Measles Information

Close-up of a woman holding her tightly curled hair.
Close-up of a woman holding her tightly curled hair.

Quick Dose: Why Does Your Hair Grow Back Differently After Chemotherapy?

New Color, Texture or Curls

Chemotherapy medications can cause you to lose your hair all over your body. This is because they attack fast-growing cells, which include both cancer cells and your hair follicle cells.

After you've completed chemotherapy, you can expect hair regrowth in three to six months, but it may grow back differently than before.

Many people report having "chemo curls," or different hair color and texture when it grows back after chemotherapy. This is because the chemotherapy medications can remain in your body and cause your hair follicles to behave differently.

As your body starts to recalibrate after chemotherapy, your hair will likely return to its usual texture and color within months to a year. The pattern of hair loss and regrowth is different for every person going through chemotherapy, and may be related to age, treatment tolerance and personal health history. Continue to be gentle to your hair as it regrows. Avoid coloring your hair and applying heating devices until your hair grows stronger.

– Northwestern Medicine Hematology and Oncology Certified Nurse Practitioner Karen Kinahan, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, in the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University's Cancer Survivorship Institute