Chemotherapy: How to care for your Hair/Scalp & Skin
Chemotherapy fights cancer by attacking the fastest growing cells in your body this includes the cells in your hair follicles. The damage to hair follicles during chemo can result in thinning, weak, dry and brittle hair or in some cases complete hair loss. Chemotherapy also effects our skin the color in our face changes as well as the moisture in our skin, our skin becomes dryer. I have listed 10 Steps to take in caring for your Hair/Scalp & skin during chemotherapy.
2. If you do choose to wear a wig during your chemotherapy treatments we suggest choosing a human hair quality wig. If you are going to be wearing your wig on a daily basis you want to be comfortable and confident in your look. Human Hair is gentle on your scalp and the bonnet is made with light weight material to allow your scalp to breathe during the wear. Human hair can also be cut/colored and styled on you for a more personal look tailored to you.
3. Some people experience very dry and itchy scalps during their treatments. In order to avoid further friction try wearing light breathable materials on your head. So in this case if you are wearing a wig go for human hair as this is the most comfortable type of hair with a silk bonnet interior. If you are wearing scarves or turbans again silk is amazing and or 100% cotton. We have tons of models of wigs and scarves/head-wraps to choose from that are all light weight and breathable for that extra comfort needed during this time.
4. Choose a gentle sulfate free and ph balanced shampoo. Look for organic or bio brands that do not contain too many harsh ingredients that are made for sensitive and irritated scalps. Limit the amount of times you wash your hair or scalp to once a week or twice during hot/humid months. We highly recommend our Helen Seward Bio Calming Shampoo.
4. Stop the use of chemically enhanced products such as hair dyes, perms and alcohol based styling products i.e ( hairsprays) It is important to let you hair follicles breathe during your treatments.
5. If you still have hair and it has thinned out switch to a soft bristled brush that is gentle on your scalp. Comb the hair from your ends working your way up to your roots. Do not pull on your hair follicles.
6. Try not to use heat styling tools on your hair as much as possible. Even after your treatments are over allow your hair to gain its strength as much as possible. 6 months post chemotherapy is a sufficient amount of time to leave your hair and scalp alone.
7. Avoid chemically enhanced hair growth serums and shampoos once your treatments are nearing the end like Nioxin products or Nutricap. These products have a chemical list for days and really do more harm than good when it comes to growing out your hair. Instead opt out for pure coconut oil massaging on your scalp weekly or other organic products with very few raw ingredients again The Witch's Garden has an amazing Charmed Hair Loss oil this oil is infused with coconut oil and rosemary oil both have been proven to help hair growth and repair damaged hair.
8. Use sunscreen on your scalp and wear a hat, scarf or turban outside to protect your scalp. It is important to protect yourself from the UV rays and not to cause further damage to an already sensitive scalp. Again use only 100% organic sunscreen you can also make one yourself there are various recipes online or The Witch's Garden Sun Magic Sunscreen found in our holistic products works great and protects up to 30-40 SPF!
9. Skincare should not be excluded during your chemotherapy treatments but harsh chemical products found in your popular brands are the worst for using cancer causing chemicals in their products. The best products to use are all natural ORGANIC products with no dyes, artificial scents and sulfates. Please read the labels before purchasing because something that says natural doesn't necessarily mean its is 100% organic. Your skin absorbs everything you rub or apply on to it therefore during chemotherapy it is very important to omit these chemicals entering your body. The Witch's Garden found in our holistic product section offers many handmade organic skincare products but some popular brands include True Botanicals and Kosmatology.
10. Avoid wearing makeup unless it is 100% organic that doesn't contain parabens and fragrances/chemical preservatives. Brands 100% certified include:
- Burt`s Bees
- Couleur Caramel
- Zorah Biocosmetiques
- Boho Cosmetics
- Rejuva Minerals
Following these steps will help you to avoid any chemical enhanced products that can cause more harm during your treatments and safer tips to grow your hair back stronger and healthier.