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.

What is Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia?

In our last blog post, we discussed the unique challenges of caring for fragile, breakage-prone African-American hair, and the steps to take in order to prevent thinning hair and hair loss. Today, we’re going to go more in-depth into an ailment that can cause permanent hair loss in African-American women: central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia.

 

central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia

As explained by the American Academy of Dermatology, central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia, or CCCA, is believed to be associated with the frequent pulling of hair in African-American women. Specifically, it is caused by hair being repeatedly styled into braids or similar tight hairstyles, causing excessive traction.

 

There is some debate about whether chemicals – such as those in relaxers – that are applied to the hair can contribute to CCCA, but most experts believe that there is no direct association between relaxers and hair loss. However, women who are being treated for CCCA are advised to discontinue the use of relaxers and other chemical treatments, as they may cause further damage to already-fragile hair.

 

CCCA can lead to permanent hair loss – in fact, it’s the most common form of permanent loss in African-American women. This occurs when hair follicles are replaced by scar tissue, preventing hair from regrowing. This is why it’s especially important to seek treatment for CCCA as soon as you notice thinning hair or hair loss.

 

In many cases, treatment involves two steps. First, discontinue styling the hair in ways that pull or strain against the scalp. This can help to slow or even reverse the progression of CCCA. Second, a dermatologist may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications, usually involving a combination of topical and injectable corticosteroids.

 

If you’re experiencing permanent hair loss caused by central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia, DK International is here to help. No matter your budget or goals, we offer a variety of hair replacement products and services, including hair loss solutions, hair systems, wigs and more. Contact our Minneapolis hair loss salon to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced hair replacement professionals.

How to Protect Fragile African-American Hair

African-American hair has a unique structure which makes it more fragile and prone to breakage and damage. As such, more than half of African-American women state that hair loss is their primary hair concern.

 

African-American hair

Because of the increased risk of damage, it’s important for African-American men and women to take the appropriate steps to protect their hair against hair breakage and loss. We’ll share a few tips for African-American hair care, courtesy of the American Academy of Dermatology, below.

 

Washing and Conditioning

Wash hair at least once per week in order to remove hair products and avoid build-up. Rinse hair after workouts to prevent sweat and salt from building up in the hair. Use conditioner after every wash or rinse, concentrating on the fragile ends of the hair.

 

Choose shampoos and other hair care products made from natural ingredients, such as shea butter, olive oil, aloe vera or others. These can help to build and maintain moisture in the hair. Avoid sulfates, as they can be drying.

 

Similarly, look for conditioners with amino acids, wheat proteins, hydrolyzed proteins or panthenol. Those ingredients will help to strengthen and protect the hair.

 

Styling

Apply heat protectants after washing and before styling to minimize the potential damage from heat. Use ceramic irons or combs with straightening hair.

 

Don’t attempt to relax hair at home – it’s important to enlist a professional to ensure safe application. Wait at least eight weeks to do touch-ups, and never use relaxer on hair that has already been relaxed.

 

Talk to Your Dermatologist

If you begin to notice any excessive damage or thinning hair, talk to a dermatologist. There may be an underlying cause that’s contributing to your hair loss.

 

No matter your hair type, style or condition, DK International can help with your hair loss. We carry a wide variety of hair replacement products and services, including hair loss solutions, hair systems, wigs and more. Contact us to schedule a free consultation at our discrete Twin Cities hair loss salon.

Does Weight Loss Cause Hair Loss?

If you’ve recently started experiencing hair loss with no apparent cause, you’ve probably started looking back at any recent changes in your life, trying to determine the cause. Did you recently have a baby? Have you experienced a hormonal shift? Are you suffering from a disease known to cause hair loss? Could weight loss be the cause of your thinning hair?

 

The answer to that last question: no! While thinning hair or complete hair loss can be caused by hormones, stress, trauma, cancer and other diseases, it is generally NOT caused solely by weight loss. However, thinning hair is a pretty normal byproduct of weight loss for a few reasons, which were discussed in a recent Women’s Health article.

