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As you get ready for treatment, you may wonder what impact it will have on your hair. Hair loss (alopecia) is a common side effect of chemotherapy, which affects the cells that are responsible for hair growth. Some hormone therapies and biological therapies can also make your hair thinner and dry. Two weeks after your first cycle of chemotherapy, you may start to notice you’re losing a lot of hair on your pillow, in the shower or when you brush your hair. Your scalp may feel very tender because your hair is breaking off. You may also lose hair in other places on your body like your brows, arms, legs and pubic area.

Your hair usually starts to come back four to six weeks after chemotherapy treatment. In the case of radiation, hair loss only occurs in the areas that are treated with the radiation.