For women, there are two types of hair loss caused by medication; Telogen Effluvium and Anagen Effluvium. Let’s discuss both of these.
This is the most common form of drug-induced hair loss. Usually, it appears within 2-4 months of taking the medication. This form of hair loss causes the hair follicles to enter the resting stage. This causes the hair to fall out too early.
With telogen effluvium, the hair follicles enter into the resting stage. This happens due to your body suffering from some form of stress. Mostly, Telogen effluvium is temporary for women with the amount of hair loss rarely being more than 50%.
It’s a long term form of hair loss caused by medication. Usually, it occurs within a few days to weeks of taking the drug. This form of hair loss prevents matrix cells, the cells which produce new hair, from dividing normally.
Anagen Effluvium is more severe with its potential to cause complete baldness. Plus, it’s most common for women who are receiving treatment for cancer (chemotherapy).
Chemotherapy targets fast dividing cells; the cells which are found in tumors. Though chemotherapy aims to target cancerous cells, it cannot be prevented that it also targets healthy cells.
Like the cells found in tumors, hair follicles are also structured with a host of cells. These cells are frequently divided to produce growing hair. By targeting these cells as well as cancerous ones, this is how chemotherapy triggers hair loss.
With chemotherapy you often first notice hair loss through friction of the hair during sleep. Unfortunately, the main places affected first include the top of the head and hair on the sides above the ear. However, with each individual it is different. And it is impossible to predict their hair loss pattern. For most individuals, hair will grow back after treatment has finished.
You may also enjoy reading: Is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Causing Your Hair Loss?