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Methotrexate induced hair loss

How does methotrexate induce hair loss?
To understand methotrexate induced hair loss, let us first understand the life cycle of a hair. Hair is made by a hair follicle. Each hair has a growth phase known as anagen & a resting phase known as telogen. A hair follicle grows hair for upto 3- 4 years. This is the end of the life cycle of the hair. It falls, the follicle then rests for about 3- 4 months & starts making a new hair. Normally most scalp hair (about 85%) are in the growth phase & only about 100 scalp hair fall every day. Methotrexate triggers a process called telogen effluvium wherein a greater proportion of hairs suddenly enter the resting phase. The hair thus stops growing & fall out.
How can one take care of methotrexate induced hair loss?
  • Avoid scalp massage.
  • Adopt a shorter hairstyle for the time being to make your hair look thicker until it grows in again.
  • Do not blowdry or straighten hair too often. The heat damages the hair proteins & makes them fragile.
  • Do not brush while you while you blow-dry them.
  • Use a good conditioner.
  • Maintain a good diet. Vitamin deficiencies will add up to the hair loss.
Is there any treatment for methotrexate induced hair loss?
Biotin is a vitamin involved in hair growth and associated with healthy skin and nails. Biotin supplements do help in methotrexate induced hair loss.

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Created on: April 2007
Last updated on: Feb 2015
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