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.

Chemotherapy and Hair Loss

Hair loss is one of the most well-known and most feared side effects of chemotherapy. And for good reason – the majority of men and women who undergo chemotherapy treatment will experience some degree of hair loss. But everyone who undergoes chemo experiences hair loss differently, so it’s difficult to know what to expect or how to mentally prepare for it.

 

In general, hair loss usually begins with two to four weeks of starting chemotherapy treatment. The loss doesn’t just occur on the head, but can affect hair all over the body, including eyelashes and eyebrows.

 

chemo and hair loss

 

Sometimes, hair falls out in clumps, while it is sometimes more gradual – you might just notice more strands in your brush and hair that is thinning overall. Depending on the severity and pattern of your hair loss, you may decide to shave your head before it is completely gone, or simply style it in a way that masks some of the loss.

 

The hair loss will generally continue for the duration of the chemo treatment and for a few weeks after it ends. Hair usually regrows within six months, and it may come in with a different color or texture, because the cells that control the pigment of your hair are not yet functioning. As such, this is usually a temporary change.

 

So is there a way to prevent hair loss caused by chemotherapy? Unfortunately, there is not. Some drugs are more likely to cause hair loss than others, and the level of loss may also be affected by the dosage and duration of treatment. Your doctor should be able to help you prepare for hair loss as a possible side effect of chemotherapy.

 

Going through chemotherapy is difficult for many reasons, and hair loss can add a significant mental burden to an already difficult time. Make sure that you have support during this tough time.

 

If you’re experiencing hair loss caused by chemotherapy or radiation, DK International can help. At our discrete Twin Cities hair loss salon, our experienced and compassionate hair restoration experts can help you find an answer for your hair loss, whether you’re interested in wigs, hairsystems, or other hair solutions. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Hair Care Products to Reverse and Prevent Hair Loss

Whether you’ve had thin hair all your life or are experiencing new-onset thinning, facing the prospect of hair loss can be alarming and daunting. At d.k. International, we are experienced in all stages of hair loss, and with a wide variety of products and services available at our Minneapolis-area salon, we can help you find the best solution for your lifestyle and budget.

hair loss solutions

photo credit: Oprah.com

In addition to extensions, wigs and related hair loss solutions, we also carry a wide range of hair care products that are designed to reverse thinning and revitalize the scalp and hair. Products include scientifically formulated shampoos and conditioners, overnight scalp treatments, leave-in thickeners, styling products and more. Most products are available for both natural and color-treated hair.

These products work by deep cleaning and improving the health of the scalp – clearing product buildup and excess oil from hair follicles and increasing blood flow to the scalp. This allows for more natural hair growth and protects from future hair loss. While that new growth is occurring, styling products can help to volumize and style your hair to make it appear thicker and healthier.

Vitamins can also be highly beneficial for those experiencing thinning hair. These daily supplements contain ingredients proven to promote healthy hair growth and overall health of hair, skin and nails.

At d.k. International, we carry unique specialty hair care products for thinning hair. Our experienced professionals can help you determine the right products for you, and recommend a specific treatment plan for thicker, healthier hair.

In our Bloomington hair loss salon, we offer a wide range of products for hair loss, with customizable solutions for every situation. Whether your hair loss is due to male or female pattern baldness, trichotillomania, chemotherapy, alopecia or another reason, d.k. International is here to help. Contact us to learn more and schedule an appointment.

 

Hair Loss Due to Chemotherapy

The Effects of Chemotherapy on Hair and How to Handle It

homepage-slide1Most people don’t put too much thought into their hair and it’s health, unless they are facing the possibility of it falling out. Both men and women going through chemotherapy have a greater chance of losing their hair. The amount or speed it falls out at depends on the type and dose of medication you receive, but nonetheless, the chemotherapy will affect hair growth and loss.

 

Why does chemotherapy attack the hair? The medications involved are very powerful and go after the rapidly growing cancer cells. They also go after other growing cells as well, including hair roots. Although hair loss is primarily thought to be on the scalp, it goes after hair on the entire body, including eyebrows and eyelashes. Hair loss can be temporary and will start to grow back about 3-6 months after chemo has ended. People may find that their hair falls out in clumps all at once, or gradually, finding hair on their pillow, hairbrush or shower. Whether one’s hair is dramatically thinner  or goes bald completely, it is a hard transition to go through. Here are some tips in prepping for hair loss due to chemo and some ideas on dealing with the change.

