If you have recently undergone chemo treatment, your hair may be on the road to recovery but will still need some extra TLC. In some cases, people report having "chemo curls," or different hair colour and texture after chemotherapy. This is because chemotherapy medications can remain in your body and cause your hair follicles to behave differently.
Several months to a year after chemotherapy, your hair will return to its usual texture and colour as your body recalculates. Each person who has undergone chemotherapy has a different pattern of hair loss and regrowth, which may be related to their age, their tolerance of the treatment, and their personal health history. It is important to be gentle with your hair as it regrows. Do not colour it or use heating devices until your hair becomes stronger.
Here are some tips for looking after your hair and promoting its health and vitality as it grows back.
1. Start with Gentle Shampooing
Your hair may still be fragile or vulnerable, so begin by using a gentle, sulphate free shampoo that won't strip your hair of natural oils. Opt for a mild, fragrance-free formula that keeps your scalp hydrated without irritation. You can also ask your oncologist for recommendations on safe hair care products.
2. Deep Condition Your Hair
To help restore shine and moisture to your hair, deep condition after every wash. Apply a hair mask or conditioner treatment to nourish and protect your hair from further damage. Avoid using hot styling tools such as straighteners or curlers which can cause damage and breakage.
3. Be mindful of your hairbrush
Avoid brushes with sharp or rough bristles that tug or pull at your hair and scalp. Use a wide-tooth comb or a soft bristle brush to gently detangle your hair.
4. Stay Hydrated for Healthier Hair
Drinking enough water each day is not only helpful for your overall health but also promotes healthy hair growth. Drinking water will keep your hair moisturised, stronger, and less prone to breakage.
5. Eat Nutritious Foods
Eating a balanced diet rich in proteins, vitamins, and minerals is essential for maintaining healthy hair. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish and nuts, can promote healthy hair growth and maintain scalp health.
6. Seek Professional Help
A qualified hair stylist with experience in hair care after chemo can provide guidance and support as you navigate your next hair stage. They can give you recommendations on the right type of hair cut, hair colour and styling techniques which promote fuller, healthier hair.
Remember that hair regrowth can take time and varies from person to person, so be patient and gentle with your hair to prevent further damage. Also, do not hesitate to reach out to your oncologist or a support group if you have questions or concerns about your hair's health and recovery. By following these simple steps and practicing a little bit of self-care, you'll be well on your way to healthier, stronger and beautiful hair.