Hair Loss (Alopecia)

Some kinds of chemotherapy and radiation therapy to the head may cause hair loss or thinning of the hair. Hair loss may start 7 to 10 days after the first treatment. In some cases, all of the hair falls out, including eye lashes, eye brows, underarm hair, etc.

Some families prefer to cut their child’s hair as short as possible or shave their head when the hair starts to fall out. Many children wear hats or scarves and some buy a wig to wear until the hair grows back. Your social worker or child life specialist can help you order a wig or hair accessory.

Hair usually grows back when cancer treatments become milder or end. Your child’s hair may be a slightly different color or texture (softer, curlier, thicker, or thinner) than before treatment. In some cases, especially with high doses of radiation, the hair may not grow back where the radiation was given.