Our deep emotional connection to our hair means that after having cancer treatment, patients really look forward to the getting their hair back. Depending on the treatment you’ve been through, your hair will begin to grow back at different rates. The general principle is that the hair that you lose first, will grow back first. The hair on your head will typically grow back before your eyebrows, eyelashes and body hair. You can expect to have the first signs of soft downy hair post-chemotherapy after about 3 weeks, with your locks returning between three to ten months after that. If you received brain radiation treatment, you can expect three to four months to pass before the first hair regrowth appears.
Hair follicles are damaged as a result of both chemotherapy and radiation. This means that the hair that grows back may be different to your original hair - as weak follicles may die out and stronger ones recover. You may now have curly hair where you once had straight or straight where you once had curly; your hair may be thicker or thinner, and your initial regrowth may be grey until the cells which control hair colour properly reactivate once the effects of the treatment wear off. Your hair will go through many changes in texture and colour throughout this period.
You won’t need a hairdresser to tell you how much your hair needs nourishment at this time. Likely, you are more aware than ever of your hair’s unquenchable thirst for moisture, and of the quality and chemical nature of anything you are applying to your scalp or hair. With this in mind, it is advisable to adopt a more natural approach to your haircare as possible. Using organic hair care products will always benefit you more. They are much kinder on the hair and have many wonderful natural ingredients. By adapting a more natural approach to hair care you will see the benefits very quickly.
Here are our top tips for the optimal organic approach:
Organic and natural haircare products provide significantly less or no chemicals.
Check product labels and avoid the following chemicals which are known to dry out hair follicles or irritate the scalp:
- Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)
- Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES)
- Ammonium lauryl sulfate
- Propylene glycol (also known as antifreeze)
- Olefin sulfonate (deodorized kerosene)
For positive hair reinforcement, choose organic products that are packed with powerful vitamins and minerals. Vitamin B3 - Niacin - is known to boost circulation to the scalp, and increase hair thickness. Vitamin A helps your scalp produce its own natural oil (sebum), Vitamin D promotes healthy follicle growth and Vitamin E boosts circulation to the scalp, and repairs and builds healthy follicles.
Healthy oils result in soft, moisturised, shiny hair. Try to treat your hair from the outside and the inside by using organic products and organic food with naturally occurring oils. Avocado, coconut, olive and argan oil are all excellent sources of moisture and protein for your hair. Organic products will generally have the highest quality oils either as shampoos or treatments for your new and precious hair.
It is advisable to speak with your doctor or oncologist about hair dye before you take the plunge on altering your colour. Always do a patch test before applying colour.
If you are concerned with the levels of chemicals in hair dye and don’t want to dye your hair too often, there are non-toxic and temporary root touch-up solutions such as Colourstick which is free from PPD & PDD, washes out and will extend your colour application by two weeks. Less is always best!
Added minerals in your organic hair care can definitely boost your hair growth and hair quality. Minerals help the body absorb vitamins. Zinc helps the body with cell reproduction, as well as the production and maintenance of hormone levels, protein creation and absorption of vitamins and other minerals. Magnesium and iron are also key minerals in the creation and maintenance of healthy hair. Again, taking an ‘inside-and-out’ organic approach can really recharge your hair.
If you want all the benefits of the best hair care products, but without the grind of finding those that work best, we fully recommend Organic Colour Systems. We have been using Organic Colour Systems at Hair Organic for five years and love the gentle yet effective formulation. Davines is a sustainable hair care range made from natural ingredients, their ‘OI’ all-in-one milk is amazing for all hair types. For a root touch up solution that is easy to apply, fits in your make-up bag and is free from harsh chemicals Colourstick is a great product for when you have no time to cover your roots.
Organic Colour Systems for a professional hair colouring approach
Davines hair care products beautiful eco friendly range for all hair types.
Grey root cover up stick we don’t run in the rain!!