Cancer Treatment and Your Hair

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Cancer treatments including chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and even immunotherapy can cause some degree of hair loss including total hair loss.

This can be a very scary time for anyone battling cancer and, for many, their hair loss serves as a visible reminder of their condition, an outward sign to the world that they have cancer. We caught up with the specialists at Christos for their expert advice on the options available for those going through this difficult period in their life.

We would encourage anyone who has been given a cancer diagnosis to call us for a consultation as soon as possible so we can help create an action plan should you experience full or partial hair loss. Your Patient Hair Care technician has worked with clients across all backgrounds and all ages and, whilst we appreciate that every journey is unique, we understand the wider challenges that diagnosis brings including nutrition, skin sensitivity, and your emotional wellbeing.

Radiotherapy

Radiotherapy can often lead to a small but permanent area of hair loss and is isolated to the area where the beam enters and exits the body. We have excellent results in disguising these areas of hair loss through clever cutting techniques or smaller scale hair pieces that can be woven into your own hair using either human or fibre hair.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy works by targeting rapidly dividing cells and destroying them. Sadly, the chemotherapy drugs target all cells including hair follicle cells. It is important to understand that the degree of hair loss or thinning can vary greatly depending on the chemo drug used, the intensity of the treatment, how often the cycles are repeated, and your own genetic makeup. Not all chemotherapy drugs will cause hair loss, however most cancer treatment drugs do affect hair quality and cause changes in the scalp.

Your oncologist may suggest using a cold cap that can help prevent or minimise hair loss. The results from using the cold cap vary greatly and we would always recommend talking to us before your treatment begins. This will enable us to give you targeted and honest advice on how to look after your hair and scalp.

Scalp Care

Scalp care is important as your scalp will become highly sensitive and porous during treatment. It is widely recommended that during this time, and for a while after treatment, you only use shampoo and conditioners that are pH neutral as well as being sulphate and paraben free. Our years of experience and extensive research have resulted in us stocking a few select brands that contain natural soothing anti-inflammatory ingredients.

By understanding your treatment program and your own skin type we can advise on the best hair and skincare products to protect your delicate skin and scalp. During the early stages of treatment, you may be unsure of what you wish to do and how your hair may be affected. At this stage we would recommend using good quality headwear at bedtime as this reduces the friction on your hair and scalp and can catch any stray hairs to minimise irritation.

As your hair begins to regrow the texture and colour may be very different to how your hair used to be. Hair is extremely fragile and incorrect care can easily damage this delicate regrowth. Your Patient Hair Care technician will continually monitor and adapt your hair care plan to get you the best possible results and back to a look you love.

LOOKING AFTER YOU BEFORE, DURING, AND AFTER YOUR TREATMENT

We understand that hair loss is just one small part in your cancer journey. As well as your dedicated hair loss team, you will have access to our skin care clinician team as well as our wellbeing and nutrition centre. We know that looking after yourself when you are in the throes of treatment is often the last thing on your mind but taking care of your physical and emotional wellbeing is paramount.

Cancer treatments take their toll on your body, from the drying effects of chemotherapy through to the burning associated with radiotherapy, these can be painful and long lasting without effective treatment. We work with NeoGenesis, an expert cosmeceutical brand who have developed a line of skin care products that are oncology approved for use during and after cancer treatments. By giving your skin the nutrients required to naturally repair and heal you will experience greater comfort and healing from side effects such as extreme dryness, rash, photosensitivity, and hyperpigmentation.

WIGS AND HAIR SYSTEMS

In some cases, such as non-permanent hair loss associated with cancer treatments, telogen effluvium or while waiting for other treatments to take, we may recommend a wig or top piece.

We work with the world’s leading wig suppliers to offer both fibre and human hair wigs covering all ethnicities and genders from the very young to the more mature.

During your consultation, we will take time to understand your lifestyle, what look you are hoping for and any expectations from your family. From here we can recommend a wig or hair piece that would best meet your needs. We have a large range of wigs in stock so you can try some on and get a feel for what style will suit you best.

HEADWEAR

Headwear is a great way for children, men, and women to achieve a quick solution to all forms of hair loss or hair thinning. Even more importantly, it can calm a sensitive scalp.

Chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and other forms of medically induced hair loss, including all types of alopecia, leave your scalp vulnerable to the environment and affect the way you regulate your body temperature.
We work with leading suppliers to offer modern and classic headwear options that are both functional and trendy and are available for men, women, and children.

As the seasons change, so do our needs. Our headwear range incorporates a spring/summer and an autumn/winter collection to ensure that you have the right headwear solution for the weather, keeping you protected against the sun's harmful rays and regulating your temperature.

The nightcap is a recommended part of your hair loss toolkit and comes in either Caretech Milk or Caretech Bamboo.

Both styles are breathable, sweat absorbing and keep you warm. Additionally, the Caretech milk fibres are known to have a soothing and moisturising effect that leaves your skin feeling soft and refreshed.

HAIR PIECES

Several our clients enjoy the versatility of headwear but would still like to have a bit of hair showing. The Christine Headwear hairpiece is ideal for this and comes in either long or short styles in a selection of natural looking hair colours and can be easily applied before fitting your scarf or turban

SCALP CARE

Whilst going through treatment it is so important to look after your scalp.

Our organic range of shampoos are the best thing you can use on your scalp as they are pH neutral, have no sulphates or parabens, and have anti-inflammatory natural ingredients.

A common myth is that if you don’t have any hair you don’t have to wash your head. This is completely incorrect as the skin on our scalp is just like the skin on our face. It is vital we keep this skin clean and healthy whilst going through treatment, so we have the best possible base for new hair to grow.

Sometimes your scalp can feel quite tender. A good tip is to put our shampoo on your dry hair/scalp and leave it on for a few minutes to let the shampoo soothe your scalp.

Once you have washed your scalp twice using the shampoo, give it a thorough rinse and buff dry with a towel. It is important to make sure your scalp is completely dry before putting anything on top of it.

Our hair clinic nights are essential for helping you regain the maximum amount of hair quickly. We will magnify your scalp 200x using our Nioscope to look at dormant follicles and follicles only producing a single hair. There is a wide range of options going forward that we can tailor to you and your individual needs.

EYEBROWS

Sometimes when undergoing treatment, you can find that your eyebrows can thin or disappear. Our mineral based palette is a fantastic eyebrow kit which is easy to use. Being mineral based you don’t have to worry about anything being absorbed into your blood stream. It is semi-permanent which means it won’t come off until you take it off! So, no need to worry about your eyebrows coming off in the rain or at the gym! It comes with 3 stencils to choose from, either thick, thin or a natural brow. Plus, a double-sided brush for easy application.

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