Hair Loss

 

Thinning Hair: What will happen to my hair?

Question:  How can I prevent or minimize hair loss?
 
Answer:
  There are many “home remedies” that you can try to slow the rate or decrease your risk of hair loss.  Some suggestions include: 
 
Hair loss or thinning of the hair (alopecia) is a common side effect of interferon and occurs in up to one third of people on interferon. Interferon affects the hair strands and changes the texture of the hair, which makes it easier to break. 
 
Normally, hair re-growth occurs within three months of stopping interferon. This hair loss is frequently just a subtle thinning of hair, not new areas of baldness! 

 
You should know!

Hair loss can occur on all parts of the body (facial hair, arm and leg hair, underarm hair, and even pubic). Hair loss can happen in patches and occur unpredictably in some patients.

• Avoid using hair dyes, permanents, or bleaches while on treatment as they may accelerate hair loss and/or hair damage. 

• Avoid/limit use of gels, freezing sprays, and mousse, which will make hair difficult to comb through. 

• Use mild shampoos like Johnson’s®* baby shampoo and shampoo less frequently (1–3 times/week); use conditioner or de-tangler. 

• Use soft hairbrushes such as a natural bristle brush or a wide-toothed comb. 

• Use low heat when drying your hair.

• Avoid using vigorous combing and other things such as braiding or wearing tight headgear, which will increase the risk of breakage or pulling of your hair.

• Satin pillowcases may help reduce any friction and pulling of your hair while you sleep. 

• Get a haircut!  Cutting the hair length can decrease hair weight and may help reduce the rate of loss. 

• Be sure to eat a balanced meal.  Some studies suggest that severe deficiencies in iron or overdoses of vitamins A and E can lead to hair loss. Before taking any supplements, please discuss them with your health care provider to see if they will be helpful to you. 

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