7 Things To Know About Managing Chemotherapy Hair LossLuke Coutinho
Hair loss during chemotherapy and radiation can be depressing and upsetting especially for women. But if we handle it the right way there is a possibility that your hair will grow back for sure and in a way better than your previous hair growth.
Why Hair Loss?
When you’re going through chemo you find the decrease in your WBC’s and your complete blood count falls because it’s also destroying the fast dividing cells in your bone marrow. Your hair follicles are also fast dividing cells. Even if you didn’t have cancer, in a normal healthy body your hair follicles are constantly and rapidly dividing every 23 to 72 hours. So, think of these hair follicles as structures within your skin made up of tiny blood vessels that grow your hair. They’re basically fast dividing, so if chemo is going into the body, the first thing that it is going to attack besides the cancer cells are your hair follicles. Therefore, patients going through chemo will start to lose hair. There are different ways in which you lose hair. Some people lose clumps of hair at a time, some people lose a couple of strands, some people lose all the hair. The beauty of the human body is that these hair follicles can regrow again. The very fact that they are rapidly dividing every 23 to 72 hours, once your chemotherapy and radiation is over and you detoxify your body and get rid of all the toxicity created by chemotherapy or the disease, your hair can start growing again.
Minimize Hair Loss
There are some chemo cycles which happen every week in small doses, so the hair loss happens less frequently. There are some chemo cycles that are designed in such a way that you do it once every for three weeks but the doses are more powerful and more toxic. Therefore, that patient will tend to lose more and more hair. Now whatever cycle of chemo you are put on by your doctor or your oncologist we must understand that chemotherapy wipes out almost every class A vitamin and mineral in the human body and that is the reason why we go through side-effects of chemotherapy. This is why it is important for a patient going through chemotherapy to make changes in their dietary habits because if chemo is wiping out vitamins and minerals that is required for your survival and organ function you have to be on a nutrition plan or the foods that are replenishing all those vitamins and minerals in your body or else the treatment becomes extremely dangerous for you and that’s when most metastatic cancers happen because immunity is already compromised by chemotherapy in its honest attempt to heal you.
Vitamins & Minerals
Whether you have cancer or not, for good quality hair you need vitamin A, vitamin B7 which is also called biotin, you need vitamin b12, vitamin C and E. You also need the right amount of folic acid, omega-3, iron, zinc, magnesium and protein. If you have these things you have great hair on your head but chemotherapy is wiping out every one of these minerals and vitamins that I just mentioned. So, it’s not only attacking your hair follicles and making you lose hair, it’s also depleting your vitamins and minerals which are responsible for the growth of your hair. So, one way to minimize this is by eating the right foods that contain these vitamins and minerals. I’m talking about all nuts like almonds, cashew nuts, walnuts, Brazil nuts and seeds like pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds. Then you have fruits. You have spices like turmeric, black pepper, cloves, cinnamon and then you have raw vegetables. We must not eat raw leafy vegetables during chemo because of infection but every raw vegetable that can be peeled can be consumed raw by a cancer patient. So raw vegetables like carrots, beetroot, pumpkin and cucumber can be peeled and consumed, so that all the toxins are on the outside but you have the beauty of raw food going into your system that contains all the enzymes, vitamins and minerals necessary to grow your hair.
Putting oil on your scalp oil is also beneficial. Mix coconut oil with sesame oil or with olive oil and apply on your scalp where you’ve lost your hair. This will also nourish your hair follicles because good quality cold-pressed oils like almond oil, coconut oil and olive oil can be absorbed into the pores of his skin, straight to the hair follicles providing it nourishment. Think of your hair follicles as the roots, the cells that grow your hair, you must make sure that the right nutrition goes into their cells. No amount of chemically induced shampoos and all the fancy shampoos that contain chemicals is going to help you. In fact, it’s going to make it worse for you. Therefore, while you’re going through chemo and radiation you must stay away from perfumes, creams and cosmetics that are filled with chemicals because all of that is being absorbed through your skin into your body and your system which is in a process to reduce the toxic overload during chemo and radiation.
We live in a world where you can get purely organic, parabens sulfate free, chemical free shampoos and creams and perfumes. Make sure you change to that so that you reduce the amount of toxicity going into your body. You can speak to your oncologists as well to ask them whether the kind of chemotherapy that you’re going through will cause that hair loss for you so that you’re prepared for it and you accept it’s going to happen. Remember acceptance is one of the first the most important stages towards healing. But when we don’t accept it we stay in the same place of denial and we don’t move forward.
When you eat a balanced diet mixed with your fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, raw food, minimum cooked food; some of you may want to supplement with biotin or b7 or vitamin A or E or folic acid or vitamin d. Make sure you check with your doctor first so that it doesn’t conflict with the chemotherapy that you’re going through. The best is to get it from natural foods because none of that conflicts with your medication that you’re taking and then after your chemotherapy is over you can start supplementing with these supplements to help your hair grow fast.
But a good night of sleep, keeping your stress levels low, keeping your fear in place because fear is the most limiting thing for all of us will just allow us to grow that hair back again because stress has a direct impact on your hair as well. Look at all the people who are overworked and workaholics and have stress. They have less hair because stress affects the growth of your hair follicles. So, it is again within your control. The medication may be destroying your hair but if you have that willpower, motivation and belief in the intelligence and brilliance of your body that you give it the right food and it will help you and respond to you, you will grow that hair back onto you again. It is possible. You got to believe in it and you got to do it and it will work for you.
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