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Doctor insights on: Does Radiation Therapy Make Your Hair Fall Out

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Does radiation therapy make your hair fall out?

Does radiation therapy make your hair fall out?

Yes, In area treated: Hair follicles are growing cells. When the hair is radiated the follicle cell stop growing and the hair shaft falls out. Same thing with some chemotherapy drugs. Chemo goes all over so if that type of chemo affects hair then all your hair everywhere falls out. In radiation its the hair that is in the area treated. So for breast cancer for example the arm pit hair on that side will fall out. ...Read more

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Dr. Foster Carr
1,380 doctors shared insights

Hair Loss (Definition)

Hair loss, otherwise known as alopecia, can be caused by different reasons, including damage to the hair shaft or follicles or fungal infections. There are two main types of alopecia. Alopecia areata occurs when the body's immune system attacks hair follicles and causes hair to fall out. Androgenetic (or androgenic) alopecia, on the other hand, is an inherited form of hair loss. With alopecia areata, hair can fall out in patches all over the body. With androgenetic alopecia, hair on the head first thins and then falls out. In men, this is called male pattern hair loss; in women, it is called ...Read more


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Will my hair fall out during radiation therapy?

Will my hair fall out during radiation therapy?

In area treated: You will lose hair only in the area that is being directly treated. ...Read more

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Do people typically loose their head hair when treated with chemotherapy or radiation therapy, or both. How long is hair loss for?

Do people typically loose their head hair when treated with chemotherapy or radiation therapy, or both. How long is hair loss for?

Chemotherapy: Yes. However, you have previously stated that your tumor was not cancerous. Why would you need this kind of treatment. Chemo and XRT target cells with high replication and turnover such as malignant cells as well as hair. Once treatment is discontinued and body has recovered, there is regrowth of the hair but may be reduced in density and quality. ...Read more

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Will my facial hair grow back after radiation therapy?

Will my facial hair grow back after radiation therapy?

Possibly: Assuming you lost the hair from treatment for a cancer in the oral cavity or pharynx, it would depend on the technique. These days most radiation doctors use imrt for head and neck cancers. This distributes the radiation widely and therefore less dose directly to the skin versus older methods. Often in this case the hair will grow back but sometimes more sparsely. ...Read more

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What is it in radiation therapy that makes a person lose their hair?

What is it in radiation therapy that makes a person lose their hair?

Cellular division : Radiation stops the rapid division of cancer cells but also shuts down the growth of hair follicles, and sweat glands, and the cells that make up the lining of the gut. ...Read more

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How long will it take for hair to grow back after receiving radiation therapy on the head?

How long will it take for hair to grow back after receiving radiation therapy on the head?

Yes.: Radiation or chemotherapy drugs are toxic to cells that are rapidly dividing. This means they specifically target cancer cells, but they also kill healthy cells that grow quickly. This includes hair cells (causing baldness/alopecia) and stomach cells (causing nausea or mucositis). Once the chemo or radiation is stopped, the side effects go away and hair should grow back. ...Read more

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How long does it take for hair to grow back after radiation therapy?

Not applicable: Generally radiation dose not cause hair loss, only during brain radiation. This is usually an issue with chemotherapy after chemotherapy it usually takes 3 weeks to notice hair growth, but several months to "regain" your hair. ...Read more

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How long does it take to start growing hair back after radiation therapy?

Weeks, Months: Some patients have hair regrowth in a few weeks to months. Others, depending on the area treated may never have hair regrowth. ...Read more

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Does your hair fall out with radiation treatment?

Hair loss: Depend on site of radiation. If it is given in brain then yes other wise radiation alone doesn't cause hair loss ...Read more

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For what reason aren't patients shielded when they are receiving radiation therapy?

Shields are built in: Radiation therapy machines have the shields built in to them. These shape the radiation to fit the area of the body that needs to be treated and protects the rest. Additionally, it takes many inches if lead to block the radiation used for external beam treatment and a person cannot wear a shield thick enough to block the beam. ...Read more

Gamma Rays (Definition)

This is light of extremely short wavelengths typically produced either among the stars / in cosmic rays or by radioactive element decay. Gamma rays form the background of normal radiation in which we all live; it is substantially greater than the exposure we get from imaging scans or should get from ...Read more


Dr. Emily Altman
1,375 doctors shared insights

Alopecia (Definition)

Alopecia is a term describing the loss of hair from the head or body. There are many potential causes including hairstyling routines ...Read more