Questions and Answers for Before, During and After Cancer Treatments:
These are common questions and concerns for most people starting chemotherapy treatments, Miyohara Trichology clinic will try to dispel some of the Do's & Don'ts for Cancer Patients by answering some of the day to day protocol's one should follow after all chemotherapy treatment is finished.
Our goal is to give clear concise answers without fear and confusion. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact us by phone or email. We are here to assist you in anyway possible.
NOTE: IF SCALP HAS CRADLE CAP, SECTION HAIR AND REMOVE THIS WITH A FINE TOOTH COMB (IF SCALP IS NOT SORE OR TENDER). PRE-CLEAN USING SOME ORGANIC WITCH HAZEL THEN SHAMPOO AFTERWARDS.
How often can I wash my hair?
This will vary from person to person, those that have fine thin oily hair (daily ), if not feeling weak or too frail, medium texture slightly wavy (2 to 3) times a week if scalp is sweaty or hair sticky,thick course hair (once )a week if dry and brittle.
Does it matter if I cut my hair before, during, or after chemotherapy?
This will vary from person to person,not everyone loses a lot of hair in the beginning,so see how the hair changes after chemotherapy before cutting the hair,it normally takes 2 to 3 months before hair takes it's decent and start falling out, if the hair is too uneven and has short and long strands it will be better to give the hair and even blunt geometric cut to make the hair look fuller, your hairdresser will know what this is,if the hair is okay and your not losing too much trimming the ends will just give a cleaner more healthier polished look.
Can I color my hair? And if so when?
No. Coloring your hair due to the scalp sensitivity and the fragility to the hair is not recommended. We normally have clients to wait up until six months after your last chemo treatment before doing any chemical services. Clients before
having any chemical services administered your hairdresser should perform a skin test behind the ear or forearm for allergic reactions this is (24 hours with product on) covered with a band-aid and a hair elasticity test to make sure the hair is strong enough to handle the chemical service being performed,ie color, bleaching, hight-lights,perming, straightner, if everything is cleared and you can receive services keep your look as close to natural as possible,this will prevent having to use to strong of chemicals on you.
Can I use heat on my hair? (i.e. hair dryers, electric curlers/rollers)
Depends on the healthiness of the hair, if the hair quality is restored and the hair is no longer weak and fragile I think lukewarm dryer is okay and wet setting the hair and allowing it to dry naturally is better if one has the time, if above appliances are used my advice would be no more than twice a week on restored hair, if hair is weak allow the hair to dry naturally and style afterwards (DO NOT USE APPLIANCES).
Can I tie my hair back with a light band?
These may be used as long as your not pulling at the hair or hair line,try and stay away from any form of pulling when necessary and allow hair to fall in it's normal hair pattern.
What P.H. balance shampoo should I be using?
If your hair is very oily a 7.0 which is more balanced as to remove greasy build up without too much stripping and leave the hair with body, and if your hair is normal a 5.5 p.h. is perfect for your hair type, if your hair and scalp is dryer you want a 4.5-5.0 p.h. which is more acidic based to help restore the acid mantle to your scalp and the dry lack luster to your hair,all shampoo's should be void of (sulfates,PEG's,synthetic polymers,and harsh chemicals) these coat the hair and can lead to excessive shedding.
What should I do to get tangles out of my hair?
First and foremost always shampoo hair under a shower with head slightly tilted back and apply shampoo to the scalp and run it through the hair, never twirl the hair around this is how the hair becomes matted.Apply a detangler conditioning treatment to the hair and starting from the nape comb hair section by section using a wide tooth comb going up towards the hair line this will prevent breakage and pulling to detangle the hair.
(NEVER TAKE A COMB STARTING AT THE FRONT OF THE HAIR LINE AND GO THROUGH TANGLED HAIR COMBING IT BACKWARDS THIS IS A BIG NO NO)
Can I brush my hair?
Definitely not when the hair is wet or very fragile this will cause the hair to split more, when the hair is stronger and healthier using a very soft natural bristle brush you may perform this type of brushing to help silken the hair by stimulating the oil glands to release sebum giving it luster and sheen.
Can I use finishing hair products on my hair like mousse, gel, or hair spray?
If you can go without using any fixatives on the hair this would be best because these type of hair products will have even more chemicals than the shampoo's and conditioners, so I would recommend that you do not use these aids. But some people fill like they just have to have them so I would say put a little in your hands and only apply from the middle of the hair strand to the ends (DO NOT LET TOUCH THE SCALP).
Can I wear a scarf, hat, or wig over or around my head?
A.Yes. A scarf should be made of silk to be soft on the hair as well as the scalp, a hat only when outdoors and it is very hot as to not get sunburn or heat stroke, and a wig preferably hand made where the fibers are not rubbing and cutting the new hairs trying to grow in, if one cannot afford this type of wig then put a silk scarf on the head before putting a synthetic hair piece on your head( use only for outings where appearance is a must,but take off as soon as you get home).
Can I exercise if my scalp sweats?
Yes/NO. Yes if you have received a clean bill of health from your oncologist, start very slow with walking,water exercising, yoga...No if you are still too weak and your skin too thin and frail, lactic acid from your sweat will cause your skin to burn and feel very dry and effect the quality of your hair if you start sweating too much, so see where you are before starting back on any routine exercise program.
Can I swim?
If your oncologist gives you the okay to do so my advice would be to only swim in a Salt Water Pool not a pool filled with Chlorine due to the harshness on your overall body skin,also always wear a white silk scarf on head then put on your swim cap over the scarf as to not be too tight on the scalp.