Hair Growth after Radiation to the Head

Last Modified: August 13, 2006

Question

Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"
I have had 14 radiation treatments to my brain and have lost a lot of my hair. Will my hair loss from radiation grow back? I understand that hair lost after chemotherapy will eventually come back, but what about when radiation causes the hair loss? Thank you.

Answer

Neha Vapiwala , MD, Senior Editor of OncoLink and Chief Resident in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, responds:

Yes, it usually does grow back in the majority of cases, although this process can take several months. Furthermore, the hair might grow back a different color, texture, or thickness than before, for reasons that we can not explain. This change in hair characteristics can also occur after hair loss from chemotherapy.

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