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Nursing Management of a Client Experiencing Alopecia (Hair Loss)

Chemotherapy involves the administration of cytotoxic medications and chemicals to promote death of tumor cells.  The intravenous route is the most preferred method for administering chemotherapeutic agents, but they many also be administered by oral, intrathecal, topical, intra-arterial, intracavity, and intravesical routes.

  • Chemotherapy and radiation therapy may cause hair loss.  The hair loss is temporary, hair will grow back, usually beginning about a month after completion of the chemotherapy.  The client should know that the texture and color of the new hair growth may be different.  Hair loss during radiation to the head may be permanent.
  • Encourage the client to choose a wig before hair loss occurs in order to match hair texture and color
  • Care of hair and scalp includes washing hair two to three times a week with a mild shampoo.  Pat hair dry, and do not use a blow dryer

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