No proven treatment speeds up hair growth after chemotherapy, reports Mayo Clinic. The best remedy for post-chemotherapy hair loss involves gentle hair care combined with patience and a head covering, if desired. Although treatments such as scalp hypothermia and the drug minoxidil, marketed as Rogaine, purportedly help prevent hair loss or speed up new growth, research has not proven them effective.
Chemotherapy drugs frequently cause the loss of scalp, eyebrow, eyelash and body hair, but the hair generally grows back from three to six months after chemotherapy is complete, explains Mayo Clinic. When the hair begins to grow back, it may have a different texture or color. For instance, it may initially be gray or curlier than usual. Patients recovering from chemotherapy should avoid coloring, bleaching, or using heating devices or styling products on their hair until it becomes stronger. They should use lotions or creams to soothe the scalp, and moisturizing conditioners and shampoos, advises the American Cancer Society.
Scalp hypothermia caused by placing cooling devices such as ice packs on the head may sometimes help prevent hair loss, but it not only causes headaches and an uncomfortable cold sensation but also increases cancer risk to the scalp, warns Mayo Clinic. As of 2015, research is inconclusive about whether applications of minoxidil while patients undergo chemotherapy help hair grow back faster after treatment.