6 Spring and Summer Self-Care Tips for Chemo and Hair Loss
From hair loss to regrowth, your chemotherapy induced hair journey can last many months and years. Did you know the way you care for your scalp during hair loss can set the stage for beautiful, strong and healthy regrowth? Since we always believe in taking the empowered approach, setting a self-care routing for your baldie, no matter the season, is our favorite way to show the scalp some TLC as you look forward to new hair. To make this journey a little easier, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite spring and summer hair loss self-care tips.
1. Sunscreen! Sunscreen! Sunscreen!
During chemotherapy your body more easily absorbs the sun's ultraviolet radiation. This side effect is called "drug-induced photosensitivity". Over exposure to the sun during this time can cause severe damage and burns. The scalp is especially at risk because of the loss of its protective barrier, i.e. hair. An easy way to prevent this from happening is by taking your SPF moisturizer (which we know you already use, right?) and applying a little bit of extra product to your scalp. This will create an added barrier of protection for your scalp, even if you plan to cover up with a turban (just be sure to give your moisturizer time to dry before covering your scalp.) Use a minimum of SPF 30 or higher, and remember to apply sun block every day for consistent protection – even on days with cloudy skies.
2. Breathable Turbans are Your BFF
Warmer months call for a wardrobe changeup. Reach for turbans that are made of a cotton blend or sheer material. These materials will help your scalp breath throughout the day while also keeping it covered and protected. Increased exposure to oxygen helps minimize sweat and bacteria buildup, while letting your scalp self-regulate oil production. Less constricting head coverings are optimal for blood circulation to your extremities, like your scalp, which is necessary for healthy hair growth. For this reason, consider swapping out of your wig often if this is your head covering of choice, especially during warmer months.
3. Keep Your Scalp Fresh and Clean
Towel baths are a great way to keep your scalp clean between showers and to find relief from the hot weather. We suggest always using a microfiber towel for your hair and scalp, which has many benefits over a traditional towel. Microfiber promotes moisture retention, and creates minimal friction and breakage. This makes it perfectly gentle for your baldie, and a great option during regrowth as well. To cleanse with your microfiber towel, dampen it with cool water then gently rub your scalp front to back. Finish off with a lightweight aloe moisturizer to keep your scalp hydrated and recovered from sun exposure. You can do this ritual as often as you like. Your follicles will love you for it!
4. Express Yourself (Through Style)
Spring and summer fashion is the perfect time to get playful and have fun with your style. Whether you go for tie-dye, bold prints, or metallics (to name a few) there are so many ways to express your personality and your story through your head wear. There’s nothing like the confidence boost you get when you dress in a way that feels authentic to you. It has the power to change your mindset and your attitude. Choose a runway-worthy turban and some bold jewelry, and reconnect with your identity. And always remember: your beauty is fluid, throughout your hair journey, season after season.
5. Play with Henna Crowns
Henna crowns are a beautiful way to honor your hair loss. These crowns are inspired by traditional Indian henna, and symbolize joy, awakening, and protection from evil. The traditional henna application process takes several hours and the result lasts for 2 to 3 weeks on your scalp. To make it easier for you to explore henna crowns, we created metallic and black sets of DIY henna crown temporary tattoos. Each set has dozens of combinations you can wear throughout the spring and summer. Whether you are traveling on vacation, or simply having a pool day at home, you can take off your turban and create your henna crown within minutes! Bonus, your scalp gets to breathe and feel the warm rays of the sun when you are showing off your crowned baldie.
6. Stay Cozy in Air Conditioning
One of the toughest hair loss side effects is dealing with constant temperature changes after losing the protective barrier of your hair. Going from hot outdoors to overly air conditioned indoors can become exhausting and can even make you sick during treatment. The best way to prevent this is by being prepared. Always carry a light scarf to wrap around your neck or a cozy knit turban to keep your scalp warm. And just because it’s knit does not mean you have to look out of season. Pick a sparkly or floral knit turban to match your spring and summer fashion vibes. Mixing and matching different knit turbans with your outfits will also help you feel newly dressed for each occasion – even if it’s an infusion or doctor’s appointment. The key is to always have fun with it.
To learn more about hair loss self-care, read our founder Sonya Keshwani’s interview with Brilliantly.co about caring for your hair and scalp before, during and after chemo.
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