So why do you lose your locks? Well it’s a well known fact that cancer treatment can often cause partial or total hairloss but it really depends on the type of treatment you’re having, how many rounds you’re having and how you personally react to it. Some treatments don’t affect your hair at all! Hairloss generally happens 2-3 weeks after your first chemo. You might notice a clump on your pillow or in your fingers when you run your hand through it.
Regrowth does happen in the majority of cases but the hair can come back a different colour or texture. Beards may grow back a little patchy. According to Macmillan, on average you should have a decent head of hair back 3-6 months after finishing your chemo and then after 12 months you’ll have a good idea of the texture/thickness.
‘Emotionally it took my breath away when I started losing my hair, I can't lie about that. My shedding seemed to stop after about round 4 of my 16 chemo sessions. Again, everyone is different. I was on EC and Taxol chemo for my breast cancer which meant that unless I used the cold cap, I would lose all of my hair. I was lucky that the cap worked well for me and I managed to keep about 60% of my hair but I was really careful on how I looked after it. Here are my tips…’ (Helen)
THE C LIST TIPS ON CARING FOR YOUR HAIR DURING CHEMO
THE C-LIST SHAMPOO PICKS
1. The Philip Kingsley No Scent No Colour Gentle Shampoo 250ml is suitable for all hair types with sensitive, delicate or easily irritated scalps. Designed to address the needs of allergic and reactive skin types £20.00
Why we love it: It’s a super gentle shampoo and was originally formulated to be gentle enough for those undergoing chemo/radiation therapies; inspired by Philip's wife when she was battling breast cancer. It’s fragrance, paraben and SLS free and makes your hair feel truly clean and glossy.
2. The MooGoo Milk Shampoo 500ml A scalp friendly shampoo for a healthy head. This gentle every day shampoo uses natural ingredients which look after your hair and scalp without any nasties. Made with a gentle combination of coconut and glucose based cleansers, free from harsh drying synthetic detergents (SLS) and silicone-based ingredients £11.90
Why we love it: Nothing is more powerful than word of mouth. I often hear cancer patients and oncologists recommending these products which are gentle, no nonsense and caring. Love the price point too.
3. The Weleda Calendula Shampoo & Body Wash 200ml The mild formulation is gentle enough even for your baby's skin. Using natural products it’s fully approved by dermatologists, so you can have confidence using it knowing it will leave your sensitive/delicate scalp and skin silky soft £8.25
Why we love it: Weleda is a brand that is known and loved in the cancer community so that brand trust goes a long way in our eyes. Whilst this product is designed primarily for babies it’s had good results on chemo affected hair which is especially dry and itchy.
4. The Mediceuticals Folligen For Normal Hair & Scalp 250ml is a thorough but gentle cleanser . It has an advanced dermatological formula for optimal hair growth. With natural DHT inhibitors and a microvascular stimulator, which will help to actively encourage new hair growth once cancer treatment has finished. It is a sulphate free, non carcinogenic, DEA ( Diethanolamine) and MEA ( acetamide and Monoethanlolamine) amine free £22.00
Why we love it: Despite the more clinical looking packaging the results have been quite overwhelming. Whilst they don’t claim to speed up the regrowth process after chemo-loss, the results of thicker, fuller, better conditioned hair is really evident. We love how the scalp is thought about too - the formula increases the blood flow for a better uptake of nutrients.
5. The Elemental Herbology Shiny Locks Shampoo 290ml helps to revive dull, lacklustre locks through natural nourishment. Enriched with Lavender and Honey, the softening shampoo deeply cleanses the hair, roots and scalp, ridding it of impurities and excess oils, whilst Wheat Proteins help to thicken, add volume and boost shine. Free from synthetic fragrance, artificial colour, SLS, paraben preservatives and mineral oils £14.00
Why we love it: We just lurvve the lavender and honey which gives a soothing feel - great when your scalp is under so much stress. You can use it with confidence knowing it’s been tried by other cancer patients and they give it the thumbs up. On top of that, it’s got curb appeal, we adore the more sustainable packaging and their ethically sourced ingredients.
6. The NIOXIN 3-Part System 1 Cleanser Shampoo for Natural Hair 300ml is designed for naturally thinning hair so whilst it can’t reverse the effects of chemo, the shampoo will be able to perform a deep cleanse to pave the way for healthier, thicker-looking hair when it starts to regrow. Formulated with Activ-Renewal™ technology (a concentrated blend of age defying botanicals and humectants) £18.60
Why we love it: The brand boasts over 30 years of dedicated independent research and is the most awarded brand for naturally thinning hair in the USA. Their products are all about stimulating and caring for the scalp so what’s not to love.
7. The Larry King Good Life Shampoo 300ml will leave your hair feeling renewed and refreshed – like it’s been on a yoga retreat in Bali for a week and is back feeling healthy and revitalised. It nourishes, hydrates and strengthens the hair. Helping to provide UV protection. It leaves the hair feeling thick with improved lustre and sheen £40.00
Why we love it: Looking at the ingredients it’s like a multi-vitamin for your hair. It’s got scalp-loving green tea extract, biotin (aka vitamin H) said to improve keratin structures and vitamin B5 to help boost moisture. So a great treat for hair that needs it. Also, the products are plastic free. Massive C List tick.
By shopping with us you'll be supporting other cancer patients. Each month we will use profits to treat one of the randomly selected C List community members (aka YOU!) to something special. It might be a beauty gift or a fancy afternoon tea. So watch this space to see what we pull out of the C List goody bag. Oh and spread the word x