Hair Care Advice for Cancer Patients

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Nurturing New Hair Growth

When your hair starts to grow in -- usually about two months after the chemo treatments end -- don't expect it to look exactly the same as it did before. The new hair comes in finer with a fuzzy-frizzy texture at first, but then quickly settles down. It's not uncommon for hair to come in with a different color. In most cases, the initial growth is not a sign of a permanent change. Eventually, hair returns to its original shade and texture, or pretty close to it.

The first few months are very exciting as new hair comes in. I recommend a volumizing shampoo like Amplify by Matrix, Suave Professional Amplifying Shampoo or L'Oreal Body Vive Thickening Shampoo to make the new growth appear fuller. A shampoo with vitamin E -- such as Phytonectar Ultra Nourishing Shampoo -- is also a good choice. As your hair comes in, you will only need to trim a little in the back and around the ears. For color, a gentle formula for a single process or highlights done with an off-the-scalp technique works best.

Many women experience scalp itchiness while wearing a wig. To alleviate the discomfort, I suggest using a scalp brush (they can be purchased at beauty supply stores or online). While in the shower, pour some shampoo onto the brush and methodically scrub the entire scalp from back to front. This is also a great technique for caring for your scalp when the hair is coming back after chemotherapy.

Continued on page 4:  Styling Your New Hair


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