Treating cancer with chemotherapy kills cancer cells. Unfortunately, many patients also have unwanted side effects, such as hair loss, dry skin, and brittle nails. The disease, so distressing in itself, gives further distress and anxiety when one of the most upsetting side effects of chemo is loss of hair. The good news is that the hair loss that accompanies chemo is strictly temporary. The patients will start seeing new growth after two to three weeks from finishing their chemo. Furthermore, there are shampoos and serums that will help chemo patients with their hair growth. A good organic, free of chemicals shampoo after chemo will be a great assistant. There are rare brands of 100% natural shampoos, here are the best and the most trusted ones. But before we list those shampoos, lets give a small mention of how chemo leads to hair loss.
Chemo treatment overview
Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to destroy cancer cells. It works by keeping the cancer cells from growing and dividing to make more cells. Because cancer cells usually grow and divide faster than healthy cells, chemo treatment destroys them more quickly than it destroys most healthy cells.
How does chemotherapy treat cancer?
Doctors use chemo in different ways at different times. These include:
- Before surgery or radiation therapy to shrink tumors—doctors call this neoadjuvant chemo.
- After surgery or radiation therapy to kill any remaining cancer cells—doctors call this adjuvant chemo.
- As the only treatment—for example, to treat cancers of the blood or lymph system. These include leukemia and lymphoma.
- For cancer that comes back after treatment, called recurrent cancer.
- For cancer that spreads to other parts of the body, called metastatic cancer.
Chemotherapy and hair loss
Chemotherapy describes any treatment where ‘chemical’ agents are given intravenously. Many of the drugs
work by attacking the rapidly dividing cells in the body. And tumor cells or cancer cells are rapidly dividing cells. But there are normal cells in the body that are also rapidly dividing, and the chemotherapy drugs affect those normal cells as well, which gives us side effects. Because hair follicles divide fast, they’re also susceptible. In other word, these drugs can have a toxic effect on healthy hair cells by disrupting the natural hair growth cycle. That’s what leads chemotherapy patient to lose most of their scalp and body hair.
Chemotherapy can cause your hair to bypass the normal shedding (telogen) phase, and come out excessively in the hairs’ growing (anagen) phase. Doctors call it anagen effluvium and usually occurs within 4-6 weeks of starting treatment. However, some chemotherapy never causes hair loss.
Coping with chemo hair loss
It’s emotionally challenging for someone who is losing their hair due to cancer treatment. Once a person takes steps such as wearing a wig or cap to feel more attractive, self-esteem may improve. Individuals undergoing chemotherapy sometimes prefer to completely shave their heads before their treatments to gain a sense of control. It’s often less distressing to do this as hair fall is not as obvious and isn’t actively seen. While other patients with long hair go for a shorter hair cut. This makes hair loss less visible and emotionally it may be easier. Other ways to help cope with hair loss and to boost morale are to wear scarves, hats or hairpieces and wigs.
Hair growth after chemotherapy
In 99% of cases, hair does grow back after chemotherapy, but may grow back differently. It might change its colour, shape and/or texture. It could also initially grow back fine and fluffy. This is only a temporary change though, and the follicles will eventually produce mature hairs after a while. Fortunately, there are natural shampoos and hair products that will help with hair growth. A good shampoo after chemo can be a good help in regrowing hair to its natural shape and texture. Here is a great list of natural shampoos with 0% harmful chemicals.
Your shampoo after chemo
While the point of chemotherapy is to kill cells including hair follicles, a shampoo after chemo can stimulate and revive these follicles. After finishing the treatment, all patients work on regaining the hair they lost. The good news is that they can regrow all the hair and sometimes even stronger then it was before. With the help of some effective natural shampoos, the hair will grow back in a shorter period.
Best natural shampoos after chemotherapy
First off, the best shampoo after chemo must be free from chemicals that may harm your follicles instead of doing good. Secondly, choose a natural shampoo from proven brands and be careful with claims and promises from some products which are not true. So make it a point to do your research. Here I brought you a great collection of natural shampoos that will help you regrow hair no matter what the cause of loss is:
Ultrax Labs caffeine Hair Growth Stimulating Shampoo
Ultrax Laboratories are one of the leaders in the hair growth space. They use organic all natural ingredients in their formulas. This natural shampoo for example uses caffeine as one of its key ingredients. It also contains Ketoconazole, which is an anti-inflammatory molecule. In addition, this product has five star reviews from almost everybody, and most users say that it stimulates the growth of new hair.
This shampoo was originally created for the treatment of dandruff, but its ability to unclog hair follicles makes it a good choice for those who are trying to encourage regrowth. Among its active ingredients are ketoconazole, which is an antifungal that blocks DHT.
This natural shampoo contains Biotin, which strengthens the hair. Niacin, which increases blood circulation scalp. Saw Palmetto, which may help block the biochemical pathway that causes hair loss and the mighty Argan Oil that has countless hair benefits. Plus B Vitamins, and more natural hair growth ingredients. This natural shampoo has a 3.5 out of 5 star rating. And many customers report a decrease in hair loss within a few weeks. It smells good and does not contain any harmful ingredients.
Phytoworx Organic uses plant stem cells and plant-based ingredients such as Eucalyptus Oil, Peppermint, and Tea Tree Leaves, which are said to stimulate the scalp and reverse Baldness and Hair Fall. This Shampoo has a 4.4 out of 5 star rating, and customers report seeing improvements in their hair within a few weeks.
Lipogaine Big 3 contains Ketoconazole, Biotin, and Moisturizers to stimulate the Hair Follicles and prevent dryness. There are no Sulfates or Parabens in this Shampoo, and it is considered mild overall. The Shampoo smells like peppermint and increases the thickness of your hair. One bottle lasts for a few months for most customers.
To care for your hair properly, remember that your follicles have been through a lot, and need intensive care. Avoid extremely hot water that can damage your delicate hair follicles, and an occasional massage with olive oil can help stimulate the follicles. Most importantly, remember to be patient. Your hair will return, and the most important thing is that you focus on improving your overall health. Good times and beautiful life are waiting for you. When you smile, life will smile back. Be strong and every problem will seem easy and weak. Your hair is just a start, make sure to get the best outta life and defeat your demons. Be healthy and be happy 🙂
Because there are so many options to choose from, everyone should be able to find a shampoo after chemo that works for them. Sometimes your budget will decide which you’ll buy, or maybe your awareness of the ingredients in each one. There are quite a few organic options, as well as all natural options, that are worth a try.