There is a way to try and help reduce hair loss during chemotherapy called scalp cooling.
Scalp cooling, also known as cold cap treatment, is a method to try and reduce the amount of hair loss as a side effect to chemotherapy so that you can maintain as much of a regular hairstyle as possible. Scalp cooling is the only known way to reduce hair loss due to chemotherapy.
Scalp cooling is suitable for all hair types including afro hair. Women and men can try scalp cooling if they are suitable for it (there are several requirements) and their hospital or home care provider offers it. If you are wearing a weave, any type of hair extensions or braids, you will need to remove these in order to have scalp cooling.
Scalp cooling means that you need to allow additional time before and after chemotherapy treatment – additionally some scalp cooling providers recommend that people with afro hair have additional cooling time. If scalp cooling is something you are considering, ask your nurse or take a look at the scalp cooling providers information.
Not all cancer professionals are aware that scalp cooling is suitable for afro hair. Raising awareness that scalp cooling is suitable for afro hair is something that, along with scalp cooling manufacturers, we are trying to change.
Additionally, if you are wearing a weave, hairpiece or wig as a styling preference, your nurse may not be aware what your ‘natural’ hair type is. If scalp cooling is something you are considering then it’s well worth explaining to your nurse what your natural hair type is like. This is so they can make the best recommendation for you.