 

weight loss and hair loss

First, it’s important to recognize the difference between thinning hair and major or complete hair loss. A degree of hair loss is associated with rapid weight loss, or with weight loss caused by trauma or stress. And the more weight you lose, the more hair you’re likely to lose. But it’s unlikely to experience complete hair loss due solely to a drop in weight.

 

But the cause of the loss can be attributed to one primary factor: diet. When people are actively working to lose weight, they often consume less protein and fewer nutrients. The body will always divert protein to its most important functions, leaving hair last on the list. This can lead to thin or thinning hair.

 

The good news? This form of hair loss is completely temporary. Once you’re no longer actively losing weight, your hair will no longer fall out. And you can work to avoid it by ensuring that you’re consuming enough protein and vital vitamins and minerals. Zinc and biotin can be especially beneficial for hair growth.

 

If weight loss has caused your hair to weaken or thin, give DK International a call. Our experienced Minneapolis-St. Paul hair replacement professionals can help you find the product or hair solution for your specific issue and budget. Call our Minneapolis hair restoration salon to schedule a consultation.

10 Hair Care Habits That Can Damage Hair

Although the majority of cases of hair loss are caused by uncontrollable factors such as genetics, disease, or chemotherapy, there are a few common hair care habits that can contribute to or worsen hair damage and loss. So while you may not be able to prevent hair loss, you can improve the health of your hair by making a few changes to your hair care routine.

hair care habits

The American Academy of Dermatology recently shared 10 damaging hair care habits. We’ll discuss them below.

Using Shampoo on the Full Length of Hair

To avoid drying out your hair, only massage shampoo into the scalp and let it cleanse the remainder of hair as it rinses out.

Skipping Conditioner

Conditioner protects hair from damage, so it’s important to use it after every shampoo.

Rubbing Hair Dry with a Towel

Instead, squeeze hair dry, wrap it in a towel, or let it air dry.

Brushing Wet Hair

Avoid breakage by detangling hair with a wide tooth comb instead of a brush. It’s also best to wait until hair is damp (instead of dripping wet) to detangle.

Using Hot Tools

It’s unrealistic to recommend removing hair dryers, flat irons and curling irons from your hair routine altogether. Instead, lower the heat and limit the amount of use as much as possible.

Using Styling Products That Offer Long-Lasting Hold

These products can make hair brittle and susceptible to breakage.

Pulling Hair Back in Tight Hairstyles

Wear hair down or pulled back loosely. Use only covered hair bands instead of rubber bands, which can pull and break hair.

Wearing a Weave

Choose a weave or extensions that are light, and get them professionally done. Make sure to maintain scalp hygiene, and switch hairstyles when possible.

Perming, Coloring or Relaxing Hair

Add more time between touchups, especially in the winter. Have only one service performed at a time. Be sure to protect treated hair from sun exposure with a hat or a special leave-in conditioner.

Excessive or Rough Brushing

Only brush hair when needed for styling, and avoid pulling and tugging on hair when your brush.

If you’re suffering from hair loss or excessive hair damage, DK International can help. With a variety of hairsystems, treatments and solutions, we can meet your specific needs and budget. Give our Minneapolis hair restoration experts a call to set up a free consultation.

Transition Your Hair from Winter to Spring

As winter comes to an end in Minnesota, we’re looking ahead to spring. And just like the change in seasons means a change in routine, wardrobe and lifestyle, it also necessitates a change in hair care. Read on for a few tips from Good Housekeeping on transitioning your hair care routine from winter to spring.

winter

Get a Trim

Even if you’ve taken extra care to keep your hair hydrated and protected from the dry winter air, you probably have a few split ends to deal with. Snip off the dead ends for extra body and to improve your hair’s overall health.

Switch Shampoo

If you used a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner during the winter, consider switching to a formula for normal hair for spring and summer. Hair with too much moisture can get frizzy and hard to manage.

