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Jun 27, 2019 01:21PM
I read about the cooling caps and saw there were some women who kept all of their hair. But I also read there is some rare and very small chance of getting scalp cancer if it is protected by ice during chemo treatment. I had a migraine IceKap that I used occasionally, throughout my chemo treatment, and a bit beyond it while the chemo was still in my body. I was fearful of damage so I only wore it for a few minutes each time I decided to put it on for each day of chemo.
I also turned on the cold water at the end of showering to push the blood away from my scalp. My oncologist had told me, for treatment for my numbness (neuropathy) in my hands to use cold water after washing in warm to push the blood away (hence, chemo), so I used the same logic for my head. The neuropathy in my hands is still there, but I'm starting to feel a difference now. It is slowly dissipating.
I also bought natural shampoo and conditioner with biotin.
I was taking a B-complex with biotin as well.
And, I was trying to focus on foods that enrich hair growth and health.
After chemo, I started using a 6-week hair growth treatment I purchased at my salon. I checked with my oncologist first. I ran any new chemical or supplement past him first. I still do.
I did not lose all of my hair. I have no idea why, but maybe what I did above helped. I had 3 patches that fell out and some thinning, but a lot did stay put. I had gone to the salon when it began to fall out and my stylist convinced me not to shave it all off, but to start with a short haircut style, like a pixie, which I did. I was so glad I did after all because I did not lose it all. Long hair is heavier and will fall out easier, I think. I was careful as others have stated in gently washing and handling it. Since it was cut short, I didn't have to worry about drying it. It dried in minutes!
My stylist also suggested I get a wig with bangs due to eyebrow loss. Another good tip. I did not lose all of my eyebrows or all of my eyelashes either. I had to bring my wig into the salon to trim the bangs a bit, too. It was odd. He put it on a mannequin and then I kept trying it on. It was hard for him to work on it when it was on my head.
I always wore scarves to the hospital (I just thought they might be more sanitary versus a wig - I was really paranoid about germs) - and it did not interfere with my port infusions. But, I did buy a cute wig and had been wearing it every day when I left the house otherwise (until today). I tried to match my hair color and went with a classic style that wouldn't change the way I looked too much with bangs for my eyebrows as mentioned above. I went to a local shop to buy it because I was clueless and the lady who owned the small shop helped me a lot in deciding which one and in the care of the wig. It took me a while to get used to.
In fact, today is the day I decided to stop wearing it. It is summer time and my hair has grown in enough where the patches were, and I am feeling more comfortable.
Like others have mentioned, check with the American Cancer Society or other charitable organizations. You can find wig outlets in your local area through some of those websites. Some state that they cater to or only to cancer patients. Your hospital or breast clinic resource center should have some for loan or know where you can do that, or where you can buy wigs with discounts. My shop specialized in cancer patients which made me more comfortable to visit. They were very nice and understood privacy issues. The owner had gone though breast cancer treatment so she knew the ins and outs of wearing a wig.
I bought a wig band to try to help the wig stay put at first, but in the end the band bothered me too much, so I went with hair pins as I still had some hair underneath to pin it to. I found some long curved ones online that fit the shape of my head.
As I was told, have fun with the wig! Just choose one you feel comfortable and confident in.
DX 24 AUG 2018 Right Breast (E+/P+ HER2+ 3/3 aggressive) Surgery 30 OCT 2018 Chemo Taxol 14 DEC 2018 Targeted Herceptin Radiation 27 MAR 2019