

    It can be distressing to experience hair loss, so in addition to the above, you can also consider cutting your hair shorter in advance, as some people find this makes hair loss easier to manage. You can also consider using wigs, scarves, or other head coverings to protect your scalp and show off your personal style.

    I hope this is helpful, and please let us know if we can further support you in the coming weeks.