Advice on How to Manage Hair Loss from Michelle Marshall Salons in Cardiff
Breast Cancer Awareness Month is organised by major breast cancer charities every October to increase awareness of the disease and the importance of early detection, as well as raising money for research and treatment.
In honour of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the teams at Michelle Marshall hair salons in Cardiff want to share some advice about what happens to your hair during cancer treatment, and tips on how to care for your hair during this difficult time.
Overcoming your illness is the most important thing, but we would like to offer some tips on how to regain some normality during a period that feels anything but normal. You can rest assured that the experienced teams at our Cardiff salons have helped people with hair loss before and will always offer you a caring and supportive welcome.
Hair Loss During Cancer Treatment
For many women diagnosed with breast cancer, one of the most distressing side effects of their treatment is the loss of their hair. Everybody adapts to hair loss is their own way, but for some women it can be a truly devastating experience. Hair loss is a very visible side effect of cancer treatment and it can affect our self-esteem and sense of identity.
Following chemotherapy, hair loss commonly begins within two to three weeks. The hair loss affects body and facial hair including eyebrows and eyelashes. In most cases a temporary side effect of the treatment, so you can expect your hair to start growing back after your chemotherapy is over or even towards the end of your cancer treatment.
Hair that grows back after chemotherapy may feel different from your hair before treatment however, with changes in its texture being very common.
How to Look After Your Hair Before Chemotherapy Treatment
• In the run up to your cancer therapy, get into the habit of being kind to your hair. Avoid using harsh chemical treatments including perms or hair colour — these can weaken it. We’d also recommend staying away from heated styling tools such as straighteners or rollers and air-drying your hair wherever possible. Strengthening and nourishing your hair and scalp now gives it the best chance of withstanding the effects of the treatment for as long as possible.
• Consider switching to a short hairstyle. It’s easier to style short hair to make it look thicker, plus, as your hair starts to fall out it will be less noticeable with a shorter style. Moving to a short hairstyle now could also make the transition to hair loss less upsetting for you and thus do something to reduce your stress levels during your treatment. Speak to your Michelle Marshall stylist about a shorter hairstyle before your treatment starts.
• During cancer treatment, many women choose not to cover their heads, but if that is not something you wish to do, you may want to think about the options available for concealing your hair loss. Wigs and scarves are the most popular head coverings and there are some fantastic high-quality synthetic wigs and real human hair wigs on the market.
How to Care For Your Hair During Chemotherapy
• Continue to be gentle with your hair throughout your chemotherapy treatment. Use a soft brush, such as a baby brush, and a gentle shampoo free from parabens and chemicals. Avoid washing your hair unless it’s very necessary.
• Some women report that their scalps feel sensitive, itchy and can become irritated during their chemotherapy treatment. It’s possible to reduce the irritation at this stage by shaving your head rather than waiting for your hair to fall out. Many women choose to shave their heads because it can save the embarrassment of shedding hair and can look better than patchy hair loss.
• It’s important to protect your sensitive scalp throughout your treatment so make sure to use a sunscreen if you are not covering your head with a wig or headscarf. Extreme cold can also make your head feel sensitive, so ensuring that it is covered will help you to feel more comfortable.
Will My Hair Grow Back After Chemotherapy?
• Your hair will grow back, but you can expect the new growth to be especially fragile and vulnerable to damage, so you should continue treating it gently. Do not colour your hair until it becomes stronger, as hair colour products may damage your new hair and irritate your scalp. You should also avoid heated styling such as straighteners or curling tongs and air dry your hair as often as possible.
• New, healthy hair growth takes time. Your new hair may grow in slowly and could grow back in a different texture or colour to before, sometimes previously straight hair can grow back curly. Although your hair may start to return fairly quickly, you will need to be patient as it could take up to 6 months until you can expect to have a full healthy head of hair.
Book a Consultation at Michelle Marshall Salon in Cardiff
If you are due to commence cancer treatment and are concerned about hair loss, please call the team at Michelle Marshall Salons in Cardiff. We offer a friendly and relaxed welcome and aim to make you feel as comfortable as possible during this time.