  1. Be gentle with your hair prior to chemotherapy. Skip the hair color treatments which will only weaken your hair. Allow your hair to air dry and refrain from using hot devices such as hair curlers and straighteners.
  2. Consider cutting your hair if it is long. This will make the hair loss process seem less noticeable and be less of a transition shock to you.
  3. Get headwear to cover your head during or after such as a wig, scarves or hats. Being self-conscious about being bald may be lessened if it is covered up and not as noticeable. Keep your confidence during treatments.
  4. Protect your scalp from the cold and sun with sunscreen and hats. Your scalp may be sensitive from going through treatments or make you extra cold. Stay comfortable and cover up when necessary.
  5. Be patient. Your hair may grow back slowly or look different in color or texture than what it was originally. It will take some time to get it back to what it was like before the damage from chemotherapy. Allowing it to grow back naturally is key.

Contact us today to schedule a free one-hour consultation, where you will meet one-on-one with one of our experienced technicians to discuss the type of hair loss you’re experiencing and the solution that best fits with your lifestyle and budget needs.

Breast Cancer Treatment & Hair Replacement Options For Pregnant Women

small__4455140588Breast cancer during pregnancy is a rare event.  In fact, according to www.cancer.org, it is diagnosed in about one pregnant woman out of three thousand.  After reading this blog, you’ll understand the different treatment options and what to consider after giving birth.

 

A diagnosis of breast cancer is scary enough, however a diagnosis while pregnant means your treatment plan needs to take into consideration yours and your baby’s life.  The treatment plan essentially depends on the stage of pregnancy:

 

First Trimester

Neither chemo nor radiation therapy are recommended during the first three months of pregnancy.  Radiation therapy has been proven to increase the risk of birth defects, so if that is the preferred treatment, it should be held off until after giving birth.  Breast conserving surgery can be an option, but it does need to be followed up with radiation therapy, so may not be the preferred treatment option.

 

3rd & 4th Trimesters

Because of the affects and strength of chemotherapy drugs, it was long assumed that it would harm the baby.  However, there are certain chemo drugs that do not increase the risk of birth defects to the fetus if used later on in the pregnancy.  These drugs have not been studied in the first trimester due to the potential damage to the fetus.

 

If treatment can be held off until after the birth of the fetus, many chemotherapy drugs and hormone therapy drugs can be passed through the breast milk, so breastfeeding is not recommended.

 

Have you or someone you know that is pregnant been recently diagnosed with breast cancer?  If you choose chemotherapy as your treatment method, you will begin to lose your hair after about two weeks after your first treatment.  Pregnancy can be difficult enough, but when you don’t feel or look your best, it can take the joy out of expecting a child.  DK International wants to be a part of your breast cancer support team.  DK International is a hair replacement salon located in Chanhassen, MN, which is just outside of Minneapolis.  Call today for your free one-hour consultation so you and your technician can find the hair replacement system that fits your style and budget.  Connect with DK International on Facebook so you can keep up to date with us on how we’re helping our clients with their hair replacement needs!

Why Chemotherapy Causes Hair Loss

We all know that chemotherapy causes hair loss, but what you may be wondering is why it causes hair loss.  Sometimes it’s helpful to know why your body is experiencing a traumatic event, such as hair loss, in order for you to wrap your mind around it.  After reading this blog, you will understand the scientific reason why hair falls out due to chemotherapy.

When someone is diagnosed with cancer, it becomes a devastating life-changing event.  When you discuss your treatment options with your doctor and decide on chemotherapy, another devastating event is receiving the knowledge that your hair will fall out from the treatment.  Soon after a patient’s first chemo treatment, 90% of the hair in the anagen, or growing phase, can fall out.  This type of hair loss is called anagen effluvium and occurs after any insult, such as chemotherapy; to the hair follicle that impairs its growing activity.

Scientists have discovered that cancer is rapidly dividing cells.  Malignant tumors are toxic and can spread, thus impairing important functioning parts of the body, even if the cancer originally began in an area such as the surface of the skin.  Chemotherapy is meant to slow down or stop the dividing cells.  However, the unfortunate part of this type of treatment is that chemo doesn’t differentiate between the different kinds of rapidly dividing cells in our bodies, such as hair follicles in the growing phase.

Chemo may be necessary to stop some forms of cancer.  Loss of hair is less important than loss of life, which is why many cancer sufferers opt for the treatment.  However, when a woman loses her hair, it can feel like she is losing a piece of her identity.  DK International, a Minneapolis metro hair loss salon located in Chanhassen, MN, knows the importance of keeping your spirits and confidence high while fighting off cancer, which is why we went into the hair replacement business.  By contacting us today for your free one-hour consultation, you’ll be on the road to being your best self and in the best position to fight this disease.  During your consultation, we’ll help you choose the best wig to fit your style and budget.  We’ll answer your questions and ease your fears.  Be sure to connect with us on Facebook to find out how we’re helping our clients with their hair replacement needs!