Invest in a Serum

If your hair tends to get frizzy in the warmer months, look into an anti-frizz serum. Apply before blow-drying to help seal and smooth the hair cuticle, protecting it from damage and improving your final look. Don’t apply serums to the roots of the hair – doing so will weigh hair down and make it look greasy.

Lighten Up

There are more hours in the day now, so why not add a bit more sunniness to your hair? Ask your stylist for a few subtle highlights to match the spring weather.

Try Low-Maintenance Looks

In preparation for those inevitable spring rains, have some easy hairstyles at the ready. Consider a low ponytail or a loose top knot. Not only will these styles hold up in the rain, but they’ll save your hair from a day of heat and styling.

If winter has left your hair thin, brittle and falling out, DK International can help. Our experienced Minneapolis-St. Paul hair replacement professionals can help you find the product or hair solution for your specific issue and budget. Call our conveniently-located Bloomington hair restoration salon to schedule a consultation.

Instill Healthy Hair Habits in Your Child

As parents, it’s up to us to teach our kids how to take care of their bodies so that they can stay healthy and safe. Many parents probably don’t think of healthy hair habits as an important part of these lessons. But by teaching children how to properly wash and style their hair, you’ll be helping them to protect their hair from future damage, thinning and loss.

healthy hair habits

The first step in this educational process is to teach children the proper way to shampoo, condition and comb their hair. To do that, walk your child through the following steps:

  1. Sufficiently wet hair and scalp with warm water. Make sure the hair is fully wet, and use warm – but not hot – water to avoid drying out the hair.
  2. Use a quarter-sized dollop of shampoo. Use a coin to show them the right amount.
  3. Massage shampoo gently into the scalp. Don’t shampoo the full length of hair – doing so could cause dryness and damage. Massaging too roughly could also cause breakage.
  4. Condition for your hair type. If your hair is thin, only use conditioner on the ends of hair to maintain volume.
  5. Rinse well with warm water. Again, avoid water that’s too hot.
  6. Pat hair dry with a clean towel. Don’t rub the hair so as to avoid breakage.
  7. Use a wide-tooth comb to gently comb tangles out of wet hair.

In addition, the American Academy of Dermatology offers additional tips on healthy hair habits that protect from damage.

  • Keep ponytails and braids loose.
  • Use only covered rubber bands to hold hair back.
  • Lower the heat on blow dryers, curling irons and flat irons.
  • Minimize heat and chemical styling.
  • Wash chlorine from hair after swimming.
  • Wear a hat in the sun to protect against a sunburned scalp and other damage.

At DK International, we offer a variety of hairsystems, treatments and solutions for a variety of hair loss and hair damage issues. If you’re suffering from hair loss, whether caused by caused by chemotherapy, pattern baldness, alopecia, or another cause, we can help. Give our Twin Cities hair restoration experts a call to set up a free consultation.

Winter Hair Care Tips and Tricks

Winter is well underway in Minnesota! The cold, dry winter air, combined with snow and wind, can wreak havoc on even the strongest hair. For those who are dealing with hair loss or thinning hair caused by cancer and chemotherapy, male or female pattern hair loss, alopecia, or any other ailment or disease, winter can be especially rough.

 

winter hair care

 

No matter your hair type or thickness, there are a few things you can do to protect your hair during these cold winter months.

 

Keep It Covered

Protect your hair from the elements with a warm winter hat. If you have thin or thinning hair, you may want to try a silk scarf or a similar head covering instead. That will offer protection without adding static, flattening or further damaging fragile hair.

Wash Hair Less Often

Shampoo and hot water can strip hair of its natural moisture, so try to go a day or two in between washings. When you do wash, try to take a short shower with lukewarm water, and dry your hair completely before venturing outside. When the dry air hits wet hair, it can cause dryness and damage.

Condition, Condition, Condition

When you wash your hair, don’t rinse all of the conditioner out – a small amount left in the hair will provide protection without weighting your hair down. Use a deep conditioning treatment once per week to replenish the moisture in your hair.

Use a Humidifier

Combat that dry indoor air by running a cool mist humidifier near your bed when you sleep. This will add moisture to your hair and skin, and can help you stay healthy as well.

