How to care for my hair after receiving a treatment for cancer?

When undergoing a chemotherapy treatment for cancer, one of the most visible side effects it can cause is temporarily hair loss or hair thinning. This comes as a result of the toxic effect the treatment has on the hair bulbs. However, rest assure that your hair will grow back but it will need some care and time to recover. Here are some few tips on how to care for your hair and scalp after receiving chemotherapy treatment:

  1. Remember that now it’s all about gentle care: Hold off on coloring or bleaching your new hair until it grows back stronger. This might take from 3 to 6 months. Your skin now is quite sensitive and using any coloring or bleaching products may irritate your sensitive scalp and damage the fragile hair fibers.
  2. Wait until your hair has grown out at least 3 inches to trim the ends and get rid of the most brittle rough hair.
  3. Wash your hair as often as necessary only to avoid any irritation to your scalp.
  4. Use only warm, not hot, water when taking a bath.
  5. Use gentle unscented shampoos designed for sensitive skin, organic if possible.
  6. Moisturize your scalp by using a gentle conditioner that doesn’t have harsh chemicals. Try to leave it on the scalp for at least 30 sec before rinsing it off with warm water. Look for conditioners that are designed for sensitive skin, fragrance fee and rich in essential oils.
  7. Avoid massaging your scalp at the beginning thinking it will help your hair grow back. Studies have shown that vigorous massaging may cause damage to new hair growth.
  8. Don’t worry about hair growth. Your hair will grow back. Remind yourself that your whole body has gone through an invasive treatment and it has the right to react and to recover at its own pace.
  9. Remember that it’s only normal that your new hair may be temporarily of a different shade or texture.

And finally, remember that you are beautiful. You are strong and brave. What breaks your hair can’t break your soul. You should celebrate your second chances with all its shortcomings. Your hair will grow back again!