Daily hair care and products tips for scalp cooling
scalp cooling products tips
The aim of scalp cooling is to reduce hair loss so that you can maintain a hair style. For most people this will mean treating their hair very gently for the duration of chemotherapy and scalp cooling treatment. With this in mind people often ask us questions such as: Do I need to use specialist products? How should I nest wash my hair during scalp cooling? Can I use a hairdryer? and so on. We are here to help with lots of ideas and recommendations. Our expert and independent tips and recommendations can be a real source of support.
Many women tell us that they are not clear on what ‘gentle’ styling means. Can they use a hairdryer, colour roots, brush hair, go to the hairdressers and so on? At Cancer Hair Care we have supported thousands of women during this time. We will share with you lots of tips and ideas that can make daily styling easier.
We have put together the following guides that we hope are helpful:
- Do I need to use specialist products?
- Colouring hair – scalp cooling do’s and don’ts
- Washing and conditioning – scalp cooling
- Drying and styling – scalp cooling
- Colouring hair – scalp cooling do’s and don’ts
- Visiting a hairdresser during scalp cooling
- Thinning hair & troubleshooting – scalp cooling
At Cancer Hair Care we are often asked to recommend products for scalp cooling. There are hundreds of hair care products available. To make recommendations we work together with our ‘Independent scalp cooling advisory board’ that consists of experts in scalp cooling coupled with women who have experienced treatment as well as input from manufacturers and product suppliers.
If you have a recommendation for our board and Cancer Hair Care panel to consider please Contact us.
Do I need to use specialist products?
What is important is to use products that are appropriate for your scalp and hair. The condition of your scalp and hair might change during treatment.
Your health care provider should provide you with a specific patient care leaflet or direct online information and guidance. These leaflets will be from your specific scalp cooling manufacturer. When it comes to hair care products these recommendations from your manufacturer are guidelines and suggestions.
There are no ‘must use’ products such as shampoos and conditioner produced by scalp cooling manufacturers. What manufacturers offer is a guideline and suggestions of what may be helpful. For example most manufacturers recommend using shampoos that are ‘sulphate’ and ‘fragrance free’. However this is a recommendation only. It it is very important that products are suitable for your hair type.
You will not cause damage to your scalp or hair if you do use a product containing ‘sulphate’ or a ‘fragrance’. This recommendation is based on creating the best platform for the possibility of a sensitive scalp. Your scalp may become more sensitive the usual due to chemotherapy treatment. It’s really important to understand this because in our experience many people can be unnecessarily worried that they may be using the ‘wrong products’.
We have worked with hundreds of women (and some men) trying and testing products that may be helpful and getting feedback from individuals, nurses and scalp cooling manufacturers to help offer you some guidance.
Most people plan to use something that is more suitable for a sensitive scalp and invest in fragrance free (or natural ingredients based) shampoo & conditioner, a wide tooth comb, a headband (to use as a forehead protector) and a hat.
Scalp cooling product recommendations – quick guide
Shampoo and conditioners
The following products are ideal for use during scalp cooling and for new hair growth as they are perfume free, sulphate free, paraben free and colour dye free. The products below are suitable for all hair types including Afro hair.
Faith in Nature – fragrance free shampoo/conditioner
£: Prices start at £5.49 for 400ml
The Faith in Nature fragrance free range is suitable for all hair types and benefits from being hypoallergenic. This range is also vegan & biodegradable. These large bottles offer good value.
Online shopping: www.faithinnature.co.uk
Shop: Available from independent health care shops such as Holland and Barrett.
Green People Scent Free Shampoo/Conditioner
£: Prices start at £12.50 for 200ml.
The Green People range is ideal for those who may be prone to eczema and psoriasis or an extra sensitive scalp. This range is also vegan.
Online shopping: www.greenpeople.co.uk
Shop: Available from independent health care shops.
£: Prices start at £15.00 for 250ml. Best value is the multipack £25.00
The Paxman shampoo & conditioner has been specifically developed by one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of scalp cooling machines.
Online shopping: www.paxmanscalpcooling.com
Cantu range (ideal for very dry, curly or Afro hair)
The Cantu range offers many variations especially suitable for afro hair types including a range that is free from sulphates and therefore may be more gentle.
£: Prices start at £3.99 upwards
Online brand website to locate suppliers and buy online: www.cantubeauty.co.uk
Heat protection sprays and leave in conditioners can offer protection to the hair and help with styling. We are currently trying and testing various products to make recommendations for you.
Temporary colours/ root cover-ups
Surgical cap – to wear if you have lost substantial hair (to protect a balding area)
If your hair thins in any area that results in a bare area of scalp you must cover it when wearing the cold cap. You can use gauze or a surgical cap. You should ask your healthcare provider to provide this for you. However many people tell us that this is not the case and so wish to purchase their own caps. Here is an example cap available via Amazon:White Mob caps. They are approximately £5.99 for 100 disposable caps.
We are currently trying and testing various products to make recommendations for you. Read our section Temporary colour, camouflage and cover-up products for ideas of product types.
Next planned review: February 2024