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Side Effect: Changes in Hair Texture

What is a Change in Hair Texture?

Hair texture describes how your hair feels. Hair texture can change in patients with cancer due to the type of cancer treatment that is being given. These treatments can damage or destroy hair follicles, which can change how the hair grows, feels, and looks.

What does a Change in Hair Texture look like?

A change in hair texture can look different for each person.

Changes in Hair Texture

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Who gets Changes in Hair Texture?

Patients with cancer who undergo chemotherapy treatment have the greatest chance of developing hair texture changes. 

The extent of hair texture changes can depending upon the type of treatment, dose, and the patient’s sensitivity to the drug.
Examples of cancer treatment that can change hair texture include:

How long do changes in hair texture from chemotherapy last?

Hair texture and color often reverts back to normal several months after stopping or changing treatment.

How to prevent Changes in Hair Texture

It is difficult to prevent changes in hair texture. Some hair health tips include:

How to treat Changes in Hair Texture

Treatment of hair texture changes may depend on the extent and severity of the change. In some cases, hair texture changes may improve over time as the patient recovers from cancer treatment. If you are concerned, consider speaking to a dermatologist or a specialist that focuses on hair and scalp care (trichologist) for specialized hair care advice.


1. Watanabe T, Yagata H, Saito M, et al. A multicenter survey of temporal changes in chemotherapy-induced hair loss in breast cancer patients. PLOS ONE. 2019;14(1): e0208118.

2. Freites-Martinez A, Shapiro J, Goldfarb S, et al. Hair disorders in patients with cancer. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2019;80(5):1179-1196.

Created: March 7, 2024 Updated: March 8, 2024