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 a 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.

Minimizing Hair Loss From Scalp Psoriasis

Scalp psoriasis is a fairly common skin disorder. It causes red, raised and often scaly patches to appear on the scalp, sometimes spreading to the back of the neck, forehead or behind the ears. According to WebMD, about half of the 7.5 million Americans who have been diagnosed with psoriasis deal with patches on their scalp. Doctors aren’t entirely sure what causes psoriasis, and while there are many effective treatments, there is no cure.

 

scalp psoriasis

Thinning hair isn’t a side effect of scalp psoriasis itself. However, scratching or picking at scaly patches can cause hair loss. The use of harsh chemicals to treat the disease or the stress it causes can also contribute.

 

Fortunately, there are ways to minimize the hair loss caused by scalp psoriasis, as discussed in a recent article by the American Academy of Dermatology. We’ll highlight a few below.

 

Be Gentle

When removing scaly patches on the scalp, gently comb away the scale. Don’t pick at scales – doing so can aggravate the skin, causing the psoriasis to worsen or hair to fall out. If your scales are itchy, scratch with short, smooth fingernails to avoid causing further damage.

 

Alternate Shampoos

If you’re using a medicated shampoo, try alternating it with a gentle, moisturizing shampoo. Use a non-medicated conditioner after every wash to keep hair moisturized and strong.

 

Minimize Heat

If possible, allow hair to air dry. Psoriasis makes the scalp extremely dry, so the heat of a blow dryer can cause additional dryness and irritation.

 

Avoid Harsh Treatments

It’s tempting to use products to boost thinning hair or hide psoriasis patches, but try to minimize the use of harsh hair products. Before putting anything on your head, test it on a small patch of your scalp. If you experience irritation on that patch, don’t use the product.

 

If you’re experiencing thinning hair or hair loss caused by scalp psoriasis, talk to your dermatologist about the cause and treatments. Then, give DK International a call. Our experienced Minneapolis-St. Paul hair replacement professionals can help you find the hair restoration product or hair solution that works for you. Call our Minneapolis hair restoration salon to schedule a consultation.

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.

Tips For Human and Synthetic Hair Wig Care

If you’ve invested in a wig, you undoubtedly want to do all you can to keep it looking fresh and healthy. Wig care doesn’t have to be complicated, but it’s important to be diligent in order to keep your wig in top condition for as long as possible.

Many women decide to buy more than one wig so that they can switch up their hair color, length and style. We fully support this – wigs should be fun! It’s also a good idea to have at least one backup, to allow time for cleaning and drying. This varies based on the season and air quality, but in general, a wig should be washed after it has been worn about 10 times.

wig care

photo c/o WikiHow

Human Hair Wig Care Tips

Brush with a wig brush. Then, fill the sink with cold water and add a small amount of mild shampoo. Turn the wig inside out, and soak it in the sink for about 5 minutes. Rinse twice, ensuring that all of the shampoo rinses out.

Then, apply conditioner, leave on for two minutes, and rinse again in cold water. Wrap the wig in a clean towel, then place on a wig stand and allow to dry thoroughly.

Synthetic Hair Wig Care Tips

Brush with a wig brush. Fill a sink with cold water and add 2 capfuls of a specially-formulated synthetic wig shampoo. Turn the wig inside out and soak for 5 minutes. Rinse in cold water, then apply 1-2 capfuls of synthetic wig conditioner. Leave on for two minutes and rinse clean.

Wrap the wig in a towel, then spray a revitalizing conditioner spray over the entire wig. Place on a wig stand and allow to dry thoroughly.

For those who suffer from partial or complete hair loss caused by chemotherapy or radiation, alopecia, thyroid disease or any other ailment, a wig can be a great solution. DK International offers a wide and versatile selection of wigs from trusted brands, and we pride ourselves on offering only the most natural-looking, comfortable and tasteful wigs on the market today. Call our Minneapolis hair loss salon for a free consultation.

Spring Cyberhair Sale Runs Through June

It’s that time again – our annual spring Cyberhair sale is on!

For those suffering from hair loss, the options for hair replacement can seem overwhelming and confusing. That’s where the experienced hair loss professionals at DK International come in! After more than 40 years in the hair replacement industry, we know a quality product when we see it. That’s why we’re excited to, once again, offer a discount on the innovative Cyberhair system. Our spring Cyberhair sale runs now through June 29, 2018.

Cyberhair is a revolutionary micro point solution for partial and complete hair loss. It is a high-quality, healthy and natural option, and is lightweight, fade-resistant and durable. Cyberhair uses no glue or chemicals, making it one of the healthiest hair replacement options available today.

cyberhair sale

Now through June 29, come to DK International to receive $350 off a Cyberhair unit. This promotion excludes the Cyberhair CEA Program, Human Hair, Synthetic, New Man and Micro Point Solutions. No additional discounts apply to promotional items.

If you’ve considered Cyberhair, now is the perfect time to give it a try. Thinning hair and hair loss can be stressful and overwhelming, and you deserve to feel better. Join our many Cyberhair customers who have left our Twin Cities hair loss salon with thick, healthy, natural-looking hair.

Curious about the Cyberhair sale? Call us at 952-934-8336 with questions or to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced and compassionate hair loss professionals.

DK International carries a wide selection of hair loss solutions, including wigs, hair systems and hair extensions. We also offer haircuts, color, perms, scalp treatments, reconditioning of synthetic or human hair, and more. Whether you suffer from thinning hair or complete hair loss – or something in between – we can help you regain your hair and your confidence. Get in touch to get started today.

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.

Is Female Pattern Hair Loss Responsible For Your Thinning Hair?

Have you noticed a widening in your hair part, or a thinning in your ponytail? Does your hair look or feel thinner, flatter or weaker? If so, you may be suffering from female pattern hair loss (often referred to as female pattern balding).

 

Female pattern hair loss, or FPHL, is the most common cause of hair loss in women, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. FHPL is hereditary, but hormones may also contribute. A dermatologist can assess and diagnose potential cases of female pattern hair loss.

 

female pattern hair loss

 

FHPL generally begins in mid-life, but for some women, it starts earlier. Because it is a progressive condition, women will continue to lose hair after the onset of FHPL. Unlike men, however, women don’t generally lose all of their hair, but notice increasing sparseness in the part or near the temples.

 

The good news is that treatment can reverse existing hair loss and prevent additional loss. So how is female pattern hair loss treated?

 

There are a few medications that can be prescribed for hair loss, but it can take some time – at least 12 months – to determine whether the medications are working and to see results. In the meantime or in lieu of those treatments, there are more holistic options, including supplements, fatty acids, a healthy diet, scalp treatments, hair loss shampoos and others. Treatment is the most effective when started at the first sign of hair loss, so if you suspect female pattern hair loss, get in touch with your doctor as soon as possible.

 

If you’re diagnosed with FPHL, give DK International a call. Our experienced hair loss stylists can discuss our many options for the treatment of female pattern hair loss, such as hair transplants, natural-looking hairpieces or wigs, Cyberhair rejuvenation, Micro Point Solutions or other hair systems. Schedule a free consultation at our discrete Minneapolis hair loss clinic to get started.

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.