Management of chemotherapy-induced alopecia (CIA): A comprehensive review and future directions

Emaan Haque, Mohamad S. Alabdaljabar, Kathryn J. Ruddy, Tufia C. Haddad, Carrie A. Thompson, Julia S. Lehman, Shahrukh K. Hashmi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objectives: To review and summarize the available literature on the management of chemotherapy-induced alopecia (CIA) including complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), and to present CIA's effect on quality of life (QoL). Methods: Nine databases were searched for CIA-related keywords, including the effect on QoL, and management options. Among 1019 articles found, 54 articles focusing on treatment/prevention or QoL were retrieved. References of selected articles were also checked manually. Results: CIA was found to negatively affect QoL and body image, regardless of head covering status (i.e., for cultural or religious reasons). Most studies related to treatment/prevention of CIA reported on the use of scalp-cooling. The efficacy of CAM treatments was found to be questionable. Conclusion: A high incidence rate of CIA exists with certain chemotherapies, and it significantly impairs QoL. Preventive and treatment strategies are incompletely effective. Additional literature is needed to explore potential preventive or therapeutic options for CIA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103093
JournalCritical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Alopecia
  • Chemotherapy
  • Hair-loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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