Hair & Chemotherapy : The answers
Published : 2019-06-13 - Categories : Live better with cancer
Laboratoire RENASCOR specializes in hair loss and re-growth during chemotherapy.
Here is a summary of the most frequently asked questions:
Is hair loss unavoidable after cancer treatment?
There are several treatments for cancer: chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery, targeted therapy, hormone therapy. All these treatments are aimed at suppressing cancer cells.
Chemotherapy targets dividing cells in the body, including those of hair bulbs. The treatments and the dosage of the treatments are the actors of hair loss. Some patients are more sensitive than others to treatment and have undesirable side effects, among which hair loss is a major concern.
Cancer treatments can cause transient alopecia. In 15% of cases, hair grows back naturally. In 85% of cases, it is necessary to intervene because the texture or density is insufficient.
Should we anticipate hair loss?
YES. It is necessary to anticipate hair loss. On one hand because it is inevitable in 90% of cases... and in 100% of breast cancer treatments.
In addition, hair loss is physically painful. Indeed, some patients experience pain similar to that caused by a needle on the top of the skull during this difficult period.
On the other hand, the dermis undergoes some transformations that cause itching.
How to prepare ?
Chemotherapy is a very tiring treatment. So it is necessary to prepare this period with care... not only for hair loss. We always advise you to contact a patient support association. There are more than 600 in France. They often do a very good job of support.
With regard specifically to hair loss, we recommend going step by step. Although it is difficult to prioritize pain and suffering, we find that hair loss is even more difficult to experience than the loss of a breast for a woman. On the other hand, hair loss means the loss of the social bond. Patients isolate themselves until they find their hair. To find them with a good quality is therefore preponderant.
So, for women, we propose to start with a short haircut, then very short. This is an opportunity to talk about this subject with the people around you. Because if it is complicated for an adult patient, it is also complicated for children and patients' companions.
We also recommend anticipating the purchase of care that will be used after chemo. Because looking at a bottle of REDACTIV1 in your bathroom will provide psychological comfort during difficult times... and there will be difficult times.
Should I wear a wig?
Good quality wigs replace natural hair. The materials used are amazingly realistic. Some brands, such as ANY D'AVRAY or NJ Créations, are considered to be the most qualitative on the market.
There is an alternative to wearing a wig, the scarf. When the question of budget is removed, it becomes only a personal choice.
Wigs can be uncomfortable, especially in the early stages of use or during hot weather. However, you get used to it.
A wig is maintained like real hair, with specific care. Prefer the Any d'Avray treatments, which have a very wide range (shampoo, conditioner, styling spray, two-phase treatment, etc.). The use of a "freshness" lotion is very pleasant. All of these treatments are distributed on the Internet in Europe by NosCheveux.com
On windy areas, adhesives can be used to attach the wig to the head. Prefer hypoallergenic adhesives such as 3M Santé.
How long will it take to re-colour my hair?
The priority is to get treatment. Accept the treatment, complete the process.
Then, it is to do what is necessary to restore the hair to its original shape and density and therefore use REDACTIV.
The color comes only after....
As you have understood, the answer to the question on colouring therefore varies greatly from one patient to another. When the hair quality has returned to "normal", we encourage you to wait 3 to 4 months to redo a hair colouring.
"Vegetable" colourings are very trendy at the moment. Behind this word, there are sometimes unpleasant surprises.... Therefore, prefer a colouring emulsion without oxidants and ammonia, a guarantee of respect for your hair and scalp.