Breast cancer awareness month
Happy October everyone!
While October is best known for being the month of Halloween, it is, more importantly, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a cause close to my heart.
Throughout my hairdressing career, I have been passionate about helping women and men who suffer from hair loss, be it hair loss from hormonal reasons, conditions like alopecia or from undergoing cancer treatment. A lot of my clients, unfortunately, are undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
Losing your hair as a result of cancer treatment can be a very distressing side effect. For many, their hair is their identity and losing it can result in low self-esteem and confidence. Hair loss can be a daily reminder of their illness and can make people feel extremely vulnerable. I strive to help cancer patients regain a sense of normality in an abnormal situation.
In the salon at Cyril Morgan Hair, I have created a private area called Inner Space, which is predominantly used for wig fittings. Creating Inner Space was extremely important to me when I opened the salon, as I wanted clients to feel as comfortable as possible and have a safe and intimate space for the wig fitting process.
First off, why does hair loss happen when undergoing cancer treatment? On average, hair grows quickly at around 1cm per month. Unfortunately, cancer cells also reproduce rapidly and chemotherapy and radiotherapy are designed to target these fast-growing cells, which is why hair can be affected.
With chemotherapy, hair usually starts falling out two-four weeks after starting treatment and can fall out very quickly in clumps or gradually, while some treatments don’t cause any hair loss. Hair thinning or loss of eyelashes, eyebrows and other body hair can also occur. On the other hand, with regards to radiotherapy, hair loss will only occur in the area where treatment is carried out.
Many people choose to wear a wig throughout their cancer treatment. Initially, I will meet a client for a consultation and assess the stage of their hair loss and chat through the different options available to them. I normally recommend people bring a trusted companion with them, both for emotional support, as well as a second opinion on potential wig styles. Once we have chosen a wig style, I will order it for the client and they will return within a few days to have it fitted and custom styled.
Cyril MorganWearing a wig for the first time can feel quite different, and many find it overwhelming, which is why I want to make the experience as normal as possible for my clients. Normally clients choose a style and colour similar to their original look.
When the client comes in to have their wig fitted, I will remove the excess bulk and thin the wig for a natural appearance.
There are different options when it comes to selecting a wig, the main two being synthetic fibre wigs and human hair wigs, both have their advantages and disadvantages.
Human hair is slightly more expensive but can be heat styled, coloured and treated like human hair. On the other hand, synthetic hair is pre-styled and can’t be heat styled. These wigs are wash and wear, which means after washing the wig, it will revert to its original style. For this reason, synthetic wigs can be advantageous for cancer patients who may not have the energy to style their wig regularly.
After cancer treatment is finished, new hair may start growing back, even starting to grow before the end of treatment. You may have a full head of hair within 3—6 months after chemotherapy and 6—12 months after radiotherapy.
The hair that grows back following treatment can be weak due to a lack of keratin, which is the protein that makes up the hair’s structure. The new hair may also have several differences to your hair before treatment, it can be very fine and maybe a different texture, some people even grow curly hair after having straight hair all their life! In most cases, the hair will revert to its pre-cancer treatment condition over time.
As new hair is weak and low in keratin, it is important to care for it properly. Strenuous brushing or heat should be avoided and regular hair cuts will help improve the condition by removing damaged hair and promoting hair growth.
If you would like to enquire on our hair loss services, please give us a call on 061-315 750.