Donna Kim-Brand

Once you and your medical advisors have determined chemo will be part of your treatment plan, there are several simple actions you can take immediately to minimize hair loss, even before (or without ) Cold Cap sessions.

· Avoid pulling your hair back tightly in ponytails or buns, as these styles yank at the roots

· When brushing, hold hair so as not to pull at the roots

· Stop using electric hair rollers, curling irons or hot air with hair driers

· Use only luke-warm or cool water on your head in the shower

· Reduce hair washing to once a week with mild, clear 5ph range shampoo with half your regular dose

· Avoid opaque products or those that are designed for volumizing or moisturizing, as they coat the hair   strands and may prevent oxygen from reaching hair follicles

· Use a detangling spray rather than traditional conditioners for the same reason

· Stop hair coloring for up to 3 months after chemo to avoid further trauma to your scalp

· Sleep on a satin or silk pillowcase

· Begin to practice Mindfulness or meditation as a way to keep calm and a sense of equilibrium even under stress or duress

Steps to take when beginning chemo and Cold Cap treatment include:

· Drinking lots of water the day of chemo to help flush the chemicals through your body faster, which minimizes the amount of time you need to wear Cold Caps

· Rotate the part line of your hair with each chemo treatment to protect the exposed areas of your scalp

· Sit in a chair without a high back for ease of access to change the cap quickly

· Use a neck rest for comfort once the cap is in place

· Have heating pads or blankets ready to wrap yourself in while the Cold Cap is in place

· Have available an adhesive-backed moleskin strip to protect your forehead from abrasion when the cap is on (Dr. Scholls has this by roll)

Ultimately, any treatment is an effort to combat an illness and restore you to optimal health in due time. Cold Caps are one way to maintain more a sense of yourself by keeping your hair during the arduous process of chemotherapy. That’s a personal and medical choice you may want to look into, and for which there may even be financial assistance offered by previous Cold Cap users and cancer survivors.

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