Chemo Curls, Are They Real? How Chemotherapy Interacts With Hair

Chemo Curls, Are They Real? How Chemotherapy Interacts With Hair

5 min read
Chemo Curls, Are They Real? How Chemotherapy Interacts With Hair

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Chemotherapy and hair are not exactly the best of friends. Though chemo fights the bad guy, cancer, it also goes ballistic on the hair, causing a hairpocalypse.

Even afterwards, chemo's interaction on the hair doesn't end.

Which is what sunshine unlimited, Bollywood actor Sonali Bendre joked about, as she endearingly told the audience about "chemo curls" at a recent event. Upon being prodded by journalist Barkha Dutt on what the term meant, here's what Tahira Kashyap, another badass woman and cancer survivor had to say.

Watch from 15:48- 16:20

Meanwhile, the third cancer survivor, Lisa Ray is laughing along, as the three cancer warriors share a lovely moment about their hair. No wonder then that this is what the host of the session had to say.

Tahira, Sonali and Lisa are not the only ones to be open about the chemo curls. The hashtag also has about 8000 posts on Instagram!

The Chemo Curl Queens of Instagram

From poker straight hair to curly heads, here's the chemo-fueled transformation of these women.

Damn, those bedhead curls!

Hey Pooja Bedi, found your doppleganger!

What powerful stories curled up in these chemo curls.

What the Chemo Hair| Medical Reason Behind Chemo Hair Loss and Chemo Curls

To kill cancer, chemotherapy is used. Because chemo kills cancer cells, which are rapidly growing and wreaking havoc inside the body.

So far so good. But chemo has many side effects. Dr. Sameer Kaul, oncology surgeon explains how commonly used cancer medicines end up killing *all* the fast dividing cells in the body.

Why? Because they are non-specific in nature, which means that besides the cancer, they also go to most of the other organs which are also fast dividing in the body. Which organs get impacted? We'll come to that in a bit. But for now, let's stick to the 'root' of the problem.

Dr. Manoj Johar, a dermatologist, says that the cells in the roots are also among the ones growing very rapidly in the body.

So, when chemo is administered to a patient, their hair also get affected.

Fair To Call it Curly Chemo Hair?

Yes, because cancer alters the structural DNA of the hair. Here's how science explains it.

In fact, ladies and gentlemen, chemo curls is not the only chemo-fueled hair transformation taking place.

A study shows that when scalp hair is checked 6 months after the beginning of regrowth, here's all the changes that are common.

  • The scalp hair is thinner than earlier. Seen in 58% of the patient respondents of the study.

  • Hair texture becomes wavy or wavier. Seen in 63% of the patient respondents.

  • The hair becomes grayer. Seen in 38% of the respondents.

Can We Stop HairFall After Chemo?

Hair fall is a side effect of the non-specific drugs, which have been used for decades, to kill cancer.

These side effects also impact:

The inner linings of the gastrointenstinal tract - the top layer of which is lined by mucosa, cells that are being continously produced and shed everyday with our food. This ends up causing nausea and vomiting in patients.

Fertility. Because the sperm cells and ovum are also rapidly dying because of chemotherapy.

The cells of the bone marrow which divides and grows continously to produce more and more blood cells. That's why, chemo warriors can get anemia and lowering of blood count.

But Dr. Sameer Kaul says these side effects, along with the hairfall, might not be as much of a side effect with the newer drugs.

Meanwhile, Rajni Arora, a cancer survivor who empowers other survivors through the group, Can Support, says she loved how her new chemo hair came out. "It was very thick and curly when it started growing again!... It becomes baby hair"

With so many badass women flaunting their cancer curls, without feeling sorry for themselves, it's time we made them part of the fashion mainstream too!

So, all you wonderful ladies fighting cancer, here's what we want to say to you: we Goddamn love your cancer curls!

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

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We'll get through this! Meanwhile, here's all you need to know about the Coronavirus outbreak to keep yourself safe, informed, and updated.

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Topics:  Quint Fit 

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