Do Cooling Caps Prevent Hair Loss during Chemotherapy?

Hair loss is one of the most well-known side effects of chemotherapy – and for many, one of the most dreaded. Chemotherapy can be difficult enough without the added emotional effects of hair loss, so it’s understandable that cancer patients would want to preserve their hair. One way in which hair loss might be minimized during chemotherapy is cooling caps, or scalp hypothermia.

 

According to the American Cancer Society, scalp hypothermia involves cooling the scalp before, during and after chemotherapy, in an effort to reduce or prevent hair loss. Ice packs or specialized cooling caps are used to cool the scalp.

 

The cooling effect minimizes hair loss by constricting blood vessels in the scalp, reducing the amount of chemo chemicals that reach the hair follicle cells. In addition, cold hair follicles are less active. Because chemo targets rapidly dividing cells, the follicles are less attractive. The sum effect is that chemo doesn’t affect follicle cells, and hair loss is reduced or prevented altogether.

 

cooling caps

The newest cooling caps involve a two-piece system in which a cooled liquid is circulated through a cap placed on the scalp during chemotherapy sessions. A second cap is placed over the cooling cap to keep the cold in and to hold the system in place.

 

But do cooling caps really work? Some research has found little to no reduction in hair loss. However, in studies of the new cool cap systems, more than half of the women using them during chemo for early-stage breast cancer lost less than half of their hair. The success of cooling caps may also be linked to the type and dosage of chemo drugs used, as well as the thickness of hair and proper fitting of the cap.

 

There are side effects, however, including headaches, scalp pain, chills and upper body discomfort.

 

Whether you use a cooling cap or not, chemotherapy often results in some degree of hair loss. At DK International, we’re here to support you through your chemotherapy and hair loss journey. Our compassionate Minneapolis hair loss professionals will discuss your options for hair restoration, hair replacement, wigs and more. Contact us today for a free consultation.

4 Breast Cancer Risk Factors You Can Control

small__4791089283Continuing on our educational series on breast cancer in recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness (NBCA) month, we’d like to talk about risk factors of breast cancer that you can control.  After reading this blog, you’ll understand how certain lifestyle choices could raise or lower your risk of developing breast cancer and how DK International can help you find a hair replacement system during chemotherapy.

 

How we live our lives determines largely on how healthy we’re going to be.  If you’re already at a high risk of developing cancer, there may be some things you’ll want to adjust in your lifestyle to keep your risk as low as possible, according to an article found on www.cancer.org:

 

Pregnancy – Women who have gone through multiple pregnancies have a lower risk of developing breast cancer.  Researchers think is because of the reduction in the number of lifetime menstrual cycles.

 

Birth Control – Women who have used oral contraceptives or the injectable form of birth control tend to have higher risks.  However, the risk factor goes back down to normal after several years if these forms of birth control are stopped.

 

Hormone Therapy – During menopause hormone therapy may be sought to help with the symptoms.  However, you may want to search for natural remedies or just stick with estrogen therapies and opting out of progesterone therapy.  Estrogen has been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer, while progesterone treatments have shown to increase the risk.

 

Physical Activity – One easy to control lifestyle factor is how active you are.  Studies have shown that it doesn’t take a lot of extra effort to significantly reduce your risk.  For instance, an hour and fifteen minutes to one and a half hours of brisk walking each week can lower your risk by as much as 18%.

 

How we choose to live our lives and doing the things we enjoy doing is what makes life worth living.  If you or someone you know has developed breast cancer because of lifestyle choices, the right thing to do is to face the challenge head on and keep a positive attitude.  DK International is here to be your support system.  As Chanhassen’s only hair replacement salon, located just 20 minutes outside of Minneapolis, MN, DK International is here to help you find the right hair system for you to help you win the fight against cancer.  Contact us today to schedule your free one-hour consultation.  During your consultation, you’ll meet one on one with an expert technician who will help you find the hair replacement solution that fits your style and your budget.  Connect with us on Facebook to see how we’re helping our clients every day!

How To Cope With Losing Your Hair After Chemo

 

Kathy After

Kathy After

DK International is familiar with the emotional and physical struggles women go through when they are diagnosed with breast cancer.  It can seem like their world is closing in on them when they fear that much for their health; and then they find out their hair is going to fall out.  I wanted to include one testimonial a client wrote up for us who went through just that.  DK International was honored to assist Kathy in her successful fight against breast cancer.

 

“Each day was filled with many doctors’ appointments and so many unknowns.  A day I vividly remember was when the oncology nurse said; ‘You will lose your hair 14 days after your first chemo treatment.’  I looked at my husband, Jay, and said, ‘no way, I do not believe her.’  I dropped my head on Jay’s shoulder and began to cry.  For some reason, as women, our identity seems to be based on our hair.  I am not a vain person, but losing my long blonde curly locks felt like my femininity being stripped from me.  Overwhelmed and exhausted, we took home a list of businesses in the Twin Cities where I could shop for a wig.

“My mom, sister, and a dear friend took me to DK International.  I love shopping, but was not excited about this kind.  Upon arrival, the staff at DK was very friendly and professional.  The private room for my consultation made me feel at ease, yet I panicked when I looked around the room and didn’t see any wigs that looked like my hair.  I knew my naturally curly hair was going to be a challenge and my eyes began to fill with tears.  The staff immediately comforted me.  They began to explain the option of custom ordering a wig.  This would allow me to get my exact hair color, curl, and style.  I was nervous about ordering a wig I was not able to try on, however I knew I was with the experts and that helped to reassure me I was making the right purchase.  We were about to leave, when I began to cry.  I didn’t want to lose my hair and could not imagine wearing this wig.  Then, the manager of DK took off her wig revealing her bald head and informed me she has Alopecia.  I would have never guessed her hair was a wig.  It was beautiful, she looked fabulous and this gave me hope.  A few weeks later my wig arrived and it was perfect!

“I feel blessed to have been positively affected by the staff at DK who, with ease, assisted my journey to become a four year survivor.  I will continue to ‘pay it forward’ and share my experience with others.  I would advise anyone to visit DK for the free consultation; it is one hour that will change your life!”

 

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with breast cancer, contact DK International today to schedule a free one-hour consultation.  Our experienced technicians know just what you’re going through and are here to comfort you and help you.  Connect with us on Facebook, where we share our weekly blogs, and join our online community!