Trim Regularly

It’s especially important to get regular trims during the winter months. This will help prevent the dry, split ends that are often responsible for static, frizz and damage.

 

If you’re dealing with thin, brittle hair that is exacerbated by the cold winter weather, DK International can help. Contact our experienced Minneapolis hair replacement professionals to schedule a consultation at our discrete and comfortable Bloomington hair restoration salon.

How to Minimize Hair Breakage

If you’re dealing with thinning hair or hair loss, it’s important to take excellent care of your hair and scalp. There are many ways to protect and nourish your hair, but it’s vital to proactively prevent hair breakage and related damage. A few simple changes to your daily routine will help to keep your hair strong and break-free.

minimize hair breakage

Switch to a natural hairbrush

Rigid plastic hairbrush bristles can easily snap fragile hair. Switch to a boar-bristle brush for a gentler option that will provide smoother, healthier hair. And don’t overbrush – too much brushing can weaken and damage delicate strands.

Don’t towel dry

Never rub wet hair with a towel! Hair is the most fragile and easily breakable when damp or wet, so if you need to towel dry, experts recommend blotting and gently squeezing with an old, soft t-shirt.

Minimize heat

If possible, allow your hair to dry naturally. If you need to blow dry, switch to your dryer’s coolest setting, and keep the dryer continually moving and at least 6 inches away from hair. Similarly, lower the heat on flatirons, curling irons and other styling tools.

Loosen your ponytail

If you regularly style your hair into a tight ponytail or similar style, you could be doing serious damage. Styles that put continuous pressure on hair follicles can cause breakage or hair loss. This includes ponytails, updos, extensions, braids and more. If your style feels too tight, loosen it to avoid hair loss, and always use a gentle elastic to hold hair in place.

Change your pillowcase

A rough cotton pillowcase can cause friction as your head moves at night. Switch to a softer satin or silk case for a smoother night with less opportunity for hair breakage.

 

If you’re dealing with excessive hair breakage or loss, contact the experts at our discrete Bloomington, Minnesota hair restoration salon. We carry a wide variety of hair systems, wigs, hair extensions and more. Our hair replacement professionals can help you to find the best solution for you and your situation, goals and budget. Contact us today for a free consultation!

Superfoods Can Help Reverse Hair Loss

By now, we’ve all heard about the many health benefits of so-called superfoods: foods that pack a nutritional punch with a large number of essential vitamins and minerals. Not only could these foods improve your overall health, but they may also help to reverse hair loss and strengthen the hair.

superfoods for hair loss

Here are a few of the superfoods that may help to prevent and reverse hair loss.

  1. Spinach: Iron deficiency is a common cause of hair loss, so eating leafy greens that are rich in iron and other essential vitamins and minerals – including vitamin C, beta carotene and folate – will give your hair a boost.
  2. Nuts: The oils and healthy fats in walnuts, sunflower seeds and other nuts will boost the elastin in your hair and help it to grow.
  3. Eggs: Not only is the incredible egg high in protein (an essential for maintaining healthy hair), but it also contains high levels of vitamin D, which protects and strengthens the hair.
  4. Chia seeds: These tiny seeds contain an impressive amount of hair helpers: zinc, copper, thiamin, B vitamins, iron and protein. Sprinkle them on cereal or add them to your smoothie.
  5. Carrots: Like spinach, carrots are rich in beta carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A. Having sufficient stores of vitamin A will help your scalp produce more oil to nourish the hair.

There are a variety of possible causes of hair loss, including chronic stress, hormonal imbalances, rapid weight loss, menopause, genetics, certain medical conditions and medications, or a combination of many different factors.

Whatever the reason, a healthy diet loaded with these superfoods may help reverse your hair loss and strengthen your hair. You can also consider a multivitamin specifically targeted toward hair health.

If you’re experiencing hair loss, call our Minneapolis hair loss salon to schedule your free consultation with one of our hair restoration experts, and learn if our hair solutions are right for you.